When you don’t know how to cook, recipe websites can become paralyzing in the time it takes to boil an egg. Even the friendly, well-known sites with instructions and large, lovely food photos can exceed my skill set with alarming rapidness.
A slow cooker? Don’t have one of those. Making a roux? Are…you kidding me? What’s a roux? Listen, my kitchen didn’t even come with counter space and my house specialty is nachos, so when some site suggests I julienne leeks, I say, “That looks amazing” and have microwave burritos from the corner store.
But the best way to make an intimidating topic a little easier to approach is with humor. I might page through pie-in-the-sky options on Epicurious and Real Simple, but I’ve probably read almost everything that Thug Kitchen has ever done, and I’ve got half of Cooking Comically bookmarked.
Here’s the dish (yeah, I just did that) on those two, plus three more hilarious recipe sites you should know. However, let me stress that when I say “hilarious,” I also mean “impressively foul-mouthed.” For reals. The alternate title for this story was almost “The 5 most foul-mouthed recipe websites ever,” so if you don’t dig the swears, stop here.
My Drunk Kitchen
Oh, hello there. Do you perhaps not already know about My Drunk Kitchen? Let me pour you a drink and get you caught up: Hannah Hart, the world’s most charmingly inebriated host, leads us through a series of cooking shortcuts every week via her wildly popular YouTube channel, My Drunk Kitchen.
Shot on a laptop webcam and edited by Hannah herself in iMovie, MDK follows our heroine through a simple recipe and a few bottles of whatever’s handy to hilarious, disastrous, or tasty results. Drunk people are rarely this charming, but it’s damn near impossible to watch Hannah stumble her way through recipes and not laugh out loud repeatedly as she ponders the various steps and requirements of each recipe: “It says half a box of brown sugar…But this is a bag. How much of a bag is half a box?” She dumps an indeterminate amount into a bowl. “That much.”
Within eight weeks of its debut, MDK had thousands of followers on YouTube. Now, almost four years after she attempted to make a grilled cheese in the first MDK video, Hart has multiple channels, projects, and tours under her belt but still releases a new MDK episode every Thursday.
If you’ve ever wanted Patsy and Edina to host a show on the Food Network, then MDK is entirely your cup of tea: From Christmas cupcakes and cookies, to nachos, burgers, and apple pie, Hart drinks her way through the process with quick jump cuts offering endless comedic intervals. (“I don’t have a pie tin. Or a tablespoon.” “This is the worst part, where we cook and don’t just get drunk.”)
The fact that Hart rarely succeeds in completing the intended recipe correctly, or at all, is really part of the fun. Hart herself is the draw here—not only is she hilariously funny when most people are merely annoying, but she also manages to be endearing, unpretentious, and affable even when trying to make a grilled cheese with no cheese.
It started with four simple words: “A pot. Get one”. The next panel contains more white, comic-esque text layed out over a picture of supplies with three more words: “Groceries. Buy Them.” And just like that, you’ve already cleared the first two steps to the very first Cooking Comically recipe, 2 a.m. Chili.
Hosted by a no-BS style stick figure with an expressive face, Cooking Comically leads you through recipes that are both easily attainable and mouth-wateringly tasty in a panel-by-panel format akin to a traditional comic. Laid out in a top-to-bottom format, each panel is a step in the recipe with commentary that ranges from helpful tips (drain beans and corn first so they don’t water down the chili) to…less relevant suggestions (busy yourself with an FPSer while the chili simmers).
Since that first recipe back in August 2011, CC has grown to over 20 recipes, includes a Web store, recently released a cookbook, and has done a crossover with another of our favorites, Thug Kitchen. Its appeal lies not only in the straight talk you get from the stick-figure host, but in the clear, easy instructions that make any of the recipes seem incredibly possible to do yourself.
Because our host is two-dimensional, the focus here remains on the recipe itself: colorful, simple photos of ingredients and processes make the recipe easy to follow while the snarky, cheeky commentary and antics of the host keep you entertained. Whether it’s Lasagna 101, the Frad’ Chick’n Sammich, or Peanut Butter and Banana Strike Again bread, each of the recipes featured here seem easy enough for even me to execute.
Thug Kitchen is what would happen if you crossed Tony Robbins with Joe Pesci and a vegan. That sounds like a joke, but TK is not F’ing around: When you go to ThugKitchen.com you’re greeted with plain black text on a white background that encourages you to “Eat like you give a F.”
See, the goal of Thug Kitchen is to teach you how easy it is to eat fresh, good, simple foods. Largely plant based, TK is starkly simple: Mainly large-scale pictures of delicious food, TK puts some no-nonsense, curse-laden commentary over the main image to immediately grab your attention. For example, the entry for stuffing greets you with outlined text that shouts, “Shut the F up and pass the stuffing.”
Below the header image, Thug Kitchen outlines the recipe starting with the ingredients list and more cursing (“8 ounces of mushrooms – button mushrooms, cremini, or whatever the F you can find at the store is fine”) then leads you through each step with detailed instructions that sound like they’re coming from your favorite sailor. (“Cover that with foil and bake it for 20 minutes. Your place will start smelling pretty F-ing dope.”)
However, the focus isn’t the foul language: It’s the huge, beautiful pictures of meals and the way that Thug Kitchen breaks down each recipe to show you how simple it is to cook with basic, wholesome ingredients to make delicious food.
The very first Thug Kitchen post, from August 2012, is for Peanut Tempeh Spring Rolls which the author was inspired to make when he and his girlfriend were cleaning out the fridge. “What did you cook last time you cleaned out your dirty ass fridge? A pickle and ketchup sandwich?” asks the post. Since then, the site has grown to include over 40 recipes for foods and drinks (for example, the MF’ing Lavender Lemonade), set a pumpkin on fire for Halloween, and has a cookbook in the works for 2014.
Epic Meal Time: Handle It
A YouTube show by way of Canada, Epic Meal Time is well known for its high-calorie creations, obsession with bacon and Jack Daniels, and guest stars (Tony Hawk, Deadmau5, and—my personal favorite—fellow YouTube celeb FPSRussia). With a cookbook, a set of cookware, and an Android game, it’s safe to say that many of you are already aware of EMT’s gut-busting episodes.
However, I personally prefer the sister show, Handle It, which actually walks you through creating gooey, greasy, delicious creations of your own. Episodes are still hosted by EMT regulars David Heuff, Josh Elkin and Ameer Atari (aka Sauce Boss, Mook, and Prince Atari), and all cussing is still beeped out by the familiar bird call noise. But Handle It helps you out by providing an ingredients list before beginning step-by-step instruction.
EMT fans won’t be disappointed in the content, either, with recipes from Deep Fried Sriracha Balls, to Homemade Twinkies, to Mac and Cheese Balls, to Irish Nachos, and a Bacon Oreo Cheesecake Sandwich, Thug Kitchen this is not. Handle It wants to help you make your own plateful of tasty, terrible goodness—and both meat and booze are still heavily featured.
But there’s something entirely charming about watching these chuckleheads curse their way around a kitchen while teaching you how to make breakfast cupcakes. It’s as though your little brother’s obnoxious skate park friends decided to cook for Man vs Food’s Adam Richman, but hey, who am I to argue with pulled pork pancakes?
What the F*ck Should I Make for Dinner
Straight-F’ing-forward and to the point, What the F*ck Should I Make For Dinner is exactly what it sounds like: A swear-laden search engine that will find you recipes for dinner. Should the random selection not meet with your approval, you can hit one of the three buttons on the page: I don’t F’ing like that, I don’t F’ing eat meat, or I’m F’ing thirsty.
A starkly plain site with black block lettering, the cussing stands in stark contrast to the food suggestions. A random search might turn up offerings such as “Feast your eyes and subsequently your mouth on some F’ing crab cakes,” or “Induce food coma with some F’ing braised ox tongue with caper sauce.”
Clicking on the results leads to the appropriate recipe on cookstr.com, which aims to be the No. 1 collection of cookbook recipes online. The recipes themselves are neatly organized and include a variety of detail such as skill level, total time it takes to make the recipe, cost, chef’s notes, and nutritional information, and has the expected array of social sharing options. Both the F’ing food and drink menus are also available as cookbooks on Amazon.
One of several F-bomb-heavy search sites, WTFSIMFD is affiliated with Where the F Should I Go for Drinks and Where the F Did I Leave My Keys. Oddly enough, it is not connected with Where the F Should I Go to Eat, nor with What the F Should I Be for Halloween, or What the F Should I Listen to Now. Weird.
This story, "Bust a gut: The 5 most deliciously hilarious cooking sites of all time" was originally published by TechHive.