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Whether you’re a kitchen novice or a seasoned pro, watching the best cooking network shows is a great way to learn some new tricks. Check out this list to help you schedule your DVR or find your next binge.
When it comes to watching cooking shows, there are two main TV networks that you can turn to – Food Network and Cooking Channel.
Both of these networks provide a variety of cooking-related shows. You’ll find everything from world famous chefs to home cooks, game shows to talk shows, and everything in between.
About the only thing these networks are missing are sitcoms, dramas and movies centered around cooking. Come to think of it…those would probably be pretty popular. Maybe someday!
How to choose the best cooking network shows
This is really a personal choice based on your own preferences and levels of experience in the kitchen.
That being said, there are definitely shows out there for everyone!
When you’re trying to decide which cooking show you should binge next, here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself:
- Do I like professionally-trained chefs or home cooks?
- Do I want to learn basic skills, advanced skills, or somewhere in between?
- Do I relate better to someone that is funny or that is serious?
- Do I like multiple people/hosts in one show?
- Am I watching to learn, to be inspired or to be entertained?
- Do I like foods I am familiar with, or do I like learning about new foods?
- Do I prefer game shows, reality shows, or basic cooking shows?
Knowing your answers to those questions will help you pick a show that you’re bound to love.
And since there’s no limit to the number of cooking shows available, you can always try something different.
Honestly, you really won’t know what types of shows you’ll like until you start watching. So, pick something, watch a few episodes and then decide if you want to continue or not.
After all, this isn’t rocket science. We’re just talking about cooking shows here. No need to be so serious!
That being said, we’ve rounded up this Baker’s Dozen list of the best cooking network shoes anyhow. Pick one to binge or give them all a try!
Best shows on Cooking Channel
#1 – The Best Thing I Ever Ate
This show originally aired on Food Network but moved to Cooking Channel after it was cancelled. The first episode aired on June 22, 2009.
The premise of the show is a continually revolving stream of chefs discussing some of their favorite foods.
We love it because it’s great to hear how these pros describe foods, and it’s also a bit of a guilty-pleasure when you can fantasize about some over-the-top or world’s best foods.
Some of the chefs that have been featured include: Sunny Anderson, Giada deLaurentis, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone, Emeril Lagasse, Cat Cora, and dozens of others.
#2 – Food Truck Nation
Food Truck Nation premiered in 2018.
Cooking Channel describes the show as: “Chef and food truck aficionado Brad Miller travels across the country to find the latest and greatest bites on wheels. He highlights the innovative chefs who push the boundaries of food and their customers’ curious palates.”
Not only do you get to virtually visit some amazing and innovative food trucks, you also get the recipes for the tastiest, messiest and most-irresistible street food in the country!
#3 – Good Eats Reloaded
Do you remember the classic Good Eats? It originally premiered on the Food Network in 1999 and lasted through 14 seasons.
It starred host Alton Brown and, as Wikipedia describes it, featured “a combination of classroom methods and wacky comedy sketches to explain not just how to whip up an excellent dish, but also why the ingredients interact as they do when you put them all together.”
The show was a gem of comedy, science and food all rolled into one!
Well, now Alton Brown is revisiting these classic episodes, with some fun updated twists and behind-the-scenes info.
#4 – Man Fire Food
If you love cooking with fire, you’ll love this show!
Cooking Channel describes this “hot and smoky” favorite as:
“From small campfires to creative custom-made grills and smokers, we visit home cooks, pitmasters, and chefs who are fascinated by fire and food. The smoke signals take host Roger Mooking across the country, including the American South for different styles of regional barbecue, the Pacific Northwest for a tribal salmon bake, and New England for a unique seafood feast. Man Fire Food celebrates the passion for building and cooking with fire.”
It’s a fun watch for everyone, even if you’re a little hesitant about cooking with fire.
#5 – Carnival Eats
Who doesn’t love funnel cakes, fried Snickers and cheese fries? This show is bound to make you hungry.
We love this show because you get to watch all of these amazing carnival eats and fair foods being made without worrying about all of the calories and fat.
Which now that we think, it’s also what we dislike about this show. You can see those yummy foods but not eat them or even smell them. It’s a little unfair, to be honest!
#6 – Yum & Yummer
This tasty show is hosted by American chef and former cornerback, Eddie Jackson.
Each episode finds Eddie tracking down the yummiest, most satisfying and most decadent foods, dishes and cuisines around the world.
You’ll definitely find your travel and food cravings satiated by the end of each show. Just remember to not lick your screen, no matter how good the food looks!
Best shows on Food Network
#1 – Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
This classic, much-loved show is hosted by Guy Fieri, the chef that, admittedly, a lot of people love to hate. We’re not in that camp as we’re honest-to-goodness fans, but Guy definitely has his share of critics.
Since premiering on November 6, 2006, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has spotlighted over 1000 tasty places to get your grub on from around the country.
Commonly referred to as Triple D, it’s one of the best cooking network shows to help you find the next must-try place, as well as to make sure you walk away hungry. That makes it the perfect binge while eating!
#2 – Chopped
This fun, reality game show boasts a huge fan base and it’s even been spoofed on SNL.
Wikipedia describes Chopped as:
Four chefs call on their culinary skills as they face off against one another to prepare a spectacular three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, entree and dessert. The catch? In each round, they have to use all the ingredients the show provides them, however unlikely they might be (Gummi Bears, anyone?). At the end of each course, a panel of three guest judges “chops” one chef who fails to measure up in terms of taste, presentation and creativity. The last chef standing takes home bragging rights and a cool $10,000. Ted Allen hosts.
#3 – Beat Bobby Flay
Renowned chef and tv-favorite Bobby Flay acts as host and competitor in this fun show that will inspire you to have some fun in the kitchen.
Two talented chefs go head-to-head for the chance to Beat Bobby Flay, then battle the celebrity chef himself.
The two original chefs battle each other to create a dish using an ingredient chosen by Flay before the winner goes on to challenge Flay to prepare a signature dish that is unknown to Bobby (but selected by his competitor) until the start of the round.
#4 – The Pioneer Woman
Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, got her start a one of the first “celebrity” food bloggers. She grew a huge (and hungry) audience of raving fans with her down-home, ranch cooking before getting her own show on the Food Network.
Fans enjoy the show because Ree’s recipes are easy to make for even beginner cooks, and her carefree attitude makes her easily relatable.
#5 – Guy’s Grocery Games
A game show + cooking show in one! What more do you need to know?
Just watch this show. It’s fun. It highlights delish dishes. And Guy Fieri is in his element as the host.
#6 – Barefoot Contessa
Ina Garten has been hosting this fan-favorite show since 2002!
Before becoming a chef, Garten was a White House nuclear policy analyst for President Richard Nixon. Now, she shares recipes for picnics, parties and dinners as well as other touches to make a meal or event a success.
It’s an interesting contrast, but it definitely works. 27 seasons speaks for itself – Ina Garten knows her way around a kitchen. And Barefoot Contessa will help you learn your way around the kitchen, too!
#7 – The Kitchen
This talk show is so much more than just talk!
Wikipedia describes it as:
Looking for recipes and meal tips from an all-star lineup of Food Network hosts? Then “The Kitchen” is for you. The hourlong show, featuring hosts Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid and Geoffrey Zakarian, shares simple dinner recipes and family meal tips, plays trivia games, and answers viewer questions in addition to just shooting the breeze about all things food. With a roster that includes a “Food Network Star” winner who specializes in making sandwiches, an Iron Chef, and a Tijuana native who is known for her Mexican cuisine, there’s sure to be something of interest for all home cooks in Food Network’s “Kitchen.”
It light, breezy and easy to binge!
Did we miss any shows that make your list of the Best Cooking Network Shows? Be sure to let us know!