The Real Reason Chopped Only Has One Deep Fryer, According To Alex Guarnaschelli

Competing on "Chopped" is not exactly an easy thing to do. During the one-hour program (which, by the way, takes 12 hours to film on average), the four contestants face some major challenges, starting with a mystery basket filled with random ingredients — some of which they've never even worked with before. The chefs are then tasked with transforming these items into a delicious plate of food in a matter of 20 or 30 minutes, which they then have to serve to a judging panel made up of a few very famous faces in the culinary world. We should also note that the competitors have to do all of this in a kitchen that Food Network revealed they only get about 10 minutes to get acquainted with before the cooking gets started. According to winner Silvia Baldini, this was ultimately the most difficult part of competing on the show (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet).

While the unfamiliarity is certainly a stress inducer, the "Chopped" kitchen is actually pretty cool. It's got a pantry stocked with spices, produce, and various wines and liquors, not to mention that it's equipped with just about every cooking gadget you can think of (via Food Network). However, there's one major place that it falls short, and if you've tuned into the program even once, you can probably guess what we're getting to here: it's only got one deep fryer available for all four contestants to use. What's up with that?

Alex Guarnaschelli offers this alternative method for frying food on 'Chopped'

The question of why there is only one deep fryer in the "Chopped" kitchen has riddled fans of the show for years, with one viewer taking to Reddit as early as 2018 to call for more fryers to be added to the space. More recently, the issue made its way to Twitter, where "Chopped" judge Alex Guarnaschelli gave somewhat of an explanation for the scarcity of certain pieces of equipment in the kitchen, as well as a solution for the deep fryer situation. After one fan suggested that the program invest in a second ice cream machine — which is often another source of problems for contestants — the celebrity chef reminded viewers that "Chopped" is a competition, "not a country club" (via Twitter).

User @tweetstormchris hopped on the thread, as well, to inquire about the lone deep fryer in the kitchen, to which Guarnaschelli offered an alternative method for competitors who can't get to the fryer in time. "There is oil in the pantry," she tweeted back. "You can make your own, individual temp-controlled fryer on your station if need be." However, this may be easier said than done, as Guarnaschelli has reminded us in the past that "Chopped" contestants are under some serious pressure, so the thought of creating their own fryer may not even cross their minds. Plus, you have to admit that the overcrowding of the deep fryer does make for some good TV — who doesn't love a little extra competition anyways?