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Kitchen Catastrophes: The Cooking Failures Quiz
by Staff
We've all had miserable cooking failures at one time or another. See how you stack up when it comes to some of the most common mistakes by taking this quiz!

When sauteing chicken, what can prevent it from properly browning?

  • making a roux
  • overcrowding the pan
  • adding too much seasoning

What's a likely reason pasta would end up mushy?

  • The pasta wasn't broken.
  • The pot is too small.
  • There's not enough salt in the water.

What can make ground beef dry out while cooking?

  • cooking in a cast iron skillet
  • too low temperature
  • using too lean beef

What makes a pie crust doughy and chewy instead of flaky and crispy?

  • overworking the dough
  • yeast
  • too much butter

When sauteing meats and vegetables, should you start with a hot pan or cold pan?

  • hot
  • cold

When searing steak, what causes the inside to be done at the same time as the outside, with very little browning?

  • It's too thick.
  • There's not enough oil.
  • The temperature is too low.

True or false: You should always add garlic at the beginning of the sauteing process.

  • true
  • false

True or false: It's best to use low heat when frying food with breading.

  • true
  • false

Why should you not toss freshly cooked pasta in oil?

  • It makes the noodles stick together.
  • The oil will solidify when the pasta chills.
  • Pasta sauce won't stick to the noodles.

Why might your pizza be soggy?

  • The oven wasn't hot enough.
  • You didn't use enough sauce.
  • You used too much cheese.

Should your eggs and dairy products be cold or at room temperature when baking?

  • cold
  • room temperature

Why would juices run out of meat when you slice it?

  • You didn't let it rest.
  • Your knife is too sharp.
  • It's undercooked.

True or false: When a recipe calls for a dish to simmer for two hours, you can boil it instead in less time and achieve the same end results.

  • true
  • false

True or false: It's fine to use a liquid measuring cup to measure dry ingredients like flour.

  • true
  • false

Why would you end up with melted chocolate that looks grainy, separated or scorched rather than chocolate with a smooth, creamy consistency?

  • It was overheated.
  • It was melted in the microwave.
  • It was melted in a nonstick saucepan.

What's a common reason why cookies spread too much when baked?

  • oversoftened butter
  • overmixed dough
  • too high heat

Why do cakes often end up falling flat?

  • The oven door is opened too much.
  • The oven temperature is too high.
  • There is too much sugar in the recipe.

What's a likely cause of tough biscuits?

  • overworking the dough
  • not enough butter
  • not enough baking soda

True or false: Always use cold egg whites when whipping them for leavening.

  • true
  • false

What causes a cheesecake to crack while baking?

  • overbeating the cream-cheese mixture or eggs
  • low-fat cream cheese
  • not baking in water bath

What reasons can cause a tough burger off the grill?

  • flare ups
  • using lighter fluid
  • mixing the meat too thoroughly

How long should you caramelize onions?

  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes
  • up to an hour

What are common causes for lumpy gravy?

  • adding broth too quickly into a roux
  • not enough roux
  • used the wrong flour in roux

True or false: Russet potatoes are ideal for making mashed potatoes.

  • true
  • false

Why might meats like flank steak end up chewy rather than tender?

  • too much salt
  • not sliced against the grain
  • heat too high when cooked

True or false: You're more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp knife.

  • true
  • false

True or false: You should avoid tasting your food as you cook.

  • true
  • false

True or false: You should use an oil with a low smoke point when frying food.

  • true
  • false

Why might food you cook on the grill be incinerated?

  • You're cook them too slowly.
  • You cook them too fast.
  • You don't preheat them.

Why might food stick to the grill?

  • The heat is too low.
  • The heat is too high.
  • The grates aren't clean.