“I Learned A Valuable Lesson That Day”: People Are Sharing Their Worst Cooking Blunder Ever, And I’m Sorry, But I Can’t Stop Laughing

·9 min read

Even if you're a great cook, there's a very fine line between a delicacy and inedible.

The Gurin Company/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation / Via media.giphy.com

Reddit user u/GourmetRaceRSlash recently asked, "What is your cooking blunder that you thought would be genius but turned out awful?" Here are a few professional blunders:

1."The biggest one that comes to mind is combining the directions of 'salt your steak a day before cooking' and 'let rest on the counter before cooking.' Yes, you’re supposed to do both of those things, but you AREN'T supposed to let it rest on the counter for a day before cooking. I left a nice piece of meat out overnight, and when I woke up, I instantly was like, 'How the hell did I think this was correct?'"

u/chuckquizmo

2."My first time cooking a ham, I thought fresh pineapple would be better than canned. BIG mistake. It turns out that fresh pineapple has an enzyme that turns ham into literal mush with no flavor and the consistency of fat that you want to spit out. Canning somehow eliminates the effect. Who would have thought? It's lucky I even looked it up, or I would have attributed the phenomenon to a bad ham or something and made the same mistake the next time. So only use canned pineapple on ham!"

Ham sitting on a ham
Veselovaelena / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3."I was making brownies from a boxed mix and didn't have any vegetable oil, so I thought sesame oil would be okay. They were the foulest brownies I've ever tasted."

u/Garlic_Dread

4."I made a blunder yesterday! I was making sponge cake for the first time, and the recipe called for using a skewer in a zig-zag pattern to free large bubbles. I did that, then had the bright idea to get rid of as many bubbles as possible by tapping the pan on the table multiple times. Guess who ended up with an overly dense cake instead?"

Cake batter is poured into a cake pan
Lisa Romerein / Getty Images

5."When I was first living off-campus in college, I had to learn how to cook for myself well, and how to balance my budget and cook interesting food for my meals. I decided to cook a Middle Eastern dish that sounded amazing. I had all the ingredients except a big one: plain, whole-fat yogurt. That was the day I learned that when a Middle Eastern recipe calls for yogurt (or any recipe really), Yoplait flavored yogurts are NOT an appropriate substitute. Instead of lasting for three days of lunches, like it was supposed to, it went into the trash after two and a half spoonfuls."

u/Sam-Gunn

6."I had chicken breasts but had nothing to coat them in at all. I realized I had wasabi peas, so I made them into a powder and coated the chicken breasts. It did not taste like wasabi deliciousness. It was heinous and tasted/looked like Shrek."

u/Sonnenblumentag

7."I made coconut tilapia in an air fryer. It might have been okay in oil, but it came out looking like a melted pile of wax adorned with 200 burnt candle wicks and tasted about the same. Not even my blood alcohol content at that time could influence my perception of the edibility of this monstrosity. I threw it in the trash and opted to crush a bag of chips for dinner instead."

An air fryer in a kitchen
Casezy / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8."I made a huge stock pot of gumbo based on a recipe I found on Instagram. It was my first time making gumbo. It was so disgusting that I had to throw out a whole stock pot full of soup out. Lesson learned: Don’t use Instagram recipes, and make small quantities of recipes I am unfamiliar with."

u/curryp4n

9."Did you know that if you put purple cabbage into eggs, like in a frittata, the eggs near the cabbage go green? It is not an appetizing look."

u/Huntingcat

10."In high school, my friend and I thought it would be amazing to make a chocolate and peanut butter omelet. We mixed cocoa powder into the eggs and filled it with Skippy and chocolate chips. It was not amazing."

Peanut butter on a spoon in a jar
Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

11."I was so excited to use my new smoker and thought that I’d break it in with chicken wings. I bought the quality 'air-chilled' (no water added) fresh chicken from the store as well as a popular rub recommended for chicken. I went to town seasoning the wings before smoking for 90 minutes. They looked great and were cooked well, but had WAY too much seasoning and were disgustingly salty. I ended up throwing most of them away. I learned a valuable lesson not to overdo it when it comes to seasoning, particularly when smoking, which adds so much flavor on its own."

u/HotSpicyTaco999

12."I had pre-shredded beets, and I had this idea to fry them as a unit like a big hash brown. I knew for hash browns, shredded potatoes were often squeezed to get excess water out to encourage browning and get the hash brown to cook through without turning to mush, so I did that to the beets. I squeezed SO much juice out of them, that their color started to fade. That should have been my first clue. Finally, I went to fry it, and while they were taking on some color, they really aren't getting crispy at all, so I just keep cooking. When I was satisfied, I removed it from the pan. A faintly pink, barely crispy blob of shredded beets. Go in for a taste, completely flavorless.

Grated beets

"I salted the hell out of it, too; all I could taste was the salt. The texture was awful, too. Any semblance of crisp was overcome by the chewy, leathery, stringy sensation of munching through a damp piece of paper. I realized after the fact that beets are mostly sugar and have very little starch. The lack of starch meant it wouldn't crisp up, and the high sugar probably meant most of the flavor was locked into the juice that I squeezed out of it. 10/10 would not try again."

u/Lankience

Niuniu / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13."Hotdog in homemade bun? Great! Fried dough? Great! Hotdog wrapped in dough and deep fried? Explodes!"

u/thisboyee

14."I mixed Gatorade powder with milk to make an awesome milkshake. I almost puked."

u/Mista_Lifta

15."I made mint pesto using only mint plants out of my garden. Apparently, you’re supposed to use 90% spinach and 10% mint, not 100% mint. Oops."

u/diverareyouok

16."I needed to make mayonnaise the other week, but I was out of canola oil. I had a bottle of some higher-end olive oil and said, 'Sure, it might be a bit pricey, but I love olive oil. It should be fine,' and oh boy, was I wrong. The gelatinous green mess was one of the worst things I had ever tasted. When they say 'neutral-flavored oil,' they mean it."

A person holds olive oil in the supermarket
D3sign / Getty Images

17."In college, I was just starting to really cook on my own. I have always been an adventurous eater and food lover but hadn’t really made anything beyond basic dishes to that point. I had a summer internship that left me with some extra cash on hand, so I figured every once in a while, I’d experiment a bit. One Sunday, I decided to make mussels in a red curry coconut broth. I spent all day making homemade fish stock, adding lime leaves, ginger, lemongrass, etc., and making this amazing red curry broth. The mussels were cooked perfectly, and I served it all on top of some rice noodles. My roommates and I feasted, and there was a good half pot of broth left over that would make excellent quick lunches for the week. In an effort to save space, I tossed the leftover rice noodles in the broth and put it all away in the fridge. When I went to heat it up for lunch the next day, the noodles had soaked up every bit of broth.

"The pot was almost completely dry, and the noodles were decently flavorful but nowhere near the taste or texture they were the day before. Keep starch away from any sauces or soups when storing them — that was a painful lesson."

u/Thatguyyoupassby

18."I tried to make special cupcakes with special butter I bought, but I essentially baked all the THC out of it and just ended up wasting $30."

Cupcakes on a plate
Lauripatterson / Getty Images

19."My 12-year-old self thought if that powdery Parmesan cheese tasted good and that Kraft sweet and sour BBQ sauce tasted good, then the two of it together would make an awesome dipping sauce, right? I've blown actual chunks that tasted better."

u/ladydmaj

20."Chocolate chip cookie cheesecake. I made chocolate chip cookies from scratch, chopped them up, and mixed them in the cheesecake batter. It made the batter so heavy that the bottom of the springform pan collapsed when I tried to take it out of the oven. It wasn't done, and the batter ended up all over the inside of the hot oven, where it finished cooking itself to the walls, oven floor, door hinges, and wire racks. My most anticipated project became my worst kitchen mess ever."

u/cingalls

21."I was making pierogi, and a roommate hated the texture of onions, so we put them through the food processor and basically liquefied them. They turned copper green and smelled metallic once we applied heat. It turns out they oxidize when you do that."

u/JibblesFather

22."I was halving a broccoli cheddar soup recipe and accidentally added the full amount of salt instead of half, so essentially, I accidentally added double the salt. I was like, 'Huh, that looks like a lotta salt. Eh, whatever, it's what the paper says.' I'm never going to make that mistake again. it was so freaking salty that my whole family was basically drowning themselves in water to wash away the salty flavor."

Broccoli cheddar soup
Lauripatterson / Getty Images

What's your most memorable kitchen blunder? Tell me in the comments!