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Cooking Basics For Dummies, 5th Edition by Bryan Miller, Marie Rama

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Chapter 23

Ten Common Cooking Myths

In This Chapter

arrow Debunking myths about cooking meat

arrow Straightening out falsehoods about using olive oil

arrow Correcting misconceptions about other ingredients

Cooking, like medieval poetry, is suffused with myths, muddled logic, and inaccuracies. And they’re passed down from generation to generation — and sometimes cookbook to cookbook — and taken for granted.

In the interest of investigative journalism, we explore ten common cooking myths in this chapter and give you the real story behind them.

Marinating Meat Tenderizes It

Marinades, even the most acidic, penetrate meat a tiny fraction of an inch below the surface. They can, however, impart flavor to the outside. You can tenderize tough cuts of beef, like chuck, brisket, shoulder, and shank, in several ways. For example, you can simply use a meat tenderizer, which is the size of a large hammer and looks like a medieval torture device. The working end is box shaped and studded with metal spikes. To use it, you hammer the meat evenly to break down the fibers. Another, but less efficient method is to take a sharp knife and score the meat crosswise over the muscles.

Searing Meat Traps in the Juices

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