Myth 2: Food cooks faster in boiling water with salt added.

The last few days have been absolutely hectic as I’ve just started teaching, but now that all is settled today I get to relax and enjoy a few moments of peaceful writing.  It is indeed good for the mind and soul.  Today I write about a myth that is so common that I am sure many of you who cook have heard it before: adding salt to water changes the boiling point and lets you cook food faster.  I’ve heard this on cooking shows, read it in cooking books and yes I have to admit this is something I have believed in pretty much of my life until I read about it on Lifehacker.

Suddenly, I am forced to question my belief regarding boiling water and cooking.  Are there other things I am mistakenly believing in?

Apparently, the article says that to really affect the boiling point of water you would have to add an extremely large quantity of salt, so much that it would most likely render your food inedible.  Even then,
it would only affect the boiling point by a few tents of a degree Celsius at most.  That’s nothing. My pasta isn’t going to cook faster.

Wow. Hm..and then I thought my adding salt to boiling water before cooking pasta made my pasta tastier and was a key part in having it “Al dente.”  I guess I was wrong.   The only thing the salt did was to add flavor to the pasta! I guess that was the secret ingredient.

Are you knowledeable in Chemistry or Thermodynamics? What do you think?

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