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Oops, I overcooked it. On 'purpose'?

  • m

I confess. Sometimes I will overcook/overbake something on purpose, just so I xan cut off the overdone-browned- dried edges of something like baked mac and cheese or brownies. Its best, in my estimation, done on cheesey dishes, buyt some desserts, like brownies and some cookies benefit from a little extra oven time, as well. Who else wants to 'fess up?

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  1. I love the browned and caramelized edges, but I don't overbake because I don't want the rest of the food too dry.
    I make brownies in mini-muffin tins so as to maximize the proportion of edge. For casseroles like mac&cheese, I use small or individual baking dishes for the same reason. From a Shaker cook, I learned how to make a version of applesauce that's as good as apple pie - peel and dice a variety that keeps its shape when cooked. Either stir the apples in a wide stovetop pan, with maple syrup, until the juice and syrup form a sticky glaze, or do it in the oven, stirring often.

    1. I nuke the large size of Stouffers mac & cheese for 12.5 minutes, always, and get nice corner cheesy browned crispies. Nice lazy comfort food.

      1. I don't over cook anything on purpose but everyone else is welcome to the crispy outside edges of lasagne, mac & cheese and brownies. I'll take the inside part any day of the week.

        4 Replies
        1. re: miss_belle

          whenever I made an 8x8 pan of brownies and cut it in 9 pieces, my ex-wife insisted on the center piece without the edges.
          I on the other hand, only would eat the crust.................

          1. re: bagelman01

            I keep telling myself I need to buy an 8" x 8" pan but I only use a 9" x 13".

            1. re: bagelman01

              I only eat the middle square, and I scrape off the top layer too.

              1. re: bagelman01

                Sign of a good marriage. I am also an edge girl, but my dh hates fudgy stuff so I have to get one of the kids to eat it!

            2. Many baked goods and pizzas are underbrowned in this country. Brown is good!

              4 Replies
              1. re: sandylc

                At Pepe's in New Haven, your crust underbelly will be partially black. Get over it or go home. I most recently had their clam pie, at a table with...bagelman!

                1. re: Veggo

                  Your clam pie looked great. My trdaitional New Haven Apizza. charred crust with sauce and grated romano cheese was wonderful.

                  Miss you Veg...................

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    Thanks, my friend. I hope things are well with your mom.
                    Veg

                    1. re: Veggo

                      she turns 91Monday. Cooking some of her favorite items to take to the nursing home, hopefully that'll focus her mind.

              2. Oh gosh, one of my friends used to purposely overcook the Mac and cheese because the group LOVED the crispy, crunchy layer on top. I could never make Mac and cheese as good as hers.

                As much as I love a good crisped piece of Mac and cheese, I prefer inside brownie pieces.

                14 Replies
                1. re: cleobeach

                  Any brownie is a good brownie, but when I bake them to give away, I trim off all the edges and give away the centers. Most of the time. I will keep a couple... Because tgey ARE brownues, after all.

                  But forget me sharing the browned mac and cheese. I will fight you for those browned parts. Sometimes I nuke cheese just the let it brown. I do that in a frying pan too. Just toss in some cheese, let t melt, then brown. Oooohhh, is that GOOD!

                  1. re: Miri1

                    I shred cheese, then sprinkle on a pizza stone and bake it til it's crunchy. Mmmm.

                    1. re: jlhinwa

                      I grate Parm or Grana Padano (my first choice) on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Ten minutes at 350 and I have a beautiful cheese crisp. But then I crumble it up over a kale salad with a poached egg.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          I always forget the name. Thanks.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Took me years to remember it. I still can't come up with it in most conversations.

                        2. re: c oliver

                          Blargh, I can never get this to work. Does it have to be like super paper thing?

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            I just use the microwave for this. If I don't have parchment paper, then a "coated" paper plate works very well.

                            You know, not like a Chinet paper plate and not the super cheap flimsy kind. The kind that feel like they have a bit of a slick surface.

                            In my microwave, it's 30-45 seconds for cracker size and about a minute when I make taco shell size.

                            1. re: Violatp

                              Ooh I think I'll try that, how thin? Do you use them as taco shells? If so that's brilliant.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                Well, I use grated (specifically, my favorite cheese to use is the grated, raw milk, Parmesan sold in one pound bags at Trader Joe's) and I use just enough so I don't see through to the bottom of the plate, but no more than that.

                                So a pretty shallow layer, but not sparse.

                                You may need to experiment with times based on your microwave's power.

                                1. re: Violatp

                                  Ok great, I used grated and patted it into a pancake thick enough that I don't think you could see through it but the result was chewy. I think perhaps it was too thick.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Yeah, pancake is too thick. Think crepe thickness!

                                    I tried a ton more cheese before (because of course more cheese is better!) but it didn't work. As you say, too chewy!

                                  2. re: Violatp

                                    One pound bags at Joe's? I don't believe I've seen that product...sounds interesting.

                                    1. re: sandylc

                                      My mistake! It's only 12 ounces. It just seems like a lot of cheese!

                                      http://itzlinz.files.wordpress.com/20...

                    2. now i know most of the overcooked will focus on baked items. maybe a few people will wax eloquent on the beauty of well done steak (not a personal fave, but I'm not gonna yuck that yum) but my own overcooked item is scrambled eggs. Soft runny eggs that move on their own accord on my plate - no, thank you please have mine. I want my scrambled eggs beyond firm. I want there to be golden brown patches, nothing the least bit soft or fluid about them. just this side of blackened. And yes, its a texture thing. Taste is secondary here for me.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        I'm with yiu, on that. I like my omelets well done, as well. My fish, too. Lovewhen salmon gets those crispy edges...

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          I agree, I am not a fan of runny scrambled eggs, I like them hard, lightly browned.

                        2. Popcorn. I have a special pot I ruined by burning popcorn, so I'll pop it until it's done, put the top 3/4 in a container and burn the rest. Nothing better than hot, fresh burnt popcorn and melted butter. Yum!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: James Cristinian

                            My ex husband would be right there with you holding out his bowl. I however am a burnt toast fan. VERY burnt please.

                            1. re: James Cristinian

                              YES--I like a little bit of burnt popcorn every now and then. It is the only thing I like burnt. And not TOO burnt. Just enough to taste like ashes.

                            2. I like to roast onions to the point of blackness. Carrots too.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: drongo

                                Yes to the carrots (and parsnips and beets and ...)

                                1. re: drongo

                                  I like to grill onions to the point of blackness. My husband...not so much. So what I do is cut some thicker slabs and some thinner. The thin ones are black, the thicker are more regularly grilled. Works perfectly!

                                  My dad likes his burgers done in hockey puck format. I simply can't go there on that one! But the burnt ends of a London Broil...bring 'em on!

                                2. It's not my practice, but my mother loves to overcook marshmallows - nice and black crispy. I like them browned crispy but she goes for scorched.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Listen to your mother, burnt marshmallows are the only way to go, especially outdoors over a fire.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      Oh, yes! Burn the outside of the marshmallow, peel and eat the burnt skin, burn it again, peel and eat, repeat.

                                      1. re: Tara57

                                        You two would get along well. You can have my accidentally burnt pieces when I'm not paying attention.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          Marshmallows must be EXACTLY as you described. Brown and slightly melty. Raw and burnt are no bueno.

                                    2. I tend to get all the slightly burnt edges of everything. My family knows its a thing with me. Mmmmm....

                                      One I haven't seen here yet is grilled cheese. Slightly burnt is the way to go. I actually feel a little squeamish about grilled cheese that is only slightly brown...and wet grilled cheese is an abomination!

                                      I also have a weird thing about sausage or brats. They have to be good and toasty dark.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Tam38

                                        I absolutely agree on the sausage/brats front - I'll always go for the over-done specimens. At that point, I almost don't care about what's on the inside of the tube, but enjoy the crispy-verging-on-burnt deliciousness of the tube itself.

                                        Likewise with grilled chicken skin. The Hub grilled last night and fretted mightily about the overdone chicken skin. No worries; I was up to the task of hoovering it down.

                                        1. re: Tam38

                                          I don't like it burnt but I like the edges super crispy. I also like a nice crispy sausage or hot dog. Not charred black but definitely a struggle to snap into it.

                                        2. I make my baked pasta dish with a LOAD of cheese and I use a half sheet pan to bake it, ensuring lots of crusty, melty cheese edges.

                                          It also works better when reheating in the microwave - all that extra cheese gets crunchy and yum!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Violatp

                                            The cheese edges are my favorite part. My favorite dish in life is my grandmother's macaroni and cheese and everyone knows when I've been dipping into the pan in the fridge because the tops, sides and bottoms are mysteriously missing.

                                          2. I always liked overcooked sugar cookies; I once found a pile my grandma had set aside as being too brown, ate one, and decided it was much better than the others because it had a toasty, browned butter/sugar/flour taste. I don't like burned things, and as I have to consider the chewing abilities of children who are missing teeth, I don't tend to go too far in the crispy/chewy direction, but I do like a crust, and do not think it is a flaw.

                                            I saw directions for making grilled cheese sandwiches, that had you sprinkle cheese under the bread so as to get a crispy cheese outside portion.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: willownt

                                              There is nothing worse than raw-tasting cookies. They need to be BROWN. Butter and sugar cookies that do not have some brownness are raw and nasty.

                                            2. I over-toast toast, English muffins, and bagels. My husband was horrified at my bagel this morning. He said "you burned it!" I, however, thought it could have used another minute in the toaster oven.

                                              I like my roasted potatoes, hash browns, and home fries well done too.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                                Isn't it irratating when you go out to breakfast and ask them for the toast burnt and they bring you a regular toasted order? Its like they thought you were lying or to stupid to know what you wanted.

                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                  Agree on the hash browns; anything less than *really brown* gets the appellation "hash beiges" around here. And not flatteringly.

                                                2. Nothing better than overgrilled veggies!

                                                  1. I like to overdo rice. I brown the raw rice in oil first, then add the liquid to steam, and then let it cook until it gets a nice browned, crispy bottom. I then went to Persian friend's house and found out it's a "thing" in Persian cooking called tahdeeg - where you take the par-cooked rice out of the pot, mix a portion of the rice with extra oil to layer on the bottom, then put the rest of the rice back on top to finish cooking. Delicious!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: galeforcewind

                                                      I was shuddering at a lot of these replies but I agree with yours, the intense flavor of browned rice is something that surprises so many people when they first try it and then they usually become hooked.

                                                    2. Peanuts!

                                                      I love over roasted peanuts. Not burned, but definitely "brown".

                                                      My dad did them that way.

                                                      1. Flaming marshmallows used to be a favorite of mine as a kid, until I discovered grilled Peeps. The slightly burnt sugar is very tasty!!! Crispy, blackened hot dogs from the grill are great too!

                                                        1. Another confession for someone else -

                                                          I actually like my bacon not completely crisp - mix of crisp with some flab to it, but my grandmother on the other hand likes it not just crispy but IMO burnt and charred. I actually only noticed this this past Christmas. Everyone was finished eating and she was sitting at the breakfast bar mumbling something or other to herself. I finally listened in and she was repeating "wow I love bacon, so crispy, I could eat this whole plate and probably will." Well, I looked over and the bacon was charred, literally black with no hint of red/brown, nothing and she was noshing away as if she were in heaven. My mother of course immediately noticed this and went on a rant about how she could never have bacon because grandma always burned it all. I've seen crispy but that was charcoal.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            My dad always ordered his bacon "limp, like it was passed over a candle, twice" and would send it back if it was too cooked. If it didn't droop when picked up, he would send it back.

                                                            1. re: galeforcewind

                                                              Oh wow, that's a whole nother extreme, I love it!

                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              Yes, I like my bacon part crisp, part almost raw. It take a particular bit of culinary genius to pull this off. Also reheated biscuits part burned. The key is to apply lots of butter before broiling, skipping some parts which become burned. Squished together when feeding on them is the best part.

                                                            3. Burnt chips, pretzels, overdone cracker edges. I miss these now that they are rejected on the factory line.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                Big agreement on the burnt chips. We have a regional brand here that still (far too occasionally, and getting increasingly so for my tastes) has a few burnt chips in the bag. That's embarrassingly enough to ensure my brand loyalty! A dark brown potato chip is a delight. I would love for a potato chip maker to put out a 'bag of burnts."

                                                                1. re: cayjohan

                                                                  I would buy the burnt chips. A company here locally sells purpously overdone pretzels. Huge fan.

                                                              2. Homecut french fries--the tiny crunchy nibble burnt-bits at the bottom of the bag from the local mom&pop place in the town where I grew-up. I don't even like fries (or grease), but I love the translucent bits and blackened bits at the bottom of the bag.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. When we make brownies we use a square muffin tin to make, as I call them, 4-corner-brownies. I would MUCH rather eat a corner brownie than a middle one (ditto for Greek pizza that isn't cut in a pie slice fashion, gimme one w/ crust please).
                                                                  I agree on the eggs thing too. Everyone who likes eggs is particular and I would RUN from a runny egg/eggs if there was some on my plate. Gross.
                                                                  I'd venture to say that I don't like anything that's not a teeny bit overdone (foodies can damn me if they like).

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: masha bousha

                                                                      I'm completely a "middle girl" when it comes to brownies, but my son LOVES the edges (particularly the corners). I actually bought one of the all edge brownie pans for him. It's perfect! Now...can somebody just invent that all middle brownie pan?

                                                                      http://www.bakersedge.com/product_ebp...

                                                                      1. re: masha bousha

                                                                        They make a wonderful brownie edge pan, love the crispy edges too.

                                                                      2. I despise the notion that ANY cookie or brownie should be underbaked. ATK is a huge promoter of this idea. And, don't get me started on these horrible chocolate lava cakes. Raw is raw, not delicious.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                              Thanks, sandylc posted over thirty words, would three more be so hard. Annoying.

                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                Thanks. sandylc typed over thirty words, would three more be so hard? Annoying.