Videos

Burning 101

April 1, 2011 • 52 Comments

In the video below, Amanda & Merrill demonstrate a surefire broiler technique for burning toast.

This week's video was shot and edited by our buddy Drew Lavyne, the founder/director of Six Minute Stories and the producer of the super helpful Teach Me Sushi iPhone app -- and the new Teach Me Sushi Expert app.  

 

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Comments (52)

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about 2 years ago chocbird09

Made my day thanks to randomly surfing through f52 :D

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over 2 years ago Rhonda35

You've gone from cooking to comedy with ease!

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over 2 years ago Rhonda35

You've switched from cooking to comedy with ease! Amanda, burned toast is a family tradition.

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over 3 years ago AmyRuth

That would be every newly weds act! We have a standing joke at our house that my husband knows its time to get up by the smell of the burned toast.... :") Love the comic relief, we are all human and that's a good thing.
AmyRuth

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over 3 years ago zingyginger

I always thought this was how the "blackened" anything recipe started out. Too bad I don't live in NYC anymore-seems I'm a natural at this and could have offered some samples of my "best work." ;)

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over 3 years ago jun'ichi_kobayakawa

A carbonized bread. It's good for dinner on April 1. Haha! Be careful of your fire alarm.

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over 3 years ago Leaseachef

I highly recommend watching the first ever episode of The French Chef. Julia starts chatting with the camera while the onion soup is under the broiler, and you're sitting there thinking "The soup! The soup! Pull it out!!" Pretty soon there's smoke coming out of the oven, and she just rolls with it (the entire episode is done in one shot, so if she stopped they'd have to start all over). "Oh look how delicious!" and takes it to the table and serves herself up a big spoonful.

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over 3 years ago zingyginger

I totally missed this part (see above comment about being a natural at this, lol)-will have to borrow the library copy again.

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over 3 years ago nogaga

Brilliant poker-faced April Fools! Lots of fun :)

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over 3 years ago GregoryBPortland

I made the mistake of admiring a Krup's toaster oven, which is the Darth Vader of toasters and it arrived under my Christmas tree one year and instead of quietly returning this counter-sucking appliance, I kept it. It makes terrible toast. I couldn't burn it if I tried. But now that I have your excellent oven technique down pat, I don't see how I can fail. Amanda and Merrill, you are geniuses! Will give it a try tomorrrow morning. Thanks. I needed a good chuckle. Do share with us you other recipes using this excellent technique!

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Lucky me! I have a toaster that doesn't stop toasting. It continues until it acheives a perfect char on both sides and then sends a plume of black smoke to let me know it's toast!

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over 3 years ago betteirene

Ohnoyoudidn't! I did not just see you actually chew on that, did I? Ewwwwwww! But I have to add that your burned toast looks better than my burned toast. My char never looks that good..

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Oh, yum, burnt toast and butter! LOL :)

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over 3 years ago contrarycomet

*So* glad that I found this. My attempt at burning a pan sauce failed miserably. After roasting a chicken in a Pyrex glass pan, I put it over a direct flame, hoping to achieve that charcoal taste. I thought I was off to a good start, but before the sauce even started to reduce, the pan exploded! Thanks to the food52 community for all the tips -- carbonized remains, here I come!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I thought I was the only one who had done this! It was a lovely lamb roast whose drippings had failed to achieve an adequate degree of charring, so I exploded it all over the kitchen in revenge.

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over 3 years ago Abs

My husband has a flare for reducing mulled apple cider to a tasty, although difficult to pour, black char. It is absolutely worth the three--yes, that is the running tally--pots we have had to replace since November. This is particularly gratifying for those concerned about All-Clad possibly going out of business.

Burnt_offering

over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

You might want to hop on foodpickle and commiserate with Peter regarding his applesauce tragedy and the imminent loss of his favorite Le Creuset pot for similar reasons... I think he's on a last ditch effort to reclaim it this weekend. That is, when he isn't poaching ostrich eggs for brunch!

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over 3 years ago namesmatter

SO personally gratifying to see that Amanda's gorgeous hair requires blow-drying to achieve. An excellent video, though, for all the other reasons people have pointed out.

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over 3 years ago Sasha (Global Table Adventure)

I'm glad you made a video demo - really makes this recipe foolproof. :)

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

Just as delicious is Burnt Granola...until you have tried it you can't appreciate the sweet smell of brown sugar and walnuts that only complete incineration produces!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This is what I love about food52 . . . so many interesting and exciting variations on a basic but important recipe, and a community eager to share those brilliant ideas! Love it. The addition of pure sugar is a stroke of genius! Have put this on my "must-try-this-weekend" list!! ;o)

Buddhacat

over 3 years ago SKK

Thank you for reminding us of the power of sugar in incernation recipes! The joy of watching it go from carmel to black and the heat and the smoke - not to mention the honor of clean up. Antonia James is absolutely correct - this is a community sharing brilliant ideas.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Among the already fascinating uses for burned sugar, burned caramel will do an excellent job of removing the bottom from a triple-ply stainless steel pan.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

In fact, it will even separate all 3 of the layers in a nice little anatomy of a pan lesson.

Buddhacat

over 3 years ago SKK

An advanced technique that includes being a public nuisance is to put a pot of beans on the stove, turn the temp on high for that 3 minute boil before you let them soak and then chase your dog who is chasing the UPS truck and apologize profusely to the UPS driver and the neighbors who couldn't get into their driveway and then hear the fire trucks coming to your house because your burned beans set off the fire alarm which had the alarm company call the fire station and had all the neighbors once again on high alert and then be lectured by said neighbors and firemen and have to throw the pan out and take 10 days to have the smell clear out.

Burnt_offering

over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

I declare a winner!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I agree, this is impressive indeed! Our fire department charges a hefty fee after the first false alarm during any twelve-month period, so I haven't had the opportunity to perfect this technique. I've tried in vain to convince the alarm/security company not to call the fire department unless I tell them it's okay, first. Unfortunately, their lawyers won't let them agree to that. I've been told that there might be insurance issues there, as well. I have, however, completely destroyed three LeCrueset French ovens using this bean burning technique. I really envy the public nuisance variation, though. ;o)

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I second the motion!

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over 3 years ago Soozll

I've applied most of these same techniques to burning vegetables dry in a pan on the stove! Who'd have ever thought that baking and cooking could work the same?

Burnt_offering

over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

Once, on a romantic weekend getaway, in a rustic cottage, I thought it would be great to roast some potatoes wrapped in foil in the fireplace ashes to go with our grilled steaks and salad. Yeah, you can guess how well that worked - hence my name.

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over 3 years ago Bevi

Thanks Ladies. I have a great burnt artichoke recipe I would be happy to send your way.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Another very helpful trick that I recently discovered is to turn your hood fad on high before you leave the house. This usually works to delay the time that the smoke alarm goes off, ensuring complete incineration by the time you return to the kitchen. (You can also turn your smoke alarm off altogether, but unfortunately, this is in breach of homeowners' insurance policies or would be deemed an event excluding coverage. I've shopped thoroughly for a policy that does not include this annoying requirement, but to no avail.) ;o)

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over 3 years ago deanna1001

Perfect. I like to do it with a whole loaf of garlic bread! I especially like the rock hard butter on top. Brilliant ladies!

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over 3 years ago theyearinfood

You guys are the best. This is hilarious.

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over 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Note: These techniques can also be applied to: How to Flood Your Kitchen. I was practicing last night and just about nailed it!

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over 3 years ago Panfusine

The BEST April Fool's video I've seen!!!

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

I've already got my hair and some emails out of the way, do you think cleaning out a closet will work? I have a good feeling about this!

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I find that working in the garage or someplace outside of the house altogether really produces the deepest, most thorough burn. Plus, you get that fabulous ultra-dark smell throughout the entire house that way. Walking down the block to mail letters is another good technique, especially if your neighbors are out working in their yard and you can stop and chat for awhile. ;o)

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Or try this. Take the garbage out, and on the way back notice the first sign of spring: weeds! And say to yourself, if I pull them now, well you know the rest. Then wonder what that odd noise is . . .

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Do you have a doggy you could walk? That would probably do the trick! And chat with the neighbors :-) Hey TB I messaged you from this site, did you get it?

Burnt_offering

over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

You haven't achieved that perfect charcoal unless you can't get the smell out of your house for at least 2 days afterwards.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Mmmmm, good aagersi! And the the dog spies a rabbit and pulls the leash out of your hand!

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Another fool proof technique is to leave for a doctor's appointment and suddenly remember as you arrive at the dr.'s office door. Then rush back to find your perfectly incinerated toast.

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Geez, recently, I didn’t even need to leave the house, or be distracted by anything; I was blind baking a pie crust using old beans on some foil, went to take it out of the oven, part of the mitt I was wearing hit against the stove, spilling beans to the bottom of the oven, they started smoking, turned off the oven and shut the door, luckily the bottom elements in my oven are covered. The alarm went off, I can’t reach it without a ladder (I’m only 5ft.), and husband drove up just as I was hauling the ladder into the house, just in time to turn off the alarm. Needed to vacuum out all the beans, once the oven cooled and just the other day as I opened the oven’s bottom drawer a couple beans fell out!

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over 3 years ago Cathi Iannone

Crispy on the outside. Soft and chewy on the inside. Doesn't even need the butter! :-D

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hahahahaha! You guys are too funny! The number of times I have stood under the fire alarm waving a towel like that...oi! It's how I get my upper body workout. ;)

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yum!!! i LOVE burnt toast. Making this tonight with my Barbecued Squirrel! (just caught a fresh one.) That's a honkin' loaf of bread...where's it from?

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

been remembering this, Liz ;)

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

April Fools! Hilarious! Love it! My method usually involves leaving the house altogether, usually to check on and tend to my herbs, or get something from the garage and then spend some time organizing something there. I typically wait until black clouds start streaming out the kitchen window. An important interim step for this method is to call the security company and ask them not to call the fire department. ;o)

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over 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Gosh this is super helpful, my technique has been sorely lacking but now I think I understand what I have been doing wrong.

Thanks for the great tips!!!!!!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This is wonderful! I was giving a demonstration in a cookware store, doing WAY too much talking, when I set a sheet pan of crostini on fire.

Burnt_offering

over 3 years ago Burnt Offerings

Funny ladies! Well done. I did not come by my food52 handle lightly.....