20 Best Online Cooking Classes To Make You a Master Chef at Home
By Christina Heiser,2023-03-14
Take your kitchen skills to the next level with these virtual cooking classes taught by world-class chefs.
If you’ve found yourself in a cooking rut after spending the last three years making most of your meals at home, you’re in luck. Many world-class chefs around the world now offer online cooking classes to help you up your culinary game. Whether you want to brush up on basic kitchen skills or learn how to make pizza or pad Thai, there’s an online cooking class for you.
Keep reading to learn more about what to expect during a virtual cooking class, the benefits of taking an online cooking class, and the best cooking classes on Zoom to try right now. Bon appetit!
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What Are Online Cooking Classes?
Online cooking classes are exactly what they sound like: cooking classes taught virtually—over Zoom, a video conferencing service, or on another online platform. During the pandemic, many chefs who used to teach cooking classes IRL decided to give cooking classes on Zoom a go since they were no longer able to teach students in person.
Divya Alter , founder of Divya's Kitchen in New York City and author of Joy of Balance: An Ayurvedic Guide to Cooking with Healing Ingredients , is one such chef who embraced online cooking classes during the pandemic. She says she enjoys teaching remotely now because “it allows me to offer a systematic presentation and incorporate a lot of fun visuals that I can’t use during an in-person class.”
There are a few ways online cooking classes can work. “Some are cook-along style where you have your recipe and ingredients ahead of time and you make the recipe while you watch a class,” explains Lyndsay Laursen , chef and founder of Nourish , a platform that offers local and virtual wellness cooking classes. “This can be done live (on Zoom or another platform) or as a pre-recorded video that you can watch on your own time and pause as you go.”
There are also virtual cooking classes that are more demo-style (similar to a food TV show), where you watch and learn something you can try to replicate later, says Laursen.
“You could also do something more akin to a private lesson where you have someone cooking with you, just virtually, and who is watching you follow along, giving feedback and answering your questions ,” she says.
The Benefits of Taking an Online Cooking Class
There are quite a few reasons why you should consider taking online cooking classes. For starters, you get to be in the comfort of your own home, using your own kitchen equipment, notes Francesca Montillo , owner and founder of Lazy Culinary Adventures who hosts Zoom classes and leads food and wine trips to Italy.
“I used to teach in-person classes, but ironically those were more confusing for students,” says Montillo. “Equipment wasn’t the best, knives weren’t the sharpest and folks were at the mercy of older equipment. On Zoom, students are in their own homes, with the comfort of their own equipment.”
Additionally, Keesha O’Galdez , owner of Gourmet Diva, Inc. , who has taught online cooking classes for the last two years, says Zoom cooking classes give you the opportunity to learn about all different types of cuisines and cultures you may not have had access to otherwise.
How To Prepare for an Online Cooking Class
So you’re ready to sign up for your first online cooking class. How exciting! But there are a few things you should know to make your experience as successful (and stress-free) as possible.
For starters, take the time to look around and find the right type or style of class for you, suggests Laursen. “Whether you're looking to learn one specific task, like fermentation or cheese making or sushi rolling, or you want to learn to cook for a specific way of eating or particular health condition, or you want a whole program to go from zero to professional, there are options for everyone,” she says.
Once you’ve found the class you want to take, it’s best to do a little work in advance. “Most online cooking classes will send you a list of ingredients and supplies to get, so I would definitely recommend looking over that list ahead of time,” says O’Galdez. “Make sure you have all of the ingredients ready and available so you’re not running around looking for things while the chef is trying to instruct you.”
It’s also a good idea to measure and chop ingredients (if called for in the recipe) before the class starts, she adds. “This way you can focus on the task at hand and you're not feeling frantic and like you have to keep up,” she says.
Finally, consider signing up for this type of cooking class with someone else. “I suggest doing it with a friend or partner whenever possible because cooking in the community usually makes the whole experience better,” says Laursen.
The Best Online Cooking Classes
1. Best Overall Option: MasterClass
For the most comprehensive online cooking classes, check out MasterClass . This platform offers pre-recorded online classes taught by renowned chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck and Dominique Ansel. There are tons of options to choose from, so whether you want to try your hand at making French pastries or mastering Mexican cooking, there’s something for everyone. An annual membership to MasterClass costs $15 per month or $180 per year and gives you access to all classes on the platform.
2. Best for Beginners: America’s Test Kitchen
America’s Test Kitchen offers excellent pre-recorded online cooking classes to help beginners master their cooking skills. Beginner-friendly courses include Basic Knife Skills, Air Fryer Favorites and Easy Holiday Side Dishes. There are also classes suited to more advanced home cooks as well, and you can sort classes by difficulty level to find the perfect class for you. A year subscription to the platform costs $180, or you can pay $20 per month for a monthly subscription.
3. Best for Live Classes: Sur La Table
Enjoy interactive cooking classes with live options from Sur La Table , a retail brand that sells high-quality cookware and other kitchen items. The 90-120 minute classes are taught live on Zoom by expert chefs and start at $29 per class. You’re welcome to ask the chef questions as you go along, making for a truly interactive experience that rivals in-person cooking classes. Learn how to make fresh pasta , donuts, stir-fries and more. The opportunities to broaden your cooking skills are endless.
4. Best Budget Option: Udemy
Udemy is an online learning platform that offers a wide range of cooking classes at affordable prices (think $20 and under per class). Whether you’re a novice or want to expand your culinary horizons, you can find what you’re looking for here. Classes include Essential Cooking Skills, Thai Cooking Master Class, Cooking Korean Foods and Instant Pot Master Course. Classes are pre-recorded so you can go at your own pace.
5. Best for Gut Health: Nourish
If you’re looking to revamp your diet and get your gut health back on track, Nourish is a great platform to sign up for. “Our signature class is a six-week program for learning to cook real whole foods in your real life (where you can't spend all day in the kitchen) while you learn how to eat for your own body and support your gut health,” says Laursen. The six-week pre-recorded course costs $500 and includes lessons on fermentation (you’ll learn how to make sourdough and kimchi!), food sensitivities and more.
6. Best for Adventurous Eaters: Airbnb Online Experiences
Take a trip around the world without leaving home with Airbnb Online Experiences . You can sign up for live online cooking classes focused on global cuisines, such as African, Lebanese, Moroccan and Argentinian. Prices typically range from about $10-$50 per person. Just sign up for your class of choice and you’ll be sent a list of ingredients and instructions before the class. You can even book a class for a private group.
7. Best for Easy Weeknight Meals: Craftsy
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, thanks to the online cooking classes offered by Craftsy , an online platform for creatives. Each class costs $39.99, and because the videos are pre-recorded you can go at your own pace and access the videos anytime. Popular Craftsy classes include Airy Fryer Essentials, Efficient Weeknight Cooking, Mindful Meal Prepping and Real Life Cooking.
8. Best for Food Professionals: Rouxbe Online Culinary School
Rouxbe Online Culinary School is an ideal option for advanced cooks and food professionals. Their library of pre-recorded online cooking classes includes Handling a Chef’s Knife, How to Make Bechamel Sauce, How to Shallow and Deep Fry, How to Roast Chicken and more. A membership to this online platform costs $79.99 per year and gives you access to 75 lessons and hundreds of recipes.
9. Best for Aspiring Top Chefs: Top Chef University
With Top Chef University , you can learn how to cook from your favorite TV chefs. Top Chef University is an app (designed to work on iPads and Android devices) that features over 200 pre-recorded video lessons from 11 former Top Chef contestants, including Richard Blais, Stephanie Izard and Brian Malarkey. The best part? All of the content is free!
10. Best for Wellness Enthusiasts: Divya’s Masterclasses
Learn everything there is to know about Ayurvedic cooking from Alter’s online masterclasses . She teaches foundational skills, concepts and recipes rooted in Ayurvedic cooking and also shares tips for transforming your health through the use of Ayurvedic principles in five in-depth lessons that span eight hours. You’ll get step-by-step recipes for Ayurvedic meals, staples and spice blends. Enrollment in Alter’s masterclass costs $297.
11. Best for Mastering Basic Cooking Techniques: BBC Food
If your goal is to learn basic techniques to take your at-home cooking to the next level, then check out BBC Food . They offer a slew of short, pre-recorded videos on the most common kitchen techniques you need to know, including how to cook broccoli , how to chop an onion and how to prep garlic. Bonus: All of the videos are free!
12. Best for Mastering Advanced Cooking Techniques: NYT Cooking
Once you’re ready to move beyond the basics, turn your attention to the video library from NYT Cooking . They have lots of online videos for advanced cooking techniques, including how to make bagels, how to make pasta, how to make yogurt and how to cook ham. All of these classes are part of a NYT Cooking subscription, which costs $5 a month or $40 a year.
13. Best for Travel Enthusiasts: Traveling Spoon
Want to make paella in Spain, gnocchi in Italy or paneer tikka in India? Now you can without ever leaving home, thanks to the online cooking classes from Traveling Spoon , a platform that connects travelers with local hosts for cooking classes so you can experience authentic cuisine. All classes cost $50 per guest (and an extra $30 per additional screen) and offer one-on-one online instruction with food experts from around the globe.
14. Best for Science Nerds: ChefSteps
Curious about the science behind air frying? Want to know more about the anatomy of an egg? Sign up for the cooking classes on ChefSteps , an online platform that has tons of food science classes, in addition to online cooking classes to help you master basic cooking techniques and delicious recipes. A subscription to ChefSteps costs $5.75 a month or $69 a year and gives you access to all of the online classes and recipes on the platform. You can also buy individual classes if you prefer.
15. Best for Baking and Decorating Cakes: CakeFlix
Become a better baker with the online classes from CakeFlix . They have a huge library (over 1,500 videos and more added each week!) of baking classes taught by pro-cake artists from around the world. Learn how to make and decorate cakes that rival those seen at your local bakery. Pricing is about $10 a month and includes new weekly video content from top cake artists as well as access to the existing library of online classes.
16. Best Gluten-Free Option: Good Food Cooking School
You don’t have to miss out on the cooking fun if you have dietary restrictions. Good Food Cooking School offers an on-demand library of online cooking classes to help you master gluten -free baking, plant-based cooking and more. The platform was founded by Heather Crosby, a plant-based nutritionist. Lessons include gluten-free bread, gluten-free puff pastry and dairy-free ice cream. A yearly membership, which includes access to all of the online classes, costs $99 per year.
17. Best Vegan Option: Forks Over Knives
If plant-based cooking is your jam, then head on over to Forks Over Knives . They offer a few different plant-based online courses, from Intro to Meal Prep ($19), Plant-Based Cooking Essentials ($79) and Ultimate Course ($199). No matter which one you choose, you’re sure to walk away with new skills to take your plant-based game to the next level. Each course includes instructions and recipes to help you master plant-based cooking.
18. Best for Kids: Tiny Chef
Get the kids involved in the fun with the online cooking classes from Tiny Chef . Tiny Chef is a children’s culinary school that hosts birthday parties, classes, camps and other activities for kids over age 3. In addition to in-person events, they also have a variety of live and on-demand cooking classes for kids. Your little ones can learn how to make everything from funfetti donuts with powdered sugar glaze to Mexican layered dip and beyond right from home. On-demand virtual classes cost $15 per course, while live online classes are $32.
19. Best Free Option: Homemade
Joel Gamoran was a national chef for Sur La Table for over 10 years and host of the show Scraps . Now, he’s launched his own platform, Homemade , where he offers free live online cooking classes every week. In previous classes (which you can access on his website), Gamoran walks you through how to make sushi burritos, veal schnitzel, beef bulgogi and vegan pasta alfredo. Yum!
20. Best for Groups: The Chef & The Dish
The Chef & The Dish offers private online cooking classes for groups. Their service is great for couples (hello, date night !) and groups of friends. Get a private cooking lesson from chefs around the world and learn how to make tantalizing dishes from Italy, Thailand and more. Most classes cost $299. You’ll get two and half hours with the chef, who will provide step-by-step coaching during the class. You’ll even receive a recipe booklet so you can make the dishes again!
- Divya Alter , founder of Divya's Kitchen in New York City and author of Joy of Balance: An Ayurvedic Guide to Cooking with Healing Ingredients
- Lyndsay Laursen , chef and founder of Nourish , a platform that offers local and virtual wellness cooking classes
- Francesca Montillo , owner and founder of Lazy Culinary Adventures who hosts Zoom classes and leads food and wine trips to Italy
- Keesha O’Galdez , owner of Gourmet Diva, Inc.