May 23, 2024

Restaurante Book

Eat Without Food

32 Controversial Cooking Opinions I Actually Agree With, And 12 I Genuinely Wish I Could Unread For Good

Table of Contents

Cooking is anything but a one-size-fits-all activity. In reality, there are too many “sizes” to count. What I’m trying to say is: People are gonna cook they way they want to cook, and nothing you say (or do) is going to stop them. And ya know what? I’m all for experimentation…within reason.

Contestant on "Worst Cooks In America" cutting through an avocado pit

Recently, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the “cooking opinions or methods they swear by, even if they’re downright unpopular.” I’ve gotta say, though foodies would proooobably turn their noses up at most of these, the majority of them have me feeling pretty darn curious. The others? Well, let’s just say I severely disagree with several.

FOX / Via

1.“I always use boxed cake mix. It’s convenient and always comes out good.”

“You don’t have to worry about precise measurements of all those dry ingredients, and with the time saved by using a boxed mix, you can make your own frosting (as that stuff tastes so much better than the canned junk).”


Yellow cake batter mixed in a large mixing bowl

Angelika Heine / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2.“Those packets of taco seasoning are one of the best seasoning mixes I have in my cabinet full of spices and herbs. I could blend the seasoning mix myself, but why? The store bought stuff tastes great.”


3.“I refuse to salt my pasta water. I’ve gone as far as making a PowerPoint condemning the practice for my salt-favoring friends.”

"X" over image of someone salting their pasta water
Leventkonuk / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4.“Truffles are overrated. They taste like how old basements smell.”

Vomit emojis placed over two truffles being held by someone
Gabbiere / Getty Images/iStockphoto

5.“Ketchup can improve SO many dishes…”

“Leafy bitter greens? Add a blob of ketchup to round out the flavor and take away the bitterness. Chili? Add ketchup. Pasta sauce? You guessed it — ketchup. Hamburger patties? Put ketchup into the meat before cooking. None of these dishes will taste like ketchup. They’ll just taste better…more rounded.”


Guava Juice / Via

6.“Scrambled eggs are best when they’re overcooked. I like them firm, toothsome, and a little bit browned. Many celebrity chefs’ scrambled egg recipes that I see show the eggs being ‘done’ when they’re still wildly undercooked — loose, glossy, gloopy-looking. Yuck. Give me my burnt eggs.”

"No" pointing to loose, watery scrambled eggs
Lauripatterson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7.“Instant coffee is totally fine. Some brands are particularly delicious, and all you need is a teapot and a coffee mug — maybe some flavored creamer if that’s your thing.”

Spooning instant coffee out of a jar
Mikhail Dmitriev / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8.“Arugula is disgusting. It doesn’t taste ‘peppery’ — it tastes bitter and gross. Anytime I see an otherwise tasty-looking sandwich or salad on a menu with arugula, I’m immediately disappointed. Why has it become so prevalent?”

Arugula salad with an X through it
Jennifer Teague / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9.“Chef Boyardee Ravioli is fucking delicious. Nothing compares.”

10.“Stove Top stuffing is better than any homemade stuffing. There. I said it.”

Circle around Stove Top stuffing on a Thanksgiving dinner plate
Jannhuizenga / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11.“Tomato paste with a little bit of olive oil (and Italian seasoning, if you’d like) is better than an actual pizza sauce. They’re never thick enough for me.”

Spooning tomato sauce over an uncooked pizza
Ems-forster-productions / Getty Images

12.“Frozen vegetables that come pre-chopped are just as good as using the whole versions when making soups and stews. Plus, you don’t have to wash an extra cutting board!”

Frozen vegetables in the freezer
Qwart / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13.“To make a ‘good’ risotto, you don’t have to add the stock in a little at a time and wait until it absorbs before adding more. Just use a wide sauté pan instead of a narrow saucepan.”

Adding a ladleful of stock to a pot of risotto

14.“A steak is not a balloon…”

“If you cut into the middle while it’s on the grill (to see if it’s cooked to the doneness you like), it won’t magically lose all of its juices. You CANNOT detect a difference in taste or juiciness, despite what most people would like you to believe.”


Netflix / Via

15.“Kraft is FAR superior to homemade mac ‘n’ cheese, any day of the week.”

Kraft mac 'n' cheese on a grocery store shelf
Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

16.“Store-bought matzoh ball soup is better than homemade! Every. Time. Yep, the stuff from the box.”

Singergm / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17.“You don’t always need to soak dry beans overnight; just add an extra hour to the total cook time.”

“Yeah, that extra hour might feel like a lot in the moment — but it’s less hours than soaking them for at least six!”


beans soaking in a green bowl with text "unnecessary"

Photo By Rafa Elias / Getty Images

18.“Anytime I see ‘salt and pepper to taste’ in a recipe, I get a slight feeling of rage. I grew up with one parent who didn’t like a lot of salt and pepper on their food, and another parent who covered their food in it…”

“Salt and pepper preferences can vary wildly from person to person. Just give me a starting point so I can add more if I need it. It’s so hard to get it just right, especially if I’m adding it to raw poultry before cooking it.”


Viacom / Via

19.“Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant (or diner) when you don’t have more than two people in your household is just as cheap — if not cheaper — than making food at home.”

NBC / Via

“It’s hard to buy for for two people, and even harder if you’re only buying groceries for yourself! This way, there’s no waste and you’re not paying for any ‘extra’ food.”


20.“MSG isn’t bad for you, and it’s great for boosting flavor.”

“One of the reasons that the ‘MSG is bad for you’ myth became popular was because of restaurants competing with Asian restaurants. The latter cooked with MSG (and became more successful than the former), so the competing restaurants started this myth.”


21.“I put parmesan cheese on canned tuna. I do. Not. Care.”

Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon / Getty Images

22.“Coffee does NOT belong in brownies, cookies, or any other baked goods for that matter.”

“It always ends up making the chocolate taste burned to me. Instead, add ground cayenne. It’s so amazing.”


Coffee grounds in a coffee filter with an "X" through it

Pamwalker68 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

23.“I add sriracha and maple syrup to my eggs! Started about six years ago, and I just can’t stop. It’s so good! 😩”

Lance Ford / Via


24.“This is the hack I’m proudest of: Remove 15% of the noodles from a box of mac ‘n’ cheese, but keep the same amount of butter, milk, and cheese powder. It makes the meal better.”

Adding milk to saucepan of Kraft mac 'n' cheese on the stove

25.“I always cook with ranch — specifically Hidden Valley Light Ranch — and I refuse to use anything else.”

Nate Makuch / Via


26.“I only ever use garlic powder anymore — not the fresh stuff. I truly can’t even remember the last time I bought a bulb of garlic.”

Garlic powder in a teaspoon
Michelle Lee Photography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

27.“This is the best (and easiest) chip dip in the entire world, even if ‘foodies’ would think it’s gross…”

“– Velveeta

– A can of cheap light beer (Coors Lite is the best for this)

– Several healthy spoonfuls of Pace medium salsa

Mix it together, melt it up, and you’ve got a crowd-pleasing hit.”


Arrow pointing to tortilla chip dipping into queso

Amy Ryan / Getty Images/iStockphoto

28.“Crab legs are simply boiled crustaceans. There is NO difference between getting them at a high-end seafood restaurant, a Red Lobster, or your grocery store (if you know how to heat the pre-boiled crab legs up correctly).”

Cracking crab legs at a dinner table

29.“Well-done steak doesn’t have to be dry. If it is, you’re just not that good at cooking it.”

“This goes for both the people who turn their steak into shoe-leather and those who insist that ‘rare is the only way to go.'”


Well done steak on a white plate

Olga Novikova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

30.“Spicy does not equal ‘flavorful.’ You can have non-spicy dishes that are absolutely delicious and packed with flavor. For me, if a chef makes a dish spicy for no real reason, they’ve ruined it.”

First We Feast: Hot Ones / Via


31.“I put a dollop of Marmite in my Bolognese sauce. It always adds a wonderful richness and depth to it.”

“It’s not the traditional Italian way, and a lot of people hate the stuff, so it’s pretty controversial. I haven’t even told my husband as I’m not sure he’d eat it!”


Marmite on a store shelf

Matthew Horwood / Getty Images

32.“I use the seasoning packets you get with ramen noodles to make stock.”

Ramen ingredients laid out on a yellow background with circle around the seasoning packet
Krasyuk / Getty Images/iStockphoto

33.“The best homemade mac ‘n’ cheese starts with Velveeta. I will not be convinced otherwise.”

“I mix in other cheeses, too, but I always use a good-sized chunk of Velveeta as my base. No complaints yet — and I bring it to pretty much every gathering.”


Disney / Via

34.“I almost never mix my dry ingredients in a separate bowl when baking cakes, cookies, or other baked goods. I just do the wet ones first — normally creamed butter and sugar — and then I add my dry on top. There’s no reason at all to dirty a second bowl for that.”

Mixing batter in a wooden mixing bowl
Natalia Malivanova / Getty Images/iStockphoto

35.“I never make my own marinara sauce. I’ll just take a good jar of marinara (Rao’s or Victoria, or something like that) and doctor it up a little. Sometimes, I’ll even use it as a base for vodka sauce!”

“Let’s get one thing very clear, though: I’ll NEVER use jarred Alfredo. 😑”


Warming up marinara sauce on the stovetop

Graiki / Getty Images

36.“I don’t care what people say, processed cheese is delicious. I’m sorry, but when I want a cheese sauce, I simply do not have the time (nor the patience) to be grating a block of cheese, making a roux, and then a bechamel to melt the cheese into.”

Processed American cheese on burgers over a griddle
Aire Images / Getty Images

37.“I personally love my pasta with ketchup. Most of my family and friends call it gross…but it tastes almost like tomato sauce. It’s just a little bit sweeter. It’s also perfectly smooth, which I love. I hate chunky tomato sauce.”

Slurping a bowl of spaghetti with ketchup
Eugenio Marongiu / Getty Images/Image Source

38.“Most of the time, I completely ignore the complicated prep in recipes.”

“I don’t peel and grate the ginger, I don’t mince a clove of fresh garlic, and more often than not, I don’t use fresh herbs. I do not have all the time in the world to prepare a meal, and this is not my job. Jarred garlic and ginger taste just damn fine, and while I do prefer fresh herbs, I’m not going out in 5 degree weather to make it happen.”


Large spice cabinet full of different kinds of herbs

Suzanne Oesterling / Getty Images

39.“Worcestershire sauce is the perfect condiment, and it’s amazing on just about everything.”

Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl with a spoon
Roxiller / Getty Images/iStockphoto

40.“Adding Better Than Bouillon stock concentrate to pasta water was a complete game-changer. I’ve heard ‘boil pasta in stock, not water’ for years, but we never kept that much stock on hand. Even just a tablespoon of BTB into a pot of water completely amps up the flavor.”

boiling spaghetti in a large pot of stock
Dibettadifino / Getty Images/iStockphoto

41.“Oatmeal is best when it’s savory.”

“I shove broccoli and cheese in it, and it’s so much better than when you add fruit or brown sugar to it.”


savory oatmeal with a runny egg and tomatoes

Vaaseenaa / Getty Images/iStockphoto

42.“Using soap on your cast-iron pan won’t destroy it. As long as it’s properly seasoned (as in the oil has actually polymerized) a little soap won’t hurt. Just don’t run it through the dishwasher or anything…”

Scrubbing a cast iron skillet with soap

43.“Don’t come at me, but I think mac ‘n’ cheese is disgusting…”

“The combination of slimy pasta and goopy cheese really gets to me. It doesn’t matter if it’s Kraft brand or gourmet with shaved truffles and lobster — I still think it’s gross.”


carrying a bowl of mac and cheese

Grace Cary / Getty Images

44.“Freezing garlic cloves and then grating them ensures that you never have to bite into a big piece of garlic in whatever you’re cooking.”

“My garlic cloves were always going bad before I froze them. Now they last longer, and you won’t give anyone vampire breath.”


Grating garlic on a small grater

Grandbrothers / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Do you have any unexpectedly helpful (or just altogether weird) cooking opinions? Drop ’em below.

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.