How Long Does It Take To Film An Episode Of Chopped?

As one of Food Network's most popular shows (voted number one by fans on Ranker), it's easy to see why viewers have so many burning questions about Chopped. According to the show's webpage, Chopped is in its 45th season with over 500 episodes having aired (via IMDb), and that's a lot of hours to watch — but how long did all that content take to produce?

According to host Ted Allen (via Grub Street) each episode takes roughly 12 hours to film, plus some extra time for the winner to do a longer interview at the end. This is not including all the time spent before shooting, when the Food Network's culinary department source the ingredients, create mystery baskets, and make sure everything is fresh and clean. In an interview with Reality Blurred, judge Amanda Freitag revealed that even judging each round can regularly take up to 40 minutes, especially if two judges feel particularly strong about one dish. They also make time to preview and sample the dishes before filming the judging sequences, that way the judges can get a feel for what the dishes are like without worrying about them cooling off or melting during the shoot, and so the person judged last isn't at a disadvantage.

Inside the Chopped studio kitchen

The New York Post was given a behind the scenes pass to watch the taping of an episode at Food Network's Chelsea Market Studios in New York City, and observed that each round is filmed in real time lasting 20 minutes without any breaks or re-shoots, but there is additional time spent before on shots of each contestant standing with the unopened mystery basket and reaction shots after each round. The only things provided for the contestants are a stock pot full of boiling water and a preheated oven, both simple kitchen tasks that would be impractical to do in real time. According to Thrillist, the contestants are also given a tour of the kitchen before filming so they know where everything is located and what ingredients are available.

Chopped champion Kathy Fang told Delish her episode took over 14 hours to film, with her arriving at 5:45 a.m. and finishing between 8 and 9 p.m. Her final interview took an hour-and-a-half, in which she was asked to explain what she was thinking about during each round and how she felt having won the big prize and becoming a Chopped champion. The crew also gave her a snack during her last interview, because she realized that even though she spent the day surrounded by food she had been so busy she forgot to eat.