Is This The Most Dangerous Mystery Ingredient Ever Used On Chopped?

The chefs who compete on Food Network's "Chopped" are truly up against some scary situations — rushing to get out their dishes as the clock counts down, never knowing what exactly is going to appear in those baskets, and staring down some seriously intimidating judges — but none of those compare to the thought of cooking an ingredient incorrectly and accidentally killing a "Chopped" judge. However, that's exactly the type of situation the chefs faced on the "Deadliest Baskets" episode of "Chopped," as well as on several other episodes throughout the years the long-running show has been on the air.

What was the most dangerous mystery ingredient the "Chopped" chefs have ever been forced to wrangle? It could just be the deadly eel. Appearing on a Halloween episode, eels contain toxic blood that requires a thorough cooking process. Even a small amount of eel blood can kill a human, says, as it causes the heart to cramp.

Can you turn this deadly ingredient into a tasty treat?

It can be done. After all, eel is a delicacy in many countries, from Japan to Italy and China to France. The Guardian described how to cook and eat eel. "The meat of the eel has a distinctive and beautifully clean flavor ... Grilled eel is particularly delicious. Some of the most beautiful fish I've ever had in my life was some eels we caught on the river Test, rolled in salt and pepper, and grilled over an open fire. Simply sensational," the outlet wrote.

However you cook your eel, whether you grill it, stew it, roast it, or jelly it, the key is to completely cook all the eel's blood. That became an issue in the "Chopped" episode that included eels, as one of the contestants only torched their eel, meaning the judges had to pass on that chef's plate "due to safety concerns." The blood contains a toxic protein that damages the human heart, but once the blood is cooked, explains, the protein unravels and no longer functions.

The only problem? You may not be able to find eel for your cooking adventures as easily as the "Chopped" producers. As Mashed reported last year, the American eel is disappearing and overfishing is a legitimate concern.