It’s a Tuesday night. You’re sitting at home with your ramen in one hand and the remote in the other, flipping through channels. Chopped is on, so you obviously gotta watch. But wait… what’s that slimy thing the contestant just pulled out of the basket? Or that neon green snake in the entree round? 

Sometimes those basket combinations can get a little rough to watch, but we put together a list of the absolute worst items to pull out when Ted Allen utters those fatal words…

“Chefs, open your baskets”

10. Fruit Cake

rye bread, pastry, wheat, cake, chocolate, sweet, brown bread, bread
Helena Lin

You know that nasty bread log your Aunt Muriel brings to every family holiday party? The one that looks like a little kid ate pieces of leggos and had some serious bowel issues after? Behold fruit cake. On Chopped, there’s not much you can do when you get that dense, sickening loaf of who knows what. French toast is definitely a viable option, but who wants to eat french toast thats resembles a compact brick?

9. Whole Chicken in a Can

Okay, so chicken in a can is really just a whole chicken. But like, it’s in a can. It’s slimy, watery, and definitely won’t turn into the gourmet rotisserie chicken the Chopped contestants envision when they see this ingredient in their basket. By far the best (and most upsetting) part is watching them un-can the chicken, which sort of looks like a birth straight out of a middle school health video. Naaaasty.

8. Leftover Pizza

pizza, pepperoni, dough, crust, sauce, mozzarella, cheese
Emily Waples

If you ask me, leftover pizza is one of the 7 wonders of the world…Except when you get it on Chopped. The problem is that it’s usually cold and pretty crusty, and the cheese has congealed so much it looks like dried out sunscreen. Finding a good way to repurpose old pizza on Chopped is a challenge, but it’s been done successfully. Take pizza croutons for example.

7. Ostrich Egg

Eggs are a healthy, hearty way to start your day. Now take the egg you normally eat in the morning and multiply it by 20 and dye it a weird blackish-green color. Now you’ve got yourself an ostrich egg. Part of the shock factor of Ostrich eggs on Chopped is their ginormous size, but it’s also all about figuring out how to divide up one personal pizza sized egg for 4 people. No easy task.

6. Any Gummy Candy

When I was 5 I could eat an entire meal out of gummy candy. Pizza, burgers, eggs, feet, worms, etc. But on Chopped you have to actually combine these gummy delicacies with real food. More often than not, the color of the sauces people usually create with their gummies resembles some sort of pastel blue or green. Not exactly appetizing to put on steak or pasta.

5. Beef Tongue

Beef tongue looks like your grandma’s skin after too many winters down in Boca. It’s leathery and thick, and it’s also nearly impossible to ignore the tastebuds all over the so-called “meat”. On Chopped, it’s often used as a substitute for bacon, but when the chefs slice into that thing, I’m guaranteed to cringe.

4. Marmite

Sorry all Australian people, but marmite looks sort of like a certain unmentionable bodily substance. Yeast paste sounds like it could have potential. Jelly is dank, right? Well, wrong. Marmite is salty, gooey, and is usually put in a sauce or marinade that the judges describe as “gummy”. Sounds delish.

3. Rose Water

Rose water shows up in the dessert round waaaay more than it should. Sometimes it’s nice to stop and smell the roses, but there is definitely a reason no one ever said anything about eating roses. Rose water is basically soap in liquid form. So unless you love munching on a nice bar of Dial, rose water should probably stay hidden away in the pantry.

2. Sea Cucumber

People picture a weird deformed pickle when they think of sea cucumber, but in all honestly it looks a little more like a banana and a pickle had a baby. Tasty, right? Sea cucumber is primarily used in Asian delicacies, but when you have 20 minutes to get it into your appetizer, this salty banana-pickle is less than delectable.

1. Rocky Mountain Oysters

It’s time to be real with you. Rocky mountain oysters are balls. I’m not saying they’re ball shaped. I’m saying they are literally bull, pig, or sheep testicles. Not much more to elaborate on about that. Usually, contestants deep fry them to disguise the fact that you’re eating reproductive organs, but underneath it all, they’re still balls.