You think you've followed the recipe perfectly. Checked each ingredient, read through the steps carefully, studied up on your techniques, and put it all in the oven, or the pot, or the blender. Suddenly, the pot's on fire, the stove is smoking, the food smells terrible, you realized you added baking soda instead of baking powder, and the whole kitchen is a big mess.
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This week Niknud resurrected an old Hotline question about your biggest cooking disasters, giving us a few laughs and reminding us that everyone, from home cooks to test kitchen chefs, has made mistakes in the kitchen:
Plenty of people reminisced about Thanksgiving disasters, from sdebrango's undercooked bird to borntobeworn's heavily-salted corn pudding. There's also the threat of the occasional power outage, as SKK experienced when a half-cooked turkey had to be thrown out—dinner that year consisted of plenty of crudités and wine.
SexyLAMBCHOPx tried to make a nice anniversary brunch, complete with crispy bacon, for her then-boyfriend. She neglected to use a sheet pan (or any other type of cooking vessel) and put the strips right on the oven rack. Although the oven was ruined, he married her anyway!
Speaking of salt, it seems plenty of people have confused it with sugar: Helen's All Night Diner warns never to open bottles of wine before you're done canning, after a cup of salt accidentally went into the green tomato relish instead of sugar. Bevi's family accidentally put salt in the pies instead of sugar (the exact culprit has never been revealed), while susan g's aunt once asked to borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbors for her cookies, only to be given—yep, you guessed it—salt!
Our very own test chef, Josh Cohen, once used a handful of large crystal rock salt in pasta water, when he couldn't find anything else. The water was way too salty, and the pasta ended up a big sodium-filled mess.
Plenty of you wrote in about accidentally leaving lids off of things while blending, puréeing, or shaking. Sagegreen once turned the ice cream maker too high and spun ingredients all over the kitchen. When he was a kid, Peter went to make cream cheese frosting and lifted the mixer out of the bowl before he'd turned it off.
Once, Nora tried to make tortillas and rolled them out between layers of wax paper. Since the dough was too sticky, she ended up with a pile of wax paper and tortilla dough mess, which she tossed into a sinkful of water in frustration.
The takeaway? Sometimes, you've just got to laugh it off.
What are your worst (and funniest) kitchen fails? Tell us in the comments below!