Whether you’re already adept with a skillet and chef’s knife or you’re more of an, um, takeout connoisseur, cooking classes are equal parts fun and informative. No longer just a date-night activity, there’s a whole world of virtual lessons now available. Here, the 12 best online cooking classes to brush up your kitchen skills (or inspire you to get in the kitchen in the first place).
Best Online Cooking Classes at a Glance:
Best for Food Science Nerds: America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School
Best for Aspiring Chefs: Rouxbe
Best for Travel-Lovers: Airbnb Experiences
Best for the Celeb-Chef-Obsessed: MasterClass
Best for a Career Change: Le Cordon Bleu Online
Best Free Classes: Basics with Babish
Best for Micro Lessons: New York Times Cooking
Best for Gifting: The Chef and the Dish
Best for Giving Back: 18 Reasons Why
Best for Curious Cooks: Cookspace
Best for Kids: Raddish Kids
Best Overall: Milk Street
If you enjoy learning the “why” just as much as the “how,” or you spent a lot of time watching Alton Brown on Good Eats, the online cooking classes offered by the folks behind America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated will be right up your alley. There are more than 300 courses that are organized by difficulty level, technique and ingredient (among others), and the approach is equal parts step-by-step guide and food science deep dive. One month of access will cost you $20 and one year is $180, but there is a three-week free trial before you make the investment.
2. Best for Aspiring Chefs: Rouxbe
Rouxbe touts itself as an alternative to traditional in-person culinary school, so it’s really best for those interested in entering into a food profession. (Think: a six-month professional cook certification course with chef-led lessons, assessments and a certificate of completion at the end.) It also offers a membership with unlimited access to recipes, lessons, courses and instructor support. Rouxbe costs $99 annually or $10 per month, with a 30-day free trial for first-timers.
3. Best for Travel Lovers: Airbnb Online Experiences
If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling to Italy to learn how to make handmade pasta from someone else’s nonna, or how to craft sushi in your own kitchen, Airbnb Experiences (which is now offered online) is a lot like traveling to another country without leaving your couch. Prices range from $5 per person to $523 per person, and the topics covered are just as expansive: from cooking to baking, with an emphasis on cultural-specific cuisine. Since you’re basically on a Zoom call with the host, it’s a lot more personal—which makes it ideal for small groups.
4. Best the Celeb-Chef-Obsessed: MasterClass
You don’t just want to learn how to cook vegetables. You want to learn how to cook vegetables like Thomas Keller. Good thing MasterClass offers just that. (There are also courses with pastry chef Dominique Ansel, chef Alice Waters and the like.) You can preview each lesson plan before signing up, and each class includes a series of mini courses and a workbook. Signing up costs $15 per month, but it’s billed annually, working out to $180 per year.
5. Best for a Career Change: Le Cordon Bleu Online
While relocating to Paris would be nice, you can also enroll in Le Cordon Bleu without leaving your house. But that’s not to say it’s Le Cordon Lite—you have to apply, attend live lectures, complete assignments and take tests. It’s also not cheap, with courses costing about $657. But with classes like “Food Entrepreneurship” and “Future of Food,” it’s a good remote option if you’re trying to break into the industry.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Andrew Rea (also known as the self-taught chef behind YouTube sensation “Binging with Babish”) is an excellent—and free—resource to brush up on your chef skills. “Basics with Babish” is a spin-off of his original series, and it covers, well, the basics. Think broad topics like fish and eggs, kitchen care and pantry essentials. And bonus: According to assistant editor Abby Hepworth, “his voice is like buttah.”
7. Best for Micro Lessons: New York Times Cooking
Go ahead, skip the news section and go straight to cooking. The New York Times has a plethora of recipes, yes, but it’s also home to a “Learn to Cook” section that has mini lessons on things like “How to Make Sourdough Bread” and “How to Frost a Cake.” It’s not as comprehensive as some online cooking classes, but it’s good for mini lessons and fun how-to’s. For unlimited access to the entire New York Times Cooking database, it’s either $5 per month or $40 per year.
8. Best for Gifting: The Chef and the Dish
The Chef and the Dish is like inviting a chef into your kitchen to teach you how to cook, except entirely over Skype. The virtual private lessons are taught by pros and cover single dishes like pho, paella and fresh pasta. Since it’s a lot like the digital equivalent of a couple’s cooking class, it’s great for gifting (and they do offer gift cards). In general, each class costs $300 for two people, and you can add up to two more guests for $50 each.
9. Best for Giving Back: 18 Reasons
San Francisco-based 18 Reasons is a nonprofit cooking school that’s “on a mission to empower our community with the confidence and creativity needed to buy, cook and eat good food every day.” But you don’t have to live in the Bay Area to take its classes, since they’re now all offered online. Annual memberships range from $50 (the most basic) to $500 (one free class per year and a tote bag) and gives you $10 off the ticket price for each event. Plus, the money helps fund healthy cooking workshops for low-income families throughout the Bay Area.
Cook Space is a Brooklyn, New York, event space that now offers online versions of its former studio classes since the COVID-19 pandemic. Most classes—such as bread baking and “summer pasta, plant based”—are $50 each, but you can also sign up for one-on-one lessons (called “private school for the at-home cook) for a customized version of at-home culinary school—starting at $500 for three private sessions.
11. Best for Kids: Raddish Kids
Raddish Kids caters to budding chefs, with courses that appeal to the under-18 crowd, from younger kids to teenagers, and includes a monthly kit in the mail. The idea is to make cooking fun for the entire family, so Raddish includes monthly cooking playlists, videos, dietary modifications and resources for parents dealing with picky eaters. Each monthly kit costs $24, or $20 if you commit to a full year.
12. Best Overall: Milk Street
In addition to live-streamed cooking classes, Milk Street offers self-paced classes that deep-dive into cooking theory, ingredients and individual dishes. All of the self-paced videos are free, and the live classes cost between $16 and $20 (and include a recording of the class that you can rewatch later). The range of topics and flexibility of payment and class-type are what made us choose Milk Street as the best online cooking classes overall.
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