What Joel McHale Has Learned About Baking From Crime Scene Kitchen - Exclusive

Fans of "Crime Scene Kitchen" are rejoicing at the news that the show is gearing up to return for a second season on Fox. While the release date of the new season hasn't yet been revealed, hungry viewers can rest assured that host Joel McHale and judges Curtis Stone and Yolanda Gampp will be back to welcome a new set of courageous, investigative bakers and determine whose baking skills are worth the $100,000 prize.

Mashed recently caught up with McHale, who confirmed that Season 2 has already been filmed. Once again, viewers are sure to be delighted and impressed as the contestants decipher the dessert left behind in the Crime Scene Kitchen and then try to replicate the confection (and outdo their competitors) before the clock runs out. 

"I am intimidated by them," McHale said of the bakers who dare to take on the challenge. "Whereas Curtis Stone and Yolanda Gampp are true experts," he said, the way he sees it, he's just there to make people laugh and indulge in free dessert. "I'm the host wearing neat sweaters." 

But all jokes aside, McHale admits it's "really amazing to see the level of skill" that goes into "executing these very intricate desserts that are so tasty." Over the course of two seasons, he says he's gleaned some serious dessert wisdom. "I never knew there were so many different kinds of buttercream. It's crazy," he said, and that's just the icing on the cake.

In an exclusive interview with Mashed, McHale shared the biggest lesson he's learned about baking while hosting "Crime Scene Kitchen." He also explained how it makes him even more impressed by the talent he gets to witness during the chaos that is a culinary competition.

The biggest baking crime is poor timing, says Joel McHale

Joel McHale built his career as an actor and comedian — so he knows better than anyone just how important timing can be. Like landing a good joke, nailing a successful bake isn't just about how, but also when, you execute. "Getting a dessert right is so difficult," said McHale, adding, "It's like launching a rocket where everything has to go right in a very short period of time."

McHale, who is known to be a pretty good home cook, is the first to admit that when it comes to baking, he's out of his league. "You make a dinner, it's like, 'Okay, we'll get everything out here, hopefully around the same time' ... For desserts, it's the timing." He told Mashed that more than anything, he's come to appreciate the precise planning that goes into baking.

Beyond that, there's hardly any room for error, McHale has come to understand. "If you screw up one ingredient in a cake or one of these elaborate desserts — and this is my amateur palate — you can tell the difference immediately." After watching bakers succeed and fail, his biggest takeaway is that "there's so many pitfalls ... If you overdo it, you know it. If you underdo it, you know it. If you put a little too much salt in, you know it. If you don't let it cool properly, you can tell." It's a minefield of obstacles, all for the sake of a sweet treat at the end. "When someone gets it right in the short period of time, it is danged impressive," he said.

"Crime Scene Kitchen" is available to watch on Fox. Click here to learn more about Joel McHale's latest project, the Rold Gold Gold Hunters Campaign.