The Most Difficult Dishes To Cook (According to The Internet)

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Home cooks revealed the most difficult dishes to master, with some surprising results.

In the last 12 months, a whopping 800,000 of you visited the Gousto blog! Giving you the confidence to cook with ease is why we’re here, so we are over the moon.

And we thought it would be fun to find out which dishes home cooks fear the most – and Reddit seemed like a great way to find out.

Then, because cooking should never be scary, I asked Gousto’s chefs to show us how to make these difficult dishes as easy as pie.

Revealed: The UK’s 10 Most Difficult Dishes to Master

We scoured subreddits to find the dishes that home cooks were panicking about the most on Reddit, then we asked Google to tell us how many home cooks search for these each month. This revealed the 10 most popular dishes, and which part of the UK is searching for them the most often.

The UK's most testing dishes

  1. Pancakes – 110,000 searches per month
  2. Ramen – 49,500
  3. Omelette – 40,500
  4. Rice – 27,100
  5. Yorkshire Puddings – 27,100
  6. Steak – 18,100
  7. Poached Eggs – 14,800
  8. Bread – 12,100
  9. Guacamole – 9,900
  10. Boiled Eggs – 9,600

On the surface, these dishes don’t seem that hard (boiling an egg?!) But it seems us Brits take a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach to cooking, as we’re still asking Google how to make these dishes over 300,000 times a month!

Home Cooks in the US Reveal their 10 Most Difficult Dishes

According to Google, home cooks from the US and Australia aren’t too different from us after all, as omelettes, rice, steak and guacamole all rank in their top 10, too.

  1. Rice – 90,500 searches per month
  2. Macarons – 90,500
  3. Salmon – 90,500
  4. Pancakes – 60,500
  5. Omelette – 60,500
  6. Steak – 49,500
  7. Poached Eggs – 49,500
  8. Guacamole – 40,500
  9. Pork Chops – 40,500
  10. Hash Browns – 22,200

Australian Home Cooks Reveal their Trickiest Dish

  1. Pancakes – 22,200 searches per month
  2. Rice – 14,800
  3. Poached Eggs – 9,900
  4. Macarons – 9,900
  5. Salmon – 8,100
  6. Omelette – 6,600
  7. Steak – 5,400
  8. Guacamole – 4,400
  9. Bread – 3,600
  10. Pork Chops – 2,900

Savoury vs Sweet: Which dishes are the most difficult to perfect?

Out of the 31 dishes featured in the study, savoury dishes were the most difficult to master:

  • Sweet Dishes = 27%
  • Savoury Dishes = 72%

Top Five Difficult Sweet Dishes

  1. Pancakes
  2. Macarons
  3. Marshmallows
  4. Cinnamon Rolls
  5. Chocolate Mousse

Most Difficult Savoury Dishes

  1. Bread
  2. Steak
  3. Salmon
  4. Ramen
  5. Rice

Oh Crêpe! Pancakes Revealed as the Most Difficult Dish Overall

With 110,000 searches each month, pancakes top the list of dishes that we find flippin’ difficult! According to Reddit, our most common pancake mistakes are:

  • The first pancake sticking to the pan
  • Burning them
  • Scaling up the recipe

So why are we so bad at preparing the breakfast food we love? Our chefs at Gousto tells us why, and how to make the perfect pancake stack instead:

“Try to make your batter ahead of time and leave it to settle in the fridge overnight. This will give better results when frying and gives you perfectly flippable pancakes!”

Did you know: 

In the last twelve months, over 32,000 of you used our fluffy pancake recipe to achieve your perfect pancake stack!

No More Mr. Rice Guy

Did you know that rice is the oldest known food that is still widely consumed today? It was first eaten in China over 5,000 years ago and humans have eaten rice since we first lived in houses.

According to Reddit, these are some of the most common problems encountered when cooking rice:

  • Incorrect water : rice ratio
  • The rice is too sticky
  • The grains clumped together

Rice has been around for a while. So why is it still so hard to get right?

Whether you’re looking for perfectly cooked brown or sticky Thai rice, we’ve asked our food development chefs to give us tips on cooking perfect rice:

“Cooking with the absorption method always gives you the best results but be mindful of how much water you are adding. The more water you add the softer and stickier the rice will be. Less water results in firmer rice.”

Want a foolproof recipe for Japanese sushi rice? Look no further than our fluffy rice recipe here.

Around the World in 10 Difficult Dishes

What are the most popular cooking questions from around the world?

The World's Most Testing Dishes

  1. How to make pancakes – New Zealand
  2. How to cook rice – Singapore
  3. How to make an omelette – Ireland
  4. How to make macarons – Singapore
  5. How to cook salmon – Canada
  6. How to cook steak – USA
  7. How to poach an egg – United Kingdom
  8. How to make ramen – USA
  9. How to make guacamole – Ireland
  10. How to cook pork chops – USA

Haute Cuisine: French Dishes That Strike Fear Into the Hearts of British Cooks

Many of the dishes on the UK’s list could be considered French – a third in fact. Compared to the UK, the US and the rest of the world, we Brits find French dishes the scariest.

French = 13 dishes
American = 6 dishes
English = 6 dishes
Italian = 2 dishes
Chinese = 1 dish
Scottish = 1 dish
Mexican = 1 dish
Japanese = 1 dish

Most difficult French dishes:

  1. Macarons
  2. Hollandaise sauce
  3. Cassoulet
  4. Chocolate Mousse
  5. Choux Pastry

A Feast for the Eyes – The Most Difficult Dishes On Instagram

Using hashtag data, we also decided to take to the ‘gram and see which ten dishes are posted to the grid most frequently.

Instagram's most difficult dishes to cook

  1. #bread – 12,395,287
  2. #steak – 11,594,628
  3. #pancakes – 10,176,086
  4. #salmon – 9,234,370
  5. #ramen – 8,427,144
  6. #rice – 8,154,340
  7. #macarons – 5,773,817
  8. #fries – 5,445,428
  9. #friedchicken – 2,520,698
  10. #guacamole – 2,225,336

Bread tops the list as the most Instagrammed difficult dish, followed by steak, pancakes and salmon. Once home cooks master them, they really want to show off about it! In total, these difficult dishes account for over 86 million images on Instagram.

The 5 Most Sought After Skills in the KitchenHow we did it

We compared information from threads on Reddit where home cooks talked in detail about the dishes they struggle with most. The ones they talked about most often were compared with Google search data in the US, Australia and the UK.

Reddit Threads Used  


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