Alton Brown's Baking Hack Keeps Your Muffin Bottoms From Getting Soggy

Alton Brown certainly knows good food when he sees it. The host of "Good Eats" has written numerous cookbooks, including one James Beard award winner. Brown's cookbooks explore the chef's favorite recipes, many of which he shares on his website. But the chef knows there's always room for improvement, and he's not afraid to revisit his old recipes.

When it comes to baking up the perfect batch of muffins, Brown has learned through revisiting his blueberry muffin recipe that there are a few key things to look out for. The texture of the breakfast pastry should be a blend between fluffy and coarse. And you should be using a little extra batter in every scoop to create a bigger muffin top.

On the opposite end of the treat, soggy muffin bottoms are an unappealing circumstance that, as Brown says on his website "nobody, and I do mean nobody, likes." Fortunately, the trick to preventing that unpleasant texture is as simple as adding one extra step. Once the muffins have baked fully in the oven, flip them upside down and allow them to cool off.

Turn the muffins upside down

As soon as your muffins have finished baking in the oven, take the muffin tin out. Then, lay a clean kitchen towel out across the top of the tin. Carefully flip the tin over to remove the muffins, letting them rest on the towel. Allow them to rest upside down on the counter as they cool off. The timing of this process is essential, so you'll want to work quickly and carefully.

Although cooling the muffins upside down may cause the tops of the treats to flatten just a little bit, the slight change to the muffin's appearance is a small price to pay for ensuring the best texture of the treats. And, as Brown says, "everybody likes a muffin top" — regardless of its shape.

Removing the muffins from the muffin tin allows the steam to escape from the baked goods. If the muffins are left to cool off in the tin, that steam could become trapped underneath them instead, creating condensation that will lead to that unwanted soggy bottom.

There are some other ways to reduce moisture

If you're concerned about the heat of the freshly baked muffins on your countertop, you could also use a cooling rack, provided the tray has grates to allow the steam to escape. Removing the muffins from the tin and placing them on the cooling rack will add a little bit of extra elevation to allow the steam to escape underneath, and you could lay the towel on top of the rack for an added layer of protection.

There is one other method that can help prevent the bottoms of your muffins from getting too moist. If you're using paper liners in the muffin tin, you can add a little bit of rice to the tray before placing the liners down. That dry rice will absorb any excess moisture created while the muffins are baking.

Of course, adding that rice only works if you choose to use paper liners — you don't want any stray rice pieces in the bottoms of your muffins. If you opt to forgo liners when baking up your muffins, it's best to stick to Alton Brown's method and allow them to cool upside down.