How to start your own YouTube Cooking Channel with just an iPhone

Here is how to make Video Recipes and share them with the world:

Why should I start my own channel?What are the benefits?

  1. To share information and help others.
    There are plenty of people who want to learn how to cook for a variety of reasons. Some are curious, some want to cut down on eating out, some want to just eat healthy.Whatever your reason, if we share recipes, we create a wealth of recipes.
  2. As a reference for yourself, friends and family.
    You could be the most articulate writer, but to someone who is cooking for the first time, a written recipe will be confusing.A picture is worth a thousand words, so a videos must be worth a lot more! If you make a video, you dont have to write. Its easier to show then tell.Someday your kids might watch your videos and follow these recipes!
  3. To preserve your tradition and culture. Almost every family has recipes handed down to them. Unfortunately not many people preserve these amazing recipes, techniques and tips. For example, your mom might have her own amazing way of making ginger garlic paste.If we don’t make an effort to document them they might be lost forever.If we conserve them we will have a tangible piece of tradition to pass on to the next generation.

What do I need in order to make video recipes?

You need a kick ass recipe. That is critical.

Other than that you need an iPhone and (optional)an Youtube Account.

Before smartphones, people needed specialized equipment to make Videos. This is not the case anymore.Smartphones have great hardware and software built in to handle all your cooking video needs.

You will probably not get nominated for Best Cinematography at the next Oscars, but no one cares about that. As long as the camera doesn’t shake too much,your voice can be heard, and the food can be seen, you are in the clear!
Equipment you will need:

  1. An iPhone with at least 10GB of free space(to make a 5 minute video) or a Handycam. Alternatively you can use DSLRs or Handycams, but I recommend starting with smartphones.
  2. iMovie video editing software (comes included in most Macs and iPhones).If its not on your phone, you can purchase it for $10/15 on the app store.
  3. A decent table lamp (This is optional but I recommend it. Natural sun light is great, but it can be inconsistent. Just when you need it, the sun will hide behind a cloud!)
  4. A tripod for the camera (If you are shooting alone and don’t have a dedicated camera man)

Setup and execution:

1.If you have a dedicated camera man, they will handle the camera angles, etc. If you are doing it alone, use a tripod to setup the camera.

2.Set the table lamp so that light falls on the Instant pot from the top.Same goes for stove tops.

3.Turn on the camera and start cooking.Explain as you go.

4.Edit the videos on your phone. If you used a handy cam, load the files into your laptop, edit and upload. (This is the reason I recommend using an iPhone to shoot. That way there are no files to move as the video files will be in your phone.You can shoot on the phone, and then open iMovies and edit the video, and then upload the video to Youtube.)

Tips and Best Practices:

  1. The most important rule:
    Before sharing a recipe, make sure the recipe is actually good and worth the audience’s time.Test, tweak and experiment till you are satisfied with the results. Ask yourself, if you would eat what you made and you would feed that food to your family. Don’t share mediocre/bad/unhealthy recipes just for the sake of sharing.Its bad form to misguide people and it will come back to haunt you.In some cultures its a sin to waste food, so if you share bad recipes knowingly, you are sending people down the wrong path.
  2. Always show the ingredients to the audience. This is to make sure there is no confusion about the requirements and quantities.No one wants to go half way down following a recipe, and realize they are missing a crucial ingredient!Sometimes an ingredient will be called with different names, for example, Shahi Jeera is also called black cumin.Some people call Cilantro as Coriander. Some people(like me) refer to yogurt as curd.If you show the ingredient, your audience can gleam any missing information such as alternate names.
  3. If you are making instant pot videos, show people how to operate the instant pot.(if possible). A lot of people have different models, so it may not be the exact same button but it helps new owners figure it out.You will shocked to find out how many people are so intimidated by the Instant pot that they don’t even take it out of the box.
  4. Keep your videos short and to the point .This is all the more true if you are making instant pot videos, as people buy instant pots to save time.To steal that from them by making long rambling videos is counterproductive.Chatter will sound good the first time, but when someone re-watches the video, they will be turned off by it. So stick to the subject and provide the information that is needed. Yet just narrating can get robotic, so add in a little bit of personality.Find a balance that works for you.The primary objective of the video is to provide information.Everything else is secondary.
  5. Language:If you are making Instant pot videos, then shoot the video in English, as it will help/reach a greater number of people. Instant Pots are sold in very few countries(US,UK,Canada), and all those countries primarily speak English. If you don’t speak English, choose a language that you are comfortable in. Shoot the video in that language. Spanish is spoken by around 400 million people and Hindi is spoken by close to 300 million people. So no matter which language, there is always an audience.

Making/Editing the Videos

The first time you make a video is going to be challenging.The second time around will be much much easier.There are lot of options other than iMovie, but I recommend iMovie for beginners.

Here is a quick video on how to edit with iMovies:


Now that your video is ready there are a lot of ways to share it. I recommend uploading to Youtube, rather than forwarding it as it saves everyone space, and it retains quality.

Next, upload to Youtube and share with your friends and family!

All the best!