When was the last time you heard someone ask for something not medium, well, al dente or over-easy, but burnt? It’s probably a safe bet to assume never. Burning something isn’t usually how you get on Food Network (unless it’s for “The Worst Chefs in America”), but surprisingly, some foods taste better burnt.

Of course, burning foods should be done in moderation or we start to border some serious health issues. But, a little bit of char and smoky flavor can elevate and transform certain foods to give you a totally different experience than before.

1. Rice


Photo by Kelda Baljon

Often times, when you cook rice, the bottom of the pot has a crispy, golden-brown layer of rice. It’s been legitimized as a Korean dish called nurungji  There’s actually a Korean dish called “noo rang gee” where you take the crisp flakes of rice and dunk them in a broth. The texture and taste transforms from that of rice into something completely new.

2. Marshmallows


Photo by Kelda Baljon

Whether it’s over a campfire or your own kitchen stove, everyone’s caught their marshmallows on fire. Some might feel defeated, but it could have been completely intentional for others. Catching marshmallows on fire gets you a charred, flaky crust and warm center in no time.

3. Grilled Cheese


Photo by Cassie Majewski

This one’s a two for one deal. You can get that crisp on the bread AND the cheese. The gooey, bubbly cheese is great but cheese with a slightly crisp edge which just takes it to a whole other level.

The Greeks figured this out and decided to create saganaki which is basically pan-fried cheese. Try it out on your grilled cheese next time and experience the wonders of burnt cheese. 

4. Veggies


Photo courtesy of @JanneHellsten on flickr.com

For those of you who still refuse to eat vegetables, slightly burning them might be the next way to go. If you roast some asparagus, tomatoes, or onions in the oven, go a little overboard until they come out with a little char. That hint of burnt taste may distract you with memories of summer BBQs just long enough to eat those vegetables.

5. Lasagna


Photo courtesy of @Maggie Hoffman on flickr.com

This might seem a bit redundant with the cheese, but lasagna has the cheese AND the pasta. Why do you think people are fighting for the corner piece all the time? It’s because of that crispy, burnt edge that make you wonder how you can make all the lasagna pieces into corner ones. 

6. Pizza Crust

Photo by Christine Chang

Burnt pizza crust isn’t a hard thing to come by, especially in wood brick oven pizzas. Burning the crust can take what’s usually just chewy, bland dough and transform it into something flaky and smoky. Plus, it’s aesthetically pleasing with the rustic look that it adds.