A Blemish Quarantine Guide: Learn to Cook on YouTube


The coronavirus sucks and it’s a huge problem. Hopefully you’re staying inside as much as possible to minimize your risk of actually getting it, as it can be really bad. You are not immortal, and even if you don’t get sick you don’t want to pass the disease on to someone who does. So just don’t leave the house unless you need to.

With that in mind, there’s not a whole lot going on right now other than the coronavirus, so we’re introducing a new series highlighting things you can do to keep yourself from going absolutely mental while you’re stuck at home.

You probably can’t cook as well as you think you can. I’m sure you can make a few dishes, but can you really cook? You should probably learn, it will help you with the opposite sex once it’s safe to go out again. Or the same sex. Hell, go for both sexes, that’s what David Bowie did and he was the greatest.

The first stops on your cooking journey should be the big professional channels: Bon Appetit, Epicurious and Tasty. The first two of those channels are run by big culinary magazines and Tasty is a part of Buzzfeed. Lynn Rossetto Kasper, former host of NPR’s The Splendid Table, used to recommend Bon Appetit and Epicurious’s websites for recipes because you knew they had been tested by actual chefs before being published. Their YouTube channels have those same chefs and food scientists showing you their processes in detail. But you probably know about those channels, so here are some channels, big and small, you might not know but you can learn a lot from.

Binging With Babish

Babish, real name Andrew Rea, is a pretty popular YouTuber who makes the food that you see on TV shows and in movies. One of the things I like about this is that he not only shows successes but also failures, something that will be a common theme in channels I recommend here.

Guga Foods and Sous Vide Everything

These two channels are hosted by the same guy named Guga. Guga Foods focuses on grilling and smoking and Sous Vide Everything is about cooking sous vide. Even if you don’t do either of those things, there’s a lot to learn here. For starters, Guga’s “life-changing burgers” did honestly change my life. These are the best hamburgers I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Watch that video and make it exactly like he does. Okay, you can use a cast iron skillet on your stove indoors, but otherwise do exactly what he does. Make the burgers, use the cheap American cheese, make the sauce and what the hell, try making the buns.

And check out Sous Vide Everything, too. Sous vide circulators used to be really expensive not that long ago, but I just bought one for $30 and it is amazing for making all kinds of foods. Guga, along with his cousin Maumau and their friend Ninja, are trying to sous vide everything to find what works and what doesn’t, and sometimes it’s as interesting and informational to see what doesn’t work.

David Seymour

Now this is an interesting cooking channel. David Seymour is just a young guy who lives with his parents and tests the recipes from the bigger channels like Tasty and Bon Appetit in a home kitchen to show what you can actually accomplish as a home cook.

Like Babish and like Guga, David isn’t a great cook, but you can see how much better he gets as time goes on and he’s done hundreds of these.


I love just using your own name as your YouTube channel when you’re a cooking show and not a celebrity, and just using your first name is a real baller move. Alex spends months and upwards of a dozen episodes focused on learning about and iterating on a single dish in order to get it just right.

This is how you’re going to learn to cook. You’re not going to do it once and nail it perfectly every time. You’re going to keep doing it, figure out what you did wrong, and do it again hopefully making fewer mistakes and eventually it will become a recipe in your repertoire.

How To Cook That

Ann Reardon is a food scientist, which is sort of like being a chef who knows not only how to cook but why the things you’re doing in the kitchen happen the way they do. Ann makes all sorts of crazy and amazing foods, but the best thing on her channel is debunking videos. Remember at the top of this article when I said that big channels with editorial staff tests their recipes before sharing them with the world? Well, some places don’t test their recipes and others just flat-out fake various “cooking hacks” videos. Ann shows you what would really happen so you hopefully don’t kill yourself.

Yeah. Some of these “hacks” are actively dangerous, so listen to Ann Reardon.

That’s five cooking channels that will not only keep you entertained but let you impress your surviving friends when you’re allowed outside again.

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