Before the explosion of technology, the only way to learn recipes and cooking methods was to watch someone in person or read a recipe.
TV cooking shows later added a new dimension to the experience: the chef’s entertaining personality. This gave rise to the era of the celebrity chef, which eventually dovetailed with the dawn of social media, specifically YouTube.
Youtube cooking channels are among the platform’s most-viewed content. It’s no surprise; millions of people either love to cook or want to learn how. Millions more simply love watching someone else cook. It’s a form of comfort and relaxation that’s almost like meditation.
My reason for watching YouTube cooking channels? All of the above.
I enjoy cooking a nice meal when I have the time. I also know that I have a lot to learn in the kitchen, and I enjoy partaking in the cooking process with someone – even when it’s virtual.
So, without further delay, let’s review 13 of the best YouTube cooking channels available for adventurous home chefs and kitchen newcomers alike.
New York Times Cooking
The New York Times, nicknamed the Gray Lady, has been one of the prominent newspapers of record in the United States since the 1860s.
Their cooking section is one of their most popular, so it made perfect sense for the paper to begin uploading cooking videos to YouTube in 2019.
The channel reflects the values of the New York Times. It provides step-by-step education for everything from simple dishes to gourmet meals.
Each video is hosted by a featured cook, some of whom are well-known – though not always for cooking. A few of their most popular hosts include Yewande Komolafe, Priya Krishna, and Sohla El-Waylly.
If you enjoy learning about various cultures and cuisines and like to watch personable, informative guides, this channel might be one of your future favorites.
If you’re a foodie, you probably know Bon Appetit magazine. You may even have a subscription.
The publication is known for its in-depth exploration of fine cuisine and wine, paired with its gorgeous food photography.
Bon Appetit’s Youtube channel brings all the best of the magazine to life.
Viewers can watch Michelin-starred chefs demonstrate professional culinary techniques, catch up on the latest cooking trends and products, check out reviews of food and wine, and enjoy celebrity kitchen guest spots.
When I want to impress my dinner party guests, or when the holidays roll around, and I’m looking for something special for the meal, Bon Appetit is my go-to channel.
Binging with Babish
Binging With Babish, known on YouTube as Babish Culinary Universe, shares the cooking adventures of a faceless chef known simply as Babish.
Only his torso and hands are visible as he guides you through recipes with a calm, even voice.
There’s something very comforting about watching this channel, and you can learn a lot too.
My favorite videos are those where he creates a recipe based on a dish from TV or movies.
He’s made everything from Ichiraku Ramen from Naruto to Spongebob’s Krabby Patties!
Pro Home Cooks
Do you cook as a hobby and want to find exciting ways to expand your craft?
Pro Home Cooks, hosted by Mike Greenfield, has lots of advice and easy-to-follow tutorials covering many topics, from putting kitchen gadgets to the test to meal prepping.
Even if you’re not a homesteader, you may enjoy watching the fascinating videos about home cheesemaking or distilling your own vinegar.
Or, if you’re more like me and prefer to keep up with the latest trends, you will love the episodes on viral TikTok food fads.
Greenfield’s friendly, outgoing manner and willingness to show his everyday kitchen mishaps make you feel like you’re learning these new skills side by side with a friend.
If you’ve ever wished you knew all the little tricks to help you create meals that taste delicious AND look beautiful, ChefSteps is the place to learn.
In each episode, the host focuses on one recipe or skill to elevate your cooking above the norm.
For example, they offer instructions on cooking perfect, succulent salmon steaks on the grill without them falling apart.
They also show you how to glaze a Thanksgiving turkey that tastes wonderful and looks beautiful for your social media photos.
There’s so much to learn from Chef Steps; there’s no doubt you’ll want to like and subscribe.
You Suck at Cooking
While the title of this channel may be a little hurtful, let’s be honest, who hasn’t felt like they sucked at cooking at some point?
Luckily you can address the problem with some basic instruction and a few laughs. That’s how You Suck at Cooking approaches it.
Episodes consist mainly of relatively simple, standard recipes that should be part of most home chefs’ repertoires – things like roasted brussels sprouts, beef stew, carrot cake, etc. – presented with a healthy dose of geeky, irreverent humor.
I find this channel easy to follow and effective at teaching essential recipes, especially to those just learning how to cook for themselves.
Like many people, I would like to adopt eating habits that are healthier for me and more sustainable for the planet. The Peaceful Cuisine channel promotes just that.
This helpful channel offers tasty, nutritious vegan recipes, most of which are derived from Japanese or Japanese-fusion cooking.
The noodles, soups, stews, ice creams, and baked desserts are so tempting that you’ll want to try every one.
Peaceful Cuisine has helped make my Meatless Mondays a gourmet experience, and I’m confident it will do the same for you.
Jamie Oliver is a true legend of the culinary world.
Since 1999, when he debuted as The Naked Chef on BBC Two, the handsome, charismatic Brit has been one of the most beloved cooking teachers on TV and, eventually, on the internet.
Jamie presents recipes for healthy, impressive everyday meals that are usually quick and simple.
As a long-term advocate for better nutrition for children, Oliver’s YouTube channel creates meals that are easy to achieve for everyday families looking to upgrade their dinner routine.
A couple of years ago, sourdough bread became a trendy food as hundreds of thousands of quarantined Americans decided that this particular baked good was the key to fighting the pandemic blues and learning to be a better baker.
For many, Joshua Wessman’s recipes were among their top inspirations.
While Weissman’s sourdough tutorials are noteworthy, his channel offers so much more for curious home chefs to learn.
He teaches you how to recreate your favorite fast food and casual dining meals at home for a fraction of the cost.
These are particularly popular for home chefs, given that his video on making Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich has over 11 million views!
He also demonstrates how you can make delectable meals faster than the time it would take to order takeout.
Tasty is a tremendous all-around recipe channel I find myself revisiting repeatedly. It’s chock-full of fun videos that are more than just recipe tutorials.
With fun challenges like “Teen vs. Adult Cook” and “Can Girlfriends Tell Which Dish Their Boyfriends Cooked?” you can be entertained while learning more about food and cooking methods.
I’ve recommended this channel to teens and college-age people in my family who want to learn more about cooking.
Tasty is the perfect channel to get them started. Its fun, fast-paced humor and detailed recipes offer room to grow and build on your cooking journey.
Cooking with Dog
The idea of animals in the kitchen makes me a little uneasy, but the star of Cooking with Dog, an adorable gray Poodle, named Francis, might be the one exception.
This sweet, obedient pup sits calmly while her “assistant,” an unnamed chef, prepares the food. Francis narrates along the way, bringing life and humor to the show.
While the “cute dog in the kitchen” gimmick may seem silly, there is nothing childish about the meals whipped up by this as-yet-nameless human chef.
She’s a serious professional who creates complicated, gourmet Japanese meals from scratch while interacting with Francis in a heartwarming way.
In past decades, Korean cuisine was not as well known to the general American population as Chinese food or Japanese food, but recently it has found fame on internet cooking channels.
One of the primary reasons for the spread of Korean cuisine is a five-foot-tall force of nature known as Maangchi.
Maangchi breaks down challenging recipes into simple steps and demonstrates each step in a clear, thorough manner.
While she is precise and methodical, my favorite things about Maangchi are her sweet voice and warm, reassuring demeanor.
She makes you feel welcome in her kitchen and invites you to cook alongside her.
How to Cook That
Australian channel How To Cook That goes way beyond its name. It doesn’t just teach you how to cook things; it teaches you about all things cooking-related.
If you’re interested in kitchen gadgets, they have reviews.
If you want to know whether the new viral TikTok recipe is too good to be true, they will test it and debunk the hype.
As a historical cooking buff, my favorite part of the channel is their episodes on ancient and vintage recipes.
Because crazy-talented cake decorator Ann Reardon hosts the channel, you will also be treated to some jaw-dropping cake decorating how-tos you may or may not be brave enough to try at home.
These are some of the best YouTube cooking channels I have found helpful throughout my journey to hone my kitchen skills.
They offer a bit of everything, both in their culinary capacity and entertainment value. Whether you like to cook along, make mental notes, or enjoy the comfort of watching someone cook, I hope they can be valuable to you, too.
I’m sure I left out many fantastic Youtube cooking channels while compiling this shortlist. What are some of your favorites?