The 7 Best Online Cooking Guides for the Beginner Cook
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Just like with any other skill, everything you need to learn about how to be a great cook can be found online. The best place to start is with quick and easy recipes which won’t overwhelm you and put you off the idea of ever setting foot in the kitchen again.

This list of easy online cooking guides is meant for the beginner cook. But it also won’t harm you to look at the advanced recipes on these sites if you are farther ahead in your cooking journey.

1. Epicurious: For Any Recipe You Can Think Of

Epicurious for the beginner cook.

Epicurious is one of the most popular websites for recipes across all cuisines. The Conde Nast website has an entire section dedicated to Quick & Easy Recipes. You can scroll down the list of recipes which is always kept fresh with new recipes every month.

Use the Advanced Search with the Quick and Easy filter to drill down to the dishes you can cook.

The exhaustive set of filters on this page are one of the best features of this site. You can find the recipe that suits you by including or excluding ingredients, mind your dietary concerns, and also filter it through the cooking technique you want to master.

Signing up for an account allows you to make notes, review and save the recipe to your list, and even print shopping lists for the recipes you want to make.

Beginner Tip: Watch the Epicurious Video Series and look at the videos that teach basic cooking skills and cooking how-tos.

2. Allrecipes: The Website for All Kinds of Cooks

Allrecipes: Easy recipes for beginner cooks.

Allrecipes needs no introduction. The mammoth cooking site is a great place for any beginner to start with its how-to articles and its quick and easy recipes (under its Everyday Cooking section). Registering for a free account allows you to save your favorite recipes, and to vote for the recipes that you liked the best.

You can find recipes with the ingredients you have in your refrigerator. The Menu Planner can help you stay on top of the week ahead. If you get confused with the sizes and volumes required, head to the Reference charts for the conversions.

Practice easy recipes for kitchen confidence. But if you want to accelerate your learning, look into the Allrecipes Cooking School that comes with a subscription of $7.50 per month.

Beginner Tip: You can personalize your homepage with the kind of recipes you want to cook.

3. Serious Eats: Learn the Science of Tasty Cooking

Serious Eats for the beginner cook.

The best feature of Serious Eats is that it doesn’t throw a recipe at your pan. It goes behind the science and technique of it. The recipes are tried and tested by the team behind the site and explained with the science of cooking techniques.

Browse through the Techniques section first to get an idea of the kitchen skills you should start working on. The techniques start with essentials and cover specific equipment.

The recipes are beautifully illustrated. Many basic recipes that teach beginner techniques are explained with a Why It Works section that is worth remembering.

Beginner Tip: Soaking beans in salted water helps them cook up more tender. Go through the Food Lab section on the site for lessons like these.

4. MyFridgeFood: Make a Dish With What You Have

MyFridgeFood: Cook with what you have.

There are a ton of recipes out there. But you don’t want to shop for the ingredients after a tiring day at the office. Launch MyFridgeFood and tell it what you have in your fridge. It could be something as simple as an apple, cheese, and flour. The site scours the web for the recipes which use this bare minimum.

Make the dish right now instead of putting it off for the future for want of the ingredients. As a cooking newbie, you can also have fun by mixing and matching the stuff you have in your kitchen.

Beginner Tip: You can also try apps like Plant Jammer and Discover Meals which work on the same idea.

5. Budget Bytes: For Easy and Cheap Recipes

Budget Bytes for the beginner cook.

We get it. You don’t have the time to devour the science behind each dish. Try Budget Bytes if you just want to get on with the cooking without spending too much.

Beth started the site because she was fed up of eating Ramen noodles every day. She wanted to spend less and enjoy more. Translate that, and it could read—easy and quick recipes.

The cooking site is perfect for beginners with its collection of over 1000 delicious and affordable recipes. You can experiment and burn food without breaking the bank. But why, when there are sections like Pantry Staples and Kitchen Basics to handhold you.

Beginner Tip: Go to Recipe Roundups for a few cooking shortcuts. Look at guides like the single-recipe meal prep ideas.

6. YouTube: An Ocean of Cooking Shows

YouTube follows Google Search as a popular search engine. And as a beginner cook, you already have been there. The only problem with YouTube is searching for the best cooking channels. There are so many of them that cover every type of creative cooking.

So instead of arguing which ones are the best, let me just point you to a tiny selection of seven that might be good for beginner cooks.

Beginner Tip: Did you know that you can search within YouTube videos too Did You Know You Can Search Within a YouTube Video? Did You Know You Can Search Within a YouTube Video? Trying to find the exact moment of a punchline or a specific part of a tutorial in a YouTube Video can be time consuming and mind numbing. Read More ?

7. Salted TV: The Online Culinary School

YouTube cooking videos lack structure. Salted TV is a complete cooking school with video tutorials in hi-definition. You can cook from the comfort of your own home as 200 of America’s best chefs teach you their secrets. There are free videos, but the best content is behind a membership wall.

The $9.99/month subscription shouldn’t pinch you if you really want to improve your beginner skills.

Courses and skills are designed for all levels. For instance, as a beginner, learn how to shake a cocktail. An advanced skill class will teach you how to carbonate a liquid. The course is interactive. You can use the Chef Hotline to ask a question and the chefs will respond in 30 minutes.

Beginner Tip: Try the free video tutorials first to get a feel for this online culinary school.

Home Cook Your Way to Better Health

It’s not cool to hate cooking anymore. Lack of time to cook isn’t an excuse too with the many quick recipe sites and apps available today. It might seem overwhelming at first. So start with the basic recipes you enjoy eating. It can be as simple as a French omelet. or maybe, you would love to take on a creative culinary challenge 5 Fun Culinary Challenges to Improve Your Cooking Skills 5 Fun Culinary Challenges to Improve Your Cooking Skills It's all too easy to lose your passion in the kitchen or to feel that your skills have plateaued. Luckily, these challenges exist to test your skills and reinvigorate your outlook on cooking. Read More and keep yourself motivated in the kitchen.

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  1. large cooking pot
    November 12, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Please give me more information. I love it, Thanks again.

  2. Visitor
    September 25, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Try, "Egg Surprise!" My Mom used to take whatever leftovers and whip it all together in the pan, with remarkable results! Saute some onions, throw in some mushrooms, potatoes, pieces of ham, bacon, steak, (if you want). Peppers, whatever you can think of that would not clash. When it's all hot, just break however many eggs you need into it all, scramble, and enjoy! Now my son always asks, "Hey Dad, how 'bout Egg Surprise tonight?!" Trust me, I'm no cook. But this is SO simple, you can't screw it up!

  3. Kate
    September 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Nice sites :) I like cooking so I often look for new recipes (AllRecipes is just wonderful). ,,Ingredient search" option remind me of http://www.ugotuj.to , Polish site where you can select many filters to find dish you're exactly looking for. I think that I can also recommend http://www.thefreashloaf.com where you can find many recipes for baking great bread and some lessons for beginners.

  4. Kate
    September 13, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Nice sites :) I like cooking so I often look for new recipes (AllRecipes is just wonderful). ,,Ingredient search" option remind me of http://www.ugotuj.to , Polish site where you can select many filters to find dish you're exactly looking for. I think that I can also recommend http://www.thefreashloaf.com where you can find many recipes for baking great bread and some lessons for beginners.

  5. Aibek
    September 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Another vote for Youtube here. I watched a bunch of nice howto's for baking chicken there.

  6. Lilakv
    September 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Hi Nancy- Thank you for mentioning my site (asian cooking made easy.) And for this great article - I definitely need to try FoodPair. I always seem to have random leftover ingredients lying around. Thank you :)

    • nm
      September 12, 2010 at 6:34 pm

      My pleasure. Glad you were able to find something useful in the list as well.

  7. Troy Brown
    September 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Nice list. Some new sites for me to check out. Thanks Nancy.

  8. nm
    September 12, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Thanks for the link Roy. It looks like a great site - but all of the sites that we review are free. Rouxbe only has a 7 day trial.

    I do agree with you that learning technique is the best way to learn how to cook - but not all of us have time for that sort of thing. I'd rather throw together something quick and easy.

  9. Roy
    September 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Cooking great meals is more than following recipes. It's about learning about techniques such as the proper way to heat up a pan, etc. It's learning as if you're in cooking school. The website that teaches this is Rouxbe.com. They've got recipes, but they show proper technique.

  10. Roy
    September 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Cooking great meals is more than following recipes. It's about learning about techniques such as the proper way to heat up a pan, etc. It's learning as if you're in cooking school. The website that teaches this is Rouxbe.com. They've got recipes, but they show proper technique.

    • nm
      September 12, 2010 at 7:28 am

      Thanks for the link Roy. It looks like a great site - but all of the sites that we review are free. Rouxbe only has a 7 day trial.

      I do agree with you that learning technique is the best way to learn how to cook - but not all of us have time for that sort of thing. I'd rather throw together something quick and easy.