This list contains online resources relating to food. Any suggestions to add to the list are welcomed by contacting me.
Learn Cooking – For Complete Noobs
If you are completely new to cooking (don’t even know how to hold a knife), these are the channels/videos for you. Videos or resources with lots of pictures are recommended over resources with mostly text.
Though many knife skill videos start with the onion, just know that these techniques can be applied to anything similarly shaped.
Knife Skills by Tasty – The Knife Skills video are so far the best in explaining and showing the basics. Start with the knife skills episode, ignore the cast iron episode if you are a complete beginner (unless that’s the only pan you have). The rest of the Tasty 101 series is also pretty good as the recipes are relatively simple, and there is good variety in what they cook. There are many opinions to the other recipes that Tasty produce (the ones you see on instagram putting cheese and cream into everything), but let’s just say that Tasty isn’t the best resource for recipes.
Basic Knife Skills by Bruno Albouze – If you want to be fanciful and learn all the names to different cuts and know how to cut them. Haven’t really watched the rest of his channel, so I can’t really comment much.
SeriousEats Knife Skills – If you want to know how to prepare specific ingredients.
How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken – New upload, but just based on memory this video teaches how to cut up a whole chicken better than most other videos, because of point of view as well as being slower. Most other channels on this list also have a video on how to cut up chicken. While a beginner-intermediate skill, I wouldn’t suggest a complete beginner to jump right into cutting chicken but start with pre-sectioned and cut meat, unless you have a lot of time to spare.
Helen Rennie – If any beginner cook or homecook needs a good online material that teaches you how to cook, this channel would be one of my top choices. Has recipes, techniques, book reviews, some equipment reviews, sometimes talking about topics like “whether salt is bad for your health”. Even got videos like “how to cook with digital devices (for recipes) with dirty hands”. Very educational, focusing on what the home cook needs, while also giving well researched reasons for each step so you can work towards the “best” version of something if you need to. Though I list this on the beginner level, some of the topics are more advanced, but she explains it well enough to be even beginner friendly. I watch on 1.25x speed on YouTube, as she tends to speak quite slow for me. The very basics (chopping onions etc) can be found here as well, but they aren’t as well edited as the newer videos.
Struggle Meals by Tastemade – I imagine that one things beginners might be concerned about when learning to cook is cost. A series that aims to cook meals under US$2, also has many tips along the videos. Don’t expect authentic or traditional recipes, but do learn the most important part of everyday cooking – portioning and money saving.
OnePotChef – Doesn’t look as good as the other channels, but very simple concept – only recipes with one pot. Because of that, the recipes are generally quite beginner friendly, especially for lazy beginners.
These are the channels that you should watch after the basics to explore different cuisines. For the people who claim they are decent home cooks or more than that. Beginners can also jump right into them, but take note that they might skip over a lot of things.
Fusion/Wide Range of Cuisines
FoodWishes – THE Best cooking channel on YouTube for recipes of no particular cuisine. Food is something that is transformative and changes with people, and Chef John shows that in his cooking with recipes that take inspiration from all over the world, while respecting the traditional methods and sometimes coming up with new methods. Not completely beginner friendly, but generally easy to follow along. For a period of time I watched his recipes to sleep (not a good idea).
Gordon Ramsay – You probably know who this is. Watch to see what a top chef does for his recipes. Personally, I don’t follow his recipes because they usually require too many ingredients, but I watch for education and to get ideas.
CookingWithDog – As the name, it’s a show narrated by a dog, with Japanese recipes. Other than the dog, quite a traditional recipe channel with a very kind and lively chef.
JustOneCookBook – More of a blogger than a YouTuber. Posts a lot more frequently than other channels.
Runnyrunny999 – Much, much more simpler than the others in terms of recipe, but as a result also a lot more accessible. Although, can’t really say that the recipes are traditional since sometimes he just makes random things.
Maangchi – Has a vibe of the “helpful aunt” teaching you how to cook. As a result can be a bit longwinded.
Chinese Cooking Demystified – The most beginner friendly cooking channel on YouTube for Chinese food of no specific region. Choice of ingredients are always talked about in the recipes, along with suitable substitutes for those who wants to replicate the recipe and still retain the authenticity of the tastes.
Chef Wang Gang – In mandarin. Completely no bullshit. Straight to the point recipe videos. I tried to find even a second that I can skip, but there is just nothing in the channel that is filler. Shows you how Chinese restaurants cook dishes. Not actually helpful to learning how to cook Chinese food, despite Chef usually introducing the dish as a 家常菜 (usual home-cooked dish). Ongoing joke in the comments that he is teaching us how to open a restaurant, not how to cook Chinese food.
Dianxi Xiaoge – Yunnan dishes in a village in Yunnan. Though I don’t know why the production quality seems to be so good.
French Cooking Academy – Focused on French cuisine, and quite school-like in his use of Escoffier’s cookbook as a textbook.
Gennaro Contaldo – Italian Chef and Jamie Oliver’s mentor. Appears on Jamie Oliver’s Channel frequently.
Pailin’s Kitchen – For Thai cuisine.
theMEATMENchannel – Just recipe and music (or “Tasty” style if you prefer). Singapore based.
Sous Vide Everything/Guga Foods – 99% meat. You probably didn’t know there are like a billion kinds of cuts and types of meat, and whether they tasted better with butter, oil, tallow or bacon fat. That said, the tests are pretty subjective since it is Guga himself and his family doing the tasting. Not for the wealthily challenged.
Chocolate Cacao チョコレートカカオ – ASMR baking with chocolate.
Other than the above, large national publications where their reputations are on the line are generally trustworthy. BUT some of them are behind a paywall, and for good reason.
Sciencey food channels that you can be more sure that their recipes are tested and proven, because they do the testing so they can tell you what works, and why. Not suitable for people who just want to jump right into the recipe, but for the people who really want to know “why”. Don’t expect to look to these channels for “quick and easy” recipes.
SeriousEats/Kenji (more specifically, the Food Lab) – The best resource. The channel isn’t teaching just teaching you how to cook, but also how to achieve the “best” version of a recipe and why doing certain things change what you are cooking. Also check out their website, and google <recipe> SeriousEats to see if they already have an article on that.
ChefSteps – If SeriousEats is a science report, ChefSteps is a science documentary. Well shot videos of the cooking process and has full steps and explanation of the ingredients used in their accompanying web articles. They do not shy away from using more fancy equipment and uncommon ingredients like Xantham Gum. Also expect to learn a thing or two about plating here.
Good Eats by Alton Brown – An older resource for teaching science in cooking, but isn’t as detailed as SeriousEats in the recordings as far as I can tell. More episodes can be found in the seven seas.
America’s Test Kitchen – The OG SeriousEats. Their current content is on a subscription service, so you won’t be able to see much of the good stuff for free. Old videos have good and scientifically tested “whys” to cooking, but overall channel can be a bit of a hit or miss.
Bon Appetit – A “foodie channel”. Basically everything about food from recipes, making gourmet versions of snacks, sometimes introduction of food. Videos in general are longer than the other channels.
emmymadeinjapan – In a word, quirky. If it’s a little bit quirky or unique, emmymadeinjapan will try it. Expect Ketchup cake recipes, MRE rations reviews, Apple-less Ritz cracker Apple Pie recipes, vintage kitchen gadget reviews and snacks around the world. Occasionally some normal recipes appear but really who watches emmy for that.
You Suck At Cooking – A cooking channel that is unlike any other. Comedy, but surprisingly educational… provided you know enough about cooking for the references to be understood.
Epicurious – Best for Price Points series, where an expert guesses the price of a type of food and telling you why, and the 4 Levels Series where they show an Amateur, Home-cook and Chef cook, then have a Food Scientist explain what each step they are doing achieves.
TheWolfePit – The King of Dollar Tree. Reviews Dollar Tree food. Sometimes there are recipes.
CookingWithTrash – A show about… cooking with trash. Literally. Goes dumpster diving and make a meal out of it. Learn about food waste and making a meal out of whatever.
Greg’s Kitchen – Has a very strange sense of humor. Or maybe I just don’t know Australia enough and this is how Aussies are. You can definitely tell he is amateurish in his cooking, but as a result very easy to follow.
Townsends – 18th Century (US) lifestyle channel, but most popular videos are actually 18th century recipes. Fantastic channel.
Great Depression Cooking – Great Depression Recipes.
Basic Food Timeline by Lynne Olver (not going to be updated as author passed away)
Great Big Story – Not entirely food related, but frequently has videos about notable foods.
Our Grandfather Story – Singapore’s version of Great Big Story.
Other random resources
Onicraft’s Guide to Mushroom Identification and Foraging – Explaining common myths and how to get into mushroom foraging as a beginner.
This list contains the resources that I have heard good things about but haven’t yet formed an opinion about them.
Alex French Guy Cooking – I haven’t watched any of his videos, but there were too many mentions that I think I need to watch him soon. Seems to be very experimental and has a personal shed/lab/kitchen thing.
BudgetBytes – Recipes for small budgets. Recipe costs are laid out. Has step by step photos, no long stories before the recipe.