There’s thousands of cooking channels on YouTube, and they all pretty much do the same job. What’s the point of Plugged In reviewing more than one?
As it turns out, there’s more than one way to crack an egg—and no, we’re not talking in the literal sense (though that’s true, too). Take our review for You Suck at Cooking, whose video style vastly contrasts that of Bon Appétit videos. Not only do we write reviews for channels that are popular and likely to appear on your homepage, but we also look for unique channels which are more likely to gain viewers because of their ingenuity. (If you were wondering, that latter point is why you don’t see many reviews for the thousands of toy unboxing channels.)
Epicurious offers a plethora of video genres for its viewers—all centered around food. You could almost think of it as the supermarket of YouTube cooking channels—with plenty of variety down every aisle.
Some Epicurious videos feature comparisons between amateur cooks and professional chefs. In Pro Chef vs. Home Cook, for instance, the two swap their (vastly different) ingredients—the pro chef must work with grocery store products, and the home cook must cook with fancy ingredients. Meanwhile, the 4 Levels series shows how three people of varying skill levels make the same food, and a “4th level” food scientist to review each cook’s work scientifically.
Other series are made to help people learn basic skills in the kitchen. The humorous Basic Skills Challenge asks 50 average people to perform a food-related task, such as chopping an onion or breaking open a coconut (to varying results). Each video ends with a professional instructor teaching the proper way to accomplish the task. Method Mastery teaches viewers how to work with entire food groups, such as “How to Fillet Every Fish” or How to Grind Every Spice.” Similarly, The Big Guide takes its audience through how to effectively use foods from a food group in their cooking, such as in “Picking The Right Mushroom For Every Recipe.”
Another set of video groups centers on listening to expert opinion. In Price Points, experts discuss how to tell cheaper products from more expensive products, and they use their knowledge to determine which of two similar items is more expensive. In Well Equipped, a design expert tests out kitchen products and rates their effectiveness and usability. He also draws concept sketches on how to improve each product. Epicurious 101 videos teach the best and worst ways to do a variety of things around the kitchen—from making pancakes to cleaning a cast-iron skillet.
And if you’re just looking for a bit of fun, Kids Try offers a variety of foods to children to gobble up and watch their reactions, such as in “Kids Try 100 Years of Candy From 1900 to 2000.”
The channel offers many informative videos on just about anything you could want to know about working with food. While some videos are made to help guide viewers through making a dish, others are simply for fun or to help explain why cooking-related things may or may not work.
Some videos show how even the cheaper ingredients from your local grocery store can be turned into delicious meals. And many of the featured experts admit that sometimes, the cheaper stuff can be better, whether it’s for practical reasons or just because the fancy stuff isn’t worth the price.
Epicurious is evidently a play on “Epicurius,” a Greek philosopher whose philosophy insisted that pleasure is the “chief good in life.” This was especially true for its adherents in regards to food and drink. While the channel doesn’t make any reference to the philosophy apart from its name, we still felt it worth a mention.
There are some language issues on the channel. Through our viewings, the primary swears were “h—” and misuses of God’s name. Jesus’ name was abused once. We also heard someone say that they were going to “F up,” and one use of the s-word was censored. In “$250 vs $25 Pasta Bolognese,” the home cook makes a couple suggestive remarks about the meat before commenting on how it sounded dirty to say. And in one video where 50 people identify cuts of meat, one woman comments that she thinks a section of meat might’ve been the cow’s genitalia.
As a cooking channel, some videos center around alcoholic beverages. And some videos pertaining to cutting and filleting meat may contain a bit of blood.
Like many YouTube channels, Epicurious remains generally educational and fun but suffers from the occasional bit of crude language. If you sit down to watch this food channel, just be ready to expect a little sour content.
Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”