The Best Way to Prevent Overcooking Food Toasted in the Oven

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2017

To protect delicate foods from accidentally getting too brown, give them a quick cool-down.

It happens to all of us: We put a pan of nuts, bread crumbs, or shredded coconut in the oven to toast and then forget about it until it’s toastier than intended. The items aren’t actually burnt, but the heat of the baking sheet can all too easily accomplish that even after the food is removed from the oven. We recommend quickly dumping the hot nuts/bread crumbs/coconut shreds onto a plate—even the counter will do in a pinch—and spreading them into a thin layer to help them cool rapidly.