Grandma's Cooking Rules You Don't Have to Follow

As in life, cooking rules are meant to be broken
Forget what Grandma said, The Daily Meal shares a few rules that don’t need following in the kitchen.

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Forget what Grandma said, we have a few rules that you don’t need to follow in the kitchen.

If you are anything like us, some of our best work is done when we color outside the lines, so don’t let the fear of a fallen soufflé keep you chained to your recipe cards.

Click here for the 9 Rules You Should Always Break When You’re Cooking slideshow.

In no other facet of your life is rule-breaking rewarded more than in the kitchen, and sometimes, we learn more from our mistakes than our successes, so for our first rule: No rules apply.

If you learned to cook under the iron-fist of your grandma, you probably were given a cooking rulebook to mind, everything from never open the oven while baking or painstakingly measure each ingredient in the recipe for success were probably drilled into your head.

Lucky for you, we are here to tell, which of those rules you can go ahead and toss out the kitchen window. Cooking should be about using your senses, and learning to trust your instincts — so make like you’re on MasterChef and start breaking some rules.

Follow the Recipe Exactly

Follow the Recipe Exactly

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Don't be afraid to improvise in the kitchen.


Ever watched a chef cook? You might have noticed them adding pinches of this and that, but more importantly, they are tasting their food the whole way through. Don’t be afraid to trust your taste buds. If a recipe calls for more pepper, salt, sugar, whatever and you think it tastes plenty hot, salty, or sweet then skip it.

Never Rinse Mushrooms

Never Rinse Mushrooms

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It is okay to rinse mushrooms briefly.


Mushrooms are a bit like a sponge, which is why people shy away from soaking them for a long period of time, but a quick rinse to remove the dirt and the occasional bug won’t ruin your dish. Walk into any restaurant kitchen with mushrooms on the menu, and you are bound to see mushrooms taking a quick soak.

Never Salt Dried Beans

Never Salt Dried Beans

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It is OK to salt beans while they cook.


Seasoning your food all the way through the cooking process is the best way to develop layers of scrumptious flavor, which is why we aren’t sure where or why the rule to never salt beans while cooking exists. It won’t prolong cooking time, and the result will be a more flavorful dish — feel free to season away.

Always Boil Pasta in a Large Pot of Water

Always Boil Pasta in a Large Pot of Water

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You can cook pasta with less than a third of the recommended amount.


If Harold McGee says it is OK to cook a pound of pasta with only two quarts of water, we are inclined to listen. Bonus: You can now test out that one pot pasta recipe you’ve been dying to try.

Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.

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