“Good cooking is honest, sincere, and simple” Elizabeth David.
In today’s stressful world, cooking can be a great escape. In fact, when you’re cooking, your troubles just seem to melt away.
People often say “I’m rubbish at cooking” and “I can’t cook”. If this sounds like you and you want to improve your culinary skills, you’re in luck! You can now learn to cook from the comfort of your own home thanks to the internet. Of course, you’ll also need some utensils before you cook your first dish.
If you’re trying to wade through the thousands of cooking websites on the internet, Superprof’s put together a few of the best ones for you to check out.
Ready to become the next top chef?
It’s never too late to learn how to cook. Whether we say we can’t be bothered or just don’t have the time, we always make excuses for why we don’t learn cook.
Cooking and eating with other people is more fun that eating on your own. (Source: severyanka)
Cooking starts by doing the shopping and rather than buying ready-made meals, getting ingredients, peeling, slicing, and roasting them in order to end up with a meal worth eating.
Why should you bother?
When learning to cook, practice makes perfect. So while you’re not going to become the country’s greatest chef overnight, the more you practice, the better you get.
When you start learning to cook, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you learn. You’ll even find doing the shopping takes less time. You’ll start knowing exactly what you’ll need for each meal, even if it’s just for yourself.
Who said cooking needs to take a long time?
While a recipe for a roast pork with potatoes, turnip and carrot mash, onion gravy, and cauliflower will have you slaving over the oven all morning, you can easily find a recipe for a healthier homemade meal that’s just as tasty and takes a fraction of the cooking time.
Here are some of the sites to help you do just that:
Before moving on to more complicated recipes, it’s a good idea start with some of the basics on this site.
You don’t need loads of specialised utensils in order to cook. (Source: rawpixel)
Start with their article on 25 skills every cook should know. This includes things like chopping an onion, using knives, boiling an egg, cooking pasta, baking a potato, roasting a chicken, crushing garlic, and preparing a chili! Just like a jelly, you’re set!
You should also learn the basics like the names of utensils, weights and measures, cooking vocabulary, how to cut vegetables, how to make different sauces and fillings, and different ways to cook food.
Before you start cooking more advanced meals, you should start with simpler meals so that you can master the aforementioned cooking techniques.
There’s also useful information on baking techniques for different types of dough, creams, and mousses. If you have a sweet tooth, it might be worthwhile focusing on baked food over traditional cooking.
Why not impress your friends and family with desserts?
Thanks to the detailed images with each step, you can easily follow each step to make simple recipes. Basic recipes are organised into clear sections: hot and cold dishes, meat, eggs, fish, pasta, rice, etc.
If you want to succeed as a chef, you’ll need to start somewhere. To become a good chef, following the advice on the site is a good place to start.
Epicurious comes highly recommended and is a veritable treasure trove of recipes and cooking articles. Whether you want to learn quick and easy recipes or just what equipment you should have in your kitchen, this is a site you should check out.
They also maintain a mouthwatering Instagram feed. If you’re waiting for a bus or just thinking about dinner, you can get some inspiration for your next meal.
The search on the website is pretty smart and you can even find a wealth of recipes for different holidays like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.
Each cooking technique is clearly explained and accompanied by useful images to help you. You can find recipes based on the foods used and dietary requirements (gluten free, lactose free, vegetarian, vegan, etc.) or by occasion like Christmas meals or seasonal menus (trying to get rid of that pumpkin from Halloween?). It’s a goldmine of information on cooking with step-by-step guides for learning cooking techniques.
Sick of baked beans on toast, instant soups, pot noodles, and prepackaged sandwiches? It might be time to check out this student cooking website. Students often look for cheap and easy-to-make recipes. Flavour isn’t often their most important criteria.
Do we really have to eat what students usually eat?
We wouldn’t say so. While this site is great for students, it’s also great for novice chefs wanting to learn more about cooking without breaking the bank.
Pasta is a common staple for students. (Source: RitaE)
There are plenty of meals you can make with just the ingredients in your cupboards or with a quick trip to a local supermarket (you won’t need tonnes of specialised ingredients). You can also find recipes for vegetarians, vegans, and special events.
The recipes are varied and interesting and include everything from macaroni cheese to pizzas. If corned beef stew, vegetable stir fry, or a tuna salad sounds good to you, then you should check out this website.
You wouldn’t expect a site like AllRecipes.com to only have a few recipes, and it doesn’t.
There’s more to cooking for vegetarians than just vegetables. (Source: manfredrichter)
The search on the website is exceptional and you curate your own feed of recipes depending on your tastes:
This is a site that lives up to its name. Add it to your favourites.
This is an award-winning site with plenty of resources for those needing help or inspiration in the kitchen. In addition to all the recipes available on the site, you can also read useful articles on cooking techniques, which are fundamental when it comes to making delicious meals.
The site is clean and can be easily navigated. Recipes are organised by ingredient, there’s an entire section on the techniques you’ll use, and there are even reviews of the best equipment.
Recipes are summarised by how many people they serve, how long you’ll be active when cooking it, how long it’ll take you to cook it, and a rating of the recipe itself. Unfortunately, there’s no indication of the difficulty of any of the recipe. However, a quick search for words like “easy” or “simple” will rectify this.
The Genius Kitchen site boasts over 500,000 recipes. While I can’t guarantee that they’re all winners, since they’re voted on and rated by the site’s users, the cream floats to the top and you can find some really good recipes for beginners and experienced cooks alike.
You’ll be surprised at some of the things you’ll end up making. (Source: RitaE)
More than just a recipe site, Genius Kitchen focuses on cooking and the culture around cooking. This is a great site for ambitious beginners who won’t be disheartened by failure. While there are easy recipes, the site really shines when you let it inspire you rather than trawling through all the recipes it has. Of course, you can still search for “easy” or “simple” recipes if you want to avoid feeling out of your depth.
We recommend that you use the site for inspiration once you’ve started getting to grips with the techniques (as found on our previous recommendation). Once you’ve increased your skill set in the kitchen, you can start getting the most out of this site.
Yummly.com boasts even more recipes than Genius Kitchen. However, this is more of a gateway to recipes than a site itself. While they say there are 1,000,000 recipes on this site, they’re actually hosted on other sites.
If you’re a beginner, you should immediately click on the “Quick and Easy” section (and not just because I found the site to run slowly if you try and scroll through all the recipes).
While I’m not a fan of the site’s navigation, I do like the way the recipes are presented: you can immediately see how many different ingredients you’ll need, how many calories in the meal, and how long it takes to make.
Unlike the other websites in this list, there aren’t as many different sections to help you find certain recipes.
The recipes are presented in both metric and imperial measures, but the conversion to metric comes up with some interesting units. Can you really be bothered to measure out 1 10/13 decilitres of balsamic vinegar?
This site works better for finding inspiration for meals than actually cooking them. The variety of sites it links to also means that you can’t guarantee the actual quality of the site you’re going to end up on.
However, the sheer number of recipes you’ll have access to is why it makes the list.
You probably recognise Food Network from your Facebook feed and the tonnes of viral videos shared by your friends (if you’re not the one sharing them). However, the best thing about this site is its section for cooking with children. Whether you’re an experienced cook or not, you should be able to help your kids with the recipes on this website.
We particularly like the section on safe cooking techniques for children since safety is a common concern for parents when encouraging their children in the kitchen. There’s a great article that explains safety advice for children of different ages.
Despite the success of cooking videos, there are still plenty of really good cooking blogs. Some bloggers maintain sites that have just as many recipes and content as cooking websites.
You can find plenty of great recipes on blogs. (Source: Ananya440)
Blogs tend to adopt a more personal approach and are usually more enjoyable to read than some of the drier cooking websites. Here are some of the blogs worth visiting if you want to learn how to cook:
Beginners will enjoy the personal approach to blogs which address their audience as people. Blogs don’t tend to be as snobby as cooking websites, which can often put off aspiring chefs. They’re really useful if you own a tablet to prop up on your bench while you’re following the recipes.
If you want to make an omelette, you have to break some eggs. (Source: bluebudgie)
You can learn to cook in a cooking class but it’s cheaper learning how to cook by visiting cooking websites. Start by learning the basics and the lingo on websites for beginners. You can then move onto basic websites (such as cooking websites for students) and cooking blogs. Cooking, like all other skills, gets better with practice.
|BBC Good Food||Content for beginners, easy-to-find recipes, cooking terms explained, good images.||Easy to get lost in so much content, good images will make your attempts look poor.|
|Epicurious||Good images, a lot of interesting recipes, good variety of recipes.||Too much choice in some cases, some recipes are difficult.|
|Student Recipes||Recipes for beginners, good navigation, advice for students.||Poor writing on some recipes.|
|All Recipes||Easy to navigate, cheap recipes, customised feeds.||Some difficult recipes.|
|Serious Eats||Wide range of recipes, information on techniques, clear instructions.||No difficulty rating on recipes.|
|Genius Kitchen||Huge variety, user ratings, recipe of the day.||A lot of content that isn't recipes, a lot of recipes to sift through.|
|Yummly||Loads of recipe, powerful search tool, previews of recipes.||Slow navigation, content aggregated from other sites.|
|Food Network (for Children)||Quick and easy recipes, clear instructions, recipes for the whole family.||Childish recipes (not good for teens).|
Now that you’ve got all your ingredients and you know the ropes, you’re ready to get the cooker on and get ready for the best moment, tasting your food!