How This Viral TikTok Steak 'Hack' Set One Man's House On Fire

Breaking news: This just in, not everything you see on TikTok is safe to do at home, kids. Over the past year or so, TikTok has become many people's go-to source for creative cooking hacks, and this is all well and good as long as the creativity only extends so far as cracking eggs on their sides (no worse than any other way), buttering your popcorn with a drinking straw (sure, why not), or shredding chicken with a hand mixer (maybe a little messy, but nothing a sponge can't fix).

A few other "hacks," though –- well, we can only hope they were meant as jokes, like the idea of cooking chicken with hot tap water (hello, salmonella!) or the infamous toaster grilled cheese sandwich that would, at best, only destroy your toaster (and your sandwich). The real danger lies, however, in the fact that not everyone knows that such video stunts weren't meant to be taken seriously. One such incident occurred when a man who tried yet another toaster trick, one involving a steak, experienced consequences far more severe than a ruined dinner.

Not just his dinner, but his house, went up in smoke

The TikTok toaster steak video, when taken in context, is obviously a performance piece rather than an actual cooking tip, as its creator appears to be somewhat of a dadaist domestic diva (her other videos include Mr. Coffee spaghetti and meatballs and "gourmet water" made from melted ice). Still, she did manage to get the attention of Gordon Ramsay via TikTok, earning one of his coveted "idiot sandwich" accolades. She also inspired at least a few home chefs –- either the very brave or the very clueless -– to try out her "recipe." One such imitator was a New Zealand man who was unwise enough not only to pop a steak into his toaster, but to leave the house while it was cooking so he could go out and buy some chips (fries, to us Yanks).

Whoopsie-do! When the homeowner returned, chips in hand, his house was in flames. While the home sustained severe damage, New Zealand home insurance coverage doesn't exclude acts of social media-inspired idiocy. As NewsHub reports, the man was given a $418,000 payout to help him rebuild. Unbelievably, he petitioned for an additional $200,000, which was not awarded. He did, however, receive a very valuable tip from Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman Karen Stevens, who cautioned, "Cooking steak in a toaster is literally a recipe for disaster ... please, use your appliances for the purpose for which they were designed. Toasters are for toast."