8 Of The Most Stupidly Entertaining Cooking Channels On YouTube
Before all this, I didn’t care about cooking. Now that I’ve been stuck inside without any of my normal weekend activities for months on end, I still don’t care about cooking but I have become obsessed with finding the best YouTube cooking channels.
There’s something so entertaining about watching a professional cook a meal I know I’m never going to make for myself. It’s aspirational kitchen porn, and we’re horny for it.
We’re not just talking about the ones that will make you a better chef. We’re talking about the videos that are weirdly comforting or endlessly entertaining. Trust us, they’re all worth your next binge session.
(Paris Hilton’s short-lived Cooking With Paris series gets an honourable mention here. Sadly, Paris will never have one of the best YouTube cooking channels because she never actually made another cooking video. But her infamous “sliving” lasagne is probably the best thing on YouTube.)
We’ve rounded up some of the best YouTube cooking channels for your viewing pleasure:
#1. Bon Appétit
At this point, the Bon Appétit channel is almost like the Marvel Cinematic Universe of YouTube. Series like Claire Saffitz’s Gourmet Makes and Brad Leone’s It’s Alive are joined by recipe videos featuring charming chefs as well as a random collection of one-off videos.
Then there are videos like ‘Pro Chefs Make 13 Kinds of Pantry Pasta’ that do exactly what they say in the title. One 28-minute video later and you have a heap of new pasta recipes you can probably throw together from the random ingredients you have leftover in between shopping trips.
#2. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
Lopez-Alt’s channel already had some great cooking videos before all this, but since his restaurant stopped dine-in service the chef and author has been pumping out recipe vids daily.
Most of his videos are shot with a headcam, which makes them really simple to follow along with. He’s also a great host who’s not overly concerned about cooking ‘properly’.
“I’m not weighing anything right now, I’m just kinda winging it. As long as it’s in that ballpark you’re gonna be fine,” he says in the video for his three ingredient mac and cheese as he grates a mountain of cheese until he damn well feels like stopping. I feel so seen.
#3. Binging With Babish
What started as a place to recreate famous foods from pop culture has turned into a full-blown YouTube cooking channel complete with recipe videos, tutorials, and kitchen basics vids.
Whichever one you click on, you know you’re in for a show. Even though Babish (real name Andrew Rea) never shows his face during a cooking video, it’s fun to watch his torso slice, dice, and mix as you learn how to make gnocchi or create an edible version of Baby Yoda’s bone broth from The Mandalorian.
#4. First We Feast
Until now, I’d never watched anything on this channel besides Hot Ones, and I’m still convinced they’re the best thing on the channel. Watching celebrities break down after eating hot sauce will never get old, especially when the guests include amazing people like Paul Rudd, Zac Efron, and Kristen Stewart.
But who among us can turn down a video titled ‘How to Cook a Double-Dipped Roast Beef Burger‘? The recipe videos may be few and far between on this channel lately, but they’re total cheat day inspo.
#5. NYT Cooking
If you’ve even dabbled in the foodie lifestyle, chances are you’ll know about Alison Roman’s famous chocolate chunk shortbread cookies. They’re thicc, golden-brown hunks of dough stuffed with dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt flakes, and the kind of recipe most of us dream about “just throwing together”.
The recipe video makes that seem possible, and the rest of the NYT Cooking channel is full of equally simple but aspirational recipes. You walk away feeling like you can suddenly make the perfect lasagne or a creamy mac and cheese like it’s not even a big deal.
There are better channels to bliss out to, but NYT Cooking is one of the best YouTube cooking channels for people who actually want to learn how to cook.
#6. Julien Solomita
Julien Solomita is a vlogger first, and an amateur chef second. But we didn’t come here to learn, we came here to forget our troubles by watching other people attempt to make whipped coffee.
His videos are beautifully shot and (most of) the food looks delicious. But you’ll never know when he’ll get distracted by his own jokes and send a video violently off course.
It’s cooking for entertainment, which I think we can all agree is one of the best outcomes of cooking.
#7. Steve the Bartender
The only thing more relaxing than watching someone make food you’ll never cook is watching someone mix cocktails you’ll never drink.
After browsing the channel you’ll know how to make a heap of bright and colourful (and very boozy) cocktails, even if you don’t have any equipment in your kitchen.
#8. Nat’s What I Reckon
Nat’s been making comedy videos for years but, just like everyone else, he pivoted to cooking when lockdown began. In his first recipe video he declared “Just ‘cos you’ve got coronavirus and you’re stuck in your house, doesn’t mean you have to eat like a fuckwit,” and he’s been sharing genuinely good food ever since.
What makes Nat’s What I Reckon one of the best YouTube cooking channels is that his videos are full of deadpan Aussie jokes, but the recipes are actually decent. They’re not so good that you’ll spend hours slaving over a hot stove, but they’re good enough that you won’t hate yourself after you eat it.