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The world’s fastest cooking courses: how online tutorials have changed the way we cook

schedule 25th September 2017 by Hannah Gorton in Food and Drink

Woman cooking with iPad

Students and millennials are hungry for food content, regularly devouring short, concise cookery videos that inspire, educate and entertain. These 18-34yr olds are now relying on their mobile devices at every stage of the cooking process — from initially deciding what to make, to learning how to set up and prepare their kitchen, to food hygiene tips and finally cooking their recipe.

Cooking is no longer seen as a chore but as an experience. In a world where presentation is key and Instagram rules, students and millennials alike share a growing enthusiasm for the cooking process itself – almost overtaking the process of actually eating. YouTube was the first company to begin fuelling this new foodie fan culture; giving content creators the opportunity to produce videos which could be consumed in short, digestible chunks. The videos are simple, presented clearly and to the point, allowing the viewer to follow along either leisurely or quickly – depending on personal preference and level of expertise. The ability to pause and rewind certain stages of the cooking process allows the viewer to set their own pace and go at their own speed, effectively having an entire demonstration available on demand right at their fingertips.

Perfect timing

With the average length of a Youtube video being just 4 minutes and 20 seconds, any given YouTuber has the ability to produce around 10-15 videos a day. In comparison, a TV chef and their entire team can realistically only manage two or three. While TV cookery shows are still produced in the traditional format – a complex combination of multiple camera men, presenters and sound engineers – amateur ‘how-to’ type videos can be quickly produced with one camera, with one set of hands and are often uploaded to YouTube on the very same day.

Time lapse cooking videos in particular have become a popular trend – showcasing quick, easy recipes often with an emphasis on visually appealing food rather than food that is healthy and nutritious. This content is particularly helpful in that it shows the viewer exactly what the consistency, colour and texture of each dish is supposed to look like at each stage.

Out with the old

Traditional food formats such as TV shows and cookery books are no longer the norm. While cookery books were once the go-to place for recipes and inspiration, these days we head straight to the internet. Often, a Youtube video will be the first result that comes up in a Google search for a particular recipe – far outranking any written recipe online about the same topic or dish. Another notable change to the cookery world is the fact that celebrity chefs no longer carry as much weight as they once did. Professional, qualified chefs with household names and years of experience behind them were once popular search terms in their own right. In their place, lesser known social media influencers have taken over. Now, personality rules over notoriety.

Nobody prints out recipes anymore; mobile devices and tablets are fast becoming kitchen staples. The students and millennials taking to the internet are not experts in the kitchen by any means, often directly seeking practical advice. Research by Google found that the phrase "how to cook…" remains one of the ten most popular how-to searches on YouTube. 2017 saw a rising demand for kitchen gadgets, such as iPad stands and tripods, specifically targeted at amateur chefs and enthusiastic foodies who watch step-by-step video demonstrations regularly. Research shows that more millennials are subscribed to YouTube food channels than ever before, returning to their favourite channels again and again – back in 2015 Google found that 75% of this viewership came directly from mobile devices.

Virtual College have partnered with The 60 Second Chef to bring our own range of digital video cooking courses. Why not check them out here.


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Hannah Gorton Author

Author: Hannah Gorton

Hannah is a content writer for the marketing team at Virtual College. She has a degree in English literature and writes articles and blog posts for a range of topics within the learning industry. In her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting and gaming.

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