This article was originally published on MUNCHIES.
We live in a time where squishing tater tots into a waffle press is considered innovation and where using ketchup cups the way that they were originally designed to be used is thought of as groundbreaking. I'm talking about self-appointed life hackers.
In the age of the food hack, nothing is sacred; not even the grilled cheese.
Bread, cheese, butter, a frying pan, and about ten minutes—that's all you need to make one properly. But apparently, that's not quick and simple enough for the legions of lazy people who subvert classic kitchen methodology in the name of "efficiency."
Still, giving up time-tested methods always come with risks—as Gary Busey once said, "If you take shortcuts, you get cut short."
And that's exactly what happened to Suzanne Dale from Manchester, England. After seeing a Facebook post advocating a less work-intensive grilled cheese method, she tried it herself and it almost burned her house down.
"I just thought, 'Oh, I'll try that,'" Dale told the Manchester Evening News. "I don't know why, I have griddles and everything to make cheese on toast I thought it might be a faster way of making cheese on toast."
Dale's toaster experiment ended up combusting and melting not just the cheese but her toaster as well. After realizing that this shortcut almost cost her her kitchen, Dale took to social media to counteract viral food hacks like toaster grill cheeses, which rack up thousands of views, by posting her own photos of the ruined toaster.
"There has since been 2,000 shares and so many comments," she said. "It is probably a good thing, if I was stupid enough to do it someone else will be. Lots of people said, 'I was going to try this I thought it was a good idea.'"
READ: How to Cook with a Iron
While Dale acknowledged that making a grilled cheese in the toaster was, in hindsight, not the smartest move, she also patted herself on the back for her agility skills. "If it was anyone living in a flat or somebody who was less agile who couldn't get out as quick, they were real flames, it could be dangerous."
But for the local fire department, it was not a matter of agility. "We recommend people always take care and pay attention to anything they are cooking in the kitchen," a spokesperson from the Greater Manchester Fire Service. "Only use kitchen appliances in accordance of manufacturers instructions. Trying to make cheese and toast in a toaster is an extremely bad idea and can cause a devastating fire in the kitchen."
Calling a shortcut a "life hack" may give a pretty obvious idea an air of edge or intelligence but the ensuing "fail" will not.