Family Cooking Competition Ideas: Ready, Set, Cook!

By Mali Anderson in Healthy Feeling

Does your family love to cook? Are you looking for family cooking competition ideas after watching cooking shows, perusing magazines, and thumbing through cookbooks? If your dinner table is humming with talk of ingredients and new recipes to try, you’re probably ready for a home competition. Why not take it up to the next level and have a family cook-off! These ideas will help you get your kitchen ready.

Getting Started

Once you’ve looked over a few cooking competition ideas, you can establish which cook-off idea is best for your family. Is your family up for a secret challenge, where the contestants are given surprise ingredients? Or are you interested in a theme challenge, an open-ended request for a meal of the judge’s choice?

Next, determine the rules. Set a time limit for the challenge and let your contestants know if the dishes have to be served in a particular way. Also, discuss how much importance will be on taste and how much weight will be given to appearance.

Teams can be one or two people, depending on how many people want to participate. If your cooks want to dress the part, encourage them to don their chef’s hats or aprons to get in a culinary mood. Just remember, the number one rule for a cooking competition is stay safe. Little ones should be paired with an adult or given a task that doesn’t involve hot surfaces or knives.

family cook-off

Surprise Ingredients: Desserts and Dips

If you’re new to cook-offs, or if you have kiddos not ready for the stove top, start small and host a dip competition. Dips are ideal because cooking isn’t necessary, but if your older kids want to get more advanced, there are always opportunities to sauté garlic and onions or make bean dips in blenders, too.

For a dip challenge, try offering up secret ingredients. I started my last challenge with yogurt, basil, chives, and carrots. It was a great opportunity to use the basil and chives from the garden and the carrots in our community supported agriculture (CSA) box. By adding spices, veggies, avocados, or anything else tasty, this dip goes from basic to extraordinary in 10 minutes.

You can also try a dessert challenge featuring fruit, granola, or homemade jams. Do you have more seasoned cooks or older kids in the house? Make a more complicated dessert request by researching recipes that could become cooking competition ideas, involving the oven and knife skills. Think cobblers, cookies, or pies that have unique flavors.

family cook-off

Creative Challenge: Breakfast Cook-Off

Breakfast for dinner, anyone? For many, breakfast is their favorite meal of the day; why not enjoy it twice within twenty-four hours? This round can be done on a lazy Sunday morning or as a fun alternative to a weekday meal. You can opt to do a secret box, as with dips and desserts, trying out combinations like eggs, cheese, avocados, spinach, and tomatoes.

Or, go purely with the breakfast theme and a time limit. Let your cooks, big and small, go wild in the kitchen and see what they come up with. French toast topped with berries? Sautéed spinach and eggs? Or, perhaps, a no-cook classic like granola and yogurt? Yum!

Home cooking competitions are a creative way to have fun in the kitchen. Who knows, you just might discover a new recipe that will become a family favorite.

What cooking competition ideas have you enjoyed with your family? Let us know! Tweet us @TomsofMaine.

Image source: Mali Anderson

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Why It’s Good

Having a friendly cooking competition is a fun way to swap and share recipes and bond with your family. This article has cooking competition ideas to kick your culinary creativity in high gear with suggestions for every age.