There are some pretty strange and unusual ingredients that get used on The Next Iron Chef challenges. But what secret ingredients have been the hardest for the competitors to work with? The culinary team in Food Network Kitchens weighed in on this question and came up with eight of the most difficult secret ingredients from the previous four seasons.
But what’s the absolute hardest ingredient used on The Next Iron Chef? You get to decide in this bracket challenge.
How It Works
Round 1 begins today, November 15. The top eight secret ingredients will get narrowed down to four. Vote below now.
Round 2 is next week. The remaining four ingredients will get narrowed down to two. Vote starting November 22 at noon.
Round 3 is the last week of November. The winner will be chosen from the two finalists. Vote starting November 29 at noon.
On December 6 we will announce the winner at noon.
The Secret Ingredients Up for Vote
Condiments: In Season 3, Episode 4, the challenge was to choose an average condiment (like ketchup, mustard, ranch dressing) and transform it into a dish.
Doughnuts: In Season 3, Episode 2, the chefs had to create a breakfast dish that transformed coffee and doughnuts.
Gummy Candy: In Season 4, Episode 3, the chefs had to cook two dishes incorporating movie theater candy. Michael Chiarello used gummy bears in creating his dishes.
Rice: In Season 2, Episode 6, the chefs were given the challenge of creating five rice dishes, with each dish adhering to one of the five tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.
Tamarind: In Season 2, Episode 4, the chefs’ adaptability was tested. They had to incorporate tamarind into two Mexican-inspired dishes, one sweet and one savory. In a later twist, the chefs were told to create a drink from tamarind.
Tripe: In Season 1, Episode 1, the chefs were challenged to make two desserts, one of them using a savory ingredient. Tripe was among the options.
Tuna Jerky: In Season 4, Episode 6, the chefs had to bid on the amount of time it would take them to create a dish using an assigned ingredient. Elizabeth Falkner had 25 minutes to create a dish using tuna jerky, which ultimately won her the challenge.
Xanthan Gum: In Season 1, Episode 3, the challenge was all about using innovative appliances and ingredients, like xanthan gum (a food additive made from bacteria that’s commonly used as a thickener and stabilizer).