Our 10 best YouTube cooking channels include everything from Thai chef Pailin ‘Pai’ Chongchitnant’s Thai cooking channel Pailin’s Kitchen AKA Hot Thai Kitchen and the Pasta Grannies’ Italian pasta-making channel starring rolling pin-wielding Italian nonnas from across Italy to the Shenzhen-based Chinese Cooking Demystified channel and Paris-based Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz’s French Guy Cooking channel.
It’s no surprise that we’ve all been watching a lot of YouTube cooking channels during the pandemic. I, for one, have very much missed spending time hanging out in chefs’ kitchens as we used to pre-pandemic, not to mention eating our way around cities, grazing at markets and food stalls, as we did as part of our work as food and travel writers.
These YouTube cooking channels have gone some way in making up for that, providing a great way to travel vicariously while enabling me to pick up some cooking tips, learn some new techniques and just generally build up an appetite. If you’re a food lover and keen home cook, these are the 10 best YouTube Cooking Channels I watch, which I highly recommend you check out if you’re not already a fan.
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10 Best YouTube Cooking Channels from Pailin’s Kitchen to Pasta Grannies
Thai chef Pailin ‘Pai’ Chongchitnant, who relocated from Thailand to Canada, has one of the best YouTube cooking channels for Thai food on YouTube. If ever I want a basic, straightforward recipe for a classic Thai dish and one of David Thompson’s recipes in his Thai Street Food or Thai Food cookbooks has a million ingredients and 30 steps, I head straight to Pai’s Thai cooking channel.
With her sunny disposition, bright personality and cooking chops, Pai is a breath of fresh air, setting her apart from the myriad performers presenting cooking channels on YouTube. You’ll find some great recipes on Pai’s channel and loads of tips on how to get by when you can’t source the fresh Southeast Asian ingredients in North America that she can access at home in Thailand.
Note that while Pai’s channel is called Pailin’s Kitchen, it’s branded ‘Hot Thai Kitchen’ and she has cookbook of the same name out.
Pailins Kitchen YouTube Channel
How to Make Authentic Pad Thai in 5 Mins!
Pasta Grannies is Lara’s pick of the best YouTube cooking channels and it’s another one of my favourite YouTube food channels. It’s not often you find a cooking channel where the stars are not on Tick Tok or spruiking their own cookbooks. These Pasta Grannies are simply amazing nonne who have been making handmade pasta with a rolling pin forever.
The essence of the show is that the presenter, who really lets the pasta grannies shine, goes into the homes of these wonderful Italian cooks and they make their favourite traditional Italian dish, which is typically a fresh handmade pasta, but occasionally an Italian soup or Italian bread.
Just like Lara and her mother and her Russian-Ukrainian grandma, the Pasta Grannies rarely use kitchen scales to make their pasta dough. It’s all done by feeling the dough and then rolling it our with a huge Italian mattarello (rolling pin). I never tire of watching them make pasta dough with the traditional Italian method. It really is an art.
As you can’t roll out sheets of pasta dough wider than your mattarello, often the women move to a larger mattarello – typically over a metre long and as wide as the table they’re making the pasta on!
As the grannies prepare their dishes, we get to hear about their lives and how they survived wars and famine and their stories of making the most of cucina povera or Italian peasant cooking. Every episode is a fascinating cooking and culinary history lesson.
Enjoy 3 Sicilian Pasta Grannies making ‘pasta con le sarde’!
Based in South Korea but recently posting from Thailand, YummyBoy assures his audience that he’s “always trying to make a good video” which understates his elaborate deep dives into South Korean fast food, which easily make his Korean food channel another the best YouTube cooking channels.
What surprises me most from his videos is the use of premium ingredients by the food stalls and restaurants featured – they’re not buying in pre-made patties but grinding their own patties. There is way more brining, marinating and bread-making from the shops than you’d expect to us if you’re familiar with Asian street food cooking.
Another aspect that fascinates me is the quantities of meat many of these places go through in a day, such as half a dozen whole pork shoulders or pork belly rolls, often in the same restaurant. There is a real ‘whatever makes it work’ ethic of the eateries they’re filming. They have also developed their own techniques for food prep and do a huge numbers of plates, which is often breathtaking to see.
Spicy Chicken Burger – Korean Street Food
Sune, a tattooed food geek and musician from Copenhagen, Denmark, mainly posts about variations on sourdough recipes on FoodGeek, another of the best YouTube cooking channels for home bakers. He really gets into A/B testing his excellent base sourdough recipe against other brands of flour, additions, bakeware, and timing of bread baking.
While Sune bakes other recipes such as brownies, banana bread and waffles, I really love it when he tries other people’s baking recipes, such as Claire Saffitz’ sourdough bread or when he tries a Japanese milk bread recipe.
While it really is a cooking channel for baking geeks, I never tire of watching Sune make his beautiful sourdough in a domestic oven. This is a very inspiring YouTube baking channel if you want to get into sourdough baking.
Foodgeek Master Recipe for Artisan Sourdough Bread
Chinese Cooking Demystified
Chinese Cooking Demystified is another of the best YouTube cooking channels, ran by a formerly China-based couple – Chris is a long-term expat American, Steph is from Guangzhou in China – who have recently relocated to Bangkok where they’ll continue to explore Chinese cooking.
Steph and Chris lived in Shenzhen and it was from there that they established their authentic Chinese cooking channel. They really take a deep dive into regional Chinese dishes with subjects such as how to make your own noodles and sauces from scratch and debunking myths about Chinese cooking along the way.
While the Chinese Cooking Demystified couple stay faithful to Chinese dishes, they provide substitutes and offer advice for viewers based outside Asia, such as using Italian 00 flour when you can’t find their recommended flour to make Chinese dishes.
Chris has a great dry sense of humour while Steph has that real feel for making sure the recipes they share will produce dishes that taste as authentic as they do in the places where they eat them.
Chinese Cooking Demystified
Biang Biang Noodles, with Chili oil topping (油泼面)
French Guy Cooking
This inquisitive French cook, Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz, or just ‘Alex’ to his devoted viewers, lives in Paris, has an engineering background, and has been exploring global dishes and techniques from around the world for several years now.
The French Guy Cooking always applies theory to his deconstruction of dishes and takes deep dives into his food subjects, whether it’s pizza, ramen noodles or fried rice, to name but a few.
He often travels to the source to learn the basics of things like making mozzarella or forging a knife. These deep dives tend to make up a series of food videos as he tries to perfect each dish or cooking technique with a MacGyver-like approach to problem-solving.
I’ve been watching Alex’s videos for several years as the production quality has improved and these days it’s a very slick operation. He has a popular cookbook out now too.
French Guy Cooking
4 Instant Ramen Hacks
Just a French Guy Cooking
Made With Lau
Made with Lau features an endearing old-school Chinese restaurant chef who emigrated to New York from Guangzhou in 1981 and it’s another one of the best YouTube cooking channels.
Exploring Chinese dishes that ‘Daddy Lau’ made for over 50 years of cooking in his successful Chinese restaurant, the videos are peppered with ingredient and dish history and tips from the family table as they dig into his dishes.
Conceived and filmed by his son, Randy, who has a background in digital marketing, Daddy Lau’s videos are narrated in Cantonese as he makes the dishes, however, there are excellent subtitles. Randy leaves everything to his dad, unless a dish warrants a deep dive into the methods Daddy Lau uses to prepare or cook ingredients.
Daddy Lau looks like he really enjoys making the dishes and the discussions that the family has while eating, which is sometimes cut into the cooking process, gives a wonderful insight into their frugal beginnings in China and their hardworking lives in their adopted United States.
Made With Lau
Our Top 3 Dim Sum Recipes
A great Italian food channel that shows viewers how to cook classic Italian dishes with no compromise, Italia Squisita is another of the best YouTube cooking channels. Quite often the videos will show you three different takes of a classic dish such as Cacio e Pepe, Original vs. Foolproof vs. Gourmet.
This is a great example of how they craft the videos, starting with the simplest authentic version and somewhat cheekily correcting the well-known cooking channel “Binging with Babish” (now rather pretentiously called “Babish Culinary Universe”) on how to make Cacio e Pepe correctly.
Chef Luciano Monosilio from Luciano Cucina Italiana in Rome then replicates the foolproof recipe he uses in his restaurant and then makes a ‘gourmet’ version of this simple yet deceptively difficult to master dish.
Note that the videos are all in Italian, but even though I can understand them, I keep the captions on. I genuinely get excited by every new video they drop and if you watch anything on this Italian cooking channel, watch one of the Italian Chefs’ Reaction series, where they look at the most popular Italian recipe videos and proceed to have nervous breakdowns as people screw up classic Italian recipes.
Risotto: Italian chefs’ reaction to the most popular videos in world!
All Things BBQ
Chef Tom from “atbbq dot com” is all about ‘all things BBQ’. While this barbecue channel does product reviews, it’s really secondary to Tom’s amazing barbecue recipes and tips and tricks. Expect lots of butchery, brining, marinating, barbecue sauce-making, and geeky barbecue charcoal tips.
I personally love Tom’s butchery tips to prepare cuts for the barbecue. This guy knows his way around a cut of meat, whether it’s beef, pork or chicken. He takes his craft very seriously and is one of the only barbecue chefs who constantly checks his cooking temperatures.
While Tom uses a lot of barbecue seasoning (as most barbecue chefs do), he makes a lot of barbecue sauces, marinades and brines to create these dishes. However, it’s not all big chunks of meat, this barbecue channel is about anything that can be cooked on a barbecue, so there are cooking videos on everything from prosciutto wrapped asparagus to roasted oysters to a smoked crown roast of lamb.
All Things BBQ
Pulled Pork Tacos with Smoked Arbol Salsa
Cowboy Kent Rollins
Cowboy Kent Rollins does catering for cowboys on cattle drives so this guy is the real deal. He’s been a ranch cook since 1992 and cooks from a charming old chuck wagon with his oven ‘Bertha’ and covers cowboy classics with a little Tex-Mex and Mexican thrown in.
Using Dutch ovens and other cast iron cookware, Cowboy Kent covers way more than classic cowboy meals and cooks everything from Tacos al Pastor to Red Velvet Cake. His no-nonsense delivery (and real Texas cowboy accent), homespun philosophy, corny dad jokes, and honest cooking always win me over.
One thing I really like about his videos, which makes this one of the best YouTube cooking channels for me, is that he leaves in the little mistakes we all make, such as when he’s poaching eggs and they don’t turn out perfectly shaped, yet they’re still perfectly cooked.
His tips for the recipes are always helpful and I love that his puppies sit patiently waiting for some handouts. They are so adorable, if a little cheeky sometimes.
Cowboy Kent Rollins
Best Barbacoa Tacos Ever
Do you watch any of the best YouTube cooking channels on my list or do you have other cooking channels you recommend? Please do let us know in the comments below.