Ranking the best cooking competitions to watch now

TOP CHEF -- Season:17 -- Pictured: (l-r) Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio -- (Photo by: Smallz & Raskind/Bravo)
TOP CHEF -- Season:17 -- Pictured: (l-r) Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio -- (Photo by: Smallz & Raskind/Bravo) /

Cooking competitions are everywhere. Whether you’re looking to watch pro chefs or home cooks, there’s a show for you. Here’s the top 5 competitions we love.

There are so many different cooking competitions these days. Turn on Food Network any given day and you’re likely to find chefs making some elaborate cake or competing to make the best burger ever. But some cooking competitions stand out more than others. Let’s take a look at five of the best.

5. Top Chef

In terms of cooking competitions, Top Chef is definitely one that is more serious in tone than the others. They do not mess around when it comes to food. If you’re looking for the jokes and innuendo of The Great British Bake Off, this is not the show for you. The contestants and the judges take their jobs very seriously.

If you’re looking for drama, intensity, and edge-of-your-seat tension, then this is your jam. I used to watch it religiously, but after the first six seasons, I moved on to other shows.

4. Chopped

Speaking of tension and intensity, Chopped has both of those things, but with a bit more fun than Top Chef. The best part of it is that the chefs don’t know what ingredients they’ll have to add into what they’re making. They get a basket of three mystery ingredients that they need to somehow incorporate into their food.

How do you fit gummy bears into a savory dish? That’s what this show is all about. Sometimes the chefs make amazing things with the unexpected ingredients and sometimes…it’s just gross and they get chopped!

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3. Hell’s Kitchen

Sometimes, the most cathartic thing you can do is watch people get yelled at for an hour and that’s why Hell’s Kitchen is so popular.  Gordon Ramsay‘s claim to fame is not just his food, but also his yelling and his impressive collection of insults.

That being said, it’s also clear he wants the chefs to do their best. While he’s known for the yelling, he’s also supportive of those who succeed and those who try to make the best food possible.

I also highly recommend Masterchef, Masterchef Junior (he is so sweet with the children!), and Kitchen Nightmares. I could watch him try to whip failing restaurants into shape for days.

2. Iron Chef

When I say Iron Chef, I’m talking about the original Japanese version. While Iron Chef America is fine, it doesn’t have the same vibe as the original. They try to make it as dramatic and interesting as the version from Japan, but don’t quite make it. With this version, you get to see foods you don’t see on other cooking shows.

Yes, they have a broccoli battle and a red snapper battle, but they also have a scorpion fish and dried abalone battle too. While, sadly, this Iron Chef isn’t on TV anymore, a bunch of the episodes are available for free on YouTube!

1. The Great British Bake Off/The Great British Baking Show

What’s better than The Great British Bake Off? It’s nice, friendly, very British, and all about cakes and biscuits and bread. It’s the nicest cooking competition on television. There is no “I’m not here to make friends” or backstabbing whatsoever. It’s just people supporting each other, lots of baked goods, and jokes and innuendo.

And the contestants are just half of it. The judges and the hosts are brilliant as well. While I was at first skeptical after Sue and Mel left the show, Sandy and Noel are just funny and delightful but in their own way. Since Sandy announced she’s leaving the show, I hope they pick someone equally as great.

Next. Watch Top Chef All Stars: Season 17, Episode 1. dark

What’s your favorite cooking competition? And what do you think of how we ranked these cooking competitions? Let us know in the comments below!