Cooking shows - YouTube style
September 2, 2016 4:04 PM   Subscribe

The Chef John post on the blue reminded me to ask: what are your favorite YouTube cooking channels? I need some more subscriptions.

My preferred style is high-quality-home-production (good light and sound, a couple of camera angles), personable onscreen host no voiceover who shows all the actual steps of the dish including any unusual or very specific prep steps, succinct but friendly, easy to understand, and instructional. 6-12 minutes seems to be my sweet spot.

Right now almost every one of my favorites is Asian: Maangchi, Seonkyong Longest/Asian at Home, Pailin's Kitchen/Hot Thai Kitchen, Manjula, Cooking with Dog, hot for food. But I am interested in all kinds of food, including veg*n if it's actual cooking and not assembly.

I have a bunch of picky dislikes, but then I have several subscriptions I like in spite of their flaws, so I'll give anything a try once.
posted by Lyn Never to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I swear this is a serious answer: I subscribe to Cooking with Drag Queens. Even if you're not a fan of drag, they do make some good recipes. For me, the entertaining Queens are a plus.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:21 PM on September 2, 2016

Best answer: I just discovered there's a Youtube channel devoted to an old public-access cooking show I was fascinated by in the 90's - Biker Billy Cooks With Fire. This is probably lower production values than you're looking for - it's a classic public-access setup, with maybe two camera angles and a guy against a black wall, but boy HOWDY is it a personable host: "Biker Billy", a motorcycle hobbyist with long hair, beard, sunglasses and a black t-shirt, whose repertoire consists entirely of spicy dishes.

Each episode lasted 30 minutes and there were two commercial breaks in each episode (they usually showed a random motorcycle-safety PSA), and the YouTube channel presents each episode in three video chunks of about 8 minutes each. It looks like they cut out the commercials, but they keep his throwing-to-commercial schtick -

BB: We're gonna take a short break, but then we're gonna come back for more (shouting) BIKER! BILLY!
BB: Alriiiiiiight!
(video crossfades to a three-second clip of flickering flames, then fades out)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:41 PM on September 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: While this is a vegan channel, I am aggressively not a vegan (a lot of vegan stuff will literally kill me due to nut and other allergies) and I really enjoy watching Peaceful Cuisine. It's definitely cooking, not assembling, and it's very soothing.
posted by mishafletch at 6:42 PM on September 2, 2016

Hit "post" too soon - it's gimmicky as hell, but Biker Billy knows his stuff and has a lot of good-sounding dishes; I remember seeing episodes about corn fritters and curries, and I just watched a bit of one that was for a delicious-sounding lentil soup laced with chipotles and thickened with a seasoned roux.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 PM on September 2, 2016

Best answer: This channel made the rounds recently because of their fried chicken video- I truly enjoy the Jas. Townsend and Son 18th century Cooking videos on YouTube.

The host and guests are really fantastic, and very genuine. If you're a history buff, the culture and history behind the recipes are very fun to learn about. The dishes always seem to be described well, and we've had some very good luck trying some of the recipes on our own so far (the fried chicken, the donuts, the lemon cream/curd, and the boiled trout).

Often times the recipes are very imprecise- it's to taste, or it's left up to the cook, but you can have fun experimenting and following the general amounts used by the host(s). And if there are precise ingredients, you'll usually have to transcribe as you watch as they don't really provide written recipes in the video notes. To me, that's a small drawback but not a big deal as the videos are all of a reasonable length.

The channel does promote the recipe books and materials used a fair bit, as they are a pretty comprehensive business that sells all kinds of detailed reenacting costuming and goods, but it's not in a horrible pushy way or anything.

Anyway, I really enjoy it, and it seems to fit the bill for what you might be looking for, so I just wanted to pass it along!
posted by Old Man McKay at 6:45 PM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Vegan Black Metal Chef
posted by ainsley at 7:14 PM on September 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You have most of my regular channels listed already, but I have a few more that might work for you:

Van's Kitchen (Vietnamese)
Helen's Recipes (Vietnamese)
Happy Wok (former restaurant chef does Chinese restaurant dishes at home, very basic production values but quite well done, no talking)
Japanese Cooking 101 (does what it says on the box)
Scot Rea Project (may not be for you as it's meat butchery, prep and charcuterie but there are some very good seafood recipes in there too)
Sruthi's Kitchen (Indian, vegetarian and vegan - I find her very soothing and the recipes are awesome!)

There are a few more that I'm trying to remember so if I can think of them I'll post another update. And as always, enjoyyyyy!
posted by ninazer0 at 7:41 PM on September 2, 2016

A follow up for Biker Billy - he is making new content as well as running the "vintage shows" from the public access work. Those newer shows are indeed 8 or 9 minutes and he's in a decorated set, but he has not changed a bit otherwise.

(Note, though, that he drops hints about his political outlook in the "piƱata pasta" episode which may make you go "....ew.")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:48 AM on September 3, 2016

Best answer: I've just discovered Nyonya Cooking, which focuses on the cuisine of the Peranakan Chinese (the descendants of Chinese immigrants in Malaysia and Singapore).

It's a bit shorter than what you're looking for as videos average around 5 minutes long in my experience, and she is a Malaysian now living in Germany so all the measurements are metric, but otherwise it hits your bill -- good quality production, friendly host, actually making the food herself.

I'm also a Hot Thai Kitchen fan and I find that this one is pretty close to the mark. (The "Germans taste durian and other exotic fruit" video that is on the front page right now is pretty unrepresentative of the channel as a whole -- it's almost all actual cooking videos.)
posted by andrewesque at 5:11 AM on September 3, 2016

Best answer: BBQ With Franklin - Barbecue. Cool guy.
Laura in the Kitchen - Lots of Italian, but also random stuff. Cool lady.
VahChef One of my very favorites, mostly food specific to Kerala, India. I love this guy.
runnyrunny999 Another favorite, mostly Japanese food. He also rambles endearingly at the end about random stuff, but he seems to do that less than he used to.
posted by cmoj at 3:43 PM on September 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Jamie Oliver is the one TV chef who not only understands online video, but has committed to putting out new content, as well as showcasing other chefs and other cuisines. Food Tube has a wealth of videos and supports spinoff channels and other chefs including:
Drinks Tube cocktails
Food Tube Family family friendly recipes
Gennaro Contaldo Jamie Oliver's friend and mentor in Italian cooking. This man is an utter delight.
DJ BBQ grilling and smoking
Felicitas Pizarro Argentinian cooking
French Guy Cooking French cooking demystified, often with modernist and international twists.
Amber Kelly an adorable girl with an eye for simple kid-friendly recipes
Food Busker street food
Aki's Kitchen Greek cuisine
The Happy Pear vegan dishes
Bart's Fish Tales international seafood
posted by Eikonaut at 10:35 AM on September 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: But wait, there's more!

SORTED Food not only posts regular videos, but they have also built their own network of users who advise and post recipes.
ChefSteps modern cuisine made simple, their subscriber-based web site has even more. These guys love their sous-vide.
CarribeanPot Carribean recipes
Bondi Harvest healthy cooking by way of Australia. Guy Turland has just opened up a cafe in L.A. That is now on my bucket list.
Haste's Kitchen more healthy eating, this time from the UK
Fit Men Cook more healthy eating, focusing on a lot of simple, make-ahead recipes and meal prep. If you're into such things, there's also an app available.
Bubble Child gluten free, nut free, dairy free, still good
Dulce Delight desserts and sweets
Eric Lanlard desserts with emphasis on baking
Donal Skehan former pop singer turned Food Personality. He's starting to show up on the Food Network now.
The Dumpling Sisters Chinese cooking by way of New Zealand
Strictly Dumpling Chinese and Taiwanese cooking and travel
The Aimless Cook the channel hasn't been active in a while, but there are a lot of great Asian recipes from all over
Just Eat Life comfort food, lots of Thai and Filipino
Aeri's Kitchen Korean food
Show Me The Curry Indian cuisine
Frankie Cooks emphasis on Italian cooking with the occasional detour
Son of a Southern Chef modern southern cooking
Hilah Cooking Sassy presentation, varied dishes, lots of Tex-Mex
Working Class Foodies another inactive channel, but still has a backlog of beginner-friendly recipes.
Cooking With Awesome sporadically updated, lots of beginner-friendly recipes
Gastronismo How's your Brazilian-Portuguese? There was a brief attempt at an English language version of this channel that didn't get very far.

I can definitely recommend the above-linked runnyrunny99, Maangchi, Helen's Recipes, and Nyonya Cooking.
posted by Eikonaut at 12:13 PM on September 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

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