Why Michael Symon Doesn't Wash Raw Chicken Before Cooking It

Over the thousands of years that people having been cooking, a plethora of culinary myths has simmered up. According to Taste of Home, many people still believe the incorrect assumptions that alcohol completely burns off when heated, that salting your water makes it boil faster, and that searing proteins "seals in the juices." Many on-camera chefs educate home cooks about these misconceptions, as was the case when Alton Brown busted the meat-cooking myth we just mentioned.

More recently, Food Network star Michael Symon took to Twitter to put yet another food myth to rest. Earlier this month, a fan asked him why he doesn't rinse off chicken before cooking it. Symon replied, "Never ever wash any of my meats... I [pat] them dry before cooking .. never wash them .. with chicken you are basically splashing [raw chicken] all over [your] kitchen," adding that "meat and water aren't friends." Fellow Twitter users immediately wanted to know more about whether or not they should be washing raw meat, which prompted Symon to write a follow-up explanation.

Symon explains the danger of washing chicken

So, should you wash chicken before cooking it? Symon says no, explaining to fans on Twitter that "cooking kills more than water ever can" and "the chance of spreading salmonella etc is way higher when rinsing because of water splattering." He finished, "I always tell ppl do what you want,.. but trust me on this one, not washing is way safer."

Experts have sided with Symon on this issue. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the fluids present on raw chicken can contain dangerous contaminants, like salmonella and campylobacter. If you wash poultry in the sink, you might unknowingly spread these bacteria to other objects and surfaces in your kitchen through the water. Moreover, a USDA representative told TODAY that patting your chicken dry of any juices and then cooking it to the proper temperature is all you need to do to remove any harmful bacteria. If you really want to wash it, however, they suggest letting it soak briefly in a refrigerated tub of water.