How To Make Your Own Chopped Junior Episode With Your Kids.
A Fun And Easy Way To Create A Great Family Memory.
Want to know what the best part of Chopped Junior is? No, it's not the cruel critiques that almost bring some kids to tears. (Just imagine if one of the judges was Scott Farkus from A Christmas Story.)
The best part of Chopped Junior is watching these kids create amazing dishes by using their imaginations to problem solve in the kitchen. Skills they can use in life. I'm going to tell you how we did it in our home with minor kitchen cleanup. Yeah, you never see that on the show, but I'll get into that later. I'll also have a link to a follow up post where I tell you how you can record and edit your own episode. Hey look kids, you're on TV!
Tips For Setting Up Your Episode Of Chopped Junior
- Make sure your cupboard and fridge are stocked with a lot of kid friendly ingredients. You know your kids best, so put your thumb on the scale. Remember you have to taste it, too.
- Make the time very generous, but not too long. We found 30 minutes to be enough time. You don't want to spend all night in the kitchen.
- Don't feel like you have to make it just like the show. Instead of baskets we used brown paper grocery bags.
- Make it as many rounds as you want. We kept it to two, because that's all we wanted to clean up afterwards.
- Last, talk to your kids about the fun of the process, and not to worry about winning or losing.
Round 1 - Entrees
Yeah, we skipped the appetizers and went straight into the entree round. Let's just say salads and such aren't my kids strong suit. They would probably throw M&Ms on some spinach, and then drown it in Ranch.
For the bags, I found these labels online, downloaded them and then taped them to the bags. The secret ingredients we put in the bags were:
Bacon makes anything edible, that's why my wife and I included it as the last secret ingredient. No matter what they came up with, the dish would at least have the taste of bacon in it.
This type of competition actually helped boost my oldest daughters confidence in the kitchen.
Audrey presented her dish first. It was an scrambled egg and bacon sandwich with a side of pretzels, apples and peanut butter. Hailey presented us with pretzel dusted sautéed apples and bacon in a wrap with a side of fresh apples. Hailey was afraid she couldn't make anything, but her dish had interesting texture and was edible. Round 1 went to Chef Audrey.
Like I said earlier, you never think about the cleanup between stages because they never show it. Maybe professional chefs aren't as messy as kids, but just prepare yourself for some sloppy cooking.
You're On The Clock
To give that big clock feel of Chopped, you can either use a laptop or a desktop, if you have one in your kitchen, and use Google's Countdown Clock. You can expand it to take up the whole screen, so it's big enough to see whilst cooking.
Round 2 - Dessert
To add an extra level of fun, we asked each girl what secret ingredient they wanted included in the competition. Unsurprisingly, they both chose a dessert item. For the dessert round the semi-surprise ingredients were:
- Gummie Bears (Chosen by Audrey)
- Hershey Bars (Chosen by Hailey)
- Graham Crackers (Chosen by Me)
Audrey was up first with s'mores topped with chocolate frosting and M&Ms. On the side she had vanilla ice cream topped with gummie bears, M&Ms, and Hershey Kisses. The soft, squishy gummy bears were hardened by the cold ice cream. Hailey was next with an ice cream s'more sundae with a melted marshmallow base, that was a little hard after she took it out of the microwave and put cold ice cream on top of it. Bite down carefully my friends, bite down carefully. She also drizzled melted Hershey Bars on gummie bears as a side. Round 2 goes to Chef Hailey.
Even though it ended in a tie, we all had fun. I filmed the entire event, and edited it to make our very own episode of Chopped. Below is the final video of our competition.
If you want tips on shooting and editing your own episode, follow the link below.
- How to Shoot and Edit Your Own Chopped Junior Competition
For family night we created our own version of Chopped Junior, which I filmed and edited for a fun family memory.
© 2018 Jeff Huser