Learning how to cook can be complicated, but one amateur chef had a messier experience than most.
The messages started innocuously enough, with the young man asking just how often an oven should be cleaned.
"Pretty much never," wrote Hal; it's recommended to clean your oven every three to six months, depending on use.
"Seriously? I'm cleaning it every time. Its not worth it," responded the 20-year-old. When Hal expressed confusion, his cousin added some more details: "The bottom gets gross and full of blood or grease."
"You're talking about the baking sheet or the actual oven?" Hal texted back.
"Baking sheet? My oven has metal grills on the inside," said his cousin. A few texts later, the truth came to light: The cousin, who had turned down some cooking lessons from his mom before moving out, had been placing meat directly on the oven racks to "grill" it.
"One sec... I need a beer for this," Hal responded.
The post went viral on Twitter, racking up hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets, with hundreds of commentators sharing their own silly cooking mistakes.
Hal told TODAY Food that his cousin was a "fast food connoisseur" and had only started cooking for himself recently in an effort to save money after "having actually bills for the first time."
"Like most moms, his offered to give him cooking lessons, but like most 20 year (old) boys, he informed her that 'That's what the Internet is for,'" Hal said. "As you can see, he didn't spend much time on research, rather leaning on his keen culinary instinct."
While his cousin cleaned the oven without taking a photo, Hal said that the aftermath was described to him as looking "like a crime scene." Luckily, now that he knows just how baking sheets and oven-safe dishes work, he won't be spending much time cleaning his oven in the future.
"Once he learned his error he was quite embarrassed, but he's certainly found the humor in the situation," Hal said. "Frankly, I think he's just relieved not to have to clean the oven tonight."
While the cousin declined to speak with TODAY about his cooking experience, he did say that he would be learning from the pros before attempting another dish.
"I'll be spending way more than an hour talking to my mom now," the 20-year-old wrote in a text message that Hal shared with TODAY. "I'm heading there for a cooking class this weekend."