Subscribe to our favorite YouTube channels, which range from easy, instructional recipes for new cooks to beautifully bizarre Japanese cooking demos with a poodle.
Then break out your phone or tablet and get to work.
While a mysterious Japanese chef cooks a variety of popular Japanese dishes (smooth silken tofu, steamed buns, summer somen noodles), a Yoda-like gray poodle named Francis sits calmly next to her and "narrates" the recipes in English for an oddly soothing and wonderfully weird experience. And though poor Francis was unfortunately part of the string of celebrity deaths that cursed 2016, his memory lives on in the form of a framed picture his devoted owner keeps propped up on the kitchen counter.
Home cook Babish—whose real name is Andrew Rea—specializes in recreating foods from film and TV. (Like, really recreating them.) Whether he's duplicating Regular Show's every-meat burrito (with at least 20 animal proteins) or adding real blood and sweat into his Matilda-based chocolate cake, this YouTube chef is committed to authenticity. Babish also shares videos of everyday cooking tips, like how to properly use a kitchen knife and how to cook a steak.
Hailing from Dublin, Donal Skehan whips up an array of no-frills, ultra-comforting recipes. His charismatic wit makes it all too easy to binge all of his videos, ogling dishes like juicy, oven-baked meatballs, frozen semifreddo drenched in Nutella and, of course, Irish classics like bacon and cabbage pie.
Both a cooking class and history lesson, head cook Mrs. Crocombe's channel shares classic English recipes from the early 19th century. Watching this channel is like traveling back in time: The host speaks, dresses and cooks in authentic Victorian style. Though some of her recipes are a bit out of fashion (like cucumber ice cream), Mrs. Crocombe's voice is still the perfect sound to veg out to when you don't have a Netflix password to watch The Great British Baking Show.
"Champagne scares me. That's a first world problem." So declares Hannah Hart, the host of My Drunk Kitchen, a delightful series that's exactly what it sounds like: A funny lady gets drunk and makes food you'd like to eat while buzzed, such as fried avocado, eggplant parmesan and brownies. Sometimes famous people like Mary Louise Parker stop by.
Do you miss your mom? If so, spend some time with Manjulia, because her comforting, maternal presence cannot be beat. Watch her make flavorful Indian vegetarian dishes such as vegetable curry, samosa pinwheels, aloo jeera and other specialties, then call your own mom.
You'll want to plug in your earphones and turn the volume up to 11 for this one. Ryoya Takashima's channel, which he films in his cozy Japanese kitchen, is borderline sensual. Though the cinematography is serene enough to make us want to don our flannels and go foraging in the woods, it's the blissful chopping and mixing sounds that make these clips really come to life. Fall asleep to gentle thumps of flour falling through a sift or the methodical clack of crunchy apples being sliced on a wooden cutting board.
Let's be clear: These videos aren't going to be winning any artistic awards anytime soon, but even still, the zany balance of hilarious visuals, facetious commentary and sometimes useful cooking tips racks up millions of views. Each first-person video covers all the basics a couch potato sick of cold pizza should know how to make, whether it's breakfast burritos or beef stew.
After working alongside big-name chefs like Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsay in some of the country's top restaurants, this New Mexico native turned his sights to YouTube, where he's racked up more than 1.2 million subscribers. And it's not hard to see why—his clean, gorgeously shot videos deconstruct complicated dishes into something even the worst Hell's Kitchen contestant could make, such as an elegant take on steak and potatoes or our dream version of lasagna made with crispy, deep-fried pasta sheets.
Chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut is the host of this spin-off from First We Feast. And as the name suggests, the channel focuses on everything and anything burger related. Whether it involves trying the country's most gourmet sandwich or chowing down on regional faves, Cailin invites famous food friends to explore burger culture that will have you adding new spots to your bucket list.
If you were to magically combine Alton Brown's and Bill Nye's culinary prowesses, you'd get the cinematic masterpieces that are ChefSteps' videos. Handsomely aproned development chefs break down the science behind making everything from Michelin-worthy desserts to what might scientifically be the world's best corn bread. Fair warning: You're bound to have the sudden urge to invest in a sous-vide cooker after watching these videos.
This article was originally published on 7/28/14 and was updated with additional content by Shana Bethea on 4/19/18.
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