You might not be able to see what people are cooking up on a food podcast, but we’d say that’s a positive. Every time we watch cooking shows, we end up drooling over whatever the meal is and don’t listen to the information. That’s not a great mix when the main reason we’re watching is to get new ideas for dinner or learn how to be better cooks. With a podcast, we can actually take in the information without getting distracted by food porn. Here are 7 podcasts that will make you a better cook.
There’s a lot of history, politics, and culture wrapped up in food and a podcast that takes a deeper look at it all is greatly appreciated. Tom Philpott, Kiera Butler, and Maddie Oatman dig into the surprising history and politics of everything you eat. They cover coffee quests, white house kitchen slaves, poverty in school lunches, and dozens of other topics you’d never think about otherwise. We recommend it as lunch break listening to really bring everything full circle.Listen
Depending on which one you’re in, chain restaurants have become something of a laughing stock. At least, the really big ones have. So it’s fitting that one of the best food podcasts would be about two comedians (and usually a guest) reviewing chain restaurants. They don’t limit themselves to food topics, but the restaurants and dishes form a central point for their conversations to orbit and one way or another things come back to it. You won’t learn any new cooking tips or gain insight into food science, though you may find out which chains are worth keeping around.Listen
You’ve almost definitely heard of the Butterball turkey hotline. It’s been the salvation of thousands of families’ Thanksgiving and its staff is more than happy to provide cooking tips even if turkey is only vaguely related to whatever you’re trying to do. But if it’s mid-March and you’re in uncharted cooking waters, you don’t have much in the way of educational resources. Cooking Issues is your year-round hotline. Dave Arnold has seemingly made it his personal crusade to answer every cooking question imaginable. If you’re confused about any aspect of food preparation, sort through the back catalog of Cooking Issues. You’ll find something you can use.Listen
Having a background in food science can be immensely helpful. You understand why certain things work together, the differences in cooking methods, and the best way to handle foods you’re both familiar with and don’t know so well. Gastropod gets into that kind of stuff, as well as the history that ties into food science. You get a great look at why certain dishes are cultural mainstays, how different foods were invented, and how you make foods you never would have thought about in the first place.Listen
It’d be almost impossible to figure out how much conversation happens over food, so let’s play it safe and stick with “a lot.” In Dining with Doug and Karen, Doug Benson and Karen Anderson feature a new chef every episode and have conversations inspired by the dishes. They’re both well-established comedians, meaning their conversations are naturally entertaining and they often bring special guests on to taste the food and generally enhance the experience. These are clearly people with rapport and it often feels like you’re privy to a conversation between close friends. Pretty much because you are.Listen
Gravy celebrates the food of the American South by examining the complex history of the area and how changes in the food reflect that history. There are shows on the Civil Rights movement, Hurricane Harvey, Nashville’s Little Kurdistan, and even the mythical Pappy Van Winkle. We always knew how important food was to the South, but we never realized how tied up it was in virtually every aspect of the culture.Listen
Spilled Milk is more of a comedy podcast, but hosts Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton start their conversations with food or a food related topic, so we think it qualifies. They also usually eat something, which requires food. You’ll also walk away with quite a few recipes by the end, which makes it similar to the other food comedy podcasts on this list. But really, you can never have too many of those.Listen