This piece originally appeared on PureWow.
When it comes to meals, making your own is almost always tastier and healthier than getting it store-bought. Except…in the case of these five foods, which are actually way better when purchased out. Permission granted to put away the cookbook.
CONDIMENTS (EXCEPT SALAD DRESSING)
Condiments are inherently supporting characters when it comes to taste, and as such, plain old store-bought should more than suffice. (Also, Heinz ketchup = perfection.) If we’re talking about mayonnaise, homemade might taste a bit fresher, but it has a much shorter shelf life, meaning you’ll have to make it way more frequently. Salad dressing, on the other hand, is not only easy to make, but it tastes better and is better for you.
We’re just going to say it: Homemade pasta isn’t significantly more delicious than that box of Barilla you’ve got sitting in your pantry. Making it yourself requires time and skill, and if the end result is only meh, why bother? (Better to focus your culinary energies into making a sauce.)
Have you ever seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi? If you haven’t, you should (it’s great). And if you have, you know how much goes into making the perfect roll. In addition to the fact that yours are probably never going to be as good as the stuff made by professionals, handling raw fish can be risky--not to mention slimy.
Frying foods like chicken and shrimp requires a few inches of scalding oil. That oil will almost certainly splatter, cause a mess in your kitchen and---worst case scenario--scald your hands. No, thanks. On top of that, if we added fried foods into our home-cooked oeuvre, we’d be eating way more hydrogenated oils and trans fats than any doctor would recommend.
From-scratch puff pastry is delicious, we won’t lie. It’s flaky and buttery and pretty close to perfect. It’s also absurdly labor intensive, and very easy to mess up. So unless you’re a trained pastry chef, we’d advise sticking to the freezer aisle stuff--your potpies will still be delicious.