You don’t need to leave your home to learn how to cook, the best online cooking classes can teach you everything you need to know. Whether you don’t know how to chop vegetables or you’re trying to become the next contestant on Netflix’s Sugar Rush, you can learn both basic and advanced skills online. Even peeling garlic can be intimidating, and these classes break it down for you in the safety of your own kitchen. If you mess up, no one will know. That’s the best part about online learning vs. going in-person to a class. But our favorite use for these classes? They make amazing Mother’s Day gifts and there’s no wrapping involved.
The classes use videos or step-by-step written instructions and photos to help you master recipes and techniques. We found 20 different sites that offer comprehensive cooking classes, from learning how to poach eggs to creating an awe-inspiring cake that even the Cake Boss would be envious of. Speaking of professional and celebrity chefs, you can even be taught by a Michelin-starred master, like Gordon Ramsay, your Food Network faves or a professional from Top Chef. If you’ve got food allergies or prefer to cook as healthily as possible, don’t fret. We have plenty of classes that accommodate gluten allergies, people who prefer to bake without sugar, and even plant-based options.
The cooking classes are all priced differently. Some have low monthly fees, while others have you pay per class. A couple of classes are intensive, meaning you focus on one skill, like learning how to bake bread in four weeks. Some of the classes on this list don’t cost a thing, either. Get ready to pull out your apron, organize your cookware or baking supplies and get ready for crash-course in cooking.
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1. Plant-Based Cooking Course at International Open Academy
Finding cooking classes based on your dietary needs has never been easier thanks to International Open Academy’s unique online cooking courses. The plant-based class takes you through 13 delicious recipes that are just as easy to make as they are tasty. From vegan banana bread to dairy-free pasta carbonara (yes, really!), you’ve never tasted plant-based recipes as mouthwatering as these. You can even get certified if you get at least a 55% on the exam at the end, so you’ll truly feel like a pro.
2. Gordon Ramsay’s Masterclass
Best for Novice Chefs
Chef and Hell’s Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay takes you into his kitchen and guides you through 20 exclusive video lessons. He starts with basics like knife skills and then teaches you how to make intricate dishes like beef wellington. He’s much different in these videos than he is on his show, don’t worry.
3. Wolfgang Puck’s Masterclass
Best for Creative Cooks
If Gordon Ramsay isn’t your style, maybe you would prefer to learn from the chef to the stars, Wolfgang Puck. Learn how to make tuna sashimi, roasted branzino and even cocktails. The course features 16 classes and Puck offers simple, practical step-by-step instructions you can recreate at home.
4. Udemy classes
Best for Curious Cooks
Udemy offers 65,000 online courses, including plenty of food-related and culinary courses. For instance, you can learn the essentials, take a healthy living with “no oil” recipes course or learn how to make Thai specialities.
5. Goldbelly Live!
Goldbelly delivers gourmet meals and treats from around the country to your doorstep, but the site also offers online cooking and baking classes from top-notch chefs. The classes change often, but some previous examples include a hot chicken dip class with Hattie B’s Kitchen, Detroit-style pizza class with Emmy Squared, and a macaron event with Laudureé.
6. Top Chef University
Best for Wannabe Top Chefs
This interactive course is created by professional chefs and taught by 11 former Top Chef contestants. The app gives you access to 28 hand-picked lesson videos with more than three hours of instruction. Make the best cobb salad of your life and master your knife skills from some of the most talented chefs.
7. Gluten-Free Baking Academy
Best for Bakers
This bake-it-at-home course offers 18 video lessons and six start-to-finish baking videos organized into four weekly modules. This course allows you to work at your own pace, and you’ll learn how to master making gluten-free bread. You’ll get the tools, recipes and know-how to bake right in your own kitchen. (Prices vary at Gluten-Free Baking Academy)
Best for Aspiring Cake Bosses
If you’re as obsessed with Cake Boss and The Holiday Baking Championship as we are, then you need to sign yourself up for CakeFlix. Their cake making and decorating tutorials are delivered right to your inbox and there are over 800 online courses you can sign up for. (Free for the first seven days at CakeFlix)
9. America’s Test Kitchen
Best for Detail-Oriented Learners
America’s Test Kitchen classes are a lot like Good Eats without the silliness (unfortunately), but they’re very detailed and teach you the perfect way to make anything as tested (sometimes several hundred times) by the America’s Test Kitchen chefs. There are a whopping 320 courses to take, ranging from dumplings and potstickers to advanced cookie baking.
10. Allrecipes How-To Videos and Cooking School
Best for Visual Learners
Allrecipes has more than recipes. The site also has literally hundreds of free videos to teach basic cooking techniques as well as paid cooking school classes. You can cook at your own pace with step-by-step instructions and even take quizzes to see how much you’ve learned.
11. Craftsy Cake Decorating and Food and Cooking Classes
Craftsy is an online learning site where students can buy classes in a variety of fun disciplines, including cake decorating and cooking classes. There are even classes that focus on specific appliances, like slow cookers and air fryers, so you can learn how to get your money’s worth out of them.
12. Rouxbe Cooking School
Rouxbe provides courses in which students get lessons and practice recipes, exercises and more to help them learn to cook. There are a total of 75 lessons and 12 courses. If you need help with something, you can ask professional chefs questions. Plus, when you’re all finished, you get a certification congratulating you for completing the course.
13. Foodist Kitchen
Best for Marathoners
Motivated by challenges? Then learn to cook in a month-long cooking boot camp. This is literally a class for beginners, starting with classes in developing the habit of cooking, keeping the kitchen stocked and grocery shopping. This is taught by Foodist author Darya Rose who used to be intimidated by cooking.
14. Healthy Baking Bootcamp (gluten-, soy-, dairy- and sugar-free)
Best for Cooks with Food Allergies
If you have a food allergy but don’t want to live life without your baked favorites, check out this healthy online cooking class. You’ll learn how to recreate your favorite holiday treats from your childhood. The course will even give you a shopping list, so you can prepare.
15. Food Network Kitchen
Best for the Celeb Chef Obsessive
Want to take a cooking class from Ina Garten? How about Bobby Flay? No, it’s not going to cost you thousands to schedule a live cooking class with the big-name pros. Food Network has launched a new live streaming cooking class hosted by some of the network’s biggest stars. For $6.99 per month or $39.99 per year, Food Network Kitchen streams 25 new live cooking classes every week, and users have access to hundreds of pre-recorded classes.
Best Free Online Cooking Classes
1. The Kitchn’s Cooking School
Best for Learning Basics
If your repertoire is just pasta and frozen meals, then this bootcamp is for you. The Kitchn’s Cooking School is a 20-day, 20-lesson program where students tackle an essential cooking topic each day. Learn all the ways to prepare an egg and how to braise something. You’ll even have homework. (Free to join at The Kitchn)
2. Food Techniques
Best for Mastering Cooking Skills
BBC has a nice selection of cooking videos for people with a variety of skill levels. Don’t know how to cut an onion? What about baking a potato? There’s are classes for that. But there are also classes on advanced techniques, like gutting a fish and making pasta dough. (Free at BBC)
3. Cooking with The New York Times
Best for Practical Recipes
One of America’s most popular newspapers, The New York Times, has an online cooking school with video lessons. You can hop on the sourdough craze, make some mouth-watering ice cream or even learn how to make baby food for your little one. There are so many different techniques and recipes to try. (Free at The New York Times)
4. Dinner Tonight
Best for Student Chefs
If you’re a college student (or you eat like one), this is the course for you. Texas A&M has a variety of classes to teach students to make quick and healthy dinners. It also features some fun Texas recipes, so get ready to ingest a little bit of spice. (Free at Texas A&M)
5. Kitchen Chemistry
Best for Science Fans
Most people associate MIT with building those intense robots that rip each other apart in a ring, but MIT also posts online versions of real classes, including one called Kitchen Chemistry. This course argues that cooking is one of the oldest forms of chemistry out there, so put on your science goggles and learn the science that goes into sautéing and baking. (Free at MIT)
6. Delia Online Cookery School
Best for Classic Cooking
If you want to learn the art of European or American cooking, this Delia Online features a host of cooking technique articles of varying levels of difficulty. The sections are separated by eggs, chicken and other birds, sauces and more. Each lesson has step-by-step instructions with photos. (Free at Delia Online)
7. Better Homes and Gardens How to Cook
Best for Beginners
Learn the basics in the cooking classes at Better Homes and Gardens. This guide breaks everything down, from freezing fresh beans from your garden to figuring our herb substitutes. It has an answer to nearly all of your questions and solutions to most of your problems. (Free at Better Homes and Gardens)
A version of this article was originally published in May 2015.