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Recipe Disasters and Cooking Failures

Let's Dish: What Was Your Biggest Recipe Failure?

A recent article on The Kitchn titled 5 Reasons Why a Recipe Might Fail left me thinking about some of my biggest disappointments in the kitchen. One of them was many years ago when I was at a friend's house, and we decided to go a bit overboard on the baking substitutions, using applesauce instead of butter, Splenda in lieu of sugar, and baking powder rather than baking soda.

Needless to say, the end result above looked nothing like we'd anticipated. Top takeaway: be sure to know which replacements are tried and true, and don't sub in too many things at the same time! Hopefully I'm not the only one who's ever left the kitchen feeling a bit defeated. What's been your biggest recipe fail?

juniorburger juniorburger 5 years
Hahaha I found this site, which is hilarious.   I tried to poach an egg once but when I cut into it was still raw.  Raw egg white all over my toast.  Makes me gag just thinking about it!
lauren lauren 6 years
@jamie I tried the same thing, a balsamic vinegar reduction that was supposed to top this asparagus and fried egg dish! Well I ended up with balsamic candy in the end! After LOTS of soaking, I was able to get the pan clean but haven't tried this recipe since! :(
gingirl gingirl 6 years
I tried to make potato latkes a number of years ago. Complete and total failure. I really have no idea what I did, but they came out like bricks. My brother's friend tried to eat one and ended up using it as a door stopper to the basement!!
bsanf3 bsanf3 6 years
Blind baking a gram-cracker pie crust way to long and pumpkin bread (an orange BRICK) that I got distracted when mixing it and forgot something. Thankfully I haven't messed up that bad in years.
atraditionalist atraditionalist 6 years
Pre made cake mix: said to add vegetable oil of choice. I mistakenly used the garlic infused one.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
Once I tried to make a balsamic vinegar reduction and completely forgot about it. Did you know you can completely ruin an expensive Calphalon skillet this way? Ooops.
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
Just remembered this: four caramel sauce failures before a success.
suziryder suziryder 6 years
I used a Family Circle recipe for steak tacos. You cook the steak in the slow cooker for 8 hours and then shred it up. I thought the recipe didn't call for much liquid but I figured, "It's Family Circle, they know what they're doing!" So I followed it exactly and spent the day at work looking forward to yummy tacos for dinner. When my husband (my boyfriend at the time) and I got home, the steak was a completely blackened, charred brick at the bottom of the slow cooker! It was a total disaster and I burst into tears.
MandyWH MandyWH 6 years
OhMaxine, I've totally had a similar disaster — I was trying to make brown sugar bacon in my parents' oven and totally forgot about it. The kitchen filled up with smoke, the cookie sheet was ruined, the cat freaked out because of the smoke and noise and started yowling and hissing, and general chaos ensued. Not my finest hour.
girlA girlA 6 years
A gluten-free red velvet cake. I used too much of the "flour" mixture--about 2 1/2 more cups than I was supposed to! It was like a brick, but the frosting was outstanding! ;)
Marni7 Marni7 6 years
Cherry pie. BIG mistake! It like overflowed all over the place. I put like double the amount of cherries in the pie by mistake.
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
Roaring, Even BACON could not correct THAT one! ;)
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
Cast Iron, I'm willing to bet you're over beating that cupcake batter! You're supposed to make the eggs and butter and sugar creamy and fluffy, but once you add the flour, only mix it so that it's barely blended. See if that works. My biggest failure was making homemade marshmallows without a candy thermometer. The sugar wasn't at the right temperature, and there was a gigantic mass of the stickiest substance I've ever experienced on EVERYTHING. I had to throw it out, cause I was never even able to get it to the consistency needed to pour it and cut it. I haven't tried again since, although I have a thermometer now lol Other than that, I can't remember anything too horrible. I'm usually pretty good at judging how good recipes (even with substitutions) will taste. fuzzles, I'm glad you noticed in the shaking stage, haha!
msjlb msjlb 6 years
I was just learning how to read recipes but convinced my family I could make brownies by myself. The recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of flour and I thought it said 11 1/2. Needless to say I had to throw the entire pan in the garbage because there was no way my "brownie rock" would come out of it! My family and friends will never let me live it down!
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
Most recent: mistaking the can of Bon-Ami cleanser on the kitchen counter for the can of sea salt, also on the kitchen counter. Shake, but do not bake.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 6 years
I've had my share of cooking disasters but usually I'm able to eat my mistakes; I don't like to waste food. I think the worst was when I tried to sub applesauce for oil and whole wheat flour in zucchini muffins. They turned to mush after I took them out of the oven and had a terrible flavor. I had no choice but to throw them out.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
i love strong flavors, so one time I was making sweet and sour "chicken" (quorn cutlet) and i decided to add about a tablespoon of chinese five spice instead of the teaspoon it called for. Holy god that stuff goes a loooooong way, It was gross. I've also made a number of mistakes when halfing recipes; I'll forget to cut one ingredient in half.
jelibeann jelibeann 6 years
ugh...i still haven't made decent homemade mac and cheese, which kills me, because any time it is on a restaurant menu, i have to order it...even if it doesn't even remotely go with my entree also, i had a "girls' night" sleepover a few years ago, when my husband was away for work...i made a bunch of appetizery things, including chicken skewers that had to be brined...forgot to rinse the brine off...complete fail...everyone ate them anyway...i have no idea how
cast-iron cast-iron 6 years
Cupcakes! Again, and again, and AGAIN. I can't seem to get the perfect texture OR that lovely poofy top. Bah.
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
Once as a kid, I mistakenly put in 3/4 cup salt instead of sugar. Let's just say that one went straight to the trash can.
OhMaxine OhMaxine 6 years
I was making brown sugar-paprika bacon wrapped chicken bites and lite my mom's oven on fire... 1 week before Thanksgiving... It stopped working, but the repairman finally was able to fix it the day before to save the day! But the worst part was how terrible I felt! I don't live with her so it didn't affect me using my oven for dinner for the week. She would call me each night during dinner time asking me how my oven was doing :/
Katie-Sweeney Katie-Sweeney 6 years
I really screwed up some chocolate cookies back in the day. They were awful and even though I knew it, when my dad told me "these cookies are a failure!" I started to cry!
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