How to Make Cooking Videos For YouTube: Lights, Camera, Cook!

There is nothing more intimate or nourishing than food. We are all connected through food and learn other cultures through the foods they consume. Each chef has their own cooking technique and recipe. Since food is a bond we share with everyone, food content always does amazing in the online space.

Therefore, if you are inspired to share your favorite family dishes, or aspiring to become the next Gordon Ramsay, we have curated a guide to make tempting cooking videos that will bring you success. Let’s learn how to make cooking videos for YouTube.

The Basic Tools Needed for Scrumptious Cooking Videos

So what materials are required to craft your video content? Go through the following list to achieve amazing cooking videos:

A microphone

Voiceovers are all the rage in modern videos and they are essential in tutorial videos on YouTube. Adding voice overs will make editing a breeze because you can record the script after filming.

Camera, Lens, and Angle

It is impossible to make any video without a solid camera. But it is upto your judgment whether you should invest in an upscale DSLR or a regular iPhone. Plenty of beginner mirrorless cameras and smartphones are able to record 1080P HD videos. Similarly, many DSLRs offer 4K videos with the addition of a time-lapse feature.

But how you handle the gadget to shoot your camera matters the most. Shoot from an overhead angle. Position the smartphone or camera on a tripod, and if possible, with a camera rig. Lower the gadget on the food or cooking utensils.

But if you don’t own a tripod, try to stand on a table or chair to achieve a complete view of the stove or countertop where the cooking is accomplished. This is a cult favorite angle among chefs. Moreover, decide the aspect ratio of your content. For YouTube, a horizontal 16:9 is the most perfect ratio.

Furthermore, utilize the manual mode for shooting. Irrespective of the camera model you own, whether DSLR or mirrorless, this mode can achieve complete control of focus point, ISO, white balance, aperture, and shutter speed. This is how you can make consistent clips.

In case you either own or are planning to buy a camera, it is important to invest in high-quality lenses as well. If you want the lens to cover both the zoomed in shots of cooking or panoramic food, buy a zoom lens, such as 70-200mm or 24-70mm. And if your budget allows you, purchase a macro lens, such as Nikon 105 f/2.8 G. This serves as a lethal weapon for displaying the textures of all foods.

Video lighting kit

Do you think you have abundant light in your culinary workspace? Think again. Your viewers would love to see better light on your ingredients and yummy food. So a video lighting kit is a wise investment.

Furthermore, make any required corrections to white balance. This will guarantee real colors of film and also decrease the possibility of background hues. Just get a white paper to correct the white balance.


Your hands will have no space since they will be busy with cooking. This is why a tripod is necessary. Without this tool, it is impossible to capture the video steadily and hone your skills.

Video editor

After employing the other materials to shoot your video content, invest in a streamlined software to assemble everything and craft your video.

Although videographers invest in way more tools than these five, the above-mentioned materials are essential to kickstart your cooking videos. Each of these tools will boost the video quality, even if you purchase them at a cheap price.

How to Craft Delicious Cooking Videos

Now that you are equipped with the basic tools and dedication, it is time to present recording insight. Read the following tips to record knowledgeable and fun videos:

1. Add an intro

Intros are necessary to create warmth and it allows your viewers to understand your cooking deeper. So give them a brief introduction of the required ingredients, anything that you have prepared beforehand, and the equipment needed.

2. Choose Your Platform

Before starting your videography journey, know the pros and cons of each social media channel. TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are ideal for short form video content. But if you are keen on making longer cooking videos, blindly trust YouTube where so many other creators make hours long content.

Also keep in mind how each social media platform influences the video dimensions. However, there are some softwares that enable you to make vertical, landscape, and square videos. This is how you can adapt to any social media channel.

3. Shoot the Serving of Your Food

Don’t forget to transfer the food from pots and pans to a pretty dish. It is important to film the end product of your kitchen labor. If it’s a steak or anything meaty, plate it neatly. If you have baked a pizza or a pasta dish, cut it accordingly. Serve your food virtually to your audience so that they are mesmerized.

4. Wear Suitable Clothes

Don’t wear anything loud or more appealing than the actual food. Your clothes should be behind the food limelight. A general rule of thumb is to pick a vibrant and solid color outfit. Also, don’t wear white. This is how your audience will be hooked on your dish.

5. Pick a Simple Title

You might be tempted to choose a fancy or complicated title for your recipes. However, such names only sound good in cooking shows and restaurant menus. Since all types of people will be viewing your content, add a simple and easy to understand title.

Moreover, you want maximum people to search for your video and confusing titles rarely appear at the top. Add sufficient details so that people can get exactly what they are looking for.

6. Video Tagging

This is another YouTube trick to boost tutorial videos. Video tagging should be done with an easy name too. Pick those tags that are relevant and comparative to your recipe. For instance, if you want to upload a cake baking video, the tags should be “cake”, “recipe”, “icing, and “how to”. These will garner more views and audience.

7. Shoot All The Steps in Your Recipe

It is important to shoot your entire cooking process from the start to the serving end. During editing, you are free to delete unnecessary footage. Also try to add useful tips to cook efficiently and faster. Watch all the popular cooking videos on YouTube and see what they have in common.

8. Capture the End Result

Finally, try to make your dish as appealing as possible so that your viewers start to salivate. Pick the appropriate utensils to display your finished meal. This is a foolproof trick to attract them to more of your videos.

If it is a meaty dish, pull apart the juicy meat from the bone, add garnish or sauce on the finished dish, or zoom on the warm bread being cut.

Expertly Shoot Your Cooking Videos

The majority of cooking shows on YouTube and TV do not showcase the host. Plus, they have usually cooked the dish beforehand. Aim for the same thing while shooting your cooking videos.

Try to capture two different shoots. In the first shoot, concentrate on the host. Focus on yourself and communicate with the camera. You will be sharing the cooking technique, ingredients, and recipe. Aim for a 3-point lighting and wide angle to ensure that you are looking fine.

In the second shoot, zoom in on the food during cooking and prepping. An ideal way to shoot this is the well-known top-down tactic. Many popular cooking channels employ this technique. Basically, you have to capture everything from a height.

Captions, Editing, and Subtitles

The next magic occurs in the video editor. This is where you will merge your both shoots. For starters, edit a complete “scratch track” of yourself walking the audience through the recipe.

This portion is the basic audio for the cooking video. From here, you can initiate the procedure of employing an external resource for the addition of closed captions or foreign subtitles. It is as easy as uploading a video file.

Why should you consider closed captions? It increases accessibility. 85% of viewers see YouTube videos without sound. And as far as foreign subtitles are concerned, they boost your reach in other countries and languages.

Scripting and Prepping Cooking Videos

When it comes to food content, the most vital aspect of videography is the script and plans. Put your maximum efforts and focus on the pre-production phase. Share the details of all the ingredients. Decide how you will showcase each stage of the video with a list and script.

Remember that while you will work on your cooking set, the instructions and recipe might be repetitive, plenty of chefs apply “off-the-cuff” in their explanations. If you want your content to be organic and flawless, consider improvisation, but only to keep everything on track.

And when you start editing, it is a must to add closed captions. This feature ensures that your content is displayed on top when the audience looks for your particular recipe and it improves searchability. Moreover, you can utilize Rev to transcribe the complete audio back to text. This can be cross referenced with your written script.

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