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The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows

Updated September 14, 2020 20.8k votes 4.9k voters 372.1k views59 items

The best cooking competition shows, hosted by some of television's most entertaining celebrity chefs, have become one of the must-watch genres on television. Some of the best shows on television right now take place in a kitchen, and the best cooking shows on TV are the reason.

While the cooking show has been around almost since the advent of TV (Julia Child was a thing long before Meryl Streep played her), in recent years we have seen the rise of the cooking competition show. Whether you tune in to Top Chef on Bravo or Netflix to see elite chefs battle for the title of best chef, or Masterchef which features home cooks battling it out to see if they have the chops to compete with the pros, reality cooking competition shows have become must-watch entertainment for the culinarily curious. Adding to the mix are timed challenge cooking competition reality shows like Chopped and Cupcake Wars which put cooks in the kitchen but under extreme pressure to produce great food or go home. Shows like Worst Cooks In America aim to teach basic skills to hapless novices, only aiming to create the Best of the Worst, while competitions like Nailed It! pit amateur bakers against each other and revel in their lack of skills.

Which reality cooking competitions are the best? What is the most entertaining cooking competition show? Who are the best hosts of reality cooking competition shows? Vote on your favorite reality TV cooking competition show here to find out. If you don't see your favorite reality cooking show listed, make sure to add it to the greatest cooking competition show list so other viewers can make it their top cooking competition show. No matter what type of cooking contest you like, from barbeque to competitive baking, there is definitely something out there for you.

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  • 1
    Chopped is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    1,128
    432

    Chopped

    Ted Allen, Alex Guarnaschelli

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Food, Cooking show, Reality television

    Chopped is an American reality based cooking television series created by Dave Noll and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 2
    The Great British Bake Off is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    723
    190

    The Great British Bake Off

    Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Special Interest, Game show, Cooking show, Home improvement

    The Great British Bake Off (also called Bake Off or GBBO) is a British television baking... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    MasterChef is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    1,330
    542

    MasterChef

    Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    MasterChef (Fox, 2010) is an American competitive cooking reality show based on the original... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More 

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  • 4
    Top Chef is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    978
    399

    Top Chef

    Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Cook-off, Cooking show, Reality television

    Top Chef is an American reality competition show on the cable television network Bravo, that... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Top Chef 

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  • 5
    Cutthroat Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    607
    205

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Food

    Just how far is a chef willing to go to win a cooking competition? Cutthroat Kitchen hands... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 6
    Hell's Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    1,200
    547

    Hell's Kitchen

    Gordon Ramsay, Jean Philippe Susilovic

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Reality Competition, Cooking show, Reality television

    Hell's Kitchen (Fox, 2005) is an American reality competition television series based on the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 7
    MasterChef Junior is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    217
    81

    MasterChef Junior

    Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Cooking show, Reality television

    MasterChef Junior (Fox, 2013) is an American cooking competition. 24 of the best junior home... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Top Chef Masters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    628
    346

    Top Chef Masters

    Gail Simmons, Ruth Reichl

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    Top Chef Masters is an American reality competition series that airs on the cable television... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 9
    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    389
    147

    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

    Gordon Ramsay, Neil Farrell

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (Channel 4, 2004) is a reality television program. In each... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 10
    Iron Chef is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    326
    144

    Iron Chef

    Masaharu Morimoto, Hiroyuki Sakai

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Cook-off, Food, Cooking show, Reality television

    Iron Chef is a Japanese television cooking show produced by Fuji Television. The series, which... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 11
    MasterChef Australia is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    483
    199

    MasterChef Australia

    Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Cooking show, Reality television

    MasterChef Australia is a Logie Award-winning Australian competitive cooking game show based... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 12
    Chopped Champions is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    516
    322

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Cooking, Game show

    Starting March 6, 2011, and continuing for four additional episodes, Food Network aired the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 13
    Iron Chef America is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    630
    371

    Iron Chef America

    Bill Murray, Anderson Cooper

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Cook-off, Game show, Food, Cooking show, Reality television

    Iron Chef America: The Series is an American cooking show based on Fuji Television's Iron... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 14
    The Great Food Truck Race is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    208
    91

    The Great Food Truck Race

    Tyler Florence, Chris Hodgson

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Reality television

    The Great Food Truck Race is a reality television series that originally aired on August 15,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 15
    Kitchen Nightmares is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    272
    115

    Kitchen Nightmares

    Gordon Ramsay

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, 2007) is an American reality television series based on the British... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 16
    Worst Cooks in America is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    483
    353

    Worst Cooks in America

    Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    Worst Cooks in America is an American reality television series that premiered on January 3,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    Cupcake Wars is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    527
    429

    Cupcake Wars

    Candace Nelson, Florian Bellanger

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    Cupcake Wars is an American reality competition series which premiered on June 13, 2010 and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 18
    The Next Iron Chef is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    297
    206

    The Next Iron Chef

    Alton Brown, Simon Majumdar

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    The Next Iron Chef, is a limited-run series on the Food Network, airing its fifth season in... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 19
    Food Network Challenge is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    335
    272

    Food Network Challenge

    Keegan Gerhard, Kerry Vincent

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Reality television, Home improvement

    Food Network Challenge is a competitive cooking television series that currently airs on the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 20
    Top Chef: Just Desserts is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    277
    294

    Top Chef: Just Desserts

    Gail Simmons, Johnny Iuzzini

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    Top Chef: Just Desserts is an American reality competition show, spun off from Top Chef. It... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    The Taste is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    215
    220

    The Taste

    Anthony Bourdain Nigella Lawson Ludo Lefebvre Marcus Samuelsson

    PremieredJanuary 22, 2013

    Genres (Tv)Reality competition

    The Taste (ABC, 2013) is an American cooking-themed reality competition series. 16 contestants... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    Guy's Grocery Games is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    218
    105

    Guy's Grocery Games

    Guy Fieri, Troy Johnson

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Food, Reality television

    Guy Fieri sends four talented chefs running through the aisles in a high stakes, high skills,...amazon buy button

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  • 23
    Throwdown! with Bobby Flay is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    257
    296

    Throwdown! with Bobby Flay

    Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Special Interest, Cooking show, Reality television

    Throwdown! with Bobby Flay is a Food Network television program in which celebrity chef Bobby... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 24
    Kids Baking Championship is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    132
    73

    Kids Baking Championship

    Duff Goldman, Valerie Bertinelli

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Reality competition, Cooking

    Kids Baking Championship (Food Network, 2015) is a television program hosted by Duff Goldman... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 25
    Next Great Baker is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows
    219
    240

    Next Great Baker

    Buddy Valastro, Letty Alvarez

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    Next Great Baker is an American television series that airs on TLC, hosted by Buddy Valastro,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
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