People Are Sharing Which Popular Pieces Of Cooking "Advice" They Immediately Ignore, And I'm Re-Thinking Everything Gordon Ramsay Has Ever Said

The internet is full of cooking tips and hacks, but not all of them become tried-and-true habits for every cook. I learned that for myself when I asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the well-known pieces of cooking advice that they ignore in their own kitchens, and TBH, it made me reconsider some of the tips I consider to be "fact."

These are some of the most surprising responses.

1."I always use salted butter in recipes, even when it calls for unsalted. I don't get the point of using unsalted and then adding salt separately. Plus, if I want butter in the house for bread, I don't want to have to buy two different kinds."

person standing behind container of salted butter on counter

"Haven't had any baking disasters so far."


Cinnamon Sweet Shoppe / Via

2."I've never, in 45 years of life, run water over my chicken to clean it. That's an easy way to spread germs all over your sink and kitchen. I've patted it dry so that slimy ick is gone, sure...but run it under running water? Nope. Cook your chicken to 165°F and anything on it will give up the ghost."

washing chicken thighs under running water in sink
Cooking with Carolyn / Via

3."I never, ever measure vanilla. I'm well aware that baking is chemistry and proportions matter, but nothing's ever been hurt by having approximately triple the amount of vanilla in a recipe."

adding vanilla from bottle into cream in a measuring cup

"It's like that meme I love so much: 'Garlic is to cooking as vanilla extract is to baking in that the amount I add to my food is guided by reckless extravagance and utter disregard, verging on mild contempt, for the recipe as written.'"


BuzzFeed / Via

4."Pouring the rendered fat away from ground beef. That’s where all the flavor is! Unless you’re using really cheap, really fatty beef, there’s no need to dump it down the drain."

sauteeing ground beef with rendered liquid and fat in the skillet

—34, United Kingdom

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5."Slowly adding stock to risotto and standing and stirring it for ages. Some people claim they find it therapeutic, but I find it tedious. I just dump all the stock in and let it do its thing, and I've never made a bad risotto! I'm convinced the whole thing is a myth."

adding chicken stock to a pot of rice and sauteed mushrooms
BuzzFeed / Via

6."I press down on my burgers on the grill to get those nice grill marks and keep them flat. It does NOT make them dry, I swear!"

person grilling about to press on a burger cooking

—Lauren Franklin, Facebook

Everyday BBQ & Cooking / Via

7."Bringing eggs to room temperature before baking with them. I understand the reasoning, but seriously, when has this ever made a difference in taste or texture?"

cracked egg yolks in a small bowl


Jie Gao / Getty Images

8."Sifting flour isn't always necessary, and the lumps usually come out when you combine it with your wet ingredients anyway. I just use a whisk to blend it together, and I've never encountered any 'lumpy' flour in my baked goods."

whisking flour into wet ingredients in a glass bowl


Annick Vanderschelden Photograph / Getty Images

9."I don't mind 'crowding the pan' when cooking mushrooms. Yes, it's true the mushrooms will steam instead of brown, but that's only at first! If I walk away for a bit, the water will eventually evaporate and the mushrooms will, in fact, brown. It's my lazy-mom method to cooking because who the hell has time to do 'batches?' My pan is as crowded as my schedule."

skillet with lots of uncooked mushrooms in it

—Anonymous, California

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10."I was a certified executive chef for 15 years and I never once salted my pasta water. There is a ton of sodium that naturally occurs in most food that you serve with pasta and if you season your food and sauce correctly, there's no need to salt the water."

adding salt to pasta water

"And before you @ me, I won a number of awards for my cooking over the years."

—Katherine Morrison, Facebook

Leventkonuk / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11."I always rinse my cooked pasta. Chefs will claim that if you rinse your pasta, the sauce won’t stick to it well. That may be true in a restaurant environment where sauces aren’t cooked long enough to thicken properly, but not in a home kitchen. My grandparents were from Italy and they rinsed their pasta. If you make your sauce properly, it’ll stick."

rinsing pasta under running water
Marcia Straub / Getty Images

12."I live in Colorado and I have never once followed the 'high altitude' cooking instructions crap. Things may take a bit longer to boil and yeasted baked goods definitely take a bit longer to rise, but for everything else, from baked goods to rice, I've never followed the high-altitude directions. Most of it says 'one more egg,' 'more water,' 'more oil.' Meh, I've noticed nothing different in terms of taste and texture."

pointing to the high altitude baking instructions on the back of a box of cake
DirtFarmerJay / Via

13."I cook pretty much all the time and I never let the oven entirely preheat — unless I'm making baked goods like cookies or cakes. I don’t have the patience for it and for most things you’re cooking, it’s really not that important."

entering temperature on a wall oven
Grace Cary / Getty Images

14."I almost always disregard cooking times in recipes. Timing is more like a guideline than an actual rule! Your stove and oven are not calibrated the same way as the recipe's author. Use your senses to tell when something is done. You can see if the chicken is golden brown, you can hear if the oil you put your veggies in is hot enough, and you can smell if the garlic is fragrant. Trusting yourself in the kitchen is a chef's best tool!"

tomato-shaped kitchen timer on a counter

—29, Washington, DC

Gideonijunior / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15."I cook every day, and I ignore expiration dates 99.9% of the time. In most cases (especially foods like dairy or meat), you can tell by sight, smell, or texture if an ingredient is still good. Ingredients are usually fine past their expiration dates, so why waste them unless they've actually turned?"

expiration date on a metal can lid

"A friend and I made a pie this summer with canned fruit that was five years past its expiration date. My exceptions are things like baking powder, baking soda, and yeast, which lose potency over time and don't work properly if they're old."

—31, Massachusetts

Texas A&M Food and Nutrition Extension / Via

16."People still have this old, racist idea in their head (from old anti-Asian propaganda) that MSG is bad. It is not any less healthy than any salt and it tastes amazing! If you don't use it, grab a shaker of Accent the next time you are shopping for spices and give it a try."

person holding up accent seasoning in a spice jar
Sauce Stache / Via

17."When I'm cooking pasta, I only fill the pot with enough water so that my noodles will barely be fully covered. Catch me never filling up all six cups of water when making a package of Kraft mac 'n' cheese."

pasta cooking in a skillet with only a little bit of water covering it

—33, Canada

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18."I ignore the common advice that fresh herbs are always better. This isn’t always true. A lot of times they can be either overpowering or don’t come through at all!"

—Dan, 41, Michigan

—Dan, 41, Michigan

America's Test Kitchen / Via

19."I generally don’t mix wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls when recipes call for it. I mix up the wet ingredients, then pour in the flour and other dry ingredients, then mix it all together. I’ve never noticed a difference between when I do it that way or the 'right' way if I'm being perfectly honest."

stirring flour and wet ingredients in a large metal bowl

—Katherine Morrison, Facebook

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What's a piece of cooking advice that you always ignore in your own kitchen? Sound off in the comments. 👇