How to Make a Quick Instagram Food Video

Instagram video set up
Evi Abeler Photography

If you are on Instagram and are following accounts of food brands or chefs like @Starbucks, @MarcusCooks, @JamieOliver, or @Hatchery you have probably seen these short and sweet Instagram videos. Many culinary ventures have discovered Instagram videos as an engaging tool to spread their message. Most videos are upbeat and showcase simple recipes, techniques, or a snippet of behind the scenes life.

Make a Plan

Ready to make one? First think about a recipe, technique, or story that can be shared in 15 sec. Don’t start with a recipe that has more than a handful of ingredients, a technique with more than a few steps, or a story with a complicated plot. Think quick, simple, and fun. How to make a cocktail, cut an avocado, or operate a mixer is where to begin.

Set-up the Scene

Prepare your setting and have all ingredients and props ready to go. If you want to keep it simple use the Instagram app and attach your camera phone to a tripod or camera stand. (A Gorillapod can be attached to almost everything.) This way you can film and arrange the scene without also holding the camera. However, you’ll find out quickly that another set of hands will make life easier. Ask a friend to film you or to be the model for your Instagram clip.​


Open the Instagram app and tap the camera button to go into photo shooting mode, then tap the video camera icon on the bottom right to enter the video mode. Hold the big video button down—it will shoot as long as you hold it. This means you can capture one long stream or shoot a series of short clips. Keep in mind that you are recording the sound too. Use your headphones' built-in mic if you are planning to talk over your video.


Instagram lets you view your video and then go back and delete or add shots. To delete a shot, go back to video shooting mode, tap the “x” button on the bottom left. It’ll highlight the last shot in red. Tap the button again to confirm that you want to delete that shot. Now you can keep adding new shots or leave it as is. Once you have your sequence in place add filters (or not) and pick a thumbnail. This is the image that will show up in your stream, make sure it’s one that will make your followers stop, click, and like.


Add a description of the video, the recipe, or technique to your video. Don’t forget hashtags such as #foodvideo, #recipevideo, #howto and tag anybody who helped or was in the clip.

Ready for More?

If you want to step up the image quality, add titles or have more controls over your edit, you can use a professional camera and edit your video with iMovie or FinalCut. With a quick file transfer, you can upload your videos to your phone and then import into Instagram. Keep in mind that most videos are rectangular and Instagram will crop them to a square format.