I believe taste and smell are never used with the meaning of "witness", so we would not use an infinitive in such a construction:
I saw/heard/felt butter coming out of the cookies. [My eyes/ears/tactile sense told me it was coming out.]
I saw/heard/felt butter come out of the cookies. [My eyes/ears/tactile sense bore witness to its coming out.]
I saw/heard/felt the cookies burn. [My senses bore witness to their burning/being burned.]
I tasted/smelled butter coming out of the cookies. [I knew, by other means, that it was coming out, and as it came out I tasted/smelled it.]
I tasted/smelled butter come out of the cookies.
I tasted/smelled the cookies burn.
It seems that the sense of taste and the sense of smell do not give us enough accurate information to serve as witnesses to actions.
As for tasting and smelling here are two examples:
We spent the afternoon tasting various wines and cheeses from the region.
The dog would not stop smelling the spot on the floor.
I have seen cookies change from golden brown to charcoal, and I have heard the sizzling stop when the last of the liquid evaporates, so I say that I have seen and heard cookies burn. I don't think it is necessarily impossible to feel cookies burn, though the usual oven setup apparently does not allow it.I saw/heard/felt the cookies burn. [My senses bore witness to their burning/being burned.] This is just weird (and incorrect in the last two cases). Anyone who has baked cookies and burnt them (I am an old pro--never baked any without burning them). You cannot hear or feel the cookies burning. And you could only see them if you had your head in front of the oven for some extended period of time.
"I smell something burning" means that I smell the odor characteristic of burning things and thus have come to know that something must be burning, or must recently have been burning.Hi, Forero. I suppose technically you're right: You smell smoke (the by-product of burning) rather than the burning itself. However, language is frequently unreasonable and it sounds perfectly natural to say: I smell something burning.
Common usage already has "feeling" for both psychological and metaphysical "senses". Psychological feelings can be independent of objective reality, and metaphysical feelings are of course limitless.I admit it's a bit of a stretch to say something like "I tasted something burning." Fortunately for the English language, poets frequently make stretches like this. I think our language is enriched thereby.