Even if it came from your mother, some advice just doesn’t hold up over time, especially in the kitchen. Here are four things you may have been doing for years, but shouldn’t, and tips on what to do instead.
Out: Lining the oven with foil
It can trap heat and throw off the oven’s performance, or melt, damaging the oven or even causing a fire. Your warranty may be voided if the manual has a foil warning or it’s stamped on the oven cavity.
In: Use heavy-duty foil on the rack below the food that’s cooking—a sheet that’s a few inches bigger than the pan above. It catches drips and allows heat to circulate properly.
Out: Pop-up thermometers
An overcooked turkey suffers through comparisons to the moister chicken and delectable duck, but maybe it’s the pop-up. It’s in the turkey breast and calibrated to pop at 180 degrees F, past the ideal temperature.
In: Put a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the thigh and wing. The turkey is safe to eat when cooked to at least 165 degrees F, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Out: Two nonstick no-nos
For cookware with a conventional nonstick coating, very high heat can break down the coating, creating fumes that can kill pet birds and possibly cause flu-like symptoms in people. And skip the cooking spray. It can damage the coating, resulting in gummy sides and food that sticks.
In: Use these pans on low or medium heat, and if you like, add a small amount of oil or butter for flavor.