15 Best of the Worst Cooking Disasters

By PopLurker Readers


Cooking is awesome, and crucial to making sure you don’t die of starvation. But sometimes, we go above our skill set and try to cook something that overly ambitious. Or in some cases, we learn of our own limitations (IE stupidity) by our inability to follow directions. We at PopLurker asked our readers for their best cooking fails and the answers they gave us definitely made us want to vomit, cry, and call for pizza. In that exact order.


15) Garlic Fail

My ex boyfriends mother taught me her recipe for her take on fried rice. So when I actually got the ingredients together I mistaken couple of cloves of garlic for the actual whole bulb of garlic. And I’m a person who loves garlic. Yeah, never again.


14) Fry Fail

I learned the hard way that there’s no such thing as good gluten free fish and chips. I wasted a ton of coconut flour, a bottle of seltzer, and a mess of baking soda trying to create this batter only to have the tough-as-hell cod slip right through it and nothing fried right. I miss cake.


13) Grease Fail

I was in high school and trying to teach myself to cook. I turned away from the pot to grab ingredients to begin to saute, and when I turned back I could see fire climbing up the side of the pot where some oil must have spilled. Next thing I know, I have a grease fire going in the pot. I know you’re supposed to smother them, but this was a high school dormitory kitchen, so I didn’t have a lid. Instinct kicks in thanks to the panic seeing a fire blazing in the pot, so I grab the pot and put it in the sink then then the water on full blast. For those wondering, DO NOT DO THIS WITH A GREASE FIRE.  A fireball bursts up, and when it subsides, the room fills with smoke and starts setting off the fire alarm. It was Sunday morning, so I was the only one awake and thus the first person out of the dorm to the fire meeting area. I see people begin to emerge from the dorm after me in their pajamas, and I’m ready to fess up to the mayhem, but before I can say a word, everyone sees me and starts roaring with laughter. That fireball had singed my eyebrows and the front of my hair grey. I looked like a young, Indian doc Brown for a week.


12) Fish Fail

I was, like, ten years old maybe even a little younger and my mom ran to Costco to get groceries. I had my cousin and another little friend over and we got a little hungry. Me being the oldest, I said I would make fish sticks so I put them in the microwave, not quite realizing the difference between a microwave and a microwave oven. I put them in there for 20 mins. We realized halfway through my kitchen and living room was full of smoke and went to discover the fish sticks were charred and on fire in my microwave! My mom came home a little while after we cleared the smoke out, but the house still smelled like burnt plastic. I became MUCH better at following directions after this incident.


11) Ramen Fail

What’s a staple food for a bachelor trying to get by paycheck to paycheck? Ramen. This would’ve been 2001 or 2002 when I was living in Halifax with one of my best friends. I’ve got the place to myself one night and I’m hungry so I pop a cup of ramen noodles into the microwave for 5 minutes and then go onto the computer to download music off of Limewire (remember Limewire?). Silly me though neglected to put water in my cup of ramen and realized this not long after when I smelled smoke coming from the kitchen. The stench of burnt Styrofoam stuck in the apartment for a few days after that.


10) Chicken Fail

I caught my hand on fire bbq’ing thirty chickens at once (was flipping a bird and it caused a big flare up). The best I could come up with to tell my boss afterwards was, “Now picture this…but ALL OVER.”

9) Cake Fail

So, my friend and I were probably in the 4th or 5th grade so around 10 to 11 yrs old and we decided to make a carrot cake. We found a simple recipe in her mom’s cookbook and bought all the essential ingredients. Part of the directions said to “shred” the carrots. *putting them through a cheese grader to get those thin even slices* We weren’t quite sure what that meant so we thought we should just chop the carrots into little chunk pieces. Well by the time the cake was baked and ready to serve to our beloved family members. They were caught by surprise with a daily helping of yummy carrot chunks in every bite they took. Definitely not the most appetizing when eating something sweet. However, that day we learned we weren’t great bakers. But proud to say we did it ourselves.


8) Egg Fail

For Easter one year, I made hardboiled eggs intending to use them for the Easter egg hunt and for deviled eggs. Well my phone was in the other room and I was too lazy to get it so I asked my mom’s boyfriend how long to boil them for. Three minutes, he said. Felt a little fast but I believed him because he’s older than me and seemed sure. Days later when we’re collecting the eggs, it was not a pretty sight. Especially since a 2-year-old was collecting them and didn’t know her own strength.


7) Pie Fail

On my first visit to London I’d been served a “beef-n-kidney pie” in a pub and it was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten, so when I got home I decided to learn how to make it myself from scratch. Then I discovered that what the pub had served me wasn’t actual beef-n-kidney pie, or at least, it’d had no actual kidney in it, because when I tasted the kidney in mine it made me retch. My poor husband was stuck eating the whole thing by himself; it took him half a week. There’s a happy ending to the story, though: I make it now without the kidney and it’s totally delicious. Naturally it’s called “beef-n-kidney-pie-without-the-kidney”.


6) Grill Fail

Oh, this happened to me the other day! BBQing pork chops. Delicious, no drama… Until just now, when I went out to my porch, and saw I had left the grill scraper FAR too close to the heat. Melted itself to garbage. Silver lining though: I just bought a wire free brush!


5) Dill Fail

I discovered the reason I don’t like dill pickles is because I don’t like dill. I learned this after making an enormous batch of an authentic meat dish of some sort that had dill in it which I couldn’t eat after taking one bite. My hubby got stuck with leftover-duty (again).


4) Gravy Fail

For some weird reason, we used to freeze bags of tea concentrate (like you’d get from a fountain dispenser) and keep them all in our giant ass freezer in the basement. My mom also froze bags of turkey gravy in the same bags. At some point someone switched them around. Iced gravy.


3) Booze Fail

The infamous “Wine Soup.” Before I knew how to cook, I followed a misprinted black bean soup recipe that called for 2 quarts of merlot. Poured in a cheap bottle and thought, “It’s not 2 quarts, but close enough.” The soup was warm bad wine with onions, beans, and beef bouillon. I tried giving it the chili treatment by adding crackers, cheese, sour cream. Even put it in the fridge overnight. No luck. Forced myself to eat a bowl of it and wound up with a migraine.


2) Meringue Fail

I was trying to make meringue cookies since I had all the ingredients, what I didn’t have was a power mixer, which I needed to use on it for 3 minutes to get a particular texture. I wound up and hand stirring for 2 hours before giving up.


1) Garbanzo Fail

When my boyfriend and I tried to make falafel for the first time we didn’t have a food processor only had a blender–things were not blending so he was using a wooden spoon to push the ingredients down, suddenly there was only half a wooden spoon. We went out for food.



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