Kitchen Nightmares: 45 Amateur Chefs Share Their Cringe-Worthy Cooking Fails

By Liezel L

There are days when something gets into you that makes you want to whip up something in the kitchen. You may have seen a crazy recipe on TikTok, want to try and imitate something you’ve tasted once before, or you’re just craving something specific. Whatever it is, it lures you into the kitchen, making you believe you can make a homecooked meal or delectable dessert easy peasy. Unfortunately, not all creations turn out as planned. Even if you have the perfect recipe and you’re a skilled cook, no one is immune to the occasional cooking slip-ups. Some may be minor, some may be major, and some are straight-up disasters. In this list, you’ll see some of the most hilarious cooking fails on the internet that might make you feel more confident about your own cooking abilities. Keep scrolling and tell us which ones made you laugh out loud the most.

Did You Spot The Pancake?

Pancakes are one of the easiest things in the world to cook. The measurements for the ingredients are easy enough to follow, plus it’s easy to see if one side is cooked or not. You just have to wait for that golden brown color.

image courtesy of sms42069/ Reddit

Sadly, it seems that whoever cooked this pancake missed that golden brown color and those fresh bubbles. They burnt the poor pancake so bad that it even camouflaged with the pan. Hopefully, they’ll keep an eye on the food they’re cooking next time.

Forgetting Something?

We don’t show enough appreciation to the person who invented frozen pizza. They’ve literally saved hundreds of us from starving in our sleep on nights when we just don’t have it in us to cook something. This, we think, is not considered appreciation of the dish. 

image courtesy of Extis83/ Reddit

They probably let the pizza thaw out too much or didn’t correctly pre-heat their oven. They must have been pretty hungry, but if they only paid attention to their pizza’s preparation, they could get a tasty meal rather than a mess.

Patty Zombies

When shopping for patties for our burgers, we usually look at how thick the meat is, how juicy it looks, but most importantly, how fresh it is because nobody wants something that will end up looking like this one right here.

image courtesy of HomelessHashbrown/ Reddit

Those patties look like they’re sick, and they look like they’re probably going to come alive and start some kind of food invasion where the role of humans and foods is reversed. Seriously, it seems like the stuff of nightmares. We don’t think anything can save that.


If you told us that eggs could be mini bombs, we’d probably just give a little chuckle and ignore what you just said for the rest of the day. The only way we know eggs can be considered a bomb is when they’re rotten and just waiting to blow up and stink the whole place up. 

image courtesy of theravenstar/ Instagram

Apparently though, when you try and microwave an egg, they do explode quite well like small bombs. In this case, this person was trying some kind of effortless microwave version of poached eggs. Unfortunately, he just ended up with a disaster.

This Gingerbread Man Has Seen Stuff

When we think of gingerbread men, we usually think of cheery cookies that are nicely browned and have huge smiles painted on their heads. This is the exact opposite of that image. This gingerbread man looks like he’s been through a lot. 

image courtesy of Tw13950/ Reddit

In fact, he looks like he’s just had his last dying breath. Our tip to the person who made this? Bury it, salt the grave, and pray that it doesn’t come back to haunt you. No one knows what that thing will come back as, and we’d rather not know.

There’s A Reason It’s Just Mostly Adults In The Kitchen

When we were kids, we had this obsession with insisting that we were already all grown up and could also do all the grown-up things we see them do. So, we keep insisting and pestering our parents to let us help them until we get this. 

image courtesy of bikiniree/ Reddit

The kid wanted to help make her own birthday cake but see; there is a reason adults only allow kids to do the small things. One of those reasons is that everything usually becomes a disaster, and the kid gets upset like this little girl here.

Sleep And Cooking Just Don’t Go Well Together

Food is delicate, and when you’re cooking, you can’t just leave it unattended. Unless whatever you’re cooking will take 45 minutes or more than a few hours to get done, you’re not entitled to a nap, or this will happen to your meal. 

image courtesy of joeycnotes/ Reddit

Apparently, this person fell asleep while heating some mac and cheese. Maybe they were exhausted, or maybe they hadn’t had enough sleep yet, but they just wasted all that delicious mac and cheese. So folks, remember, when you’re cooking, you ain’t sleeping, okay?

Everything Is Just Wrong Here

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you set the oven temperature way too high while letting your pizza dough rise? Yeah, you probably didn’t because who would want that to happen, but here’s what that specific situation would look like. 

image courtesy of diverareyouok/ Reddit

Sadly, no, that gooey thing on the bottom isn’t delicious cheese. That’s a melted bowl, and that thing on the rack is baked dough underneath a burned kitchen towel. Hopefully, this is a lesson learned for all of us seeing this right now.

A Great Tragedy Indeed

Do you know that feeling when you spend all these hours and all that effort preparing some food to have a great dinner with homecooked food? But when you come home only to find that it’s gone? Yeah, that feeling sucks!

image courtesy of DopeCalyps0/ Reddit

We imagine that this person felt when they discovered that their housemate’s dog got into their 6-hour butter chicken. Sure, the pup may be cute, and you can’t do anything but forgive them, but that was a 6-hour prepared meal, for Pete’s sake! Oh, that would send us to tears!

The Rice Gods Will Be In Tears

This looks like a pretty decent pattern for a plate, bowl, or even a cup, right? It’s simple and adds some interest to an otherwise plain ceramic piece if it were a pattern. Unfortunately, it is not- that our friends is rice. 

image courtesy of KiriDomo/ Reddit

To be more specific, that is burned rice. Apparently, this is what happens when you try to make some rice in the middle of a slow work day and then get suddenly pulled into a meeting and three conversations before you can add water. Thankfully, there’s takeout, right?

The Perfect Alien Dinner

Some disasters in the kitchen aren’t so bad. Maybe you just oversalt something, or you just overcook something a little. Foods that go through these kinds of things are still edible to a point. This dish, however, we think, is beyond all saving.

image courtesy of Anton Chervjakov/ Facebook

We don’t even know what in the world that is, if it even came from Earth, or if it’s meant for human consumption. Honestly, no one could pay us anything to eat that just by its looks. Just the sight of it can have our stomachs rolling into the grave already.

She Is The Pie Now

Most pets usually love sticking around the kitchen when we’re preparing food since they know there’s a considerable chance they might be able to get some tasty morsels here and there. Still, they don’t usually get into the pot or pan as if they’re the ones who are going to be cooked. 

image courtesy of stopstealmyusernames/ Reddit

This cat, though, is a different breed. Its owner was just about to bake a pie, and they left for five short minutes. This is what they saw when they came back. Sadly, by the look on the cat’s face, they couldn’t do anything about it anymore. It looks like they’ll bake that pie another day.

That Is Not Bread – That Is Coal

The person who posted this claims that this was bread, more specifically, sourdough bread topped with creamy light brie cheese, but we refuse to believe that that thing could be anything resembling bread. We think that’s some kind of prehistoric coal they dug up. 

image courtesy of nick122221/ Reddit

Given the fact that it was stuck in an oven set at 350 for over 11 hours, though, it makes their claim that it was bread a lot more believable. It’s sad to see how much of a waste of sourdough bread and brie cheese it is. Hopefully, they gave it a proper funeral.

The Sandwich That Can Camouflage

If you don’t look too closely, you might just see the perfectly fine pieces of ham and maybe egg in that bright colored strip there, but if you do look closely enough, you’ll see that they’re being held firmly in place by a pair of crisply burnt toast. 

image courtesy of Stranger1982/ Reddit

See, we don’t have a problem with burnt foods. Some of them are still edible, and some can be balanced out by their fillings or some sauce. Unfortunately, a sandwich that camouflages with the pan is just beyond saving. What a shame indeed. 

They Forgot The Most Important Part

We think we can all agree that grilled cheese is one of the easiest dishes to make, right? You just need two ingredients, and cooking it isn’t rocket science either. Unfortunately, this person forgot the most crucial part of the sandwich. 

image courtesy of Misophoniakiel/ Reddit

This thing isn’t grilled cheese. It’s just grilled. And although we don’t mind a little toast since you can just slather on some jam, and it’s good, there’s the disappointment of expecting some gooey cheese inside and not getting it.

Anyone Up For Some Gory Eggs?

Part of the appeal of eggs is the crisp and clear white and yellow color they have when they’re cooked. It means that they’re cooked just right and still edible. That’s why we will take a good far pass on this one.

image courtesy of Stranger1982/ Reddit

Sorry to whoever cooked that, but those eggs look like they’ve been pulled straight out of a uterus. It’s just gory! But don’t worry, they didn’t commit murder or anything for those eggs. They simply boiled it with some red rice which we don’t recommend given the results. 

Too Much Fun In The Oven

What do you do when your 6-year-old child says, “Mommy, there’s green goo coming out of my waffle?” Well, of course, you panic because how in the world will green goo get there unless some creepy alien creature crawled in and got stuck and cooked?

image courtesy of princessbuttercat/ Reddit

Fortunately, that’s not what happened here, but still, that’s one waste of a plate, we can say. It may look fun for the kid, but we know that it will not be a fun clean-up session for mommy. At least the waffle looks okay, though?

The Cremains Of A Pork Ribs Dinner

With dishes that take some time to cook, we often feel comfortable multitasking to make good use of our time while waiting for the dish to cook or the flavors to come out. If you’re forgetful, though, or if you didn’t set an alarm, you can end up with a disaster. 

image courtesy of RadixLecti72/ Reddit

Just look at how these pork ribs ended up. With the proper attention, they could have been saved. Unfortunately, they met an untimely burial by cremation at the hands of this person who forgot they were there while the grill was at full blast. 

This Is Why You Label Things

If you’re not one of those people who put labels on all the stuff in clear glass jars in your kitchen, you might be missing out on some things. Just take a look at this poor guy. He just wanted to cook some rice, but this is what he ended up with instead. 

image courtesy of bumbeel/ Reddit

He confidently put those rice-looking things in a pot, washed them up, put some water, and put them on the stove. An hour later, he’s wondering why the rice is taking too long to cook, and that’s the only time he realizes he put rock salt in, not rice. Labels could have prevented all that.

The Pancake Was A Little Too Stubborn

One of the reasons pancakes are so easy to make is that you need so few tools to make them. You don’t need any fancy baking machine. You can get by with a bowl and a whisk. Unfortunately for this person, their pancake was a little too stubborn. 

image courtesy of MajinDaigaEx/ Reddit

It seemed like it wasn’t taking any chances, so it decided to wreck the whisk. Either that or the person mixing this must have been pretty cranky to destroy the whisk like that. Either way, that’s definitely not going to be a pancake with that kind of batter.

At Least They’re Already Wrapped?

After all the preparation, kneading, mixing, and baking of the cookies, eating them is probably the best part of the whole process. Not only are you expecting warm and delicious treats, but you also get your entire home filled with the wonderful scent of baked goods. 

image courtesy of jenprad/ Reddit

Sadly for this person, the ending of that whole journey which should have been the best part, was ruined by the plastic wrap they forgot to take off before putting the cookies in the oven. At least they’re now wrapped for posterity, we guess. RIP to those cookies, though.

Not The Right Explosion For Christmas

Christmas eve is one of the best nights of the year not just because of the presents and seeing all your friends and family but also because of the table spread of homecooked food we all would expect to see.  

image courtesy of dmetz1076/ Reddit

Sadly for this family, one dish at least was ruined because of the wrong kind of explosion during their Christmas eve. Hopefully, the glass didn’t ruin anything in the oven, though and well, let’s hope they ordered at least from the best places to take out from. 

At Least They Made Good Use Of It

Other than not getting a fabulous homecooked meal and being proven that your cooking skills suck, the thing we hate most about kitchen disasters is the amount of food waste they produce. Fortunately, these people didn’t have to suffer through that. 

image courtesy of joeltheconner/ Reddit

What do you do when you overbake your brownies? Well, this office’s answer to that is to turn it into a table, and we got to say, it’s genius! Not only do you get an extra table, but you also get this thing that has the aroma of baked brownies throughout the room. Pretty nice!

More Like Deep Fried Microwave

This person just woke up one day and wanted some deep-fried Oreos and we got to say, that’s a stellar idea. Deep-fried Oreos are so delicious when done right. Unfortunately, they ended up melting part of their kitchen instead of the Oreos. 

image courtesy of aleighleigh/ Reddit

Apparently, they interchanged the properties of oil and water. You don’t have to wait for the oil to reach its boiling point before you can cook. That’s water! Sadly, they only realized it when it was all too late. OUCH! 

Maybe It’ll Rise Like A Phoenix One Day

A slight char on some fried chicken or roasted chicken isn’t all bad. Sometimes, it even adds that smokey taste that enhances the overall flavor of the meal. We think what was added here was more than just a smokey taste though. 

image courtesy of vazgavin/ Instagram

We think this chicken was sent to hell alive and came back this way. There’s just no chance anyone can save that, and we think even the dogs might hesitate a bit before taking a bit out of that. Who knows, though? Maybe one day, it’ll rise like a phoenix from the ashes. 

The Blender Has Gone Wild

Have you ever wondered if one blender can devastate a whole kitchen? Well, the answer to that is absolutely! Just one blender can do so much damage to your kitchen that it will have you spending hours scrubbing and mopping walls. 

image courtesy of living_my_lyfe_lyke_its_golden/ Instagram

Just take a look at what happened to this person’s kitchen. Unfortunately, they took off the blender’s lid before it was fully off, and the contents just exploded all over the place. So, our cooking advice is don’t take off the blender lid until it’s unplugged to make sure you’re not going to deal with this kind of a mess.

Is This A Shot Of A Toilet Bowl?

Sorry if you’re eating a meal while reading this, but if you’ve never seen tapeworms before, this is a good picture to give you an idea of exactly what they look like. Believe it or not, that is meant to be pasta.

image courtesy of Roscoe_P_Trolltrain/ Reddit

We’re not sure why anyone would serve this or even cook this in the world, but this looks like the kind of food you would serve to someone you wanted to kill. Apparently though, this is all this husband could come up with for his wife’s dinner under a tight deadline. He must be pretty mad about something we’d say.

Stuck The Landing

Flipping an egg or a pancake using just the pan is a pretty slick move we think everyone wants to learn. Even if you’re not a master chef or if your dish doesn’t taste the best, perfecting that flip will earn you points with your audience. 

image courtesy of fiskimasi/ Reddit

Unfortunately for this guy, his flip didn’t turn out the way he wanted it to. Sadly, it looks like he threw the pancake instead of flipping it. Hopefully, he’s better at cleaning than flipping, but hey, at least it stuck the landing, right?

The Eye Of Toast

You know, we never really imagined having nightmares about food. Food is the one thing on Earth we almost always associate with good thoughts. If we did have nightmares about it, this would be a pretty good image of what we’d see. 

image courtesy of Large-Acanthisitta84/ Reddit

We are not sure what they’ve done with that toast, but it looks like they performed some kind of resurrection or exorcism ritual on it. Either way, it’s creepy, and it will definitely give us nightmares. Just thinking about it staring at us with that yellow eye gives us the creeps!

Lasagna Served With A Side Of Spatula Anyone?

We think all good cooks have stellar memory because how else would they remember how to do everything and what ingredients to put in? Also, we believe that their great memory helps prevent them from ending up in situations like this one. 

image courtesy of jonek1999/ Reddit

This person forgot that their plastic spatula was also on the pan when they decided to heat their lasagna, and it melted right through. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, though. Who knows? Maybe they were just really tired or too hungry to remember their spatula. 

Perks Of Having Kids

When you’re a mom with young kids, you have to always keep an eye out for anything out of place in the house because, well, kids can get pretty creative and place things in places they shouldn’t be. Just take a look at what happened to this oven.

image courtesy of gringo_mexicano87/ Instagram

As it seems, the kids thought the oven was a good place to store their stuff, and while that can be an idea if the oven isn’t working anymore or if no one’s using it, it’s the worst one when your mom has plans to bake and is unaware of your hiding spot.

It’s Clinging On For Dear Life

Boiling an egg is one of the easiest things to do on Earth. You put water in a pot, put the egg in, and put it on the stove. Even kids can do it. But, of course, even the easiest things in the world can turn into total disasters with a bit of mishap. 

image courtesy of Intelligent_Ad7273/ Reddit

This egg here was clinging on for dear life because the person cooking it forgot to turn off the stove. Sadly, the egg didn’t stand a chance against the heat, and it just exploded. Hopefully, whoever did this to this poor egg will learn from his mistakes and serve future eggs better.

Turning Your Oven Into A Freezer

If your first thought this was a freezer, you’re not alone. We also made the same mistake. Apparently, though, that is an oven. Someone just forgot that they still had their silicone rack guards in there when they turned it on, and this happened. 

image courtesy of ElvenQueen1/ Reddit

Apparently, if silicone is heated high enough, it vaporizes, and this is what it does to your oven. What’s worse is that the person who owns this oven has family coming over in a few days, so whoopsie daisy; they might get a taste of a lot of take-out. 

When The Blender Gets Sick

When we were kids, many of us would wonder why our moms were so protective over the expensive kitchen items they bought, and now that we’re adults, we completely get it. Quality stuff in the kitchen is the key to avoiding accidents. 

image courtesy of McBalllz/ Reddit

This blender looks like it’s hemorrhaging and ready to pop off. And while it does look like an okay blender to make your smoothies in, maybe it’s not cut out for that job. Perhaps it’s time to replace this blender with one that actually does its job without creating more tasks for you. 

Is That Even Still Mayo?

Mayo is often recommended to be chilled or be kept at room temperature and never frozen because when you leave mayo to freeze and then thaw it afterward, this is what it will look like. Not very appetizing, right?

image courtesy of Sakke_MO/ Reddit

See, mayo is an emulsion, and when you freeze it, there’s a good chance the ingredients will break down and separate. This reveals just how much oil there actually is in mayo which does not look very appetizing to put in your next salad or sandwich. 

Does It Hate Their Cooking That Much?

Usually, when we think of kitchen stuff that commonly breaks, it’s the blender, the microwave, or even the beater but not the stove. The stove is one of those things that lasts a family a lifetime or more; except for this one.

image courtesy of ilikecats92712/ Reddit

We can just imagine the frustration of whoever owns this. There you are, doing your best trying to whip up a great meal for yourself or your family and your stove suddenly decides to freaking betray you in the worst possible way. Seriously though, how in the world did that happen?

Blender Bath

Blenders absolutely make our lives a lot easier. They save us from having to mash everything on our own, they help us make quick drinks from fresh ingredients, and so much more. Unfortunately, there are times when they do betray us like this one here. 

image courtesy of diegobrito777/ Instagram

If you’re not careful with your blender or if you’re a little too eager to get into what you’re blending, your blender may end up spitting everything on you. You have to have patience and let your blender work at its own pace for the best results.

What An Exotic Meal

After mastering the basics of a meal, many people tend to try and experiment, make a dish their own, or add their flavor to it to suit their tastes. They try adding spices, meats, veggies, and many other ingredients to make dishes unique, but we’ve never heard of anyone adding glasses before. 

image courtesy of mattKBV/ Reddit

We don’t think it will be a successful dish either. See, glasses aren’t really tasty, nor should they really be in any dish. They’re for the eyes, not for the stomach? We hope whoever was trying with this one stopped then and there.

There Is Such A Thing As Too Much Wine

Sometimes, an excess of something can actually be a good thing, especially for some dishes. For others though, there needs to be a balance for that perfect taste that you’ll keep coming back to. Unfortunately, this dish didn’t achieve that balance. 

image courtesy of 0range_julius/ Reddit

Whoever was making this put in a little bit too much red wine in their risotto. While we appreciate an extra glass of wine once in a while, we don’t think it was the right call for this dish. Also, it seems that they used the wrong kind of rice for it? At least the broccoli appears okay.

That Doesn’t Look At All Like Ethical Food

You’re not just going full out on veggies when you go vegan. There are also health, environmental, and ethical benefits to it. That’s why it appeals to so many people who want to help out our planet in one way or another. Sadly, while the maker of this vegan waffle had good intentions, it’s far from a success. 

image courtesy of tatuartist/ Reddit

That thing is definitely not a waffle, nor is it environmentally or ethically friendly because look at all that waste. It’s like the waffle also hates vegan food and doesn’t even want to give it a try. Still, points for trying.

An Adorable Kitchen Disaster

Most kitchen disasters are utterly frustrating because not only are you wasting food and destroying equipment, but you’re also wasting money and setting yourself up for a lot of cleaning. However, some kitchen disasters aren’t too bad. 

image courtesy of The_Bigg_D/ Reddit

This egg might not have gotten through the boiling process successfully, but it did create a cute little duck. It’s also still edible, so we won’t really call it a disaster. It’s more of an adorable accident. If only all kitchen accidents were like this.

Just Don’t Ask

Sometimes, it may be hard to admit that you’re not familiar with the kitchen and mostly depend on to-go food since cooking doesn’t agree with you, but other times, you have to own it and say, “Don’t ask me about my cooking skills, because they are a hot mess.”

image courtesy of brudy_piekne/ Instagram

Admitting that takes a lot of guts, which can help boost your confidence to learn how to deal with the kitchen. Who knows? Maybe it’s your first step to discovering the inner chef in you and creating your own dishes.

This Is Just Tragic

Imagine this. You’ve been running around all week trying to do the best for your studies or at your job while expending every bit of your energy. Then, at the end of the week, you finally get some time off to make some comforting lasagna, only to end up in this situation. 

image courtesy of youkidsgetoffmylawn/ Imgur

It’s pretty tragic, right? If it were really a bad week, we’d probably be on the brink of a mental breakdown by that point. Hopefully, whoever owned that lasagna had someone with them to comfort them. That is not an easy sight to bear.

Cayenne Rolls

It’s always great trying something new, especially in the kitchen. There are many great dishes to be discovered, and any kind of experimenting can get you to something. However, we don’t think exchanging cinnamon for cayenne to make cinnamon rolls is good. 

image courtesy of SideshowShan/ Reddit

Fair enough, it’s easy to mistake the two but come on, someone should have looked closer at those labels. Those rolls actually look delicious with their toppings and all. We bet that will burn your tongue right off. They’re just deceivingly delectable looking.