Your Biggest Failure...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by shelton573, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. shelton573

    shelton573 Meat Mopper

    I think this is the right place to post this so here goes.  I typically read a lot of success stories and I am in no way trying to brag but I have had quite a few myself and can say a lot of them came from advice here.  I thought it might be fun to hear about your biggest epic failure.  Ones where you couldn't stand the taste, looked awful, dog wouldn't eat it type things.

    My biggest failure to date would have to be when I found a 12 lb pork loin on sale so I snatched it up.  I cut a 3 lb chunk off to put in the crockpot to make parmesan honey loin.  I called the neighbors and told them I was gonna smoke a 9 lb loin if they wanted to eat so they made up hash brown casserole, corn, fries and some other veg and we invited some folks over.  So it was time to prep the is where things went bad.  I had recently had some pork butts injected with Chris Lilley's comp injection so I thought what the heck, I will try it here.  My brother who very successfully does BBQ competitions with his buddy told me it would be a bad idea but I didn't listen.  Apparently the salt content did not react well with the meat.  The Worcestershire sauce in the injection put nasty looking black streaks through the meat.  It was so tough that when it was sliced about 3/8" thin, you could not pull it apart by hand, you had to use a knife and even then it was a chore...not to mention it tasted terrible.  So with a crowd of hungry folks, I made the decision to dump that 9# turd in the trash can and went and bought a bunch of brats and hotdogs that saved the day. It was a disaster!

    Feel free to share your worst moment if you want to!  Pics make it better as always!

  2. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I don't have any pics but back in the day say 5 years ago when i used match-light and had absolutely no idea what i was doing....

    I bought what i thought was a high dollar smoker ( char-broil for 160 bucks...little did i know) and i thought i can smoke food as long as i want get all the flavor and you cant possibly burn it... so i smoked some chicken quarters like 6 1/2 hours. just absolutely destroyed them

    Nasty food. back in my beginning days of match light i ruined a lot of food

     i will probably grow a thrid arm from all the chemicals of match light ha!....

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  3. I haven't been smoking that long, but I overcooked and dried a 4 lb. fresh ham roast. I wish I could do that over with what I know now.
  4. shelton573

    shelton573 Meat Mopper

    I'd say there are some things swimming around in your blood stream from that stuff haha.
    I wish I could say my disaster was from my early years but sadly it was not....It was actually this spring so don't feel bad hah

  5. beefy bill

    beefy bill Meat Mopper

    Brisket and a pork butt...both undercooked, before I joined this site and bought a maverick...tried by time and smoker gage...not even close..
  6. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    many years ago I grossly overloaded my smoker with waaay to many slabs of ribs , as the meat warmed up and the grease began to cook out , it started a grease fire

    that melted the nylon door hinges , door gasket , melted the control knob and screwed up the control valve not to mention burning the ribs to bacon crisp

    damn near set the building on fire before I could get it under control
  7. I got started smoking whole small pigs (100-120 lbs dressed) with a kit a friend taught me.  Build a large box out of 2x4's, line the inside with the housing insulation sheets that are foil lined, make a spit and spit the pig, offset charcoal on a raised large diamond cut steel sheet (raised on bricks).  This "box" oven works great and I have cooked 20-30 pigs to date using this method.

    But, back when I first started out, on my second try, I had gotten over confident in the whole method.

    We had an end of summer BBQ, invited about 70 people.  I was cooking a pig and a lamb (I thought lamb would be a nice option for anyone who did not want pork)with two of these box ovens.

    Three hours before everyone started arriving, it happened.  What I did not know then, is that the foil lined insulation sheets work fine with heat, but an open flame on them is a problem.  I was not paying attention, and a fat flare-up started in a corner.  The flames from the burning fat were up against the side of my box oven.  In a few minutes, I have a 20-foot high bonfire!  Having nothing prepared to put it out, I run back to the house, grab a hose, by the time I get the hose to the fire, the insulation is burned up, and the pig and the wood frame are starting to set the nearby trees on fire.  As I put out the fire, I watched the frame burn through and collapse - putting my extra crispy pig down into the mess of ash, melted insulation, etc.

    The lamb was OK, but it was only about 40 lbs - nowhere enough to feed the crowd.  The wife ran out and bought a ton of burger meat and hot dogs, while I cleaned up the mess.

    Now-a-days, I have a metal sprayer with a long metal wand, full of water, and knock down the fat flare-ups as soon as they happen.  I've cooked a whole bunch of pigs since then with no problems.

    Oh yeah - almost forgot to mention that we had a doberman at the time.  The dressed lamb on the spit looked so much like our doberman, that my son and wife refused to eat it, and several guests asked if it was dog.  I never cooked another whole lamb after that.
  8. cal1956

    cal1956 Smoking Fanatic

    its fun to read some of our horror stories
  9. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My first smoker was a cheapie Char Broil horizontal. Leaked smoke & heat like a sieve. So I read up on modifications, and spent quite a lot of time & money making all the necessary mods to make it work right. Put in ceramic bricks for heat retention, plugged all the holes with screws and washers, made a baffle with sheet metal, and tuning plates of metal cookie sheets with different sized holes drilled in them.

    When it was done, I decided to test it out on a couple of pork butts. Everything seemed fine, until I saw plumes of thick, acrid, white smoke coming from the chimney. Yep, in my haste for 'Que, I had forgotten to re-season it, so I got about 18 lbs of meat with a nice, metallic tang added. I almost cried when it all went into the trash can. 

  10. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My biggest mistake was starting smoking with a $900 gas grill! Thought it would be easier than charcoal. The taste was good and started reading here about the WSM and bought one now the gasser cleans grill grates for the smoker,sears and quick burgers and dogs. At least it looks nice!
  11. shelton573

    shelton573 Meat Mopper

    I think you are "winning" so far hahah!  That sucks to hear but you learned from your mistakes!

    Thanks for all the stories so far folks!  Keep em coming!

  12. My biggest cooking failure, (not smoke related), was when I first started dating my future wife. I wanted to impress her with my culinary skills so I decided to purchase the biggest scallops I could find. They were 6 count local fresh Digby scallops. I was at her apartment and so I bacon wrapped them and secured them with toothpicks I found in her cupboard. Cooking them in her oven till they were perfectly done as she came home from work. When I took them out of the oven I noticed that they smelled a little different but when we sat down with a glass of wine to eat them the truth came out.

    Only when we tasted them did I realize that the toothpicks were mint flavoured and that the mint flavour went through the whole scallop. Bacon, mint, and scallop is not a good combination.

    The wine must have helped as she stuck with me, as that was over 23 years ago.
  13. shelton573

    shelton573 Meat Mopper

    I bet that sure will ruin some good eating hah!

  14. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Like Shelton, my worst result was somewhat recent. I was having some folks over and had never cooked beef ribs. So, I got some from the butcher and they were HUGE. I trimmed them and rubbed with EVOO and a good coating of SPOG. They were in the smoker at 275* for about 5 hours. The color and bark were great. However, they weren't anywhere near being fully done. The fat had not rendered out and the meat was about medium rare. I would like to try some more, but they will be a whole lot smaller.
  15. Ive made some ribs that werent very good but still edible, never made a bad butt yet, done pretty well with 2 fatties ive done, made a overcooked tenderloins a few times, but by far the worst are chicken wings. I dont know why i cant get it down but usually theyre way too bitter, most likely from too much smoke. Plus i before i was never able to get the smoker temp higher than 250 but with some mods i can now, but havent tried wings since the mods.
  16. shelton573

    shelton573 Meat Mopper

    I assume they are not like when cooked medium rare?  Hahah  Never cooked or even ate beef ribs.  Hope to give it a try one day.
    What type of wood do you use with them?  We are having a party tomorrow and doing pork butts and thought about doing some of Jeffs wings and I have never smoked wings.  I am prolly going to run the smoker at 275-300.

  17. The first time i did mostly cherry with a little bit of hickory, and the second time just cherry. But both times i believe it got too much smoker which caused the bitterness. Try not to add the smoke to the chicken for too long
  18. shelton573

    shelton573 Meat Mopper

    Whenever I do chicken legs I run the smoker at 300-325 and drop a fist size chunk of hickory on the coals right as I put the chicken on and it usually takes about 1.25 hrs and I have had a couple times that it was over smoked but never bitter. I assume the wings will take smoke faster so I will try to just have them in smoke for about 15-20 min or so I reckon.


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