Stop! Before You Toss That Burned Food, Try THIS Genius Hack

It happens to the best of us: we’re cooking, we’re watching the kids, we’re multitasking and distracted and before we know it our food is burnt, blackened, and totally wasted. Up until now, our only solution was to toss it all away, then start over or give up and go get take-out. It was terrible, but now that cooking nightmare is over! We found this brilliant solution over on Epicurious that is going to change EVERYTHING.

This genius cooking hack comes to us from a former restaurant worker, who learned it trial-by-fire style in high-pressure kitchens. When wasting food isn’t an option – and it shouldn’t ever be – don’t toss burned food— freeze it! Epicurious explains how it works:

The solution for those just-about-burnt nuts: the freezer. When something like nuts, tart shells, coconut, or breadcrumbs were roasting in the oven and went just a bit too far—they reached that deep, dark color and nutty smell that comes right before burning—we immediately plunged them into the freezer to instantly stop the cooking process. This quick change in temperature instantly halts the cooking process, stopping burning in its tracks. [. . .] The freezer trick works with anything toasted, including all nuts, coconut, breadcrumbs, tart shells, blind baked pie shells, cookies, bread for toast, and other pasty and baked goods. Keep the item in the freezer until cooled completely, then continue, totally burn free.

The key here is to catch the food right when you start to smell the burn. If that moment arrives, prevent it from getting worse by taking it out of the oven and straight into the freezer. So smart! Have you ever heard of this trick before? Do you have any tips of your own for salvaging burned dinners and desserts?