People Are Confessing The Most Cringe Things They've Witnessed In The Kitchen, And They Range From "Genuinely Upsetting" To "Instant Salmonella"
Tell me you've never watched Food Network without *telling* me you've never watched Food Network.
Unless you live with a Michelin-starred chef, allowing others to cook for you is baaaasically just waiting around until they do something A) absolutely disgusting, B) questionable at best, or C) altogether unsanitary.
Recently, Redditors were asked to share the "most cringe thing they've seen someone do while cooking," and frankly, I'm starting to feel like we should require Food Safety 101 like we do Driver's Ed. Here are some of the most genuinely upsetting responses.
1. "I worked at a restaurant in Arizona where the chef was absolutely vile. He'd spoon out sour cream for a dish, LICK the spoon clean, then put it back into the container..."
"He'd grab cooked chicken with his bare hands, plate it, then lick his fingers clean. He used his sweat rag to wipe off plates. When I brought it up to my manager? 'He works cheap and his food is good.'"
2. "My sister-in-law is a very righteous health nut who not only feels the need to bastardize every recipe her hands touch, but also has to tell you what a 'great job' she did with it...and then condescend you for not making it the 'healthy' way..."
"Like, she was making cauliflower soup the other day and removed all the butter and cream from the recipe and didn’t replace it with anything. She was like, 'butter is so unhealthy, I don’t understand why this always calls for it. I don’t get how people like you always blindly follow these recipes!"
"She was in charge of the pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving and she didn’t put any sugar in it, explaining that 'pumpkin is naturally so sweet already' and she 'couldn’t bear to eat it with any added sugar.'"
"I would’ve been fine if she’d swapped the butter with yogurt, sugar with stevia, mayo with avocado, or whatever else...but to always remove entire parts of the recipe as though they’re gratuitous and then condescend others about it is ultimate cringe, IMHO."
3. "My brother-in-law adds the Kraft mac 'n' cheese powder mix to the boiling water...before cooking the macaroni."
4. "When I lived with my ex and his mother, I discovered that they believed bacteria couldn't get through the 'seal' of the oven...They would make a batch of fried chicken and store it in the cold oven for days at a time — otherwise, the fridge would just 'make it soggy.'"
5. "My wife invited a friend over for taco night and offered to take care of the ground beef. She kept adding *water* to 'rinse off' the fat from the burger in an effort to make sure it was completely greaseless."
6. "Our sort-of-controversial uncle moved back to the area in his late 60s. He doesn't really get along with his siblings, so I took him grocery shopping every week and helped him with his yard work. He always thanked me by cooking dinner..."
"The second time he made me dinner, he picked up the bowl of used marinade and dumped it all over the freshly-baked pork chops, exclaiming "THE GRAVY IS THE BEST PART!" I did not eat the pork chops. Since then, I cook dinner and let him buy the beer."
7. "My Nana came to visit us when I was about 10, just after the birth of my sister. My mom was getting home late, but she planned ahead for a comfort food meal — tunafish casserole — and left it to my Nana to prep..."
"It was my favorite food as a kid and I loved helping Mom make it: crushed potato chips pressed into a buttered casserole dish, layered with tuna, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, and topped off with a layer of chips before baking until golden and bubbly. Perfectly easy dish for little kids to help with...but not this time, apparently..."
Nana used to make this dish a lot, too, but did things totally differently this time: She took a large bowl, mixed all the ingredients together (without draining the tuna or mushrooms), microwaved it for five minutes, and scooped out my portion. When I said she made it wrong and it didn't taste right, she called me a 'selfish, ungrateful brat' and yelled that I would 'sit at the table all night until the bowl was empty...'"
"When my mom finally got home, she yelled at Nana for intentionally messing up the meal and forcing me to eat it. Nana tried to say that's how she remembered making it, but we all knew she was lying."
8. "In-laws heard that you need to put sugar in tomato sauce to cut the acidity. (To be clear: This is something you should do to homemade sauce...)"
"After putting Ragú or Prego on their pasta — already full of high fructose corn syrup — they would sprinkle sugar over it at the table like you would grated cheese."
9. "A colleague brought everyone in my office a small loaf of homemade bread as a holiday gift. I went over to his desk to personally thank him, and all he talked about was how clean his family's nails were AFTER making it...?!"
10. "My wife was making a breakfast egg bake one morning, and the recipe called for some milk. We were fresh out, so what did she use instead? French. Vanilla. Coffee creamer. The kitchen smelled like vanilla eggs for hours."
11. "I can't stand it when people wash raw meat in the sink. It's dangerous! They always tell me their 'ancestors did it' and they trusted them...never mind the fact that their grandparents also used lead paint and didn't wear seatbelts."
12. "My father-in-law fries chicken by dipping each piece into flour, without any seasoning, lowering it straight into an inch of cold oil in a nonstick pan, and covering it. This results in soggy, oily chicken on one side and steamed chicken without breading on the other...because he only flips it at the very end."
13. "When I was very young, I went to a former girlfriend's home for dinner for the first time — five brothers and sisters, her mom, and me around the table. Everyone had a glass of milk to drink, and after dinner, her mom poured everyone's half-drunk milk back into the milk carton."
14. "I used to be a pasta chef at a restaurant, where we hired a new sous chef (who I suspected had embellished a bit on his resume). We put him on sauté that night so I could watch him, and we got an order for a whole chicken..."
"When the time came for him to turn it over to the 'presentation' side, he grabbed the pan handle with BOTH hands, and flipped the entire chicken over in the air. He covered me, the line cook, executive chef, himself, and most of the line in burning-hot oil. He called out the next day because it was raining and he 'didn't have a closed sunroof,' and never showed up again.
15. "My ex-wife was perfectly fine with leaving pizza out on the counter for days...as long as it was still in the box. She used the microwave in a similar way, thinking that somehow it was insulated and would hold the food warm. I’m shocked that people don’t end up giving themselves food poisoning more often."
16. "To prep chicken for the grill, my future father-in-law microwaves it first."
17. "My mom doesn't preheat the oven. She'll put trays of cookies in immediately and have absolutely no insight into why the first batch of cookies always comes out weird."
18. "My dad never put an ounce of seasoning on anything. Not even salt. Not even oil. Do you know how sad it is to eat tacos when those tacos contain ground beef that was 'browned' without oil, with not even a pinch of salt added?"
19. "My friend's co-worker kept bragging about how great her seafood enchiladas were, and eventually the co-worker invited her over for dinner. When she arrived, the co-worker happily showed off her enchilada recipe..."
"She would buy fried fish strips from Long John Silver's, wrap them in flour tortillas, drown them in quarts of tartar sauce, and then bake the whole thing into a warm pile of grey sludge."
20. "My mom whole-heartedly believed that salt would kill you and refused to use it. Black pepper was the spiciest thing on the planet — she wouldn't even keep it in the house. Both her kids became trained chefs for a reason...it never dawned on her why."
21. "My father had 'the flu and a bad stomach' a lot as a kid. As he grew older, he realized my grandmother didn't understand safe food handling at all — she'd put cooked meat back into the original, unwashed container, and she never rinsed raw meat off of cutting boards before making salads."
22. "An ex of mine had a habit of always using a meat thermometer. But, he always read the Celsius temperatures instead of Fahrenheit and was confused why it took literal hours for his chicken to reach 165º."
23. "I went to a popular franchise bar in Korea where you have to order one food item for the table. We got the $9 'Zesty Nachos.' These nachos were made like the chef saw a low-res picture of nachos once, decades ago, and decided to use ingredients that looked like what they saw..."
"It was literally a pile of 20 corn chips topped with a mixture of strawberry jelly, olives, and ketchup drizzled on top. Nested in the ketchup were dozens of the classic nacho ingredient...raisins. I'm assuming they saw beans in a picture and mistook them for raisins?"
24. "I went to someone’s house for a cookout and I brought some marinated chicken for the host to grill. The host cooked the chicken, took it off the grill, and put it back in the same container that hadn’t moved or been washed since taking the raw chicken out."
25. "My friend used to make steaks in a pan with butter and orange soda. Oddly enough, it tasted fine. But WHY?"
26. "My friend would taste raw pieces of chicken because she was 'already hungry'. Somehow, she never got sick. We're in Europe and food regulations are pretty good, but I'm pretty sure you can still Salmonella the eff out of yourself doing that."
27. "A former roommate of mine loved to make a 'vegetarian chili' once a week. It consisted of various canned ingredients, a half cup of Valentina hot sauce, and the dried beans just boiled away in the 'broth.' The cringe part? He never washed the dry beans, just poured them straight from the bag, dust and all..."
"Weeks later, I wasn't surprised when he had an emergency dentist appointment after biting down on a STONE in his chili."
28. "Years ago, a new roommate wanted to make dinner for the house. He placed three cold, unseasoned chicken breasts into my perfectly-seasoned cast-iron skillet, poured two cans of PBR over it, and brought it to a boil.".
"After, this roommate washed my pride and joy skillet by soaking it for an entire day in soapy water while I was at work."
29. "I was making lasagna at a friend's house. I realized the only lasagna pan he had was being used as a litter box. He fucking washed it out with a little soap and then proceeded to start layering."
30. "A buddy of mine adds beer to EVERYTHING while cooking. It all started with cheddar and beer soup...really damn good! Now, his 'secret trick' is pouring Natty Ice on everything he cooks, straight out of the can he's already sipped from."
"Burgers on the grill? Reheating a day-old taco? BEER! The worst part is that he'll do this even if I'm cooking and he's over. I've caught him pouring beer into my food, in my house, then sticking his hand into the pot to taste it."
Have you ever witnessed people doing reaaaally questionable things in the kitchen? TBH, you probably have. Let us know about in the comments — and remember to cook chicken to 165ºF. 🍳
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.