Iron Chef America

Common Sense Media says

Fun food battle features creative chefs and great food.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series is a competition, but features creative and interesting ways to prepare dishes that demonstrates the chef’s passion for cooking and food. The expert commentary also educated viewers about different foods and techniques.

Positive role models

Chefs are shown bragging or showing off, but it is all in good fun. All the chefs love what they do. Even when chefs lose, they show good sportsmanship.


Despite the title and the presence of sharp cooking knives, it isn’t violent. During one episode a gas torch accidentally exploded during, but no one was seriously hurt.


Contains some mild sexual innuendo, including references to foods being "sexy." Most (if not all) of it will go over the heads of younger viewers.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine, champagne, and cocktails are sometimes served to judges before and during a meal. At the end of Cat Cora's competitions, she and her staff do a shot of ouzo.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this action-packed series features renowned chefs facing off in a cooking competition. Despite the presence of lots of sharp knives and references to “battles,” the series focuses on technique and interesting dishes. The judges comments sometimes contain some mild sexual innuendo that will go over the heads of most young viewers. Wine, champagne, and cocktails are sometimes served to judges before and during a meal. Kids might not be too interested, but it’s mild enough for cooking fans of all ages.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Based on a hit series from Japan, IRON CHEF AMERICA features famous chefs battling it out in a frenzied cooking competition. Each episode, which is hosted by martial arts expert Mark Cacascos, allows a guest chef to choose one of the Iron Chefs -- Masaharu Morimoto, Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Mario Batali, or Michael Symon -- to face off against in a one-hour cook-off that requires them to make a four or five course meal. The twist? They must design each of their dishes around a theme ingredient that is revealed to them at the start of the competition. With a team of sous chefs and assistants, each chef uses their latest techniques, high-end cooking gadgets, and ingenuity in order to come up with creative, beautiful, and tasty dishes that will impress a panel of picky food experts. Throughout it all, commentators like Alton Brown and Kevin Brauch add some humor while offering their thoughts about what is going on in the kitchen. The chef receiving the highest score from the judges wins bragging rights.

Is it any good?


The fun and high-energy series showcases how chefs combine humor and culinary genius to quickly create new flavors and sophisticated dishes. While the chefs are too busy to talk extensively about what they are doing while they are cooking, the commentators offer lots of information about the ingredients they are using. They also speculate about the recipes that are being put together.

There’s lots of good-natured bragging and showing off, and on occasion a guest judge takes the competition a bit too seriously. But ultimately, the chefs featured here demonstrate a passion for cooking while having a good time doing it. It’s definitely a great series that’s mild enough for cooking fans to and foodies of all ages savor.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of the unique ingredients, techniques, and dishes they see on the show. Where do chefs learn all the things they need to know to create such sophisticated dishes? How do chefs come up with dishes that will work with secret ingredients? 

  • Talk about the show's format. How do you think the chefs and their teams come up with their dishes so quickly? Do you think the secret ingredient is really a surpise, or is that just a gimmick created for the show?

TV details

Cast:Alton Brown, Kevin Brauch, Mark Dacascos
Network:Food Network
Genre:Game Shows
TV rating:TV-G

This review of Iron Chef America was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 9 years old April 13, 2011
Well, i used to watch food network when i was 4, and still watch it.
Kid, 11 years old December 28, 2010

A Cool Cooking Experience

I really like to cook-so I don't think anyone would not expect that I would like to watch Iron Chef America. Iron Chef America is a really good cooking series show where these two cooks (an Iron Chef and a different chef) battle each other making 5 dishes including the main ingredient in one hour. Whoever gets the most points wins. However there is a lot of wine and champange used but not in the drinking way. They would add it to the dishes to give it some flavor. Otherwise the alcahol would burn off anyway. No way is it used not appropriate.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old August 2, 2010

pretty good show

i like this show.i think it's interesting seeing the secret ingredient and what they make.i think it's also a great way to see what you might want to make for lunch or dinner.


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