We're in a golden age for cooking tutorials -- search, and you shall find an answer. But not all of the videos you'll come across are created equally. Some recipes are downright bad, sometimes the camerawork is wonky, and sometimes, you'll find a personality who drones on about their "hubby" like it's a food blog from 2006. So you don't have to waste any more minutes on useless videos, we've sorted through the very best, most helpful cooking channels on YouTube. We've excluded channels that aren't currently active, like Chef Steps, though its techniques are solid, or J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who has recipe-tested the dish he's demonstrating into the ground, or Jeffrey Pang, despite his dad charms. These are the channels you should be referencing if you're in a rut, need guidance on a tough recipe, or just picking up a knife for the first time.
These Tacos Are Made for Dunking
Andrew Rea got famous for reconstructing meals from movies and TV shows, cartoons included, but now there's more to Binging With Babish's channel than that. ("Babish" is a borrowed last name of a character in The West Wing.) A self-taught chef who eventually quit his full-time job to focus on making cooking videos, Rea has been doing more than stunts requiring $300 worth of eggs for his maybe inexperienced audience. He's expanded into kitchen basics -- pantry stocking, knife skills, roasting a chicken.
Yolanda Gampp has built a small empire by showcasing her insane baking skills online. Don't brush off Gampp's airy, lighthearted host persona: the Canadian YouTuber has translated all of those views into a devout following who will buy nearly anything she merchandises, whether that's a punny T-shirt about cake or a simple syrup squeeze bottle she's nicknamed Sir Squeeze-A-Lot. On the home cook's difficulty scale, her cakes range from Easy (giant Oreo) to Do Not Attempt (fidget spinner).
YSAC's deadpan recipe videos are basically YouTube food canon by now, but it wouldn't be on this here list if the instruction wasn't actually helpful or the jokes didn't land. For those of us who have a tough time cooking outside the box of a recipe, the mystery dude behind YSAC encourages some freeforming to suit your own tastes when it's appropriate.
Saptarshi Chakraborty and Insiya Poonawala moonlight as the brains behind Bong Kitchen, a channel cooking through dishes of Bengali cuisine in easy-to-follow text-on-screen recipe videos that also explain the cultural significance of each dish. Meant predominantly for the curious Westerner, Bong Kitchen helps make dishes that might seem unapproachable to an average cook a doable feat.
Francis the gray miniature poodle is the, uh, host of Cooking With Dog, a bizarre cooking show that's been posting new episodes for nearly 10 years. Its goofiness is part of the allure, as Francis narrates the steps of traditional Japanese dishes, but the content is just as handy if you do actually want to cook along.
Everyone loves Chef John! For years, his lilting voice has been the guiding force of Food Wishes, which has outpaced the relevance of its home site, allrecipies.com, in this age of video. In its extensive back catalogue, Food Wishes has a recipe for everyone, so if you're struggling to find something that fits your needs, keep scrolling.
For a hands-and-pans style recipe video that won't give you an aneurysm, Peaceful Cuisine is your best bet. The minimalist, slow-paced ASMR cooking show isn't as useful a tutorial as it is a soothing experience, but if you want to try your hand at any of the dishes (all of them are vegan!), you can find a list of ingredients and steps in the description.
The New York Times once called Emily Kim, aka Maangchi, the "Korean Julia Child." So if you're curious about the ins and outs of Korean food, head directly to the addicting recipe videos on Maangchi's YouTube channel, each one beginning with three chops of an onion, Kim wielding a chef's knife and stuffed fish, and the greeting, "Hi, everybody!" In short, Maangchi rules.
Two doofy brothers teamed up to make their own version of a cooking show almost 10 years ago. The brothers of Brothers Green Eats clearly grew up in the vlogging era, fostering an instinct that makes their videos personable, pretension-free, and fun. For cheap, low-lift meals that are usually best when you're on another planet, if you catch my drift, look no further.
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