Crazy food challenges are common place in countless restaurants across the nation.
Restaurant owners challenge patrons to gorge on excessive amounts of food with the promise of rewards if emerging victorious. Finish the meal and prizes like cash, the entire check on the house or a picture on the wall await the “winner.”
Decades ago, the idea of hosting a contest pitting man against morsel tasked with devouring pounds of food for bragging rights would seem downright barbaric. “You’re going to eat 72 ounces of steak? On purpose? To get your photo on a wall?”
The eagerness to defeat food is the new American pastime and crazy food challenges have become the norm. With common folks sitting down to eating challenges every day, we felt it our obligation to arm them with the knowledge needed to tackle the craziest food challenges and come out plump but victorious. We’re not suggesting you try any of these crazy food challenges, but if you do, at least you’ll be prepared.
Here’s a list of the nine hardest food challenges and a few tips on how to beat them.
The 72 ounce Steak Challenge
If you think you’ve got the guts, consume The Big Texan 72-ounce steak along with a buttered bread roll, shrimp cocktail, a baked potato, ranch beans, and side salad and the meal is free. They’ll even wheel you out to your car when you’re finished.
HOW TO BEAT IT: The trick to consuming steak, especially a 72-ounce slab of beef, is to cut the massive meat into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces. Also be sure to eat in order — meat first and carbs (baked potato, roll and beans) last.
The 15 Dozen Club Challenge
Sit down at the Acme Oyster House in New Orleans, Louisiana for this crazy food challenge. All competitors need to do is consume 180 oysters in one sitting. If you’re gunning for number 1, the record holder at Acme Oyster at 645 in one meal. Winner gets a comped meal and a free t-shirt.
HOW TO BEAT IT: The great thing about oysters is they come with their own handy beverage to aid in getting a ton down the throat. Don’t bother with a drink (water is best) and just start shoveling oysters into your mouth. If they’re a smaller size, maybe even skip the chewing to save on time.
The Inferno Bowl Challenge
The Inferno Bowl Challenge sounds like one of the most uninteresting of all the BCS bowl games but this crazy food challenge WILL keep you on a different type of bowl for a while. This 48-ounce soup is made from bhut jolokia, known as the ghost chili and one of the spiciest peppers on the planet. Contestants have just a half hour to down the whole thing. Winner walks away with a grand.
HOW TO BEAT IT: Most competitive eaters will tell people that when it comes to spicy food challenges, the smartest thing to do is just eat. Get through the challenge as fast as possible and find the quickest relief — usually milk or other fat and thick drinks — and try to get your mind off the task at hand. Ask to listen to headphones or watch a TV in proximity to get your mind off the challenge and the pain. Or concentrate on the possibility of walking away with $1K.
The 7-Pound Italian Challenge
Contestants have an hour and half minutes to devour almost every classic Italian dish grandma could create: spaghetti, grilled sausage, lasagna, chicken parmesan, cheese manicotti, cannelloni, garlic bread, vegetable soup, and an apple crisp for dessert. This crazy food challenge has only one rule to win a T-shirt, a comped meal and your photo on the wall of fame — you’re not allowed to leave the table until you’ve cleaned your plate.
HOW TO BEAT IT: Much like the steak challenge, try and eat the meat first and carbs last. Since most of the meal is carbs, try and get the milk-based and heavier foods out of the way.
The Bacon Bomb Challenge
Paddy Long’s in Chicago, Illinois is home to the Bacon Bomb Challenge — five pounds of ground sausage, pork, and beef, all wrapped in a shell of brown sugar bacon. Contestants choose between a side of fries or potato salad and must finish the meal in 45 minutes to get a mugshot on the wall of fame.
HOW TO BEAT IT: Cut the bomb into small pieces, chew, repeat. The incredibly absurd sodium count will leave you feeling dehydrated so drink some water but not too much to bloat.
The Peeps Challenge
Another crazy food challenge that isn’t housed by a physical restaurant, the record is 100 peeps in 2 minutes.
HOW TO BEAT IT: Water. Drink after every mouthful of Peep. The water will help dissolve the sugar and aid in chewing and swallowing.
The Pointersaurus Challenge
The Pointersaurus from Pointer’s Pizza in St. Louis, Missouri involves a 28-inch, ten-pound, two-meat-topping (or four if you’re a vegetarian and only want veggies on the pie) pizza and a $500 reward. Unlike the other competitions, this crazy food challenge allows for two contestants to tackle the massive pizza pie.
HOW TO BEAT IT: Divide and conquer but each person should follow this strategy — eat the entire inside of the pizza first (cheese, sauce and whatever toppings) and save the crusts for last. The interior makes up a huge portion of the pizza so get it over with early.
The Kitchen Sink Challenge
The San Francisco Creamery is home to the Kitchen Sink Challenge — three sliced bananas, eight scoops of ice creams (contestants choice), eight servings of toppings, mounds of whipped cream, chopped toasted almonds and cherries. Eat everything in the kitchen sink and get free ice cream for a year.
HOW TO BEAT IT: Using a warm or hot liquid (coffee or tea) to aid in faster consumption. Try stirring the ice cream up so it’s not as hard, or hard to consume.
The One Gallon Challenge
The first crazy food challenge that doesn’t involve a restaurant, the gallon challenge is simple — one hour to chug a gallon of whole milk without throwing up. Milk does a body good but probably not in such large quantities.
HOW TO BEAT IT: First let’s say that drinking a gallon of anything in an hour can be hazardous. Unless you’re Kobayashi. The best way to beat it not to attempt it, but if you must, attempt on an empty stomach and don’t attempt it all in one massive chug. Unless you’re Kobayashi.