Wait a minute is not a lot of time to learn to cook. That’s the amount of time your typical TikTok user has to create a video – four 15-second clips chained together to get your point across. The point of the platform is the short attention span, how you can reveal a trick or a joke or, in this case, a full meal. Click the #cooking or #recipe hashtags on TikTok, not to mention things like # 15secondchef, and there are thousands and thousands of people bringing you into their kitchens, teaching you how to do what they love to eat.
Social media has obviously been a great place to teach cooking, as well as a way for chefs to promote themselves, find new audiences, and grow from chef to celebrity chef. But TikTok still looks like the wilderness of social media. You can search through a hashtag, user, or song (it started out as a music app, after all) and follow the users you love, but it feels so much like you’re scouring the internet psyche and stumbling across strange and wonderful gems. Due to its ad hoc vibe, this isn’t necessarily the place to fit your professional filming setup. Instead, it’s up to teens to make Flamin ‘Hot Cheetos Mac and Cheese, parents to make silly videos with their kids, and some people to poke fun at the concept of learning to cook from a video. on an application.
We’ve spent a lot of time watching TikTok recipe videos (so many mug cakes.), And now, a breakdown of what makes this a compelling version:
1. Be brief.
Jessie Sayhey, a student and parent in her 30s living in Arizona, began posting cooking videos when she returned to college. “My busy school schedule left me with little or no time to make TikTok videos and have fun on the app, so I decided to start filming myself cooking my family dinner,” she declared. “It was simple for me, I had to eat, and I also wanted to play on TikTok.” Now she has nearly 184,000 fans, and one thing she never wants to do is keep them waiting. “There are TikTok cooks who will post a series of videos while they prepare their food and the last video will show you the finished product,” she says, which creates suspense but can also annoy people, who have problems. tons of shorter videos. at their disposal. “I want [viewers] to have easy access to my recipes and have the possibility to record a single video.
2. Make it weird.
TikTok is first and foremost for entertainment, and it takes many faces. Since a lot of videos are shot in home kitchens, there is nothing like the brilliance of a professionally shot video. Ingredients are poured into brand name bags and measured with plastic spoons, all under home kitchen lighting. Clever overhead production, tasty recipe videos are best left for YouTube and Instagram.
Many TikTok recipe videos contain an element of aggression, humor, or neglect. Users like Sayhey or @mpgevns use strange voices or throw their ingredients. Others showcase the distorted overhead lighting of suburban kitchens, ingredients poured straight out of the box or imprecisely hollowed out. Some use the editing power of TikTok to make them look like a stop-motion animation, or to make it look like the chef has waved his hand and a bunch of onions has been instantly chopped. One user, Kat Curtis, goes out of her way to combine two foods that you probably wouldn’t think of combining, like Dorito Avocado Toast or Takis dipped in mayonnaise. Another made Bologna roses in pepper stems. Really wild.
3. Pay attention to the sound.
Part of what makes these Chinese men who cook in the wilderness so calming are the sounds of streams and gentle breezes paired with those of meat sizzling in a wok. TikTok was born from Musical.ly, an app where users can create short lip-syncing videos, and using music and sound in the videos is still a big part of their success. The #ASMRchallenge and #ASMRcooking tags highlight the sounds of broth pouring into a saucepan, a knife sharpening an apple or popping spices. There’s even an entire song, “asmr” by user spence, which brings cooking sounds to a beat, which has inspired a TikTok dance craze that has virtually nothing to do with cooking.
Even if ASMR isn’t your thing, adding a good soundtrack to a video instead of your personal narration can help make it more dynamic, especially if you’re cooking to the beat.
4. It doesn’t even have to be very informative.
“The mess works fine,” Sayhey says. “I burned an entire meal, but the recipe still worked really well because viewers got to see me fail with happiness and smiles.” Many recipe videos on TikTok don’t include ingredient amounts or oven temperatures, and some are parodies of the genre.
Yet watching someone else cook, even if you don’t know exactly what they’re doing, can be both entertaining and educational. And according to Sayhey, “TikTok is about doing things your way,” instead of trying to fit into a preconceived aesthetic. So do something weird, heartwarming, or choppy to the beat of Britney’s “Work Bitch”. There are no rules.