Surprising Thanksgiving dinner disaster stories that can happen in any kitchen

1965: An American family admire a turkey their mother is bringing to the table. A small Christmas tree with presents is in the background. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
1965: An American family admire a turkey their mother is bringing to the table. A small Christmas tree with presents is in the background. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) /

Thanksgiving dinner disaster stories will make you feel better about your holiday cooking.

Even during the most festive occasions, Thanksgiving dinner disaster stories can make home cooks both laugh and cry. While no one wants to see all that cooking go to food waste, those outrageous moments might be the laughter that everyone needs this holiday season. Don’t we all need a good laugh right now?

Movie scenes have shown those epic failures. From Christmas movies like A Christmas Story where the turkey gets demolished to Christmas Vacation where the table is served turkey jerky, everyone laughs at the failure. Sometimes those fictional moments are based on a little bit of truth.

Although many people might not want to admit to the cooking error, it can happen. Many families have those stories that get told every holiday season. Those Thanksgiving dinner disaster stories have now become part of the family holiday dinner tradition. Starting with, remember when, then the chuckle at someone else’s expense is always a fun time.

Since many people have had Thanksgiving dinner disaster stories. I asked a few of FoodSided’s recent interviews and FoodSided contributors if they had any Thanksgiving disaster stories to share. To kick off the sharing, I’m even willing to tell my own disaster story. And, if you are cooking this holiday season, it is a lesson to heed in the kitchen.

When I first hosted my husband’s family for Thanksgiving dinner, I was hoping for a great event. Everyone was gathering in the kitchen and trying to be helpful. Unfortunately, that old phrase about too many hands can spoil a dish turned into a reality.

As I was making gravy, my sister-in-law went to turn on another burner on the gas stove. In a flash, I was on fire. While I don’t think that she meant to set me ablaze, the smell of burnt hair at the Thanksgiving table was a little off putting. Yes, I am still part of the family, I have learned to wear a better apron, tie my hair up in the kitchen and never cook with my sister-in-law again.

With a similar family story, Julie Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best shared a story about her family Thanksgiving. She mentioned that the first time that she hosted Thanksgiving dinner, she asked her mother-in-law for her turkey recipe. Looking to do her mother-in-law proud, she carefully followed the recipe. Unfortunately, cooking the turkey overnight was a poor choice and the turkey looked like a scene from a bad movie. While her mother-in-law never admitted to giving her the cooking advice, it seems that there were some miscommunications in that recipe conversation.

Even our contributor Becky Ellis had an issue with cooking her goose. As she mentioned in her post, the grand idea of the perfectly cooked goose did not happen. For her, that goose was cooked in more ways than one.

Although over-cooking can be an issue, a common mistake is forgetting to thaw the turkey. For Brooke Williamson, the Top Chef learned an important lesson in college. She mentioned that she wanted to cook for her friends, but she didn’t plan ahead. The unthawed turkey meant a dinner at midnight. And, she even forgot to take out the giblets and neck that is stuffed in the turkey. Even Top Chefs have made a mistake or two in their cooking careers.

For Frankie Celenza of Struggle Meals, he shared a funny story about cooking with his mom. One year this family smoked a turkey. As they started to cut the bird, something seemed strange. It seemed that they cooked the turkey breast side down. Unfortunately, that meant a less than moist bird arrived on the table.

While cooking techniques often cause issues, seasoning can be a problem too. Cody Schultz, FanSided’s Director of Entertainment shared a story about his mom. One year, his mom was seasoning the turkey and a little salt turned into too much salt, the whole salt shaker. While they were able to clean off most of the salt, it was plenty seasoned.

When it comes to seasoning, some choices are not the best. Awkwafina commented that she has soaped a bird before. While you don’t want to have items left in the cavity, putting soap on a bird is never a good idea. There is a reason by soap is not a flavor.

These Thanksgiving disaster stories might make you laugh, cry or just feel better about your own cooking. While everyone might obsess about the Thanksgiving food, the time around the table with the important people in your life is reason to celebrate. Take a moment to be grateful for that time together, even if the turkey is dry.

Related Story. Andrew Zimmern shares why holidays should focus on gratitude. light

What is your worst Thanksgiving disaster story?