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Jul 22, 2009 08:06 AM

Idiotic things you do in the kitchen

I put 2 eggs on to boil this morning and 20 minutes later I hear popping noises and smell that smell.

Why oh why do I ALWAYS forget I have eggs boiling. It never fails.

I am the only idiot here? Like turning on the faucet at full strength with a spoon turned up directly under the water and I get a soaking.

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  1. Turning on the wrong burner on the stove. Went through a few of those metal burner covers and then gave up on them. In my brother's house, the rule is remove all the burner covers no matter which burner you are using.

    Pouring the flour in too fast while the mixer is going. Poof! but speaking of the mixer, I haven't yet made butter out of whipping cream. Saw that once at work with about 10 liters of cream. What a mess.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Sooeygun

      I placed a plastic bowl of pancake batter on one electric burner and turned on the burner under the skillet. Or so I though. The bottom of the bowl started smoking. I snatched it away. The bottom of the bowl stayed on the burner, the rest of the bowl came away and pancake batter went everywhere. What a mess.

      1. re: Antilope

        That makes my brain hurt just to think about it. When I was a kid, my parents went out and left my great-uncle in charge of me. I decided to make candy. I put the sugar etc in a pan on the electric stove and LEFT THE KITCHEN to go watch TV. (My great-uncle was in another part of the house at the time.) Quite a while later, the smell of smoke brought us both running. Burnt caramel everywhere...lucky I didn't set the house on fire. My great-uncle cleaned everything up before the parents got home but the smell lingered and I caught it, big time. (Some of the caramel lingered, too - everything looked clean but some would ooze out from the burner whenever it was turned on.)

        1. re: buttertart

          My sister in law got a new kitchen that way. Teenager, french fries, pot of oil, cute firement, new kitchen. Not a bad deal in the end.

          1. re: julesincoq

            My neighbour also did that and got a visit and lecture from the fire engine crew. Big bill from the city arrived later.

            1. re: steve8rox

              And they wonder why people are waiting till too late or for their neighbors to call 911.

      2. re: Sooeygun

        My cousin recently related how she put the kettle on to heat water for tea or coffee, went into the living room for a few minutes to talk to husband and kids, then heard a loud bang followed by an acrid smell. Turned out, she'd turned on the wrong burner, the one under a glass pan of brownies baked the night before. Pan shattered, leaving brownies to burn on the burner.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Hah! I did that, but with a glass baking pan full of sticky bqq sauced baked pork chops! The glass bits were everywhere, hanging from the ceiling even because of the sticky now caramelized sauce.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Buy her an electric kettle for Christmas. It does not take up space on the counter, is extremely fast and turns itself off when it reaches a boil

            1. re: Candy

              Candy, I am a big fan of electric kettles, and use one myself. I love how fast they are.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                I bought my parents one, it stood on a base. They put the top part onto the burner. Still a funny family story

          1. re: southernitalian

            I did that too after coming into the kitchen from quick run to the market. And my wallet in the fridge.

            1. re: jmckee

              Better than leaving the food in the car! I have opened the fridge and found a box of cereal someone stuck in along with the milk, which is, again, better than stick the milk in the cupboard in error.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Oh, I've done that with the milk and the cupboard. Not a nice smell...

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  My mother left a whole, fresh durian in the trunk of her new BMW once for an entire afternoon.

                  In Los Angeles.

                  In July.

                  Sure got rid of that new car smell quick.

                  1. re: Pei

                    My eyes are watering! That must have hurt, badly!

                    1. re: Pei

                      Did the same thing at the swap meet in Wailuku on Maui. Fortunately it was a rental car.

                      1. re: Pei

                        Durian? I felt bad when a guy I had hired temporarily left his bad take out container in my brand hew car! YOU WIN!!!!

                        1. re: Pei

                          Whew! Did she have to take the car to southeat Asia to sell it?

                    2. re: southernitalian

                      wow, I'm not alone after all. it was the fridge, but same thing. that is so nice to know.

                      1. re: southernitalian

                        I do that ON PURPOSE!!
                        I put my keys in the fridge--on my lunch---so I don't forget it!!! ;)

                      2. I once burned myself after taking a cast iron fry pan out of the oven (with oven mitts) and then forgetting later that the handle was still very, very hot and trying to pick it up. Now I wrap the hot handle with a dishcloth both to remind me and to protect my hands!

                        23 Replies
                        1. re: ms. clicquot

                          "I ONCE burned myself after taking a cast iron fry pan..." ? I do that weekly.

                          Seriously, if I'm cooking on the stovetop and the pan handle is burning hot, I wrap it in crumpled aluminum foil. It shields the heat and won't burn.

                          1. re: shortribsfordinner

                            I know that certain of our potholders need to be doubled, and always feel the pain when I forget.

                            1. re: shortribsfordinner

                              Can't understand the science. Aluminum is a good conductor of heat. Maybe the crumpling creates pockets of air as insulation.

                              This ole English professor always reaches for the heavy-duty oven mitts. Cheap insurance for personal safety.

                              1. re: steve8rox

                                "crumpling creates pockets of air as insulation."

                                Wow, I don't think so, (laughing) maybe shortribs is crumpling a good 1-2 inches thickness around the handle. Yes, that why oven mitts were invented!

                            2. re: ms. clicquot

                              Cast iron I don't have a problem with since I assume the handle is hot no matter how it was heated. It's the stainless pans that went into the oven that I have made this mistake with. Only happened twice. Once real bad. Thank goodness I haven't fallen for the same mistake more than twice.

                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                I wish I would learn...anytime I put a stainless pan into the oven (to finish roasting a pan steak, for example) I always forget it was just in the oven.......... ARGH. The worst is when I'll do it twice in the same night!

                              2. re: ms. clicquot

                                Another thing I have trained myself to do (after doing this a couple of times myself, not terribly badly) is to put a handle-sleeve potholder on the stovetop as soon as I put the skillet in the oven, ready for when it comes out.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  And then you may accidentally turn on the stove or lay it on the burner you just used and set fire to the potholder... sorry, I couldn't resist.
                                  People do, however lay flammables on stoves; especially bad when it's electric.

                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    Jeez...I meant on the (gas) stovetop between the burners, the flat metal part that doesn't get that hot. It's there and ready to go when the skillet comes out. There are silicone ones available that are even less flammable than the insulated cloth ones I have.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      I have a small toaster oven that I often cook small dishes in. It sits on the rear grill burner off on the left side of my old six burner (electric), Jenn-Air. I never grill inside unless I absolutely must!
                                      People not familiar with the stove top often turn on one of those burners by mistake. The saving feature is the fan starts running loudly and they freak out, knowing they have made a mistake. One day someone may melt down the toaster.

                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        Toaster ovens can be extremely dangerous. I once made garlic bread, maybe heavy on the butter, and it literally burst into flames. Now I frequently check on anything in it. I hope EVERYONE has a fire extinguisher in their kitchen.

                                        1. re: Veggo

                                          Good reminder - and for people who don't already, or if (like mine) yours is really old and you're not sure it would work - they now sell small ones, that look like an aerosol whipped cream can, for about $15. Wouldn't put out a huge blaze, but good insurance.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            I know I do - because it fell out of my cupboard onto my toe last week, discharging as it went.

                                            Only I could make a fire extinguisher dangerous.

                                        2. re: buttertart

                                          My grandmother had lit so many paper plates, pot holders and dish towels on fire my laying them on the stove and then lighting a burner. She has a gas stove also. This is in addition to many many burned teakettles that didn't have water in them or that she let boil dry. I never but anything flammable on the stove top and always check my kettle before turning it on.
                                          One of my goofs is some how burning my tummy on hot cookie sheets. I've done it several times and never have been able to figure out how. It isn't like I cook naked.

                                            1. re: carollins83

                                              im guessing you are leaning over the cookie sheet further than you think you are. a t-shirt or other thin clothing won't prevent the heat from going thru to the skin.

                                              1. re: carollins83

                                                One of my cardinal rules: Do not cook bacon while shirtless. (Unless you want your belly to look like it has chicken pox.)

                                                  1. re: LabLady

                                                    That is brilliant! So much so that I'm going to repost it in its own thread, it deserves to be seen.

                                                1. re: carollins83

                                                  My parents always boiled water in kettles until they were dry and unusable. So I bought them a very lovely electric kettle from WS that turned off automatically. IT had a base and the kettle sat on top of it. Needless to say one day they put the kettle on the stove to heat the water! My father ran out to buy a new one immediately as they didn't want me to find out what idiots they had been. That lasted until I saw the box for the new kettle, then they 'fessed up.

                                                  I myself have a lovely wool pan handle cover that's sleek enough to leave on the pan while it's on the stove. This saves my hands from my stupidity. :)

                                          1. re: ms. clicquot

                                            Knock wood, I haven't burned myself YET like that but come really, really close.

                                            1. re: ms. clicquot

                                              In professional kitchens where I've worked, the general rule was to sprinkle some flour on the handle of skillets which were hot. It sounds silly, but seeing flour on a handle makes you stop for that split second it takes to think: that's funny; what's that on this skillet? oh wait - that means it's hot!

                                              Especially important in environments where you are cooking with others, but I find it works well at home when it's just me, too. Wrapping cloths around skillet handles is a good way to set a cloth on fire (you forget about it when you return the skillet to the stove, but the flame sure as hell doesn't)

                                              1. re: Gooseberry

                                                I have fallen for a number of kitchen gadgets that weren't worthwhile, but the silicone pot-handle sleeve is a winner. It's even red, to further drive home its importance. It lives in a drawer right next to the stove, so there's no stepping away from the pot to go get the sleeve, then getting distracted and doing something else. But I have to add that I did not buy it until I'd already burned my hand twice by failing to mark the hot handle in some way.

                                                If you have a spare flat square potholder, you can just fold it and stitch the side opposite the fold closed. Needle and thread, or even staples, will suffice if you don't have, or know someone who has, a sewing machine.

                                            2. Not me, but I know someone who threw flour on a pan fire, thinking since it looked like baking soda, it would smother the flames. Instead, the fire roared up and caused a lot of damage.

                                              In cooking school, a student measured out a cupful of rum extract for rumballs instead of a capful.

                                              I've several times added salt instead of sugar. As in 1/4 cup or more. I don't know why I have that mental block. My daughter stopped me just as I was about to dump it in. She thinks I'm developing early senility now.

                                              Hiding flammables in the oven when company comes over and forgetting it's there when preheating the oven. (not me, a friend, really).

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: shortribsfordinner

                                                a friend of mine preheated her oven when a bunch of us went for a potluck then we got a whiff of burning plastic - she had forgotten to take out the plastic covered owner's manual and the plastic cover around the grill pan - apparently she had never used her oven before in 6 years!!!!

                                                1. re: shortribsfordinner

                                                  A friend helped me clean up after a party once. A week later i turned on the oven, and twenty minutes later an odd smelll led me to figure out where my crock pot had been carefully placed by well meaning friend who believes that all cooking is actually done in a microwave ("you mean you actually USE your oven?").

                                                  As for the microwave I often wrap tortillas in a damp towel and microwave them for under a minute. I don't have any idea what I was thinking when i put the damp towel wrapped tortillas in my friend's toaster oven. We discussed making mole, but went out for dinner instead.

                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                    Sounds like the people from whom I bought my house. When we did the initial walk-through, the realtor casually opened the dishwasher and we found cereal boxes, bags of pasta, trash bags, etc. Guess they were "by hand" dishwashers.

                                                    1. re: cuccubear

                                                      We discovered the same (plus some old wood scraps) in the dishwasher when we did the walk through! Turned out they had never used it and the wood was from the previous owners. I thought it was a freak incident...crazy.

                                                      1. re: emmaroseeats

                                                        There was also what I called “the fake oven”, until I removed it. It was a wall unit oven, and unusable as it had been disconnected from the electricity. Didn’t look into it during the walk through, but after buying the house, found empty bread bags and some bottle caps inside. Perplexing.

                                                      2. re: cuccubear

                                                        Our dishwasher is full of dog food, toys and other canine accessories. It is a portable dishwasher that was left in our repo house. We assumed it didn't work and I didn't want to have to roll it to the sink for dishwashing. I do pull it out when I'm rolling dough, perfect for that.

                                                        And I'm the dishwasher. DW does laundry and puts away dishes.

                                                  2. Oh that ain't so bad.....when I first started baking my own bread I pulled some boners! A recipe for French bread directed that I place a pan in the oven to heat so I could pour water in it when the loaves were loaded to create the ideal steamy environment for crisp crust. I was really jazzed about this attempt because I had the perfect rise and I just knew I was finally going to be successful. I put my loaves in and carefully poured water into my hot hot PYREX pan! My language waxed "colourful" ( as my mom would say ) as I picked out the hot blue shards from my oven and dumped two beautiful mounds of dough into the garbage.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: calliopethree

                                                      I've done the same thing with the pyrex pan... twice.

                                                      1. re: calliopethree

                                                        I did the very same thing about a month ago. I had a chicken roasting on a rack above my pyrex dish. I had put some water in the bottom of the dish initially, but it had all evaporated, and so I tried to add some more. BOOM! So the chicken was a loss, my pan was a loss and I was stuck having to do three of my most hated kitchen tasks, cleaning up broken glass, cleaning the overn and cleaning the floor.

                                                        1. re: gmm

                                                          Reminds me of when I was 11 or so and I decided to clean the dusty light bulbs in the kitchen chandelier by spraying windex on the bulbs *while they were on*. Spectacular to say the least.