The Best Cooking Shows You Can Watch Right Now

The Best Cooking Shows You Can Watch Right Now

Cooking shows were the first reality television programs, long before the category even existed. Their popularity is such that today TV outlets such as the Cooking Channel and Food Network are solely devoted to the insatiable desires and whims of foodies everywhere. 

To determine the modern day cooking shows audiences like best, 24/7 Tempo reviewed audience ratings on IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon. Cooking instruction, cooking competition, and food-based travel shows were ranked based on IMDb user ratings as of August 2022. In the case of a tie, the show with more votes was ranked higher. Only shows with at least 500 user votes were considered, which ruled out well-loved earlier shows hosted by such culinary icons as ​​Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, and Emeril Lagasse, which few IMDb users have rated. (Cast information also came from IMDb.)

Cooking shows are popular for many reasons. In contrast to other television genres, they are not as expensive to produce. Food also is an evocative way to lean into a particular nation’s culture, as shown by such series as “Chef’s Table” and “Ugly Delicious,” or to travel vicariously, as with  “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” 

In addition, competitive cooking shows like “The Great British Baking Show” and “Iron Chef” get audiences to root for or against a contestant, while instructional shows, including “The Pioneer Woman,” pass along recipes that for the most part are not too complicated. (Here are 23 surprising cooking tips you learn at culinary school.)

Many of these cooking shows have legs, and have been on television for more than 10 years, among them “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Top Chef,” and “Food Network Star.” (Here’s a look at the best TV show released the year you were born.)

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

30. The Pioneer Woman (2011-present)
> IMDb user rating: 6.0/10
> IMDb user votes: 550
> Stars: Ree Drummond, Ladd Drummond, Alex Drummond

Citified country gal Ree Drummond, wife of an Oklahoma rancher, cooks up down-home dishes on their spread in this Food Network series.

Source: Courtesy of The Food Network

29. Beat Bobby Flay (2013-present)
> IMDb user rating: 6.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,147
> Stars: Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Scott Conant, Anne Burrell

Two contestants per episode face off in a cooking competition for the chance to take on celebrity chef Bobby Flay on the Food Network.

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

28. Food Network Star (2005-present)
> IMDb user rating: 6.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,203
> Stars: Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Bob Tuschman, Susie Fogelson

Celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, and Bob Tuschman host the program that seeks a great chef who can host their own television cooking show.

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

27. Barefoot Contessa (2002-present)
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 615
> Stars: Ina Garten, Jeffrey Garten, Thomas Pescod, Devon Fredericks

Before she graced the airwaves with her own cooking show on the Food Network, Ina Garten was a policy analyst for presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. She taught herself how to cook from Julia Child’s cookbooks. The name of her show comes from the 1954 movie “The Barefoot Contessa.”

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

26. Guy’s Grocery Games (2013-present)
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,406
> Stars: Guy Fieri, Troy Johnson, Aarti Sequeira, Hunter Fieri

Food Network fixture Guy Fieri hosts “Guy’s Grocery Games,” a competition show that takes place inside a 15,000-square-foot warehouse furnished and stocked to look like a grocery store, in which contestants have to whip up dishes from items found on the shelves. The show has run for 29 seasons (three seasons per year).

Source: Courtesy of Discovery Family Channel

25. Cake Boss (2009-present)
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 3,134
> Stars: Buddy Valastro, Mauro Castano, Danny Dragone, Joey Faugno

Buddy Valastro’s family business originated in a shop in Hoboken, New Jersey. His show, blending baking with family, involves his baking over-the-top cakes for all occasions. The show was on the TLC before moving to its sister network, Discovery Family.

Source: Courtesy of Shine International

24. MasterChef Junior (2013-present)
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10
> IMDb user votes: 2,816
> Stars: Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, Charlie Ryan, Joe Bastianich

This Fox program, co-developed and starring celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, features a competition between the best young home cooks (between the ages of 8 and 13) in the country.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

23. Sugar Rush (2018-2020)
> IMDb user rating: 7.0/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,537
> Stars: Hunter March, Adriano Zumbo, Candace Nelson, Colin Hanks

This Netflix show consists of four teams of chefs competing against each other, and the clock to create prize-winning confectionery.

Source: Kelly Sullivan / Getty Images

22. Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend (2022-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10
> IMDb user votes: 592
> Stars: Kristen Kish, Alton Brown, Andrew Zimmern, Nilou Motamed

The folks that brought you “Iron Chef” and “Iron Chef America” have rebooted the series as “Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend.” The Netflix series features five newly minted Iron Chefs who take on challengers in the quest to become the first ever “Iron Legend.”

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

21. The American Barbecue Showdown (2020-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,218
> Stars: Rutledge Wood, Lyric Lewis, Kevin Bludso, Melissa Cookston

This Netflix series tracks the country’s best backyard smokers and competitive barbecuers who vie for the title of American Barbecue Champion.

Source: Courtesy of Fox Film Corporation

20. Hell’s Kitchen (2005-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.1/10
> IMDb user votes: 20,124
> Stars: Gordon Ramsay, Jean Philippe Susilovic, Scott Leibfried, Jason Thompson

Chef Gordon Ramsay, known for his exacting standards and prickly personality, takes aspiring young chefs through their paces with rigorous cooking challenges at his restaurant in Hollywood on this Fox show.

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

19. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (2006-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 3,682
> Stars: Guy Fieri, Hunter Fieri, Ryder Fieri, Lori Fieri

Chef Guy Fieri hits the road in this long-running series to discover the country’s unique casual eating places, interviewing the owners of the establishments, watching them cook, and sampling their signature items.

Source: Courtesy of Travel Channel

18. Man v. Food (2008-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 7,058
> Stars: Adam Richman, Casey Webb, Andrew Zimmern, Gladys Knight

In a Cooking Channel show that could only take place in America, hosts Adam Richman and Casey Webb travel to take on local eating challenges. These involve portion size – a four-pound Reuben sandwich in Milwaukee; a gallon-sized ice cream sundae in New Orleans – as well as spiciness and other factors.

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

17. Chopped (2007-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb user votes: 3,943
> Stars: Ted Allen, Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy, Scott Conant

On this Food Network series, four chefs summon their culinary talents in a competition in which they prepare a three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, entrée, and dessert based on the ingredients the show provides, many of them bizarre. A panel of celebrity chefs judges each course and at the end of the episode, one contestant is eliminated, or “chopped.”

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

16. Nailed It! (2018-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10
> IMDb user votes: 4,767
> Stars: Nicole Byer, Jacques Torres, Weston Bahr, Charity George

Home bakers with the energy but not the skills attempt to make edible creations on this Netflix series that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

15. Dinner: Impossible (2007-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 531
> Stars: Robert Irvine, David Britton, George Galati, George Kralle

Physically imposing Chef Robert Irvine, along with his sous-chefs, is tasked with completing a different culinary challenge in a limited amount of time in each episode of this Food Network series.

Source: Ninell_Art / Getty Images

14. School of Chocolate (2021-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,755
> Stars: Daniel Corpuz, Amaury Guichon

Famed chocolatier Amaury Guichon tries to elevate the culinary craft of eight top pastry and chocolate pros on this Netflix series.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

13. The Final Table (2018-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 4,207
> Stars: Andrew Knowlton, Monique Fiso, Mark Best, Shane Osborn

Food competition goes international on this Netflix program. Teams of chefs are tasked with impressing the toughest palates as the chefs create iconic dishes from different nations.

Source: Courtesy of Bravo!

12. Top Chef (2006-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 6,189
> Stars: Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Richard Blais

Tom Collichio, himself a top chef, and Indian-American author and model Padma Lakshmi host this Bravo series. The cooking competition pits chefs against each other in various culinary challenges, judged by a panel of food and wine experts. One or more contestants are eliminated in each episode.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

11. Nailed It! Holiday! (2018-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,104
> Stars: Nicole Byer, Jacques Torres, Charity George, Jason Mantzoukas

In the holiday-themed version of the original Netflix series, culinarily challenged bakers try to make edible creations.

Source: Rachel Murray / Getty Images

10. Ugly Delicious (2018-present)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10
> IMDb user votes: 3,429
> Stars: David Chang, Peter Meehan, Aziz Ansari, Rene Redzepi

If nothing else, “Ugly Delicious” gets the award for best oxymoronic title for a cooking show. The Netflix documentary follows chef David Chang around the world as he tastes food from different cultures.

Source: Courtesy of American Broadcasting Company

9. Food Revolution (2010-2011)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10
> IMDb user votes: 810
> Stars: Jamie Oliver, Alice Gue, Rod Willis, Mike McGalliard

This Emmy Award-winning ABC series starred English-born chef Jamie Oliver as he crusaded against obesity, heart disease, and diabetes in the U.S.

Source: Courtesy of Hulu

8. Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (2020-present)
> IMDb user rating: 8.2/10
> IMDb user votes: 524
> Stars: Padma Lakshmi, Ali Wong, Maz Jobrani, Madhur Jaffrey

This Hulu series starring the Indian-American author and television personality takes viewers on a culinary odyssey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups and telling the stories of the people who created them.

Source: Courtesy of HBO Max

7. Selena + Chef (2020-present)
> IMDb user rating: 8.3/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,184
> Stars: Selena Gomez, Alonzo B. Slater, Antonia Lofaso, Roy Choi

Selena Gomez, who became a child star in Disney TV shows and movies (and now appears in the Hulu comedy series “Only Murders in the Building”) and has sold millions of records as a recording artist, takes advantage of the pandemic-inducted quarantine to try her hand in the kitchen in the HBO Max series.

Source: Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

6. Iron Chef (1993-1999)
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,361
> Stars: Chen Kenichi, Hiroyuki Sakai, Wayne LeGette, Rokusaburo Michiba

Originally aired in Japan, “Iron Chef” became a Food Network hit when it was first shown here in 1993. On the program, chefs from various countries face off against one of the “Iron Chefs.” The challenger and the Iron Chef have an hour to prepare a meal in which each course must include that show’s featured ingredient.

Source: Courtesy of Netflix

5. Chef’s Table (2015-2019)
> IMDb user rating: 8.5/10
> IMDb user votes: 14,748
> Stars: Dan Barber, Massimo Bottura, Bill Buford, Lara Gilmore

The Netflix documentary series takes a deep dive into the lives and kitchens of four to six of the world’s most accomplished international chefs each season.

Source: Courtesy of Public Broadcasting Service

4. The Great British Baking Show (2010-present)
> IMDb user rating: 8.6/10
> IMDb user votes: 9,899
> Stars: Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc

This BAFTA-winning Netflix series features bakers taking on three challenges each week in their attempt to impress the judges enough to advance to the next round and eventually be crowned Britain’s best amateur baker.

Source: Courtesy of CNN

3. Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (2021-present)
> IMDb user rating: 8.7/10
> IMDb user votes: 1,836
> Stars: Stanley Tucci, Felicity Blunt, Massimo Bottura, Tess Masazza

Acclaimed actor Stanley Tucci returns to his Italian roots with this Emmy Award-winning culinary travelogue on CNN – a paean to Italy’s cuisine.

Source: Courtesy of CNN+

2. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013-2018)
> IMDb user rating: 8.8/10
> IMDb user votes: 5,803
> Stars: Anthony Bourdain, Tom Vitale, David Scott Holloway, Eric Ripert

You didn’t have to be a foodie to appreciate the relentless curiosity of the late ex-chef and world citizen Anthony Bourdain as he traveled to other countries and immersed himself in their history, culture, and, of course, their cuisine in this 12-time Emmy-winning series on CNN.

Source: Courtesy of Food Network

1. Good Eats (1999-2012)
> IMDb user rating: 8.9/10
> IMDb user votes: 3,597
> Stars: Alton Brown, Brett Soll, Vickie Eng, Deb Duchon

This celebrated 14-season series on the Food Network starred Chef Alton Brown. Behind the dishes he would create, Brown delved into the science behind what makes food so flavorful.

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