Why You Should Toss Almost-Burnt Toast In The Freezer

As straightforward as it may seem, making toast can actually be sort of a hard thing to do. While toasting a piece of bread isn't exactly on the same tier as rocket science, there are still many things that could go wrong. Everything from the type of bread and its thickness all the way to the temperature and timing can prevent you from achieving that ever-elusive perfect piece of toast, leaving you instead with bread that borders on blackened. So, if you frequently find yourself battling against burning toast, you might find it useful to know that a trip to the freezer might just help turn things around.

The Maillard reaction is what makes foods, like a slice of bread, turn golden brown. That said, if food isn't eventually pulled away from the heat source, this chemical reaction can eventually cause food to burn. While it definitely pays to learn the ins and outs of your appliances and err on the side of caution when making toast, even if you're opting for lower temperatures and lesser time frames, sometimes burning just happens. Luckily, there is a way to minimize the damage so long as you smell the warning signs.

Freezing temperatures halt the toasting process

Cooking is a sensory experience. Making toast, no matter how mundane, is just as much of an experience that relies on the senses. Yet, rather than let your eyes tell you when toast is starting to darken, let your nose be your go-to guide. At the very first indication of burning — you know the smell, an almost nutty fragrance that's seconds away from creating a hazy smoke — pull those slices from the toaster and quickly stick them in the freezer. 

Similar to plunging boiled veggies into an icy bath to halt the cooking process, placing an overly browned piece of toast into a sub-zero freezer will shock the bread, immediately stopping it from darkening any further. Plus, amazingly enough, this technique can even be applied to other foods you might be toasting, whether that be nuts, cookies, or pie shells. Once the toasted bread (or any other food!) has cooled for a few minutes, simply remove it from the freezer and continue your routine as usual. 

However, should you come to the realization that the slice of very browned bread is actually beyond the point of repair, simply chuck it in a food processor to make a smoky powder that can be added to soups and spice rubs, or even a breadcrumb topping for spaghetti aglio e olio — you can thank us later.