You can find many delightful ways to waste your time on YouTube, but one of the best is to spend an afternoon looking at cooking and food channels.
There are plenty of regular food channels out there for the usual aspiring chef and hungry human being. Then there are channels that focus on far more specific (and interesting!) ways to cook and appreciate food.
From the vintage to the innovative to international cuisine, here are the greatest YouTube offerings in cooking. You’ll get hungry watching them — and you might even make yourself something delicious.
Townsends is not just a food channel — it’s dedicated to 18th-century living as a whole. They do feature a lot of recipes, however, each from a cookbook published in the 1700s. As the host takes you through the recipe, he shares relevant historical facts, giving the recipe even more dimension.
Great Depression Cooking
Great Depression Cooking was hosted by the delightful Clara, who shared easy, useful, and — most importantly — cheap recipes that her family cooked at the height of the Depression. Clara has since passed away, but her legacy lives on with these videos and anecdotes.
Making It Modern
This channel is dedicated to taking those really disgusting mid-century recipes (you know, the kind where everything is encased in Jell-O, or there’s too much Spam) and finding modern ways to recreate them. Bethany, the host of the channel, gives the historical context before making the vintage dish and then the modern interpretation.
Hellthy Junk Food
This channel is dedicated to recreating your favorite junk foods. Some of these versions are giant, indulgent creations, like the Pizza Cake or the giant Pocky stick. Some are DIY versions of trendy foods: spaghetti burritos, edible geodes, Szechuan sauce (a la Rick and Morty). And some are just wacky combinations: mac ‘n’ cheese inside a pizza! Hot dog inside a burger! It’s a lot of food, and none of it is healthy, which is, of course, the best part.
How to Cook That
How to Cook That features a lot of cakes and desserts that don’t actually look like cakes and desserts. We’re talking iPad cakes, cheeseboard chocolates, Taylor Swift candy portraits … the list goes on. There are also fancy cakes and stop-motion baking videos. Perfect for indulging your sweet tooth.
Feast of Fiction
This channel combines two of my most favorite things: fiction and food. They recreate meals and recipes found in movies, television, video games, and books (from Twin Peaks diner classics to Pokemon Malasadas). It’s fun, geeky, and best of all, most of the recipes are easy to follow along and definitely realistic to eat.
My Village Food Recipes
A thing I learned while researching this post is that there are a ton of India-based channels dedicated to recipes, which I thought was pretty darn cool. Some are sleek, polished productions, others are lovingly filmed by hand. My Village Food Recipes is the one I spotted first, and the one with the most followers. It takes us step-by-step through local recipes, with English subtitles.
This channel has a good cause attached to it. It features the titular Grandpa, an elderly Indian man, who cooks large amounts of food for the students at Maruthi Concept School. He doesn’t just stick to traditional recipes; he experiments with corn dogs, pancakes, donuts, and other Westernized foods. The care that Grandpa puts into his recipes is clear and it’s all for the kids, making this channel not only cool, but also heartwarming.
Ice Cream Rolls
This isn’t really a recipe channel, it’s more like a discovery channel: Ice Cream Rolls is dedicated to the street food trend of Thai rolled ice cream. The producers of this channel go across the world, finding the coolest (pun fully intended) versions of this frozen treat. Some of them look delicious, like the Kinder Surprise ones, and some seem like more of an, uh, acquired taste. Either way, the process of making ice cream rolls is fun to watch, and probably almost as addictive as eating them.
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