Any bbq gone wrong stories out there?

I see a lot of success stories, but I am hoping there are some interesting stories out there where the results were not what you hoped for.

Ever have a hungry group waiting that you were unable to serve?

I am going to try the renowned Mr Brown this weekend, to be served Saturday afternoon. I will try to get some pictures.
As for my own stories,

I generally underestimate cooking time, and nearly always add hot coals in before I remember to check for the charcoal ring.

My WSM collected a good amount of dust this summer I am afraid to admit.
my first bbq one was when i bought a ecb and tried to do a turkey for thanksgiving. this was over 15 years ago. i tried to get the temp up over 275 but couldn't and it seemed that it was taking forever. so we finally gave up and put the turkey in the oven. we ate late. course i've learned a lot since and now know that things were actually the way they should have been. the ecb has since turned out great grub.
When I just started to think that i was getting good at this BBQ thing, I decided to wrap some butts with a plastic wrap. I took the lid off later and the pork had a funny yellow color and I thought to myself, "where did the wrap go".

We ordered pizza.
You must not have been at my house the first couple of times I smoked ribs and brisket. Talk about weapons of mass destruction. Wow, they were horrid. Undercooked, until I sort of got the hang of it. I was being fooled by the way the outside looked. I was testing for tender, but just didn't have the knack until it all started to come together.
I think the best one for me was when I first got the kettle. I hadn't done much cooking at that time.

I got myself a pork tenderloin and followed a recipe from some book so diligently. Knowing nothing of food safety I kept temping the tenderloin waiting for it to come to the temp it said in the book.

Looking at it it appeared to be burning to a crisp but being the slow fellow I am I just let it go, I mean it said to let it go to 160 degrees, why wouldn't I do that.......Well that would be 160 degrees farenheit not celsius, made one heck of a baseball bat though!

Runaway Temps!!
I've cooked many butts on my wsm past couple years. Planned one for yesterday. Wednesday,
purchased an 8 lber for T day. Used the same procedure as usual, full ring of K. Minion start
at 11 pm wed night. Put probably 15 coals on to start the cook. temps climbed, started turning vents off at around 200 kept climbing. Put the butt on around 225. I was using the ET-73 remote therm., temp continued to climb beyond 275, 285, 290, i had completely closed all vents. By now its about 1 am. temps above 300.
I decided to retire to bed and have a "high heat
butt". At 4:20 am the alarm went off on the ET;
BUtt at 190 food temp! thats about 4and half hours for an 8 lber!!. Turned out dry and kinda tough! No one much ate it, but did not comment.
I had cooked a nice turkey breast on the otg.
Got some good comments on that.
Do not know exactly what happened.
Too many coals to start?
Bad air leaks someplace?
I've never had this happen to me before!!
those are all super funny stories.
I smoked ribs on my kettle the first time and they were great. i saw ribs on sale and bought a BUNCH. from there i conned my wife into letting me buy a smoker to cook all these ribs. i bought a cabinet style charcoal smoker. the therm said it was up to temp. the ribs cooked for hours and hours the kids were hungry and crabbing. i pulled the ribs off and they were way under cooked and the charcoal was choking in ash. we had corn and mashed potatoes for dinner. it took all summer until i was allowed to do ribs on the smoker again.
Well I know Larry R will remember this one. We had a BBQ bash at the house we used to live at in Fresno, and Larry had his family along with some other friends came over to grill and swim. We were planning on chicken and then doing some hot dogs for the kids. I had planned to do chicken thighs wrapped in bacon. Larry and I had started our consumption of adult beverages rather early and often that Saturday afternoon, and I should have known better but no not me. I had the coals way too hot and too close to the grilling grates and the bacon drippings caught fire, so we did not have bacon wrapped thighs any longer although we did manage to salvage the chicken. Then the kids started getting a little cranky as they were hungry from all of the swimming and playing so they said "please cook some hot dogs for us. Sure, hot dogs are easy aren't they? Apparently not for me as I managed to burn the heck out of them as well. Needless to say the kids begged for Larry to grill the dogs as they were pretty hungry and I was pretty, well I'll put it this way, I was not feeling any pain, at least not until the following day.
I'm still a bit of a newbie, but earlier this summer, I had done my first brisket, a midnight brisket. I got up at 3 am to check the wsm, pulled on some clothes and a bit bleary-eyed, stumbled out the back door, flashlight in hand. The waterpan looked a little low, so I took the top off the smoker and carefully, with flashlight in teeth, removed the top grate with the brisket on top. I poured one pot-full of water into the waterpan and carefully picked up the grate to put it back in the smoker. The grated slipped in my hand and the brisket began to slide... I managed to grab it, but not before 1/2 of it broke off and splattered onto the concrete walk. I tossed the destroyed half into the bushes and set the rest back in place on the smoker as best I could. I was so aggravated with myself that I couldn’t fall back asleep. When I took the finished brisket off early that morning, it was a bit dry (and small!) but not too bad. I'll never make that mistake again!
About 10 years ago we went rented a large Houseboat with 3 other couples and did Thanksgiving on the Delta. I brought along a kettle to Q the bird on. Every thing was going according to plan until the "Captain" (Retired Navy) decided it was time to way anchor and relocate to a calmer cove do to the weather forcast. Unfortunatly he did not notifiy andbody else of his plans and when he gunned the engine it sent the Kettle into the water along with the Turkey. Now we all look back on that day and laugh about it, but back then we almost mutinied and made him "Walk the plank". For the rest of the weekend he was not allowed near the bridge.
P.S. He did replace my Kettle and he still remains a good friend.
July 4th, 2001.
After the Town of Raymond parade (approx. 3pm).
About ten adults and a few kids here.
Had brats, dogs and burgers on two Weber kettles.
Went inside to refill beers.
Kids running around playing with the dogs.


yup, someone ran into one grill, knocked it over and the dogs attacked what fell to the ground. Burgers and brats gone in nanoseconds.

Everyone seemed happy eating Oscar Meyer's Hot Dogs and drinking beers and bottles of wine.

No one was hurt, although, I have a lasting impression in my asphalt driveway from the hot coals and if I remember correctly, the neighbors dog burnt her foot and singe some fur from wiping out on the hot charcoal.
I typically empty my ash into the plastic green-waste can that our waste management company in my area provides as a method of disposing of grass clippings, leaves and tree trimmings. It is similar in size and design to the garbage can and recycle can that sit beside it on the side of my house. I feel it is okay to dump the cold ash into this can because I use all natural charcoal. I usually wait until the next day to insure that the ash is cold but on this particular Sunday evening I felt that I had waited long enough from my mid-day cook and I wanted to end the weekend with a clean backyard so I went ahead and emptied my ash into the plastic green-waste can. A couple of hours later I stepped out into my garage to throw away some trash when a strong smell of smoke came over me. I opened my garage door to see nothing but a thick cloud of smoke. Wading thru the smoke I discovered my green-waste can had caught on fire and had melted down to a glob of goo. As flames raged several feet into the air nearing my roof eve and riding up the stucco siding of my house I emptied my fire extinguisher into the melted can. This did little as the dried leaves and grass were completely engulfed in flames. I grabbed the garden hose and with the water faucet turned on full I proceeded to dump gallon after gallon of water on the fire. While doing this I was lost in the cloud of smoke and could not even see where I was spraying but I continued until I was sure it was out. To my surprise no one in the neighborhood was outside to see the near disaster my stupidly almost caused nor did a single car drive down the street. This was good because as I stepped out of the cloud and walked toward the street to catch some air I could see the smoke filling the street and removing any ability for a driver to see his or her way down the entire block. I was so grateful for the quiet night because I did not want to explain to the fire department, should someone had called them, why my green-waste can was burn to a crisp and my house nearly the same

P.S. I added this picture of the burnt can.
This year I thought I had a great idea of putting an old rectangular cake pan under the turkey to catch the drippings....they ended up burning (not enough drippings or I should have suspended some al. foil in the pan or put some water in the pan)...gave the turkey a slightly burned aroma...still good and likely I was the only one who could tell....won't do that again.

Years ago I also caught a trash can on fire as Steve did (24 hours after the cook!), but not nearly to the disaster he experienced....lesson...always wait 2 days.
Over the summer I had a flat in the WSM. The temp was stable at 250 so I figured I'd take a nap....To make it short. When I woke up and went to check the temp, I found the **** door to the smoker lying on the ground and the temp around 350. Then I had a melt
Good stories, especially yours Steve. I don't have anything nearly as cool, but I'll be darned if I don't keep trying.
My wife keeps wanting to tell my story when we are with friends but I have managed to keep her silent. Oh the embarassment.
Went to start my turkey on wsm yesterday - everything cleaned and ready to go. Turkey? Check. Charcoal? Check. Chimney? Check. Alright, light them up and lets get star... Where is my charcoal grate? I looked everywhere for 45 minutes and one of two things happened: it went on strike and walked off the job or the guys who put up my new fence in the backyard over the summer decided they needed it more than me.

So started the cook late and had to use the bottom cooking grate as the charcoal grate. Little too close to the water pan and tough to bring to temperature and maintaining. All and all the turkey eventually came out and everybody happy.

No, I won't recommend the fence company I used.