Want to Make a Cooking TikTok? Here's How to Get Started

Tabitha Brown stans, take note.

So you've spent most of the past year or two scrolling through recipes on TikTok. Who hasn't? Then you reach for your phone to make your own and, well...the process isn't as easy as influencers make it seem.

Capturing your home cooking can be tricky: steam fogs up your camera lens, frying food sounds more gross than deliciously crackly, and the lights above your range add a strange glare to that pasta you thought looked amazing. But if you're still determined to share your recipes on #FoodTok, fear not. We asked experts for tips on how to film, edit, and post cooking TikToks you'll be proud to share. We can't wait to see it on our For You page.

How to Make a Cooking TikTok

01 of 09

Keep it simple.

"Simplicity is key when creating food content for TikTok," says MacKenzie Smith, creator of Grilled Cheese Social. While some at-home chefs are compelled to take on a complex cooking challenge, Smith says an approachable recipe is key to connecting with a larger audience. "My Baked feta pasta that went viral earlier this year is a prime example of how new-yet-simple food trends can take over the social landscape and can easily be recreated right in your own kitchen."

02 of 09

Show off a kitchen hack.

Before leaping into full-on recipes, consider showing off your cooking chops by filming something special you do, or sharing a helpful tip some viewers may not know. Think about how you'd teach a friend, and then demonstrate for the camera. (It helps if you have a second set of hands or a tripod.)

Smith, who's partnering with the National Mango Board, says she starts all her videos for the campaign with a demonstration of the best mango cutting technique, adding that the hedgehog cut is the easiest way to cut the superfruit. "How-to content is both entertaining and educational for the TikTok community—everyone loves a good kitchen hack," she says.

RELATED: 24 Genius Kitchen Hacks Our Food Editors Swear By

03 of 09

Film from different angles.

If you have two smartphones or cameras (old phones will also work), try setting them up on tripods or stands at different angles, so you can edit with a diversity of shots, both overhead and from another vantage point. Only have one device? No worries. Film various portions of your cooking—chopping, stirring, plating—from different perspectives to add a cinematic quality.

04 of 09

Keep it short.

You're not shooting a feature film here. Keep your video between 30 to 60 seconds to keep your ever-scrolling audience engaged. "Long-duration videos can develop suspense initially, but will eventually bore viewers," says chef Vicky Cano of Mealfan.com. "For example, initially I used to create a series of videos for one recipe but my audience engagement decreased with the increasing number of videos. Then, I kept my videos short and started listing recipes in the caption, and noticed higher engagement."

05 of 09

Get creative when editing.

Sure, food videos can be entertaining on their own, but to keep viewers coming back to your TikToks, demonstrate some editing flair. Add filters, music, a voiceover, captions, and—when you're comfortable on the app—creative transitions. Even better if you can add a little humor, too. Just don't forget the primary purpose of your content. "The videos should actually motivate the audience to cook food rather than just watching it," Cano says.

06 of 09

Edit in a different app.

Filming and trimming TikTok videos is tricky. To make it simpler, Cano recommends using the app CapCut to edit your videos. "This tool is easy to use, has a range of high-quality filters and effects, and a variety of music to choose from," she says. The app is free from Google Play and Apple Store. Other editing apps recommended by TikTokers include Spark Camera and Video Leap.

07 of 09

Keep it quiet on set.

For the best cooking sounds, like ASMR-worthy slicing and sauteing, make sure your cooking ambiance is totally quiet—no dishwasher running in the background, no Zoom echo from your spouse's meeting in the other room, and no dog barking at your side (if you can help it). All the sound your camera picks up should be cooking-related. If that's too difficult to set up, lower the volume of the recording and overlay with pleasant music.

08 of 09

Get the lighting right.

Just like with food photography, capturing video content in natural lighting results in the most appetizing food shots. If you only have time to cook at night or don't have a window near your kitchen, consider investing in a ring light—social media's favorite glamour lighting. Position it over your cooking area to style your plated dish.

09 of 09

Break the rules.

Just like with cooking, TikTok rules are meant to be broken. Who knows what will go viral, what will become a trend, and what, well...was a waste of your time? The golden rule of social media is to be creative, make what you want to make, and see what sticks.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles