Can YouTube Make You a Next-Level Chef? (2023)

Restaurants have many skilled employees, but a kitchen's hierarchy doesn't always allow everyone to exercise their creativity. If you're looking to get more out of your cooking career, why not create your own YouTube cooking show? Keep reading to learn how YouTube can help improve your skills, supplement your income, and change your career. You'll even find tips for how to start your own YouTube cooking channel.

How to Start a YouTube Cooking Channel

A successful YouTube channel takes a lot of work, but we've broken down how to start your YouTube cooking show into these simple steps:

  1. Watch a lot of YouTube cooking shows. Check out what others are doing, and see where you could add something new to the market. Form your concept around something you’re confident that you can do well with a unique perspective.
  2. Figure out how you will brainstorm, test recipes, film, and edit. Write up a schedule that works for your life and stick to it. Regular uploads (once per week or more) will help you retain followers.
  3. Create a story board for each show before you film. Practice talking viewers through the recipe, and think about what shots you want to get of your dish. Consider what will be most helpful and most enticing to your audience.
  4. Create social media profiles to promote your channel. For example, post stills of your videos on Instagram, or ask your followers to suggest new recipes on Twitter.

Skills You Need to Start a YouTube Cooking Show

Creating cooking content for YouTube means practicing your techniques and recipes frequently. You'll spend lots of time testing dishes, brainstorming plating techniques, talking to cameras, and thinking about each step in your recipe.

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Here are some skills to work on before you start your channel:

  • Basic cooking technique: Of course, you need to know your way around the kitchen if you want others to watch you cook.
  • Teaching: Practice how to break down your recipes into easy-to-understand steps.
  • Problem solving: Cooking YouTubers spend hours or sometimes days perfecting recipes. It's important to know how to fix a dish that just isn't working.
  • Likeability: Think of this as the "it" factor. How can you use your personality to get viewers to like you?
  • Filming and video editing: Viewers will be impressed with a professionally presented video that is enjoyable to watch.

How to Create Content for YouTube

To gain a loyal base of subscribers, you should upload at least one video per week. However, you shouldn't rush and churn out non-descript recipes. Viewers want to see a unique twist on each dish you do, because that's what will keep them interested.

Here are some tips for planning your YouTube content:

  • Create a content calendar. It’s easiest to keep your subscribers’ attention when you’re producing content for them regularly. Mapping our your videos on a calendar will help you stay organized.
  • Try to account for running out of ideas as you plan your content. Creativity comes and goes in bursts, so consider producing more videos when you’re full of concepts.
  • Keep an eye on trends. Tune in to your competitors' channels and YouTube's trending page to see what people are watching. But, as always, put your own spin on these concepts to create original content.
  • Ask your viewers what they'd like to see. Create a relationship with your subscribers so that you can create content that you know they'll be interested in. They can leave comments on your videos or social media accounts with ideas for you.

How to Gain Exposure for Your Channel

Joining the YouTube community will allow you to connect with hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people who love food as much as you. Each of these people is an opportunity for engagement and exposure that your channel needs to succeed.

Encourage Users to Like and Subscribe

Including these helpful reminders in your videos calls your viewers to action. YouTube's algorithm favors videos with many likes and views, so high rates of engagement could help you be featured on other users' "recommended" feeds or even the trending page.

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Engage with Your Subscribers

Get to know your viewers by reading their comments and responding to some of them. Not only will this help your subscribers feel connected with you, but it can also help you gain insight on what your audience likes about you. Communicating with your audience could give you valuable feedback that you wouldn't have otherwise.

Collab with Other YouTube Creators

Reach out to other YouTube hosts and set up collaborative projects. Most of the time, “collabs” include creating one video for each YouTuber’s channel, in which the visiting user gains exposure to the other’s audience. This allows you to interact with a whole new group of viewers and learn from fellow creators.

How to Make Money on YouTube

There are two main ways that you can make money from your YouTube channel: video ads and sponsored content.

Getting Ads on Your YouTube Videos

When you gain enough subscribers and watch hours on your channel, you can “monetize” your videos, or allow YouTube to put ads on them. You earn money depending on the format of the ad put on your content, the price of the ad featured, or other factors set by YouTube.

Getting Sponsorships for Your YouTube Channel

If you are able to grow your channel to have several thousand subscribers, product brands may start contacting you for sponsorship opportunities. Generally, a brand will ask you to use their product in your video and will compensate you according to terms set before you create the video. The bigger your base of viewers, the more attractive your channel will be to brands looking to promote their products.

Becoming a Full-Time YouTuber

For some people, creating a YouTube cooking show can change the path of their career. Growing your channel to a few hundred thousand subscribers could give you the opportunity to turn YouTube into your full-time job if your videos generate enough revenue.

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Be Prepared for the Time Commitment

While YouTube gives you schedule flexibility, running a successful YouTube channel and its supporting social media profiles is practically a 24/7 job. Subscribers may want daily content on other platforms because they can’t get enough of your unique perspective.

Learning how to balance your work with your personal life is a challenge that many full-time YouTubers face. When you work from home and your job is to be present on social media, it becomes difficult to know when to stop working. This is something to keep in mind if you want to pursue YouTube as your full-time income.

Moving from YouTube to Network Television

After working on YouTube full-time, some users find even more success by transitioning to network television. For example, Hannah Hart, host of the YouTube cooking show “My Drunk Kitchen,” now has a Food Network show called “I Hart Food.”

If you are willing to put in the time and are innovative enough to attract a following, YouTube could take your cooking career outside of the restaurant and into the spotlight.


If you want to explore opportunities for more creativity in your cooking career, consider starting your own YouTube cooking show. This endeavor could help you hone your skills, earn some money, and may even change your career. Having a successful YouTube channel is a big time commitment, but your dedication could take your cooking career to the next level.

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