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Cooking Disasters

redneck6497redneck6497 Posts: 177
edited 3:42PM in EggHead Forum
I just saw a thread that made me think of something we hate to talk about ... total disasters! What is your worst disaster while doing any kind of outdoor cooks?

I think my worst was when during a party. I was cooking 2 chickens using my TEC infrared with rotisserie. I was very happy out back manning the grill when my wife says, "honey, I don't think you're spending enough time inside with the guests". I went inside. Big mistake! about 10 minutes later, my dad says, "son, there is a lot of smoke coming from the grill you better go check it!". When I opened the grill there were two totally blackened (and I don't mean in a good way) chickens which were literally on fire. I went to pull them off, and the bones cracked in half!

The rotisserie had jumped out of the hex hole in the motor. The chickens were low to the grill, and just dropping lots of grease on there.

My father in law snuck out the back, and picked up 2 delicious rotisserie chickens from Publix.

I was the butt end of a LOT of cooking jokes after that.

What are some of your stories?? The funnier the better.


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 10,487
    Some years ago, I decided to cook the Thanksgiving turkey on the Weber. Never heard of an egg at that time. I put it on that morning, wife's in the kitchen prepping and cooking everything else.

    Ok, so everything else is almost ready. Turkey was nowhere CLOSE to almost ready! Still rather pale and, well, more raw than cooked. So, I brought it inside, sliced it up... and NUKED it!!! It was safe to eat, but, well, I've had better. :laugh:

    In later years, if I ever even thought of cooking another turkey on the grill, needless to say, I got "the LOOK". Guess she holds a grudge. ;)

    Do I win?

    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Central Connecticut 

  • Once while preparing a whole bone in leg of lamb for a Welsh friend. I had decided to do it on the rotisserie. Well if you know Welsh rugby players you know they have a real capacity for beer. His lady friend happened to be a serious cook and foodie. After way too many beers she said I should check the lamb. The rotisserie was spinning away inside the leg and I had a pretty good fire going on in the bbq. We ate the top part but it was not very good cause of the greasy smoke.



    Caledon, ON


  • Not really an outdoor cooking story but it was done in a woodstove oven. Made a beautiful elderberry pie. Used salt instead of sugar. Even the dog wouldn't eat it.
  • Definitely some funny stories. With my experience, apparently the priceless look on my face was worth whatever it cost in all 4 birds.
  • jbhjbh Posts: 23
    Not Egg-related but a disaster nonetheless...

    At the campground a friend and I were volunteered to cook two pigs to serve about 80 people. (!) She'd supposedly cooked a pig before...

    Our cooker was an old rusty propane-tank offset. and our fuel was a cart-full of hickory chunks and a bag of instant-light charcoal.

    First we had to find handyman Joey to weld the door hinge back on the firebox. That was eventually done, and I saw that a crowd was gathering so wandered over to see what was going on. Well, the guys had stuffed the firebox chockful of wood and instant-light and were trying their best to get it going. They didn't leave any air space at all and it was just smoldering.

    Eventually the "experts" wandered off, so I shoveled out the mess onto the ground a built a proper fire.

    A little later the guy dropped off the pigs, which were wrapped in black plastic; it was then that we discovered the pigs weren't split. Fortunately Joey had a new blade for his Sawsall...

    The next step was getting about nine feet of pigs in a six-foot cooker...well, we had to accept a little overlap.

    By this time we were about four hours late getting started and three sheets to the wind.

    All was settled down and we agreed to check every hour or so and wandered off. I stacked some wood on the firebox to get warm and dry out a little more.

    An hour or so later I went back and found the cooker really hot, billowing clouds of smoke and my wood gone! I got it cooled down, put some more wood on the firebox and left again.

    Went back again, cooker hot, smoky and wood gone.

    This happened several times before the light came on; I had an unknown helper! Did I mention that I was four sheets to the wind by this time...

    I rigged up a Nu-Temp probe and transmitter and discovered that I could sit out in front of my camper and monitor the cooker temp. At least 200 feet away. Better late than never...

    A little later the cooker shot up to 400+ and a smokescreen was rolling my way. Not only was the wood gone again, we had a grease fire! My appointed helper said she'd seen the glow from over at the pool.

    By now it was around midnight, and I decided that the only way to keep some semblance of control was to sit by the cooker all night. Since I thunk it up I'd obviously volunteered. Helper Linda said she'd be over to relieve me in the early morning.

    Cousin Nick came over about an hour later and promptly passed out sitting up. Every now and then he'd go "flggbrl" and go back to sleep.

    Time passed...slowly..slowly..

    A few people drifted over during the night. You'd be amazed what "interesting" people are up all night in the campground.

    Finally dawn Linda...around 6 am Linda's friend Larry came over and said we wouldn't see Linda for a while. Something about the floor...

    Larry hung around and people started bringing us coffee, I think to shut us up.

    Finally Linda showed up at about 9 am and busily dowsed the pigs with pineapple juice.

    We waited and waited and waited and the fairly black pigs got blacker and blacker. I knew the sugars in pineapple juice burn, but by that time I'd been up about 30 hours, been relatively inebriated, sobered up, yawned a lot, and definitely wasn't firing on all cylinders.

    Eventually we pulled the pigs off onto sheets of plywood (not NSF, just marine), cleaned off as much smoke muck as possible and starting pulling the one that fell apart. Oddly enough, we had several helpers in this part of the process.....

    It finally occured to someone to wonder how we were going to transport the remaining whole pig to the serving area several hundred feet away. That's what golf carts are for. Someone drove the cart with several people running alongside holding onto the plywood the keep it from falling off the back.

    That pig was fairly presentable, not being too black except the back end which we gussied up with _lots_ of parsley. The diners, however, were very happy with the pigs and stuffed themselves to the gills.

    I later learned who was stuffing the wood into the firebox; it was helper Linda! After I'd get the hot smoky cooker tamed down she'd notice that it wasn't putting out much visible smoke and run over there and stuff some more wood in! She thought that if you weren't laying down a smokescreen you weren't cooking!

    So although everyone was happy with the pigs (I wonder what they'd had before) I consider it a disaster because they were black with smoke muck and burned sugar. I guess it wasn't too bad; the campground owner volunteered me to cook the July 4 picnic and the Thanksgiving turkey.

    Lessons learned: if you're going to be involved be in charge, never assume anyone else has a clue, and never abandon your post.

    BTW, after the pig fiasco we bought a #2 La Caja China for those big cooks. I've done several pork shoulders and the huge turkey in it. They've turned out great, not smoked, but moist and properly tender.
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