Many people have had to step up their home-cooking game this year, but what if you’ve tried following recipes and watching videos and are still barely able to boil water? What if you have found out that cooking just isn’t your thing? Before you give up entirely, check out these five YouTube channels we’ve found that will help even the most hopeless beginner chef create something beautiful and delicious.
J. Kenji López-Alt
If you’re into science and the “why” of things, López-Alt’s cooking show is for you. López’s culinary resume is stacked — he’s the author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, the managing editor of Serious Eats, and the mind behind the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab. López uses his big brain and MIT degree to make cooking make sense. His videos are informative and inspirational in that he shows you how to cook something and explains why you should cook it that way. If you have a hard time retaining cooking information, learning the “why” behind the methods may help that info stick in your brain.
On this YouTube channel, Bon Appétit Magazine’s test-kitchen staff takes you through tutorials ranging from how to make General Tso’s chicken to how to improve boxed brownies. This series has endless options of both hosts and recipes, so you’ll never get bored learning here. If you happen to like a particular host more than the others, you can stick with their episodes and still learn way more than you need. The YouTube channel has over 5.8 million subscribers, so you know you can trust that the content they’re putting out is top-notch. Most of the videos are around 15 minutes long, so you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to learn something.
Pro Home Cooks
Don’t let the title of this YouTube channel scare you! You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy these cooking how-tos. Host Mike G. walks his 2.31 million subscribers through the basics of cooking with ease and patience. What sets this channel apart from others is that many of the episodes feature common mistakes beginners make. This is an excellent approach to teaching someone how to cook since Mike G. calls out the mistakes you are probably going to make before you make them. This method saves you time, money, and frustration in the kitchen. Start with the episodes titled “10 Cooking Skills You Wish You Had Known…” which are a great way to learn techniques and the reasons they are important.
Binging with Babish
The host of this channel, Andrew Rea, is a filmmaker who goes by Oliver Babish on YouTube. His main series, Binging with Babish, is hugely popular, with over 8.5 million subscribers. Babish takes his viewers on a culinary journey of the dishes you know from TV and film but have never had a chance to taste. The other series, Basics with Babish, walks you through how to make everything from potstickers to chicken parmesan and enchiladas to key lime pie. Many of his recipes feature components that you already have on hand and are simple to follow. Babish also explains the reason for each ingredient in a dish, which makes learning how to use those ingredients in other dishes an easy transition. Babish teaches with humor and skill, and his tutorials are easy to follow, making his series a favorite of ours.
With over 20 million subscribers and kid-approved and kid-friendly videos, Tasty is a great channel to start with if you’re a beginner chef. Since many of the videos feature snacks and no-bake desserts, you don’t need much cooking know-how to get started. The pantry food cooking concept featured in many of the episodes is handy since it features dishes that can be made from ingredients most people already have on hand. The gadget review episodes help you decide which kitchen tools are necessary and which are just gimmicky. With tons of practical content, Tasty is a YouTube channel for cooking that the whole family will love and learn from.
Whether you’ve wanted to learn how to cook for years or you’ve been forced into it by circumstance over the last year or so, YouTube is a great resource to begin with. The five channels above are well-known and highly subscribed to because they make learning to cook fun. The explanations are clear, and the hands-on teaching makes you forget that you’re learning. Subscribe to all of them today so you can start cooking dishes like a pro.
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