The best online resources for cooking at all skill levels

A key part of adulting is learning to feed ourselves. Some might opt for restaurants or takeout for sustenance, but that can get expensive. The best option is to learn to cook your own meals. That might sound harsh, especially if cooking doesn't sound fun to you, but there are a plethora of resources online for cooks of all levels. Be it beginner how-tos or deep-dive YouTube videos, we hope this list of Engadget staff favorites will get you started on your path to culinary confidence. Oh, and if you’re ever confused about measurements, a tool like this recipe converter is a good reference to keep on your bookmarks tab.

Recipe sites

Serious Eats

If you self-identify as a nerd and you’re also into cooking, you probably already know about Serious Eats. The site rose to prominence several years ago under the helm of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who often takes a decidedly scientific approach to cooking. Lopez-Alt has since transitioned to a consulting role at Serious Eats (he has his own vlog, which is well worth following as well), but the site remains strong under new leadership. It offers tips on basics like food prep and storage, as well as a slew of how-tos and step-by-step instructions for everything from breaking down a chicken to kneading your own bread.

Try this: Quick and Easy Pressure Cooker Black Beans with Chorizo

NYT Cooking

This is the only recommendation on this list that requires payment — $1.25 a week or $40 a year — but I personally think it’s worth it. The site and accompanying app (for iOS and Android) is well organized and intuitive to use, with bright and colorful photos along with an ever-changing list of curated recipe recommendations and suggestions. I especially like the search function, where you can not only enter in the ingredients you have on hand, but also filter by the sort of meal you want to make iIs it for breakfast? A snack? Or dinner?) along with any dietary restrictions. If you don’t want to cough up the subscription fee, however, NYT’s YouTube channel is a great resource as well.

Try this: Spiced chickpea stew with coconut and turmeric (YouTube)

The Kitchn

The Kitchn is a daily food magazine that’s been around since the mid-2000s, and it frequently serves up not just recipes but also fun features like a celebrity recipe showdown (check out this one that compares the pot roast recipes between Alton Brown, Ina Garten, Taste of Home and the Pioneer Woman). Of course, The Kitchn also publishes plenty of tips and tricks to help readers be a better cook. 

Try this: Maple Corn Cakes

YouTube channels

Food Wishes

“Hello, I’m Chef John, from Food Wishes dot com” is the familiar refrain that you’ll hear at the beginning of every Food Wishes video, and it never fails to warm my heart. His tone is so welcoming and cheerful that it cheers me up every time I hear it. A YouTube favorite (he has over four million subscribers), he’s also a favorite among a few Engadget staffers, and for good reason. Not only is he goofy and charming, his recipes are also almost always geared toward the novice chef, with clear and concise instructions. He also encourages viewers to experiment, use their senses, play around with food, and to think of cooking as art as much as science.

Try this: No-Knead Country Bread

Binging with Babish

Binging with Babish is a popular YouTube channel (over 9.6 million subscribers) that’s primarily focused on recreating foods from TV shows and movies. Some famous examples include the Krabby Patty from Spongebob Squarepants and ratatouille from, well, Ratatouille. But host Andrew Rea can cook “normal” foods too, and the popularity of his channel led him to host a spin-off series called “Basics with Babish” that’s geared toward the beginner.

Try this: Chickpeas

Food52

The Food52 website can be considered a one-stop shop for cooking enthusiasts, as there’s an online store along with recipes and a community board. But the real highlight for me is its YouTube channel, which features excellent shows such as Sweet Heat by Rick Martinez (the former Bon Appetit editor showcases recipes with both a sweet and spicy element), Big Little Recipes (focuses on recipes with a short ingredient list) and Genius Recipes, which, well, shows “genius” recipes created by notable chefs.

Try this: How to Make the Easiest Beefy Mac Rice Cakes

Dessert Person

Have a sweet tooth? Then look no further than Claire Saffitz’s YouTube channel, where she bakes up everything from apple pies to oatmeal pecan cookies. Her personality is a combination of cranky and lovable, which I adore, but more importantly, her recipes are excellent. She gives very detailed instructions and the results are almost always delicious. She makes a lot of savory baked goods as well, such as sourdough bread and quiche.

Try this: The Best Oatmeal Cookies

Maangchi

Maagchi has been referred to by The New York Times as the Julia Child of Korean cooking, and the description couldn’t be more apt. Not only does she have a friendly and bubbly personality, she does a wonderful job of demystifying Korean cooking and making it approachable to beginners and advanced cooks alike. From Korean classics like kimchi jjigae and bibimbap to sweet treats like Korean doughnuts, she makes it all seem within reach. 

Try this: Korean Street Toast (Gilgeori-Toast)

Dietary concerns or special diets

101 Cookbooks

For a site that is entirely dedicated to vegetarian cuisine, I highly recommend 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson, which has been an online favorite for decades. I’m a huge fan of her simple, straightforward recipes that are able to turn a carnivore like me into a lover of plant-based meals (a personal favorite is this cauliflower soup).

Try this: Chickpea and Rice soup with Garlic Chile Oil

Nom Nom Paleo

You don’t need to be on the paleo diet to fall in love with Nom Nom Paleo, a mini-empire that consists of a food blog, two award-winning cookbooks, and a podcast, among other things. The New York Times has referred to Michelle Tam, the creator of the site, as the Martha Stewart of Paleo, because of how accessible she makes it seem. After perusing her site and trying her recipes, you'll no longer think of the paleo diet as restrictive; instead you might find yourself eating more than ever. Tam has also tailored some of her recipes to fit Whole30 or keto diets as well.

Try this: Garbage Stir-Fry with Curried Cabbage

Clean and Delicious

If you’re not strictly vegetarian or paleo, but you still want a healthy diet, check out the Clean and Delicious food blog by Dani Spies. A wellness and weight loss coach, Spies believes in a balanced diet and “clean eating,” but without foregoing the foods you love. For example, there’s a recipe for lemon bars on her site, but it’s made with whole wheat flour and doesn’t have dairy or refined sugar. All of the recipes on her site reflect this philosophy; they’re either gluten-free, paleo, vegan or vegetarian and they are also often low-carb, keto, dairy-free or nut-free. I also like her Instagram and YouTube channel, where she also shares tips on mindful eating and healthy living.

Try this: Healthy Banana Bread Muffins (YouTube)

Staff recommendations

There are simply way too many food sites on the internet to list them all, but here are a few more that were recommended by our staff that you might find useful.

Chinese Cooking Demystified

This is one of the best YouTube channels for learning all the ins and outs of authentic Chinese cooking from people who actually live in China. It’s very detailed, well-produced and offers great advice on recreating these dishes in a Western kitchen. I also love that it teaches technique in addition to just recipes. To this day, I still come back to this video on how to stir-fry any vegetable.

Minimalist Baker

The blog Minimalist Baker features recipes that use 10 ingredients or less and only take about 30 minutes to make. Weekend Editor Igor Bonifacic is a big fan as well, mostly due to the site’s wealth of vegetarian recipes, like this curried cauliflower lentil soup.

Budget Bytes

Budget Bytes is a great resource for those watching their wallets, as each recipe gives you a breakdown of estimated costs for each ingredient. Commerce Editor Valentina Palladino said that the site is also really good for beginners.

Rainbow Plant Life

If you’re looking for vegan recipes, Rainbow Plant Life has a ton of them. Palladino loves the cashew cream recipe and appreciates that the site’s founder, Nisha, has a trove of vegan-friendly Instant Pot recipes to try as well.

Pick Up Limes

Another staple for accessible vegan recipes is Pick Up Limes. Palladino says that the Healthiest Ever Granola recipe is one of her favorites, and she likes that the Pick Up Limes website makes it easy to filter recipes by type of ingredients, preparation time, allergens and more.

Richard Bertinet’s White Bread Masterclass

Richard Bertinet’s video on white bread comes highly recommended for its sheer simplicity. It proves that all you need to make bread is bread flour, yeast and salt. Senior Reporter Dan Cooper says the video is also a sure-fire way of calming him down when stressed.

Half Baked Harvest

Editor-in-Chief Dana Wollman and Senior News Editor Billy Steele frequently trade Slack messages with dinner recommendations. (What’s for dinner? Ask a coworker, of course.) The answer from either person is often a Half Baked Harvest link. The site is home to a vast library of free recipes that, in our experience, tend to work as advertised. We’re fans of her nightly Instagram Story cooking demos as well, not to mention her tacos.

Joy the Baker

Wollman says she discovered Joy by accident through her warm, self-effacing Insta Stories, only to discover she has an equally clever blog offering a mix of sweet and savory baking recipes.

Live Feed Bird Feeder Lets Your Cats Stream Birds Outside Your Window

Designed to resemble a live-streamed YouTube video, the $30 Live Feed Bird Feeder from Fred sticks to a window via suction cups and provides an analog display of the birds outside. Of course, if you prefer a digital display you can always set up a webcam, close the blinds, and watch from your computer, you technological recluse, you.

Perfect for the birdwatcher in this digital age, the Live Feed provides a frame for watching the wildlife that we’re all comfortable and familiar with: that of a YouTube video. I wonder just how many hours of my life I’ve already spent watching YouTube videos. And how many of my future life hours I’ll continue to spend watching YouTube videos. My guess is close to all of them.

Ha, I only just now realized the double meaning of ‘Live Feed’ in the product name! Admittedly, I’m a bit slow sometimes. Okay, all the time. You know I was actually supposed to compete in that famous Tortoise and the Hare race but showed up a day late and two dollars short of my entry fee.

DIY the NASA-inspired airless bike tires using PVC pipes, bolts and nuts. Watch the video!

Popular DIY and science YouTube channel, The Q took his viewers through the process of replacing his bicycle’s traditional rubber tires with a set of airless ones put together with an old PVC pipe and some nuts and bolts.

We’ve seen airless tires on construction vehicles, like backhoes and skid steers, and smaller vehicles like golf carts and lawnmowers. No one wants a flat tire while mowing the lawn or playing golf and the chance for a flat tire is far higher in places like construction zones and building demolition sites. It makes sense that some vehicles prioritize airless tires and some don’t, but what about bicycles?

The Q, popular science and DIY YouTube channel, asked the same question and looked no further than an old PVC pipe and some nuts and bolts to answer it. Before constructing his airless tires, The Q was sure to pick a PVC pipe that had enough density to support a rider and ride well on different terrain. Settling on a ½” thick PVC pipe, The Q then sliced the PVC pipe into two-inch wide rings. From there, the DIY YouTuber connected all of the rings into a single link after drilling three holes into each and joining them together with nuts and bolts.

The Q then drilled corresponding holes into the rim of the bike, linking those holes with the ones previously drilled into the PVC rings. Reinforcing that layering with nuts and bolts, The Q repeated the process for two more rows, resulting in a triple overlay of PVC rings. With the main job complete, The Q finalized the project by carving the top layer of rubber from the bike’s original tire before laying it over the rows of PVC rings and gorilla gluing all of the pieces together. From there, the airless tires were ready to hit the road.

While The Q admits that the overall construction could benefit from slight modifications, the bike’s airless tires are fully functional and can ride smoothly over varying terrains, from sand to grass, and from pavement to gravel.

Designer: The Q

This outlandish iPhone 13 concept gives a look at what we wish the next big Apple design could be





iPhone 13 is slated for launch next month. The sad reality is that much of what we expect to see in iPhone 13 is already released through rumors; we can’t help but wish for Apple to do something groundbreaking and shock us! For example, what if Apple could do this!

This concept, courtesy of ConceptsiPhones’ YouTube channel, is a very futuristic idea that, if you have followed Apple’s intent of delivering products, would never see the light of day. But then, creative liberty promotes the thinkers to conceive the impossible and leave the masses bewildered. That is exactly what this new iPhone 13 concept delivers.

The iPhone 13 conceptual design showcases a curved display that wraps around the screen on all four edges. The phone body looks pretty much iPhone 11-ish and compromises the metal frame in iPhone 12 for the flowing display. Interestingly, the concept highlights a very Android Phone-like vertical camera array on the back, comprising a quad camera setup.

The 6.4-inch Full-Edge Display of the phone is basically the highlight of this concept. There is no notch but a 13-inch under-display camera makes its debut, and the physical buttons on the side have been embedded into the overflowing display on both sides. On the left of the conceptual iPhone 13 are the volume rocker and virtual power button, while on the right you get shortcuts to interact with the phone more seamlessly.

iPhone 13, though, is rumored to launch with a triple camera configuration, which at this point feels more realistic in Apple’s favor.
The 6.4-inch Full-Edge Display of the phone is the highlight of this concept. There is no notch, but a 13-inch under-display camera makes its debut, and the physical buttons on the side have been embedded into the overflowing display on both sides. On the left of this concept are the volume rocker and virtual power button, while on the right, you get shortcuts to interact with the phone more seamlessly.

As cool and futuristic as this concept iPhone 13 may look, Apple will not announce anything on these lines in the fall event next month. However, from the features mentioned in the idea, we will see the integration of A15 Bionic chipset and the debut of iOS 15. Other than this, the concept is far-fetched and only pleasing for the eye and little to the analytical mind. After all, how would one comfortably hold this phone?

When the iPhone 13 launches next month, it is expected to arrive in four variants like its predecessor with faster 5G and a design more or less like the iPhone 12. The big difference in appearance is expected to be a sleeker notch, as the in-display fingerprint sensor will also be missing. In addition, the Pro models are expected to be upgraded to 120Hz ProMotion displays while the camera array will remain identically to the iPhone 12 lineup with the LiDAR scanner is likely to make way into all four models! As with every Apple event, September can’t get here fast enough!

Designer: ConceptsiPhone

Engineer designed and built his own functioning mechanical prosthetic hand and it looks like a steampunk beauty!





It looks like equal parts Iron Man and the Winter Soldier, and it makes really cool whirring and clicking noises too!

Most people look to 2019 with a certain fondness and nostalgia, but the year proved quite difficult for Ian Davis. Not only did he lose 4 of his fingers in a freak workshop accident, but he was also diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an aggressive type of cancer. To add figurative salt to his wounds, Davis found out his medical insurance didn’t cover costs for a prosthetic hand because ‘he only lost his fingers and not his entire hand’. Determined not to be shaken by this strange detour life forced him to take, and also empowered by his sheer willpower to keep creating, Davis decided to build a prosthetic of his own.

Relying on his professional knowledge as a mechanical engineer, and taking to 3D printing, Ian embarked on a journey to rebuild his hand and his life. “Being a maker, it was a tough deal,” Ian said as he had to use his hand for everything. Davis even documented the entire process on his YouTube channel through a series of videos that show assemblies, versions, updates, and upgrades. In his latest upgrade, Davis demonstrates the prosthetic’s ability to splay (or spread out) the mechanical fingers… something he says is very rare, if not entirely absent, in commercial prosthetics. The fact that the entire prosthetic limb is engineered from scratch gave Davis the ability to repair and augment his creation, something he wouldn’t be able to do with complex, commercially manufactured prosthetic limbs… especially given America’s strict laws against the “Right To Repair”.

What’s really noteworthy about Davis’ creation is that it’s entirely mechanical and doesn’t rely on electronic components, software, and batteries. In a Reddit thread, he mentions that the mechanical hand has many obvious benefits over an electronic one. For starters, it doesn’t need charging (and conversely never runs out of charge either), but it’s also MUCH faster than electronic limbs. It takes an average of 0.2 seconds to open or close the fist, as opposed to electronic prosthetics that can take 10 times longer. Let’s also state the fairly obvious in that it even looks absolutely INSANE, with the steampunk metal digits and the tiny #15 industrial chain running through them… as well as the whirring and clicking sounds they make as they move.

It’s a relentless process of trial, error, and improvement for Ian Davis. He started working on the concept back in July of 2019, and slowly and surely built new features into his hand to make it better, with the latest addition being the splaying function. Moving forward, Ian also plans to implement an Arduino with a display to gain individual control of the fingers and some servo motors to advance the design.

“My end goal is to get picked up by one of the major prosthetic manufacturers and design hands for them in their R&D department, creating real-world solutions for partial hand amputees. Durable products that you can take to work and actually get jobs done with. Allowing people to get back to their lives, doing things that they loved before the time of their life-changing accidents”, Ian says.

Designer: Ian Davis

Sony PS5 gets a DIY vintage hardwood case in this video by our favorite Youtuber. Watch the video!

Matt, of DIY Perks is back again with another custom hack that you can build in the comfort of your own home. This time, the handyman YouTuber designs and constructs a wooden case for his new PS5. DIY Perks starts his process off by disassembling the casing of PS5 to keep only the core of the unit. Left with a compact and thin inner structure, the bulkiest aspect of the PS5’s internal workings is the cool and heat sink. Since the core of PS5 cannot remain leveled on a flat surface, DIY Perks evens out the structure with a few hexagonal PCB pillar supports. Then, using long screws, the PS5’s power supply latches and securely fastens on top of the leveled-out inner structure. DIY Perks then takes a sheet of carbon fiber, a tough layer of woven crisscrossing carbon fibers, to form the case’s base plate.

Carved into the base plate, DIY Perks creates holes where the rest of the PS5’s components fit. Next, DIY Perks mounts the system’s fan onto the carbon fiber baseplate, overlaying the fan with a grill to prevent anything from getting caught in the fan’s blades. Divided into two halves, the fan pulls air in through both sides, allowing airflow drawn from the heat sink to exit through the carved hole in the carbon fiber base plate. To direct the airflow from the heatsink to the fan, DIY Perks uses strips of foam, a cue taken from Sony.

With the inner system securely fastened to its new carbon fiber baseplate, DIY Perks begins work on the system’s American walnut wood case. Using a Japanese saw blade, DIY Perks carves angled edges on the walnut wood to create a cubic frame. Before situating and locking the PS5 into place within the wood frame, DIY Perks etches holes for the USB cables to reach their port located inside the wooden frame, on the PS5 system itself. Leaning on the holes he previously carved into the carbon fiber base plate to mount it onto the wooden frame, both pieces easily merge with one another.

With the rear side of the case still exposed, DIY Perks uses a CNC router to carve port slits that work as vents for the system to remain cool. Finally, DIY Perks looks to carbon fiber once more for the case’s lid, where he relies on CNC milling to carve a vent for the fan out of miniature hexagon shapes, marrying them to the walnut frame with matching hexagonal wooden inserts. The refined walnut look of the case is certainly a step away from the original metallic and custom brass casing for the PS5. Understated and sophisticated, the new case from DIY Perks doesn’t demand your attention like the original shiny metallic case, but the rustic elegance of the walnut wood blended with the durability of carbon fiber definitely keeps it.

Designer: DIY Perks

The combination of walnut hardwood framing and carbon fiber covering gives the custom PS5 case a retro feel.

Without a flat surface, when the PS5 is laid horizontally, it doesn’t fit in entertainment consoles.

DIY Perks began by disassembling his PS5.

The cool and heat sink is the bulkiest part of the gaming system.

In order to level out the inner structure, DIY Perks inserted brass washers with varying heights on both ends of the system.

Matt took to a carbon fiber base layer to form the system’s bottom covering.

Matt inserted a grill for the fan’s opening to permit and promote airflow.

Additionally, he inserted a foam strip to direct the airflow.

Using a saw blade to cut the walnut framing’s sides, Matt created a wooden border for the PS5 case.

Hexagonal port holes help to keep the inner workings of the PS5 cooled down.

This electric guitar is made out of 5,000 coffee beans (And it smells like coffee too)





Bold, strong, intense. You could use those words to describe coffee… you could also use it to describe this electric guitar built by YouTuber and guitar aficionado, Burls Art. Designed as a gift for his friend’s company Copper Coffee, Burls Art’s guitar body is made from a whopping 5,000 roasted coffee beans suspended in epoxy. Modeled in the shape of a Gibson Explorer, the guitar’s body proudly showcases the coffee beans and the unique texture created by grinding their surface smooth. It’s got a beautifully speckled, dark cork-like texture, and even smells like coffee! The fretboard and headstock are built from scratch too, and the entire guitar sports copper accents (for the aesthetics, but also because the company is literally called Copper Coffee), and the Copper Coffee logo is beautifully inlaid into the fretboard. If you check out the end of the video, Burls Art gives the guitar a spin too, and just like a good Macchiato, it gives me goosebumps!

A close-up look at the guitar’s body reveals the coffee-bean texture. If preserved correctly and maintained well, the beans should easily last decades, Burls Art mentioned after doing a bit of research. The guitar’s body doesn’t just encase the coffee beans in an epoxy outer container. You can see how the coffee-bean cross-sections are visible on the entire surface. The casting process resulted in a fair amount of air bubbles which Burls Art filled with copper epoxy before finishing smooth with a sanding machine and buffing with a coat of polish. The result really speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

The guitar’s body is fitted with two double-coil pickups and aged copper knobs and hardware. The fretboard sports the Copper Coffee logo inlaid into the wood, using a mixture of copper-colored epoxy and silica powder. The headstock, on the other hand, has an actual copper sheeting that’s been fused to the wood before being polished and adorned with the Burls Art logo.

The back of the fretboard reveals an incredible striped pattern almost comparable to snakewood. A closer look at the headstock and fretboard reveals the guitar’s finer details.

It’s unclear how much time it took for Burls Art to make the guitar from scratch, but the YouTube video really details the entire process out from scratch. It starts with pouring the 5,000 coffee beans into a cast and topping it off with epoxy. Ince cured, Burls Art cuts out the basic shape using a large jigsaw machine before using different tools to define the guitar’s shape and smoothen its surface. The fretboard and headstock were built entirely from scratch too, along with the electricals being routed through the guitar’s main body. Burls Art mentions that the body has a pretty distinct coffee smell (which would have been masked if he had coated the body entirely with epoxy), and that his studio smelled like coffee all through the construction process! The coffee guitar now proudly hangs at the Copper Coffee head office in Austin Texas.

Designer: Burls Art

This DIY desk chair doubles as a doghouse and bed to get those little puppies off your lap!





Simone Giertz, a self-described maker, robotics enthusiast, and non-engineer, has a dog, Scraps who loves to sit on her lap and a desk chair that could be improved because of it. Dogs especially like sitting on top of you when you’re working on less important matters, like your job. Searching up and down Google’s limits, Giertz noticed time and time again that there weren’t any desk chairs on the market designed for people with small dogs whose preferred seated position was located anywhere on their owner’s body. So, in the trailblazing nature of her YouTube channel, she designed her own.

In her uploaded YouTube video, A chair made for needy pets Giertz takes us through the construction of both the chair’s initial prototype and its final form. Using Fusion 360, Giertz created a 3D model of the pet chair. The model features an enclosed crate, the main dog door, footrest, stairs, and roof to also work as Giertz’s seat. Employing CNC milling to construct the chair’s top seat and roof, sidewalls, stairs, and front entryway, Giertz cut vertical ridges along the sidewalls to bend them around the radius of the chair. After mounting the pieces of plywood together to form the prototype’s planned structure, Giertz uses screws to attach them, but the finished prototype saw some improvements.

Giertz turned to CNC milling to construct the chair’s bottom piece, this time formed in two sections to fit onto the CNC bed. On top of the chair’s joined bottom piece, the rest of the CNC-milled pieces of plywood came together. To help Scraps move up and down the chair’s steps with more confidence, Giertz narrowed the distance between the steps and added a railing system to border the chair’s stairs, main seat, and roof.

Increasing the size of the dog house’s main door and solving the trouble that came with bent plywood, Giertz opted for a fuller opening located in the spot where the plywood had to bend around the chair’s radius, leaving less tension in the wood. To see Giertz build the chair from the ground up and paint it a “moldy, vomit color,” as she describes (although I’d like even a moldier seafoam green) – scroll below and be sure to watch the video on Giertz’s YouTube channel!

Designer: Simone Giertz

Using Fusion 360, Giertz created a 3D model.

Using CNC milling, Giertz had her pieces of plywood ready for construction.

To connect the chair’s walls to its base, Giertz relied on peg-and-socket building methods.

Giertz eventually decided on using screws to connect the pieces of the chair together.

To help Scraps feel more comfortable moving up and down the stairs, Giertz thought to add in a railing system.

The final prototype saw improvements for the stairs and built-in railing.

Stepping away from ridge-bent plywood, Giertz increased the size of the chair’s entryway to get rid of some of the tension in the plywood.

Finally, Giertz incorporated a railing for the top of the chair and doghouse roof so that she could comfortably lean back.

The finished product includes the fundamental features from the initial prototype, including stairs and footrest.

To enhance the chair’s overall usability, Giertz integrated pull-out drawers into the stairs.