Why You Need To Stop Throwing Away Burnt Toast

As simple a task as it may seem to make toast, things can go wrong. Perhaps you're using a new or unfamiliar toaster oven and picked the wrong setting (at least, for the type of bread you're using). Maybe you haven't cleaned out your toaster oven in a while — those crumbs in your toaster will cause the heating element to run hotter, making it more likely your toast will come out burnt. Whatever the reason, if your immediate reaction to a piece of burnt toast is to toss it in the garbage can, think again, as there are several good reasons why you need to stop throwing away burnt toast.

For one, your burnt toast might be salvageable. If you smell a nutty scent, a sign that your toast is about to get burnt, grab it out of the toaster oven and immediately toss it in the freezer to prevent it from burning any further. If the toast is still more burnt than you would like after a few minutes in the freezer, but just needs a layer or two to be scraped off, reach for your grater instead of a knife — a grater, with its serrated edges, makes it much easier to scrape off burnt layers of toast; plus a grater is much more likely to leave your toast intact and looking like an actual piece of toast, instead of a mangled mess.

Ways to use burnt toast

Besides salvaging the burnt toast to enjoy as toast was intended, either on its own with a little butter, or perhaps as a base for fancy toast dishes like avocado toast, you can use it to enhance other dishes. Burnt toast can be turned into breadcrumbs with an extra nutty and smoky flavor, and used as a topping for spaghetti aglio e olio, to add to meatloaf, or really any dish that calls for breadcrumbs.

The New York Times offers a burnt toast soup recipe from cookbook author Jennifer McLagan that calls for deliberately burnt toast, which can also be used to thicken other soups and stews, as well as shakes. You can grind up burnt toast into a powder, which can be used on its own as a topping for ice cream or for creating your own unique spice mix with an added smoky and nutty flavor. Burnt toast can even be used to make sorbet or as a base for ice cream. Now that you know that there are so many tasty uses for burnt toast, you'll never need to throw them out again.