How to ruin any food: Sloppy Joes

Tonight we’re going to ruin Sloppy Joes, you might love them, you might hate them, but you know what they are.

If you love them, this post should give you a laugh, if you hate them, serve these to your friends to make them hate sloppy joes as well, its win-win tonight!


The rest of this post in intended to be humorous and not to be taken as new culinary treats about to sweep the nation.Any attempt to ingest the substance described below is not suggested and should be avoided. If you do attempt to taste any of the following food related ideas, please be warned that disgust, nausea and possibly even death could be the result.



At first I was afraid that the history of sloppy joes would be mundane and uninteresting, however I soon learned that the exact origin of it is under debate.

Many people credit a chef named Joe at Floyd Angell’s café in Sioux City, Iowa who added tomato sauce to his loose meat sandwich.

Others prefer to claim that the name has nothing to do with anyone named Joe and instead refers to the slang term for a dinner from the 1920s-1930s.

Some people also claim that a bar in Key West, Florida now called Sloppy Joe’s is where they were first invented. The interesting history behind this theory is the fact that the bar wasn’t originally called Sloppy Joe’s, that name was suggested by none other than Ernest Hemingway.

A few other people stand by their claim that the sloppy joe came from Cuba, via a place called Sloppy Joe’s Saloon.

Regardless of where they came from, many of us enjoy them quite often.

Interesting link with more information:


What it is:

A sloppy joe is a sandwich composed of ground hamburger mixed with a tomato-based  sauce and served in a hamburger bun, normally with pickles.

How to make them:

Fry up at least a pound of hamburger. Add tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, onion and green bell pepper if you want.

Stir it all together, add water if needed to create a sloppy consistency. Serve on a bun and enjoy.

How to ruin them:

Ruining sloppy joes is almost too easy, there are so many things you can change, from the buns to the meat, from the sauce to the spices, it’s one of those foods that the sky is truly the limit on ruining.

As normal, I’m going to break it down into sections:


I suggest you just look at my post How to ruin any food: Bread.

This post has everything you need to know about ruining bread, almost all of which can be used without modification to ruin buns.


To ruin the meat for you sloppy joes, there are several ways:

  • Use Italian sausage, this will through the taste off.
  • Use Swedish potato sausage, this will ruin the taste and texture together, giving you a double ruin.
  • Use diced rutabaga, as long as it looks like ground meat, it’s fair game, the odd taste and texture ruins it.
  • Chopped potatoes, same as with rutabaga, odd taste and texture.
  • Don’t cook your meat. This is an extreme step, but just call it rare. Extra ruin points if it is still mostly frozen when you serve it.
  • Tofu, no one likes it, it’ll ruin it easier than any other option.


The sauce might be the most critical part of a sloppy joe, it gives it the taste, part of the texture and adds the required sloppiness.

  • Strawberry jam, sweet, not savory and the seeds get caught in your teeth for added ruin points.
  • Chocolate syrup, some people might like it and it is messy, but it doesn’t belong in sloppy joes and will ruin it for most people.
  • Cranberry sauce, sweet, tart and not at all what anyone expects, plus it’ll give it a bit of an odd cranberry smell.
  • Spaghetti sauce, add some grated Parmesan cheese and an olive and no one will know what they are eating. (note, do not use if substituting Italian sausage.)
  • Melted Neapolitan ice cream, sweet, the color is almost right, but the odd tastes ruin it.


Last but not least are spices. While garlic is the most common spice, along with onion and mustard, you want to avoid those when ruining this sandwich, try these spices instead:

  • Cinnamon
  • Curry powder
  • Dill
  • Fennel (unless using spaghetti sauce or Italian sausage)
  • Turmeric.
  • Anise

There you go, plenty of ways to ruin sloppy joes. Do you have a favorite way to ruin them that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it


4 thoughts on “How to ruin any food: Sloppy Joes

    1. With the Italian sausage substitution you need to make sure your sauce isn’t what anyone expects, strawberry or raspberry jam is perfect.
      Pizza is good, though I don’t support ruining food just to get pizza, if anything just say you ruined it and get pizza.
      Thanks for reading my blog! I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: How to ruin any food: A look back at Summer | Mageowl's Blog

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