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There’s nothing like having a course outlined where you can learn the fundamentals and building blocks for a dish. And in recent years, online cooking classes have exploded in popularity.
Learning how to make dumplings or teaching yourself the fundamentals of knife skills is as easy as logging in from our home kitchen. Read more about our picks for the best online cooking classes.
Best Online Cooking Classes of 2021
- Best Overall: America’s Test Kitchen
- Best Free Class: Better Homes and Gardens’ How to Cook
- Best for Beginners: The Kitchn Cooking School
- Best for Vegans: Veecoco
- Best for Culturally Immersive Cooking: The League of Kitchens
- Best for Couples: The Chef & the Dish
- Best for Private Cooking Classes: The Table Less Traveled
- Best for Groups: 18 Reasons
- Best for Kids: Home Cooking New York
Why We Chose It: America’s Test Kitchen is known for its fool-proof and heavily tested recipes, so it comes as no surprise that its online cooking school is equally top-notch, with in-depth lessons on everything from fundamentals to more specific cuisines and dishes.
Wide selection of over 320 courses
Teaches fundamentals and the science behind recipes
Can speak one-on-one with instructors
Hard to find prices on the website
America’s Test Kitchen is known for not only testing and presenting the best recipes, but also explaining the underlying technique and science of why the recipe works. Its online cooking school carries this principle forward by showing you how to make the recipe and explaining why you are doing it, how to avoid pitfalls and mistakes, as well as why certain ingredients are used in the dish. Not only will you end up learning how to make the recipe, but you’ll be able to take that experience and build from it to become a better cook overall.
With over 320 courses, you can skim the surface and learn basic techniques or dive in deep and really get to know cuisines and the recipes. Beyond that, you can upload images of your attempt at the recipe so you can track your progress as you learn and get better with experience. You can also consult with an instructor via a private messaging system to get personal feedback.
Why We Chose It: Better Homes and Gardens is known for its accessible and friendly recipes, and its How to Cook series collects all that knowledge in one place.
Covers everything from basic to advanced skills
Easy-to-understand, downloadable charts for cooking
Extra information like tips and equipment suggestions
Courses are not linear
Website architecture can be confusing
Better Homes and Gardens is known for its signature red and white checkerboard-covered cookbook that lives in practically every kitchen in America. Its How to Cook series is a great free resource for learning everything about food. From boiling potatoes to cooking a steak, this warm and approachable set of posts breaks down all the steps.
The series has an extensive collection of posts ranging from basic skills for the kitchen, cooking with fruits and vegetables, cooking with meat and poultry, food safety, and preserving and canning. One of our favorites sections is a series of downloadable PDF cooking charts to ensure you cook your steak to your preferred wellness, an explanation of different types of fish, how to shop for produce, and more. Print it out and keep it on your fridge or next to your stove for easy access.
Why We Chose It: The Kitchn’s Cooking School has 20 lessons over 20 days that teach you the fundamentals of cooking for free.
Covers knife skills, techniques, plating, and planning
Linear, an easy-to-follow course
Doesn’t go in-depth on any topic
If you’re kitchen curious but don’t want to invest any money (other than the cost of ingredients and your time), The Kitchn’s Cooking School is a great place to start because it’s absolutely free. Expect to learn the basics and fundamentals like knife skills, how to cook an egg, and how to make stock. Once you’ve mastered those, move on to pasta, grains, meat, fish, and dessert. Finish it off with a lesson on plating and how to make your dish look Instagram- and Pinterest-worthy.
The class lessons are written in a blog post accompanied by a short video for each lesson. The blog posts give a detailed explanation of the information for the lesson and provide a list of equipment you might want and recipes that will work with the lesson. The posts also have short assignments, ranging from 15 minutes (reading and watching the video) to 30 minutes and even longer “stretch” assignments.
With plenty of tips and information, this set of courses is a great intro to cooking.
Why We Chose It: Veecoco is an internationally inspired, plant-based cooking school that teaches you how to make vegan food from chefs all over the world.
Wide range of courses, from basic to advanced
Access to private Facebook group
Inconsistent pricing structure
For those who are just starting out eating vegan, it can be a bit daunting and overwhelming. All the food you can't eat seems to stand in the way of making a meal. Veecoco flips the script and shows you all the amazing food you can eat by exploring the plant-based diet through a lens of cuisines from around the world.
With 17 courses (and growing) and over 600 lessons, Veecoco is a great cooking school for those who are already cooking and eating vegan but are stuck in a rut. You’ll learn recipes inspired by German, Japan, Korea, Italy, Thailand, and more. Focused courses like Swiss chocolate, vegan cheese, and raw food means you can flex and expand your culinary repertoire even more.
And when you have questions about vegan cooking, you can ask in the private Facebook group that Veecoco maintains. Not only does this allow you to get an extra level of personalized learning, but you can meet other folks in the community who are learning and taking classes along with you. The cost is $127 per course, while a 12-month membership for all courses is $297 upfront or $35 per month.
Why We Chose It: All the classes are taught by immigrant women who not only know their food but understand its importance for their culture and home country.
Classes taught by home cooks
Cultural importance for each dish is highlighted
Live classes means immediate feedback
Classes are scheduled on Eastern time
You know immediately the sort of class you are signing up for when you read The League of Kitchen’s tagline: “Cook with Grandmas from Around the World.” Friendly and knowledgeable women are the instructors of each workshop. They not only understand the recipes and traditional food they are making, but also the cultural background and importance of the food and its place in their own history.
Pick from a wide range of cuisine types, including Russian, Mexican, Indian, Uzbek, Persian, and more. Expect to learn more than just the cuisine as well, with each instructor talking about their country and culture as well as the sort of casual tips and tricks that typically a grandmother would pass on to her grandchild. This is storytelling through food and culinary travel in the comfort of your own home.
The classes are well organized and run, with two different cameras: one focusing on the instructor, and one on the prep area or stove. The instructor also has an assistant who helps make sure the class is running smoothly and troubleshoots any issues. And because it is done live, you not only get to know the instructor but also the other participants as well, leading to one of the best online experiences that mimic in-person classes. Classes start at a reasonable $60 per device.
Why We Chose It: The wide array of cooking classes on international cuisines is custom-tailored for couples.
Classes taught by chefs around the world
Specifically designed and priced for two people
Each class undergoes a certification process
A lot of online cooking classes are designed for groups of six or more, often with strangers from around the country. But what if you want a more intimate experience, perhaps for a special date night? The Chef & the Dish has created that opportunity by working with chefs from around the world.
Each class is designed with couples in mind, though you can add more devices and people to the class if you wish for an additional fee. Starting at $299, these intimate and private classes aren’t cheap. But each course is tested and certified with recipes picked for authenticity as well as accessibility, with easy-to-find ingredient substitution suggestions. The chefs are trained with the team to make sure they deliver the best version of the dish as well as the best experience possible for the couple.
The recipes themselves are also picked specifically to highlight signature dishes from that region of the world. From Jambalaya in New Orleans to fresh pasta and bolognese from Italy and Pho from Vietnam, you and your loved one can work together to make a range of delicious international dishes from the comfort of your home.
Why We Chose It: The Table Less Traveled has customizable private online cooking classes with chefs and instructors from all over the world.
Instructors teach from their country
Some price tiers have recipe kits and ingredients
Customizable by menu, diet, and skill level
Can get expensive
The Table Less Traveled initially organized culinary tours around the world, including places like Malaysia, Peru, Italy, and Japan. It has since pivoted to online classes using its tour guides and international chefs as instructors.
Much like its small group culinary tours, these private cooking classes are led by international chefs in their home countries, teaching the traditional dishes of their culture. There are three different tiered prices for the classes, starting at $600 for up to five screens. The middle tier ($790 for up to 20 screens) and higher-tiered ($1,350 with unlimited attendees) classes have an option to have recipe kits shipped to participants, with pre-measured and prepped ingredients, making cooking along easy for those who are less experienced in the kitchen.
Because you’re working directly with The Table Less Traveled to organize the private class, the organization can customize the menu to accommodate dietary restrictions, design a menu for appropriate skill sets, and select the best times for participants in different time zones.
Why We Chose It: 18 Reasons offers three types of group classes customized specifically for your group.
Classes focus on a seasonal menu
A facilitator helps the class flow
Three group classes to choose from
Menus are preselected
Custom menus cost extra
18 Reasons offers three different types of group classes. The Cook Alongs class starts at $290 for a group of five and is the most common sort of cooking class you’ll find online. This is great for enthusiastic groups of 20 people or less who all want to cook. Structured like most online classes, the instructor will walk the group through how to make the recipe, demo the cooking technique, and interact with participants as necessary to troubleshoot.
The second style is called the Kitchenside Chats, which is a demo-only class starting at $500. Think of it like watching a personalized live TV show, but one where you can actually stop and ask questions of the chef. This sort of group class could be great for larger groups of over 20, where it would be difficult to logistically tend to everyone’s personal needs, or for those groups where not everyone wants to cook along.
The third one is called Chef’s Channel and is a prerecorded cooking demo, which might be ideal for a large group, conference, or company event. The price starts at $500. The demonstration is customized to the audience, event theme, or specific interest, and then recorded and edited. The final video is sent to play at your event.
Why We Chose It: Home Cooking New York offers adult classes and workshops that are suitable for all ages and also offers specific classes geared toward kids, including a Vacation Cooking Camp and a Wednesday Supper Club where you can put your kids to work to make dinner for you.
Specific classes geared toward kids only
Classes suitable for families
Recipes, instructions are geared toward home cooks
Only live; no option to view class on-demand
Home Cooking New York offers classes targeted specifically toward kids as well as some that are suitable for kids as well as adults, making it fun for the whole family.
One of the standouts for the kid-specific classes includes Wednesday Supper Club, an ongoing series of classes where the kids make dinner for the whole family. With meals like chicken or chickpea tikka masala, sushi rolls, and classic mac and cheese, the rotating menus explore different cuisines while keeping the dishes broad enough to accommodate different dietary restrictions.
Family-focused classes include the Weekend Baking Club that's inspired by "The Great British Bake Off" TV show, where the entire family can join in on the fun by making desserts like fruit hand pies and confetti cake with vanilla buttercream. Classes are limited to 12 households, so you get plenty of personal attention as well.
Online cooking classes mean you can learn how to cook all sorts of cuisines from the comfort of home. Each cooking course and school has its own style. America’s Test Kitchen is our best overall because of the broad depth of information that it provides, from basic skills to more in-depth cuisines, and explanations of why the recipes work.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Online Cooking Classes Work?
Online cooking classes operate in two different ways. You can read written blog posts and watch pre-recorded videos that explain the recipe and the technique you wish to learn, or you can log in via a video conference app and learn in real-time from chefs and teachers. The latter allows for personalized attention and interactive questions and answers.
What Do You Learn in an Online Cooking Class?
Classes vary, but you can learn everything from basic knife skills to more advanced recipes or specific cuisines like vegan cooking, Thai food, and others. Beyond that, you can meet other folks who are interested in cooking and also learn about the culture and heritage of a dish.
How Much Do Online Cooking Classes Cost?
Prices will vary for each course and class. Some, like The Kitchn cooking school and Better Homes and Gardens, are free. Others, like Home Cooking New York or The Chef and the Dish, charge by class or device ($45 for Home Cooking NY, $299 for The Chef and the Dish). Other courses are designed as a subscription model, allowing you to access all the courses and classes for one fee.
We carefully researched numerous articles, scanned reviews, and consulted with cooking instructors and cooking students to find the best criteria for what makes a successful online class. We opted to highlight a wide range of classes and courses that suit everyone's needs, whether it’s a free course that you can do on your own, a budget-friendly lesson for your family and kids, or a luxury couples class.