"Food Hacks" are Obnoxious

Don’t get me wrong; I’m a sucker for clickbait. Yes, I want to see thirty-three dogs who “literally just can’t right now.” But as recently as a year ago a genre of clickbait has emerged that offends my conventional (though reliable) sensibilities; it’s “food hacks,” and they’re the stupidest thing ever.

Food hacks are presented as shortcuts to otherwise cumbersome tasks such as eating an apple like you have since forever ago (apparently while taking a break from the parkour circuit), learning how to cut veggies the right way, or learning how to tell whether an avocado is ripe by touching it. It’s like we’re all sitting around in our kitchen wondering what inane things to do with foods that people cook every day without issue.

The food hacks that seem to have value are basically just kitchen tips. And you know what? Cooks Illustrated has been publishing “Quick Tips” for like two decades now.  You know what else? Professional cooks actually use them. A helpful kitchen tip sounds like this:

Brine your chicken to make it super moist
You can hone your knife blade on a porcelain plate
Salt your water for hard-boiled eggs
Hard boil your eggs correctly try this way too
Buy a sharpening stone and learn to sharpen your knife
Buy good pots and pans (you’ll use them for twenty years)
Cook a steak in a skillet
Clean your grill before and after you use it
Smoke makes meat taste good
Make your own barbecue sauce
Learn about reducing liquids to intensify flavors
Pop popcorn in a saucepan! ZOMRMG!

So instead of wasting time and energy on a disgusting “walking taco,” learn to make tortillas. I promise it’s not as hard as you think. Learn to make simple, basic recipes. Then experiment with ways of being more efficient and creating a better product. *Boom* That’ll change your life almost as much as this video of a cute orphaned baby otter.

(image source: onceuponaspice.wordpress.com)

Food hacks won’t “change the way you cook food,” at least not for the better, and they certainly won’t “change your life” like a devastating loss, a sudden and unexpected disaster, or—more aptly—a skill acquired over time through repetition and work. So sit back, relax, read a recipe or watch a YouTube video, and get in the kitchen and actually cook something.

Marcos, Innkeeper at American Guest House, a Washington DC Bed and Breakfast

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