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8 Genius Cooking Sites That Will Improve Your English Skills… Wait, What?

You want to learn English quickly but have no time? Cooking, like language, is an essential part of our daily lives. Since preparing meals is something most of us have to do quite frequently, why not combine your English practice and cooking to turn a necessary chore into an interactive experience and wind up with tasty meals AND smoother English!

“How exactly do I do that?” you may ask.

Incorporate your language learning into your cooking routine! To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of awesome pro tips, tricks, free English language cooking videos and websites to get you inspired for your weekly kitchen experiments. Talk about efficiency.

1. For When You Want to Do Some Meal Prep

FoodTube by Jamie Oliver: We love Jamie Oliver’s videos. He just gets it, and it’s why his fan base is so large. He has successfully managed to incorporate basic cooking lessons and exciting, unique recipes into his brand. It’s unpretentious kitchen fun that teaches viewers more than a thing or two.

AllRecipes: We know you love your grandma’s secret recipes, but for the sake of learning, switch it up! This site is great for finding recipes to meet all kinds of preferences or dietary restrictions. Whether you’re looking for a dozen different ways to cook lamb, a new take on your favorite lasagna, or vegan, gluten-free buffet ideas, you can find several recipe ideas while practicing your English.

Ounces to Grams Converter: We’re cheating a little by including this on the list, but for good reason. The units recipes use will vary depending on where you get them from, and some may not use the one you’re familiar with. In this case, an ounces to grams (or grams to ounces) converter will come in handy when doing your meal prep.

Quick Tips to Go From Foodie to Fluent:

  • Write your shopping list in English, so that you are regularly reinforcing new vocabulary words. This also forces you to use your English in the real world, as if you are already living in an English speaking country.
  • Create a list of cooking verbs. While reading these new recipes you’re going to learn a bunch of new verbs all at once. Jotting them down onto a sheet of paper will save you a trip to the dictionary every time you come across the word “mince”.

2. For When You Want to Learn

Bon Appétit: Don’t let the French words fool you — Bon Appétit is an English language food magazine. Their YouTube channel is basically an audiovisual reproduction of their print publication. You’ve got instructional videos, celebrity cameos, and mini documentaries. Who could ask for more?

Epicurious: This fun and vibrant food resource is a great way to add a few new recipes to your arsenal. They provide an expert tips section for people who want to upgrade their kitchen skills, in addition to detailed recipes like “How to Make Coconut Chicken Curry If You’re In a Hurry”.

Food Wishes: This channel is a fantastic treasure trove of simple to sophisticated recipes that mix clear instructions with good natured teasing. They even have a “One-Step Chicken Noodle Soup” video for those days when you’re too sick to make it properly, but want a home cooked bowl of the good stuff.

Quick Tips to Go From Foodie to Fluent:

  • Convert some of these videos to MP3 format so that you can listen to them on your morning commute. This way if the narration is too quick you can spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the instructions before actually cooking.
  • While you’re cooking, think of the steps and the names of the food in English. If you’re already a decent home cook, you risk reverting to autopilot and simply going through the motions. Thinking of the instructions (or better yet, saying them out loud) in English helps you retain the vocabulary.

3. For When You Want to Be Entertained

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: This one is more entertaining than it is instructional, but it is 100% a good time. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives has host Guy Fieri travel to independently-owned eateries to try out their most popular dishes. By the end of one clip, you’ll want to head out on a U.S. road trip in search of the best burger joints.

Epic Meal Time: Unless you plan on feeding a circus or having a heart attack, you likely won’t find much practical value from this show that includes recipes like “DIY Oreo Tacos” and “100-Pound Pizza”. But it’s entertaining. You can practice your English listening skills (and pick up a few curse words) while watching the Epic Meal Time crew pull off some ridiculous culinary feats. (Don’t worry, the food isn’t wasted.)

Quick Tips to Go From Foodie to Fluent:

  • Familiarize yourself with new expressions. Watching videos like these is a fantastic way to discover food-related idioms like “cool as a cucumber” or “too many cooks in the kitchen”.
  • Don’t shy away from culinary entertainment. Instructional content is great because you learn how to cook and you improve your English. But when you need some lighter fare, instead of turning to other content in your native language, stick to English and pick something that is more amusing.
  • If you have friends who are also trying to learn English, you can turn this into a group project. Take turns hosting a cooking party where you work through a recipe together and then practice your conversation skills over dinner.

Happy dining!

If you want to learn English in a more formal but still entertaining way, Talaera offers online, one-on-one sessions on business English communication. Learn more here.

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