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.

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Surf and Turf Showdown

#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!

star 8.25
32 votes
Pizza Pizzazz

#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.

star 8.23
22 votes
Candy Clash

#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.

star 8.09
45 votes
Meatball Mayhem

#4 - Meatball Mayhem

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 21, 2016

A world-class meatball showdown is followed by a chocolate challenge.

star 8.06
35 votes
Gone Bananas

#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.

star 8.05
20 votes
Crab Cake Crazy

#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.

star 8.04
26 votes
Chicken Wingin' It!

#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.

star 8.03
30 votes
Ballpark Snack Attack

#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

star 8.00
24 votes
Breakfast in Bedlam

#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.

star 8.00
14 votes
Salad Bar Blowout

#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.

star 7.93
14 votes
Taco Takedown

#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.

star 7.90
72 votes
Tarts and Hearts

#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.

star 7.89
19 votes
Battle Baked Clams

#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.

star 7.89
9 votes
Beer Bedlam

#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!

star 7.88
25 votes
French Fries Freestyle

#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.

star 7.86
29 votes
Cookie Crumble

#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.

star 7.80
56 votes
Gas Station Gourmet

#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.

star 7.77
22 votes
Pie Fight

#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.

star 7.75
28 votes
Grill Warfare

#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.

star 7.75
12 votes
Pasta Impastas

#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.

star 7.75
12 votes
Open Sesame

#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.

star 7.75
16 votes
Shrimp and Grits Gridiron

#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!

star 7.73
30 votes
Burrito Incognito

#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.

star 7.70
23 votes
Apple Apocalypse

#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.

star 7.68
25 votes
Pumpkin Thumpin'

#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.

star 7.68
34 votes