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.
Self-taught cook Laura Vitale's channel offers hundreds of comfort food recipes and Italian classics, covering everything from soups and salads to appetizers and main courses. Make favorites such as avocado toast with a poached egg, deviled eggs and homemade chicken piccata alongside the pretty chef, and keep an eye out for her signature wink.
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.
'Tis the season for grilling, and these pit boys do not disappoint. Who else would show you how to grill a five-foot gator stuffed with crawfish and Andouille cornbread? They also cover less predatory proteins, with recipes like beer-can chicken, cheeseburger rolls and drunken clams and shrimp.
"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.
Pretty sure we don't have to sell letting Mario Batali teach you how to cook, but his how-to Tuesday channel is sufficiently awesome. Let the Italian stallion show you how to make mascarpone, break down a chicken, make pie crust and more.
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 by Andrew Bui with additional content on 4/13/17.