If there is one thing we’ve learned in the kitchen here at That Clean Life, it’s that cooking is definitely not a natural instinct.
In fact, the learning curve can be hella steep.
If you’ve ever felt totally lost and oblivious in the kitchen, you are definitely not alone.
Since our members have some experience under their belts, we decided to ask them about their lessons learned. Their responses were educational, helpful, and some were just downright hilarious.
Here are some great lessons that we've learned the hard way so you don’t have to:
Label Your Food
“So I have distinct water bottles and smoothie bottles. I left a smoothie bottle at work, and therefore had to put the Glowing Green Smoothie in a water bottle (that isn't clear!).
This morning, I heard shouting while I was getting ready and discovered my Husband tried to water his plant with my "water" bottle only to discover the plant chugged some green smoothie!
Let's see if this plant thrives as much as we do with green smoothie pumping through its veins!”
Don’t Leave the Oven Unattended
“I was roasting a bulb of garlic for the Kale Caesar Salad recipe. Drizzled it with olive oil and wrapped it in foil. Put it on the top rack and set the oven to 420.
Meanwhile I thought of something I forgot to get at the store, so I ran out thinking I'd only be 5 minutes. While I was out, the bulb tipped over and the olive oil started dripping into the bottom of the oven and started smoking.
Came home to a condo FULL of smoke and the smoke detector going off. It was so scary. Two lessons learned: Always roast garlic in something like a ramekin, so if it tips it will catch the oil AND never, ever leave anything in the oven unattended!”
Check That You Turned On the Correct Burner
“In university someone gave me a rice cooker. So we had just moved into our apartment and I turned the stove element on to cook something else.
Not until we smelt burning plastic and ran into the kitchen did we realize that the wrong burner was on and the rice cooker was melted. The stove got clearly marked knobs after that.”
“I once put a crock pot on the stove thinking, "It's a pot, so why not?" Needless to say...”
When Sharing Recipes – Be Specific
“I was making a famous family brownie/chocolate cake recipe for the first time by myself and it calls for ‘1 cup of coffee’ - yeah... didn't think it through and put 1 cup of coffee GROUNDS in the recipe.
It was a bit off in texture. My mom graciously updated recipe to call for ‘brewed coffee.’”
Seriously, Double Check Your Burner
“Turned the burner on to heat the kettle (no automatic shut off kettles back then!). Left the room. I came back to find that I had turned on the wrong burner.
The heat was under the aluminum egg poacher and all that was left was a small ball of aluminum that fell through the burner!”
It’s Not Enough to Just Turn the Oven ON
“Just a couple of weeks ago, I invited my mother in law for dinner. I was going to prepare a frozen lasagna.
I preheated the oven while I loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, threw in a load of laundry, got a workout in, and a few other things. When my mother in law arrived, I went to pour her a glass of wine and realized the lasagna was still there, frozen, on the counter.”
Let Steam Escape
“I had just made a vegetable soup and decided it would probably be better pureed. I only had a regular blender so I poured everything in, sealed the lid on tight and turned it on.
Little did I know that the heat would make the lid explode off. Midway through blending, the lid flew off and scalding hot soup went everywhere – all over me, all over the counter and all over the cupboards.”
We Cannot Stress This Enough, Check Your Burners!
“I have covers on my burners and turned on the small burner putting a tiny pan for an egg on it and went to turn my computer on only to smell burning a moment later.
I ...uh… had turned on the front burner. So that cover had to be tossed. It wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't done this to at least the last two sets over the past 7 years.”
We hope you’re able to learn from our mistakes, and remember that everyone was a newbies once (and even kitchen veterans can ruin a recipe). Most importantly, we want you to know that every FAIL is just a First Attempt In Learning. Stick with it and be safe. You’ll be a pro soon enough!
Did you have to learn any kitchen lessons the hard way? Share your story with us in the comments below!
And also: please, please, please make sure you turn on the correct burner.