If you're dedicated to learning the ins and outs of cooking and want a full program, Kitchn Cooking School, which the popular Kitchn brand launched in late 2019, offers an online culinary course that includes 20 lessons over 20 days. And the best part? It is completely free, with no strings attached.
Each day, a new topic is covered, starting with knife skills and ending with how to plan, cook, and throw a dinner party. The entire lesson plan is available on their website with detailed descriptions and video clips of each class, plus recommendations for kitchen tools, equipment, and related recipes.
You will also get a small assignment after each lesson to practice what you’ve learned. Most importantly, it is clear the instructors value the joy in cooking. The tone of The Kitchn brand and messaging is light, playful, and fun, but still professional and very informative.
Another added bonus is the opportunity to socialize with other classmates through the Kitchn’s Instagram and Twitter accounts so it can really feel like a virtual version of a recreational cooking course. And, if you don’t want to commit to their full program, there are plenty of free, instructional videos and other resources on their websites, including visual guides on how to properly clean and organize your kitchen.
With thousands of online courses available, Udemy offers a variety of food-related and culinary courses taught by instructors around the country.
By using various filters, you can select from shorter and longer videos on topics like baking, vegan cooking, Moroccan cooking, Thai cooking, Indian cooking, and healthy cooking. You can also browse by level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced). Instructor bios and their ratings are available, so you can weigh your options before signing up for a class.
If you're interested in learning the basics, a course such as Essential Cooking Skills would be an ideal place to start. If you are focused on staying healthy, which is top of mind for many right now, check out Healthy Cooking Fundamentals.
Many videos also come with bonus material that includes suggestions on tools and equipment useful in the kitchen. Udemy offers great deals with large sales on classes, as well as a selection of free content. Courses come with full, lifetime access when purchased and a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Prices generally range from $10 to $100
Widely recognized as the leading online culinary school among industry professionals and validated by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, Rouxbe offers a wide array of individual lessons, in addition to their professional certificate programs.
By signing up for the Rouxbe Membership, you gain access to 75 video lessons and hundreds of recipes with personalized instructor support. This allows you to learn about specific topics related to cooking, which you can do at your own pace.
Lessons are spread out among 13 introductory courses such as Knives, Knife Cuts & Knife Sharpening, How to Make Stock, Eggs, Dry-Heat Cooking Methods, Moist-Heat Cooking Methods, How to Make Soup, How to Make Salad & Salad Dressing, and more.
Membership costs around $10 per month or $99 per year, but Rouxbe often offers discounts on their annual membership, as well as a 30-day free trial. So, if you’ve been struggling to come up with recipes to cook at home, or this is your first time cooking for yourself, Rouxbe is a fantastic resource that provides simple, quality professional guidance. Plus, at no initial cost, you take advantage of the free trial.
Best for Skill-Building:
America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School
Known for their foolproof recipes, America’s Test Kitchen brings its expertise into your home, with step-by-step instructional videos ranging from basic cooking skills to more advanced lessons for someone who wants to take their cooking to the next level. Instruction focuses not just on how to cook, but why recipes work and what can go wrong so you can avoid common mistakes.
When you sign up for a membership, you can take as many courses as you like at your own pace, and you have the option to work with a test cook instructor for personalized guidance. Courses include titles like Weeknight Meals, Essential Eggs, Weeknight Roast Chicken, or Thai Takeout Dinners.
Over 320 classes are categorized by Level of Difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced), Recipe Category (Recipe Lessons, Technique Lessons, Cooking Basics), Recipe Type (Vegetarian, Quick, Outdoor Cooking, Everyday Essentials, Make Ahead, Soups and Stews), and Main Ingredient (Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Pasta/Beans/Grains, Seafood, Potatoes, Eggs), so it's easy to filter and search for specific topics or foods.
Plus, the online cooking school offers a separate special Young Chefs Club with courses specifically designed for kids—a great way to offer some additional home enrichment. And, if you are in the market for some new kitchen tools, guidance is available with top-rated tool and ingredient reviews. America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School offers a free, 14-day trial, after which monthly memberships cost around $20 per month or approximately $180 for the year.
Masterclass offers courses taught by celebrity chefs and mixologists, and they not only offer a wealth of professional knowledge, but can provide you with the skills to transform your cooking into a restaurant-quality experience.
World-renowned chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, Wolfgang Puck, and Massimo Bottura are featured in instructional videos that include Knife Skills, Basic Cooking Techniques (Vegetables, Pasta, Eggs, Meats, Stocks, Sauces), Restaurant Recipes at Home, and Global Cuisine (Italian, Mexican).
Chefs focus on sharing tips and techniques they use when sourcing ingredients, prepping, and cooking in their own restaurants, so that you can apply these same principles in your own home kitchen. Each Masterclass includes a series of mini courses and a workbook.
Sign up for Masterclass' all-access annual membership for $180 per year.
Searching for tips on how to roast vegetables, how to make a stir fry, or how to make perfect pancakes? The lists of instructional videos seem truly endless on BBC Food.
Cooking videos are available for a variety of skill levels. If you've never stepped foot in a kitchen or are an avid home cook who wants to learn a specific new technique, there's something for you. All of the videos are free and are often linked to specific recipes on the BBC Food's website. Each one comes with written text, including detailed information on the level of difficulty, cooking equipment you will need, basic instruction, and tips for success.
Unlike other online courses, the majority of these videos are around one-minute-long due to time-lapses used in filming. But, they are concise, informative, and perfect for someone who does not have the time to dedicate to hours of video lessons, but wants to learn little by little.
Because this content comes from the UK, measurements are metric and temperature is calculated as Celsius, not Fahrenheit, so you may have to do some math conversions before you start cooking.
The BBC isn’t the only news outlet to offer online culinary education. The New York Times is recognized for its food section and offers a large selection of instructional cooking videos for all skill levels.
Plus, you can rest assured that you'll be learning from expert recipe developers, food writers, and professional chefs. The website offers over 19,000 recipes, plus, plus hundreds of supplementary videos featuring different dishes, techniques, and tips.
For those with specific dietary preferences or requirements, you can easily find what you're looking for by selecting categories like dairy-free, gluten-free, low-carb, high fiber, vegan, and more. When you might have a random assortment of ingredients or purchased something you haven’t cooked before, you can simply type in the ingredient you want to know more about, and all related recipes and videos will be shown.
You can also build and organize your favorite recipes and videos and put them into a virtual Recipe Box. Access to The New York Times database does require a membership, but like many others, you can sign up for a free, 30-day membership trial. Beyond that, the fee is around $5 per month or approximately $40 annually for unlimited access. And, not to worry: You can cancel at any time.
Calling all Top Chef fans: Top Chef University is an app created by Bravo and is an interactive course taught by 11 former Top Chef Contestants. It's available both for the iPhone, or for iPad or Android tablets.
Once you sign up, you will get access to more than 200 free, video lessons and recipes organized into a range of courses, which amounts to over 60 hours of video. Courses include basics such as Stocks and Soups, All About Vegetables, Eggs and Dairy, Bread and Grains, as well as courses on Global Cuisine, Entertaining, and even Molecular Gastronomy.
Each course contains up to 20 separate lessons you can select from and watch on your own time. Individual videos are typically only 10 to 20 minutes long so you can easily fit these into your day, even picking something specific to focus on as inspiration for your next meal.
Fettuccine Carbonara, anyone? In less than 10 minutes, you will learn how to prepare this dish from start to finish, with a full ingredient list. In no time, dinner is served.
What Is an Online Cooking Class?
An online cooking class is a digital event where you can learn various cooking techniques or regional cooking styles from a professional chef from the comfort of your own kitchen. You may choose a cooking class specific to a region, such as French or Italian cooking, or choose one based on a particular technique you'd like to learn, such as desserts, baking, or making items such as pizza or pasta.
What Is the Best Format for an Online Cooking Class: Live or Recorded?
It depends on your comfort level in the kitchen and whether you prefer a self-paced course such as recorded classes. If you need more hands-on instruction, you may prefer a live class where you can interact and ask questions. If you enjoy a self-paced class, recorded videos may be better as you can watch at your convenience.
How Many Students Are in an Online Cooking Class?
It depends on the particular class, but 12 is common for the number of students.
How We Chose the Best Online Cooking Classes
We compared the number and variety of videos available, pricing and the selection of chefs and experts who created recipes. We also looked into options that offered a variety of dietary restrictions depending on what your diet looks like.