Ranking the most popular cooking channels on YouTube from best to worst

From the educating and insightful to the hilarious and outrageous, cooking shows are everywhere in today's media. However, on YouTube, creators have a unique opportunity to gain a viewership on their own terms. Without the help of television stations, book deals, or tabloids, YouTube cooking channels instead need to create a following through their talent alone. While they may not make as much money as other celebrity chefs, they are able to create the content that they alone want to make. Oftentimes, this results in unique channels, often featuring people, cuisines, and methods that wouldn't be featured in the mainstream media. And sometimes, that's exactly what we're looking for.

But, while some of the most popular cooking channels on YouTube are pretty amazing — relatable, entertaining, and filled with information home cooks actually need and want — others have us a bit stumped as to why their viewership is as high as it is. These are the most popular cooking channels on YouTube, ranked from best to worst.

1. Binging with Babish

There's no question that Binging with Babish, hosted by Andrew Rea, deserves the #1 spot on this list. Between the original concepts, high production value, and comedic elements, the channel has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for general cooking tips or how to make a specific dish, Rea breaks it down so anyone can learn. While he has several different types of videos, his most popular are the ones in which he creates dishes you've seen from television and film. His most popular videos feature him making a Krabby Patty from SpongeBob SquarePants, The Grey Stuff from Beauty and the Beast, and the Szechuan Sauce from Rick and Morty.

With over 3.7 million subscribers, he's not the most popular channel on this list, but he is certainly growing fast. Food, film, and television are three things that are universally liked by a majority of the population, so it makes sense that a channel that combines the three will be successful. 

2. Epic Meal Time

Considering that Epic Meal Time's most popular videos were published seven or more years ago, some people might assume that their channel has been on the decline, but in fact, the men behind this channel still continue to produce quality, successful content (but hey, every video can't have 30 million views). Their most popular video was "Fast Food Lasagna," in which they go to every major fast food chain and order several units of the chain's most popular item, like the Big Mac from McDonalds and the Baconator from Burger King, and then combine them in layers to make one giant "lasagna." Almost all of the videos on this channel follow the same format: They try to make the most epic, huge, outrageous dish they can, like the 6-foot Quesadilla or the Thanksgiving Burger. They also accompany these ridiculous dishes with their unique, absurdist brand of humor.

With over 7 million subscribers, they are one of the most followed cooking channels on YouTube. The channel has become so successful that the show's host, Harley Morenstein, has gone on to be featured on Episodes of Bon Appétit, Good Mythical Morning, and even Comedy Central's This is Not Happening.

3. Brothers Green Eats

The two halves of Brothers Green Eats are Josh and Mike Greenfield, and despite the fact that their channel's name has the word "green" in it, they don't cook vegetarian or even veggie-focused recipes. Instead, they claim to focus on three things: "good vibes, cheap eats, and delicious times." With their quirky and easy-to-follow videos, they want to prove that anyone who wants to cook, can cook. A majority of their videos revolve around the concept that cooking good food doesn't have to be expensive, like their video that shows you 10 recipes using only an egg or how to make four meals, with four ingredients, for $4.

With about 1.3 million subscribers, they have a relatively low subscriber count compared the other powerhouses on this list. However, the combination of their quirky personalities, simple videos, and cheap recipes had the potential to skyrocket them to the forefront of the YouTube cooking channel community.

4. Bon Appétit

Unlike the first two videos on this list, Bon Appétit caters more to people who have a slightly higher base knowledge of cooking. Since the channel is run by several people, there are different video series within the channel; like Gourmet Makes, in which a pastry chef attempts to make gourmet versions of different junk foods and candies; Back-to-Back Chef, where they challenge celebrities to keep up with professional chefs or challenge regular people to keep up with celebrity chefs in the kitchen from verbal instructions only; and Working 24 Hours at…, which is pretty self-explanatory. Because the channel has so many creators and sub-series, they are able to cater to a wider audience.

However, this channel may not be for you if you're just looking for some general cooking tips or easy recipes for beginners. Many of the videos go into much more detail than other channels, explaining the difference between certain techniques, ingredients, or tools, and discussing the different outcomes you might get with each. Fortunately, considering they have over 3.2 million subscribers, it's unlikely their more specialized approach is hindering their popularity.

5. JunsKitchen

JunsKitchen is a secondary channel to Rachel and Jun, a vlog channel hosted by a Japanese/American couple that lives in Japan with their three adorable cats. JunsKitchen is primarily run by Jun and focuses more on the intersections between Japanese and American cuisine. Many of his videos are either about his cats, or feature them somewhere in the background, giving the channel an added cuteness factor. Japanese cuisine is such an ancient and complex cuisine, so his videos are especially interesting to non-Japanese viewers who are looking to understand more about different cultures.

His most popular videos show his viewers how to polish a rusty knife, make sushi for cats, and make homemade ramen. He generally keeps himself out of the videos and just focuses on the food (and his cats). He also tends to avoid narration and instead opts for printing the recipe instructions on the screen. With over 3.3 million subscribers, he has certainly filled a niche in the YouTube cooking channels community. 

6. Food Wishes

With so many different cooking channels available on YouTube, creators have to try even harder to separate themselves from the pack. However, for channels like Food Wishes, hosted by John Mitzewich or "Chef John," that have been making videos since 2007, cheap gimmicks and unique angles aren't necessary. Food Wishes has been around for so long that the channels quality reputation and steady followers are all it needs to stay relevant in the world of cooking channels. Considering the fact that Mitzewich is 55-years-old, it's also impressive that he's been able to keep a younger audience interested for so long.

While some of other channels offer cooking tips and other food related content, Food Wishes only publishes recipe videos and provides a text-version of their recipe on their blog. Additionally, Chef John also makes a point of not appearing in the videos, in order to make the food the star. While other cooking channels also leave out the chef's face, it's likely that Chef John was the first person on YouTube to do it. With 2.7 million subscribers and growing, we don't think Food Wishes will be dying out anytime soon.

7. Tasty

The channel with the most subscribers on this list is Tasty, which is not particularly surprising, considering they are a branch of one of the biggest content creators in the world, Buzzfeed. Tasty is yet another channel that is run by several different people. Because of this, Tasty offers several different series within its channel; like Eating Your Feed, in which they try to recreate the internet's most viral food trends; or I Draw, You Cook, where they ask children to draw any food they can imagine and then have a chef make it for them; or Tasty 101, which offers more general tips, tricks, and recipes.

Since this channel is definitely trying it's best to appeal to the masses, they try to produce as many different types of videos as possible, from internet food challenges to cooking basics to extremely complex recipes. Clearly, their attempts to appeal to as many people as possible is working, since they currently have over 12.9 million subscribers. However, this type of generalized content can also mean a lack of specialized videos. If you're looking to watch a video about a specific food genre, cuisine, or technique, a more niche channel may be best for you.

8. How To Cake It

How to Cake it, run by the talented Yolanda Gampp, is an over-the-top baking channel that shows you how to make a cake look like anything from a giant cheeseburger and fries to a Rubik's Cube. While Gampp's creations are incredibly impressive, they aren't very practical to make at home. Between the different types of cake, frosting, and tools, you probably won't be able to recreate any of her cakes with stuff you just have lying around in your kitchen. However, that doesn't make it any less fun to watch her make her crazy cakes.

Apparently, her 3.9 million subscribers don't seem to mind that they'll probably never be able to recreate what they watch her do. Clearly, cooking channels don't all have to be educational or instructional to be beloved among viewers — they can just be entertaining. Whether it's due to her charming personality, her unique ideas, or her breathtaking results, Gampp has a reliable audience that always seems ready for more.

9. Maangchi

If you're looking for an unusual cooking channel on YouTube, Maangchi, hosted by Korean chef Emily Kim, is the channel for you. Considering America's growing obsession with Korean culture, it's no surprise that Maangchi has gained popularity in recent years as well. However, if you're looking for any recipe that doesn't fall under the category of Korean cuisine, you'll need to look elsewhere, since Kim only does Korean dishes. Her eccentric personality and dramatic wigs and makeup make her interesting to watch, while her knowledge of the recipes makes her a great educational source. Her most popular videos provide tutorials on how to make Kimchi, Crunchy Korean Fried Chicken, and a Spicy Rice Cake.

However, don't let her sweet personality and bright wigs fool you — this girl has some serious skills in the kitchen and has managed to gain over 3.1 million subscribers. In fact, one article in The New York Times referred to her as "YouTube's Korean Julia Child." Given her likability and talent, we certainly see the resemblance.

10. Gordon Ramsay

The first celebrity chef to appear on this list, Gordon Ramsay, is one of the most famous chefs in the world, so it's no surprise he has a considerable YouTube presence. While a lot of his channel consists of clips from one of his televisions shows, he also has decent amount of content made specifically for YouTube. We like to believe that's all the good stuff that's straight from the chef himself, with network or production team input. One video (from Gordon Ramsay's The F Word) features him hunting, butchering, and cooking a wild boar on the Georgia-Alabama border, while another is a tutorial just for his YouTube audience on how to make the perfect smoky pork sliders. Between the clips from his television shows, his cooking tutorials, and his traveling adventures, this channel is a foodie's dream.

While some viewers are off-put by Ramsay's harsh personality and penchant for curse words, many, if not more, find him hilarious and refreshingly direct. His reputation for having an incredibly high standard makes it even more exciting when he actually enjoys a dish. And doing anything in the kitchen the way Ramsay taught you just makes you feel like you've got your cooking act together. Whether you love him or hate him, Ramsay and his foul mouth are here to stay on YouTube.

11. Byron Talbott

Byron Talbott is another straightforward cooking channel with a decent following. At first glance, his channel might seem no different than all the other cooking channels available on YouTube. However, Talbott's channel is different in that it put much more emphasis on the beauty of cooking. He seems to be very deliberate with the camera placement in his kitchen and always makes sure to get a beautiful show of the finished products, which is easy to do when your finished products look as good as his.

Cooking is certainly an artform, and it's refreshing to see a YouTube channel treat it as such. The soothing narration and subtle background music make the videos easy and calming to watch. Talbott also has a certain confidence with his recipes that's not always seen in these channels. With only 1.4 million subscribers, his channel is technically one of the least popular channels on this list, but with any luck, he'll gain the popularity he deserves.

12. Jamie Oliver

The second British celebrity to appear on this list is Jamie Oliver, an Essex-born chef and restaurateur who has also established a presence on YouTube with his cooking tutorials. While he certainly has talent, Oliver doesn't bring anything new to the YouTube cooking channel genre. JunsKitchen has his cats, Gordon Ramsay has his foul mouth, and Epic Meal Time has its absurdist humor, but it seems like Oliver doesn't really have anything to separate him from the pack. His most popular videos feature him offering tutorials for how to make the perfect scrambled eggs, perfect roast potatoes, and a perfect steak. Apparently, he doesn't know any other adjective besides "perfect."

Just because Oliver has over 4.2 million subscribers, doesn't mean he's the best cooking channel to watch. One of the reasons YouTube cooking channels became so popular is because they offer something different than the traditional cooking shows on television. Unfortunately, Oliver brings nothing new to the table, which is why he's earned such a low position on this list. 

13. How To Cook That

How to Cook That, hosted by Australian chef Ann Reardon, unfortunately has the same issues as Jamie Oliver. Other than the fact that the host is Australian, there's not much that sets the channel apart. The videos aren't really consistent, and it seems like Reardon isn't sure what she wants the channel to be. Some videos are like How to Cake it, like when she makes a cake that looks like a Rubik's Cube, while other videos are like Tasty, like when she jumped on the trend bandwagon and made a recipe from a 200-year-old cookbook. Her most popular videos are the ones in which she makes cake look like of other things, like her iPad cake video and her Minecraft cake village video.

With only about 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube, How to Cook That is by no means the most popular cooking channel, but its presence isn't totally insignificant. She does seem to have a good number of loyal followers, even if her channel isn't for everyone.

14. Laura in the Kitchen

Laura in the Kitchen, hosted by Laura Vitale, once again is in the same category as Jamie Oliver and How to Cook That. Laura Vitale, like those other hosts, has talent, but lacks anything interesting or new to offer viewers. She's no different than the traditional television chefs and her channel offers no new angle to the cooking channel genre. Her most popular videos are described as "homemade," such as her homemade cupcakes, homemade pizza, and homemade cinnamon rolls.

While the channel has over 3.3 million subscribers, and Vitale herself seems to have a significant following, the channel lacks the spark of its competitors. Nonetheless, Vitale has found success on other platforms, like her television show Simply Laura and her cookbook, Laura in the Kitchen: Favorite Italian-American Recipes Made Easy.

15. Rosanna Pansino

While Rosanna Pansino's channel, Nerdy Nummies, is one of the most popular cooking channels on YouTube, she's definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Unless you're looking to be taught how to bake by someone with the enthusiasm and bubbly personality of a children's television show host, this channel might not be for you. Many of the viewers who stumble upon her channel find her way too bubbly and over-the-top. While she certainly has talent, it's exhausting to watch her level of energy for too long.

Her most popular videos are tutorials for how to make adorable creations like the Frozen Princess cake, the My Little Pony cupcakes, and the castle cake. With over 10.9 million subscribers, she is one of the most subscribed to cooking channels on this list. She's even done several crossover episodes with other YouTube heavy hitters, like Markiplier and The Try Guys. Still, despite that success, we're ranking her at the bottom of our list for the simple reason that she's too much to handle for the length of an entire video.