The Best Chopped Episodes 

Ranker TV
Updated October 12, 2018 3.9k votes 764 voters 57.6k views 472 items

List Rules Vote for your favorite Chopped episodes, no matter how popular they are.

List of the best Chopped episodes, as determined by voters like you. Chopped is a reality cooking competition hosted by Ted Allen. With all the amazing episodes of the show that exist, it's hard to trust just one person's opinion of what the top Chopped episodes of all time are. Featuring many entertaining celebrity chefs, Chopped ranks number one on best cooking competition shows. Fans of Chopped are very passionate about the show, and there are often debates over which episodes are the greatest. That's why this list exists- so you can vote for your favorites and we can find out once and for all what everyone thinks the best episode is.

Examples of episodes on this list include "Mussels Mastery & Cotton Candy Can Do" and "Sweet Second Chance!" What is the best Chopped episode of all time? Look below and find out.

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Sweet Second Chance! is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Sweet Second Chance! Episode: 3, Season: Chopped - Season 8

Original Airing: Jul 26 2011

One of the most intensely emotional Chopped episodes with a great champion and a heartwarming and inspirational finish. There is also a nasty accident that befalls one of the contestants as she is dashing around during an ultra intense dessert round.  This episode also features some of the most innovative and daring cooking ever seen on the show.  In addition this episode featured two chefs returning to a rivalry from the (great and sometimes nasty) Rattle and Roll episode.   Great stuff!  Featured contestants were Chefs Chris Coombs, Yoanne Magris, Lance Nitahara and Siggy Sollitto. 
Crunch Time is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
Rattle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
Jitters is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
Class Acts, Too is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added

Original Airing: September 25, 2012

The second of the two cafeteria episodes.  Sam Kass of the White House staff returns as a judge joining Scott Conant and Alex Guarneschelli.  This episode might beat the original.  All the contestants are vivid personalities who cook up a storm.  None of them seem to deserve chopping so when the finale comes and the 2,3,4 places receive $5,000 each as well as a trip to the White House garden (along with the contestants from Class Acts) it seems truly fitting for these heroic women who make a difference in children's lives.  A real winner all around!! The contestants in this episode (in alphabetical order) are: Terry Accaira, Shannon Solomon, Lynnette Thomas, Cindy Tinnel.

Class Acts is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Class Acts Episode: 13, Season: Chopped - Season 9

Original Airing: Nov 22 2011

The first episode to feature cafeteria workers competing in this culinary contest.  The episode goes into some detail about  the heroic work that each of these women does everyday to feed schoolchildren nutritious food in the face of difficult circumstances.  A heartening episode full of good feeling.  White House chef Sam Kass joins Amanda Freitag and Marc Murphy as a judges for this episode.   The chefs featured in this episode were Cheryl Barbara, Rhonda Deloach, Dianne Houlihan and Arlene Leggio.
Pride of New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
Avocado, Tahini, Bran Fl... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Avocado, Tahini, Bran Flakes Episode: 3, Season: Chopped - Season 1

Original Airing: Jan 27 2009

An unusually intense early Chopped episode.  Chefs Chris Burke and Andre Marrero worked together at an earlier job and there is very little respect between them.  The fact that they end up battling out in the final round adds to the tension and the stakes.  There is also an early tense exchange between Chef Chris and Judge Alex Guarneschelli about gender perceptions and food.  Also, as in many good Chopped episodes, it is fascinating to see awesome chefs, which includes pretty much all the contestants here, tripped up by a homely ingredient.  In this case no one quite works out what to do with the bran cereal that they receive.   While the central feud is fascinating, an early dust up occurs in the appetizer round between Chef Rachelle Rodwell and Chris Burke when he mistakenly accuses her of stealing one of his secret ingredients and then helps himself to a portion of her prepared ingredient to complete his plates.   With all the drama, Chef Margaritte Malfy distinguishes herself by not getting into a fight with Chef Chris Burke although she is partially undone by the bran flake cereal.
Sunny Side Apps is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added

Original Airing: June 5, 2012

In a Chopped rarity, all four contestants are men and a real bromance starts brewing between two of the chefs.  Add to that the delightful Chef Tony Kang who openly admits to attempting to woo judge Amanda Freitag because of a crush he has on her.  Also there is some terrific cooking as some dazzling food is served utilizing the candy that is in each round's baskets  Participating are Chefs Cory Bahr, Brian Howard, Jesse Kramer and Tony Kang.
Yakety Yak, Yak, Yak is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Yakety, Yak, Yak, Yak Episode: 14, Season: Chopped - Season 9

Original Airing: Nov 29 2011

The great Kate Squibb makes the first of two Chopped appearances which is enough to merit this episode for inclusion.  Kate is great throughout, enjoying every element of the show, turning out great food and being amazing to watch.  Add to that the slow transformation of Vinson Petrillo from shy chef to cooking powerhouse and this is one great episode. Featured Chefs were Jill Nicolson, Vinson Petrillo, Nicholas Porcelli and Kate Squibb.
Judge Knows Best is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
dhandler19 added Judge Knows Best Episode: 3, Season: Chopped - Season 3

Original Airing: Oct 27 2009

This has Scott Conant's most famous meltdown over red onions, which show up TWICE from the same two chefs!  Add to that several combustible personalities and a nervous breakdown during the desert round and you have a Chopped episode for the ages!!
Redemption Competition ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Redemption Competition Episode: 5, Season: Chopped - Season 10

Original Airing: Jan 24 2012

As always the stakes in a redemption competition are high.  No one wants to get chopped twice although that's exactly what has to happen to three of the competitors.  The rivalry between Chefs Sammy Davis Jr. and Tryg Siverson fuels a showdown that results in what some fans have called the best Chopped reaction of all time.   Chef Tryg has a big personality, arrogance and talent and he likes to flaunt all these attributes.  This rubs Chef Sammy the wrong way, so he tries to sabotage Chef Tryg and openly declares his hostility.  Meanwhile, the colorful and fiery Chef Anna Maria Santorelli who had a horrible knife accident in her initial episode, is back for vindication.  Finally the likable Michelle Firlit-Garcia manages to buffer the clash between the other chefs.  In addition to the personality wars, there are interesting baskets,  Sweetbreads and strawberry popsicles show up in the opening round and plum tomatoes, pasta sheets, white chocolate and basil make for a very tough dessert basket.
Sticking To It is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Sticking to It Episode: 5, Season: Chopped - Season 3

Original Airing: Nov 10 2009

Two of the most interesting characters in Chopped history square off in this extremely entertaining episode. 

 In one corner is Chef Luisa Fernandes, an executive chef originally from Portugal who spent the first part of her professional life as an assistant nurse and actually spent a couple of years as a parachute nurse, parachuting into difficult to reach areas to help people.  Along with her charming accent, she has the unflappable command of the kitchen of a seasoned veteran but also is in constant good humor.

In the opposite corner is Dominick Feragola, a sous chef with enormous creativity hoping to prove himself against more seasoned chefs.  Along with his great talent, is a quirky personality and the need to slam his competitors in the interviews.  He faces a series of mishaps in the kitchen and amazingly keeps rolling along turning out delicious dishes.  He's both obnoxious and endearing at the same time. 

Private chef Melinda Beaulieu and executive chef David Amorelli both have strong personalities and cooking styles but are not quite as distinctive.  Strong judging and sharp commentary from judges Geoffrey Zakarian, Alex Guarnaschelli and Chris Santos along with curve ball ingredients like graham crackers, rose water and black cod further enhance one of the great Chopped contests.
Wild Ride is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added

Original Airing: September 3, 2015

A Wild Ride indeed.   The brave chefs in this episode of Chopped deal with carnival food which to the Chopped people means lots of fried food.  Corn dogs, deep fried ravioli, deep fried butter balls and deep fried tequila are featured in some of the most challenging baskets in the history of the show.   Chefs Eileen Andrade, Kris Edelen, Derrick Prince and Brian Riggenbach cook with good humor and creativity to meet the challenge.  Chef Derrick in particular plays an interesting part both because he works for Chopped judge Chris Santos and because of difficulties he faces through this episode.
Teen Redeem is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added

Original Airing: September 24, 2015

The first redemption episode for the teen competitors.  Teen chefs Max Aronson Jay Ureña, and Morgan Goldstein all lost in the final round of their episodes of the first Teen Tournament in 2014.  Teen chef Dante Foggy won his episode but lost in the final round of the grand prize round making him the only Chopped champion competing and the odds on favorite.  However, despite Dante's enormous focus and calm, things go awry in one round leaving him chopped with heartbreaking results.  This is both an amazing and tough episode in that to see the dedication and skill of these teen chefs is completely inspiring and yet the difficulty that they are all facing is also a big factor.
Sweet Surprises is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
Twins for the Win is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Twins for the Win

Original Airing: September 8, 2016

Four sets of identical twins working in teams fight it out for the Chopped Championship in this delightful episode.   All the twins have fairly memorable personalities.  Pam and Wendy Michaelson from South Africa have the most colorful interactions both getting into a pretty heated argument and then later singing with each other.  Their food which is inspired by their South African roots is innovative and spicy.  Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos-Shames are twins who cook healthy and write cookbooks together.  They also show an interesting hierarchy.  Twin chefs Charlie and Michael Kalish's low key humor and adventurous spirit show why they've shown up on both Chopped and The Great Food Truck Race.  They're breaking out of their cheese business to show their versatility in the kitchen and to have adventures.  Finally, Matt and Mike Romine bring almost seamless teamwork and beautiful technique to their plates making them very tough competition for the others.

In addition, Aaron Sanchez discusses his twin brother Rodrigo Sanchez who, delightfully, puts in appearance on the show.  Additionally, the basket ingredients often play on the twin theme with double yolked eggs and peas in a pod making appearances throughout.  Judges Alex Guarneschelli and Marc Murphy also add to the fun of this wonderful Chopped episode.

Easy Peasy? is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Easy Peasy? Episode: 1, Season: Chopped - Season 8

Original Airing: Jul 12 2011

This episode has a lot going for it.  All the chefs have been flown in from Great Britain. The British theme is well worked out both in the representation of the chefs, who are all fantastic in that they are both vivid personalities and amazing chefs, and the nature of the baskets which throws American junk food into the mix to trip them up.   This episode introduced phenomenon Chef Jun Tanaka, whose laser like focus and amazing technique and care carry the day.  But it is clear that despite his excellence that this is a close battle and that all the chefs are bringing top notch skills to the battle, forcing the judges to really nitpick their way through the contest.  This makes for an incredibly fun episode.    

Chef Lotte Duncan is a delightful presence throughout, she has a warm personality but it is fiercely competitve with Chef Jun all the way to the end.  Chef Andy Bates' passion for London street food is evident in every platter and he actually cooks his pork better than either Chef Jun or Chef Lotte in the entree round before he is chopped.   

Finally, the clearly refined and talented Chef Tristan Welch shows how tough this competition truly is by creating an incredibly creative and ambitious appetizer only to be chopped because of the smallest of errors.   
Tapas Time is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Episode: 3, Season: Chopped - Season 18

Original Airing: Dec 17 2013

One of the most grueling episodes of Chopped ever!  Chefs Andres Figueroa, Gemma Gray, Alex Moreno and David Viana are required to create a certain number of individual tapas style dishes for each round.  This effectively doubles the already formidable challenge of Chopped.  During the course of the episode one chef literally ends up carrying a pan full of fire through the studio. 
We Love Leftovers! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Episode: 5, Season: Chopped - Season 17

Original Airing: Sep 17 2013

A group of talented chefs take on the leftovers theme in an artful way.  Chefs Jason Stude and Aatul Jain attack the leftovers with particular creativity.  Chef Aatul's stories of his family and work in the hospital are particularly compelling. Chef Josh Watkins is flummoxed by the theme and private plane Chef Krissy Kerwin manages to navigate through the bumps in the challenge to create some appealing dishes.
Beer Here! is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Episode: 13, Season: Chopped - Season 18

Original Airing: Feb 23 2014

Things that make a great Chopped episode.  Talented chefs taking impossible ingredients and then twisting them up into a great dish with virtuosity and panache.  Ingredients that are intriguing and chefs with diverse enough personalities to clash a bit.   All that is in this episode.  While the battle becomes a duel between the talented and arrogant Chef Bradley Stellings and the equally talented but down to earth Chef Lauren Kyles, all the chefs have great moments.  Chef Hiep Le is especially intriguing having not only survived the Vietnam war but starred in the Oliver Stone movie Heaven and Earth and then transitioned into a successful chef.  Chef Larry Monaco not only has the misfortune of being first chopped but he loses to Chef Lauren despite her leaving a basked ingredient off the plate.   This episode is heartily recommended.
Cool, Palm and Perfected... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Cool, Palm and Perfected Episode: 12, Season: Chopped - Season 19

Original Airing: May 27, 2014

All the competitors have survived near death experiences and find themselves competing against each other.   The vivid personalities and sometimes moving stories of the contestants make this a memorable Chopped episode.  Chef David Robinson survived as a witness to the World Trade Center destruction on 9/11 and also represents a charity to help military service people learn to cook.  Chef Ariane Resnick is the most vivid personality of the chefs with a fascinating story of using food to survive Lyme's Disease.  She has big reactions to events in the kitchen, especially when the ignition on her stove keeps clicking and reminds her of a traumatic event.   Chefs Peter Lee and Rose Ludwig have fought back from cancer and find themselves facing each other in the desert round.   This is one of those episodes that had me hoping for a tie because both of the contestants are so talented and so likable.   
Keep On Cook'n On is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Keep On Cook'n On Episode: 10, Season: Chopped - Season 4

Original Airing: Jun 22 2010

A great line up of chefs.  Super competitive Chris Jaeckle works a sous chef for Iron Chef Morimoto and is sent to the Chopped kitchen with the advice, "You cannot lose,"  This intimidates everyone, including the chef himself.  Chef Sachem "Son" Allison survived a stroke and more than one heart attack and proves himself able to still compete and serve delicious food.  Chef Carrie Weiss brings her favorite provencal region of France to the plate but forgets a vital element.   Finally, Chef Paul "Poppy" Yeaple is the underdog from a burger and fries restaurant.  He shows himself to be surprisingly creative in round after round.   A great match up of titanic talents.   
Mussels Mastery is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Mussels Mastery & Cotton Candy Can Do Episode: 5, Season: Chopped - Season 4

Original Airing: May 04 2010

The first episode to feature Marcus Samuelsson as a judge.  He quickly makes his presence felt with a particularly vivid Alex Guarneschelli and Aaron Sanchez.  Add to that a cactus pear meltdown that takes out an acclaimed chef while a super down to earth chef shines.  A great episode.  The contestants are Chefs Berthsy Ayide, Jeremy Hanlon, Sean Mell, and Christian Petroni.
Far Far Out! is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Chopped Episodes
DonPhillips added Far Far Out Episode: 3, Season: Chopped - Season 10

Original Airing: Jan 10 2012

A likable group of chefs tackle an interesting group of foodstuffs.   One chef comes prepared with his own timing system to challenge the Chopped gauntlet.  Featured chefs are: Faye Hess, Giorgio Rapicavoli, David Seigal and Joe Simon.