The BEST Episodes of Cooks vs. Cons
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Network: Food Network
Professional chefs and home cooks compete to impress a rotating panel of judges, who make their decisions based solely on taste and presentation. And it's only after a winner is declared that the contestants reveal their true identities.
#1 - Surf and Turf Showdown
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 17, 2016
Professional chefs and home cooks compete through a sticky situation, when the surf and turf challenge must utilize syrup as the surprise ingredient. Then, will the amateurs crumble in round two trying to work chips into a winning dish? Judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Daphne Oz attempt to sift out the chefs from the pretenders!
#2 - Pizza Pizzazz
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Sep 18, 2016
Cooks deconstruct pizza to accent parmesan-inspired dishes; pros try to separate themselves from the home cooks as they create masterpieces from deli food; judges Anne Burrell and Alex Guarnaschelli.
#3 - Candy Clash
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 14, 2016
The first challenge is for the contestants to make a pasta dish with corn. Later, they have to incorporate sweet candy in their savory entrées.
#4 - Meatball Mayhem
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 21, 2016
A world-class meatball showdown is followed by a chocolate challenge.
#5 - Gone Bananas
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 29, 2017
The pros and amateurs must pair bananas with pork chops in the first round; in round two, Anne Burrell and Daphne Oz must decide who did the best job of incorporating picnic salads into their dish.
#6 - Crab Cake Crazy
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Aug 28, 2016
Judges Richard Blais and Marcus Samuelsson are put to the test determining whose crab cakes are the best between cooks and cons. When frozen vegetables must be used to create a winning dish, will it be a piece of cake for the working chefs or will the amateurs have the advantage? Then, it's a booze cruise to the finish, as the secret ingredient of cocktails keeps the judges drunk with power.
#7 - Chicken Wingin' It!
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 7, 2016
While judges Richard Blais and Daphne Oz attempt to suss out the pros and amateurs, things get twisted as the competitors are challenged to incorporate pretzels into their chicken wing dishes. The second round gets even fresher when the remaining competitors fight for the ultimate prize by working with mint.
#8 - Ballpark Snack Attack
Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Sep 11, 2016
A cheesesteak playoff in which ballpark snacks must be worked into a winning dish; contestants embrace the Italian kitchen during a pasta sauce challenge; judges Katie Lee and Marcus Samuelsson
#9 - Breakfast in Bedlam
Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired May 3, 2017
The cooks and cons are a bit sour when tasked with integrating lemon varietals into their round one breakfast sandwiches. Things get a bit sweeter in the second round when they must use maple in their dishes, and Judges Aarti Sequeira and Jet Tila tap a winner.
#10 - Salad Bar Blowout
Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Jan 18, 2017
Salad bar toppings must be incorporated into shrimp scampi variations; judges Jeff Mauro and Daphne Oz enjoy the second-round preparations that include coffee as an ingredient.
#11 - Taco Takedown
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 31, 2016
The surprise ingredient of soda must be used when making tacos. Later, a kitchen fire erupts as the remaining contestants work to come up with pickle dishes to impress judges Graham Elliot and Kardea Brown.
#12 - Tarts and Hearts
Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired Feb 8, 2017
The cooks and cons must combine tarts with vegetable or candy hearts; Alex Guarnaschelli and Jeff Mauro judge the contestants' chocolate dishes.
#13 - Battle Baked Clams
Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Jun 14, 2017
The pros and amateurs must incorporate carrots into their baked clam dishes in the first round; in the second round, the contestants must fuse tea into their dishes for judges Jeff Mauro and Daphne Oz.
#14 - Beer Bedlam
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Aug 14, 2016
Delicious ideas are brewing during the clash of the sandwiches, as professional and amateur cooks must utilize beer in their handheld masterpieces. Then, in round two, the surprise ingredient of muffins challenges the contestants to avoid a crummy result. It's up to judges Marc Murphy and Daphne Oz to determine who's a pro and who's an average Joe!
#15 - French Fries Freestyle
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 30, 2016
Peanuts are added to a dumpling challenge; and potato fries must be repurposed into twice-fried masterpieces.
#16 - Cookie Crumble
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 7, 2016
The first challenge facing the contestants involves incorporating cookies into a classic meat and potatoes dish. Later, they are given nuts as a surprise ingredient.
#17 - Gas Station Gourmet
Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 25, 2017
The pro and amateur cooks must concoct a gumbo with ginger as the surprise ingredient; judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Justin Warner pick a winner after trying some gas station snack masterpieces in Round 2.
#18 - Pie Fight
Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Aug 21, 2016
It's Sloppy Joe day in the kitchen, and the pros and amateurs must use pies as the surprise ingredient. Some cooks get crusty, but for others, the path to the cash prize is as easy as pie! Judges Josh Capon and Daphne Oz share cooking ghost stories in the second round when the remaining cooks must utilize campfire treats in their dishes.
#19 - Grill Warfare
Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired May 24, 2017
Judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Carla Hall grill the cooks and cons in round one, while the pros and amateurs try not to stumble incorporating backyard beverages into their burgers. Round two gets wild when the remaining contestants must include buffalo in their dishes.
#20 - Pasta Impastas
Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired May 31, 2017
Ted Allen and Sunny Anderson try to spot the ``impastas'' while observing the cooks and cons incorporating noodles into their huevos rancheros dishes; the remaining contestants include yogurt in their Round 2 masterpieces.
#21 - Open Sesame
Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired Aug 16, 2017
Fusing sesame into the New Orleans classic po' boy; in round two, the remaining contestants aren't too sad about cooking their best with blue cheese for a $10,000 prize.
#22 - Shrimp and Grits Gridiron
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 24, 2016
Judges Richard Blais and Daphne Oz know their shrimp and grits, but do they know how to tell a cook from a con? Working chefs and home cooks hide their identity as bacon makes a glorious appearance in the first round. In round two, the remaining contestants put their skills to the test in the battle of the cherries. The taste of defeat may be tart, but the winner gets a huge cash prize with a cherry on top!
#23 - Burrito Incognito
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 22, 2017
The cooks and cons must incorporate cabbage into their burritos; the contestants incorporate ham into their dishes; Sunny Anderson and Amanda Freitag judge.
#24 - Apple Apocalypse
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 14, 2016
Pasta made with Asian condiments and sinfully delicious savory apple dishes are critiqued by judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Jet Tila.
#25 - Pumpkin Thumpin'
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 23, 2016
In the Season 3 premiere, pumpkin is the surprise ingredient when the contestants make French toast. Then, judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone determine whose dish is tops when ice cream toppings are used to accent savory staples.