Video Marketing

How to Make Recipe Videos

Posted July 5, 2020
Written by Rachel Surgeoner
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How to make recipe videos

Looking for the secret weapon to get eyeballs on your video content? 

Food. It’s always food. 

Nothing stops a hungry internet browser in their tracks faster than a juicy cooking video. It’s one thing to read a recipe from a cookbook or blog, but recipes that ‘show’ not just ‘tell’ are the most engaging for all cooks, especially the first time making a recipe. 

In this craving-inducing blog, we’ll break down how to make recipe videos, how to elevate them with art direction and music, how to adapt them for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and more. 

Get ready to dig in!

How to make recipe videos

There’s hundreds and thousands of cooking videos and cooking tutorials out there. From quick creative recipe ideas in under a minute to step-by-step tutorials viewers can follow along with. 

What are some of the ingredients for a winning recipe video?

  • Lay it out. Jot down the steps of your recipe before filming and have your ingredients clearly laid out. 

  • The 3-second rule. Like any video, be sure to grab your viewers attention ASAP - show a shot of the amazing finished recipe to entice your viewer to watch from start to finish.

Note: okay, so maybe only Bon Appétit personalities can get away with being a little less polished, but these are unique times!

  • Make it move. Video is all about movement, capture the action of the kitchen with exciting pour, dusting, and sizzle action.

  • Angles. use two cameras or phones to get both aerial and side views.

  • Bright, soft lighting. Lighting is to photography as flour is to baking.

  • Keep it clean. make sure your workspace isn’t too cluttered and there aren’t crumbs or stains.

  • Text overlays. include instructional information from ingredients lists to key step-by-step actions.

Cooking videos for social media

Here’s where you can elevate your video - customise it for your various social platforms, and why not add a professional touch with your brand logo as a watermark in the corner of your video. 

Cooking videos for YouTube

YouTube is a great platform for creating a cooking ‘channel’. You can categorise recipes by themes or types of meals with Playlists and a feature video on your YouTube channel homepage.

Facebook recipe videos

You can create playlists for your recipe videos on Facebook too, but you can also add a handy ‘shop now’ button if your brand also sells a product. 

Instagram recipe videos

Use a short 30 second or less video in your Instagram feed to entice viewers to watch the full video and/or get the recipe with the ‘link in bio’ method. You can use the same method for clickthrough with Instagram Stories. Or, post longer recipe videos in IGTV (15 minutes when uploading from a mobile device and up to 60 minutes when uploading from the web).

Here’s a sweet YouTube tutorial on how to edit an Instagram story with Clipchamp.

Cooking video camera setup

Lights, camera, action!

This might seem like a no-brainer, but learning to use your gear will help you put your best fork forward. If you’re shooting on DSLR camera, get into the habit of using manual mode to adjust for the right light and atmosphere (you know - the ISO, f-stop and white balance) to get the best quality video footage. 

And, you’re going to want to perfect that ‘top down’ angle. 

DIY recipe video tips

  • Lighting. Grab a lamp and safely attach some heatproof baking paper to create ‘diffused light’ in place of a professional soft box.

  • Tripod. If you haven’t got a rig, a tripod with a reversible centre will do the trick for that top-down angle. 

  • Coverage. Use a wide enough lens or perspective to capture the full view.

  • Close-ups. Adjust your zoom for the most drool-worthy moments (like capturing that grilled cheese pull apart).

If you don’t have access to a DSLR, you can still apply these principles to shooting on your phone. Tip: Experiment using the time-lapse function on your phone to speed up parts of the video. You can create live video for Instagram or Facebook or even record an entire recipe video on your phone then edit it with Clipchamp direct from your web browser

Cooking video editing

Though you may fear the editing process more than a batch of burnt cookies - it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive! 

All you need is the basics.

  • Upload raw video files

  • Add text

  • Cut and splice clips

  • Export 

Viola! Or should we say bon appetit! All these basic tools and more are at the ready with Clipchamp’s video editor!

Cooking video background music

They say a picture paints a thousand words, so video says a heck more! You need the right soundtrack to stand out from the wallflowers! 

For example, doesn’t this IGTV video from chef The Tuscan Gun make you wanna cook arancini while dancing? That’s the kind of effect your cooking video background music should have. 

View this post on Instagram

My friend Anthony Bourdain used to say: “When you travel, always try to skip airplane meals, only a few things are as exciting as arriving hungry in a new place”. Last summer, for the very first time, Debi and I traveled through Sicily with our daughters; as they are growing up, the level of adventure, and the excitement is becoming more “adult”, as we explore places we have never been together before. I will never forget our arrival at the Palermo airport around 2pm in a super hot summer day. After a quick flight from Florence we were eager to jump on our rental car and drive straight to Scopello (one of the most beautiful places in the world), where we had reserved our little apartment in an old tuna fishing farm. As we exited the airplane and started walking to the luggage area, we found ourselves engulfed in a cloud of hot fried air that carried along the warmest sense of welcome and homecoming. Without looking at each other, without pausing to think or discuss, we all walked straight toward a small counter at the very end of the concessions’ stand line… and like us, at least another dozen of passengers from our same flight, decided to start their Sicilian vacation by savoring a few traditional and hyper local Arancini di riso. Common throughout Sicily, but historically connected with the cities of Palermo and Messina, Arancini are deep fried balls of saffron infused risotto with a filling of either meat sauce and peas, or mozzarella and prosciutto. As simple as it gets, as delicious as you might hope, as comforting as your grandmother’s best hugs, this recipe is incredibly easy and fairly quick to execute… well, kind of. While tradition is always great to keep alive and pass down to new generations, I invite you to use this recipe to recycle any risotto recipe or filling you might like: last week I repurposed our zucchini and shrimp risotto recipe into a banging mid afternoon snack that went great with a couple of iced beers! FULL RECIPE AT - THETUSCANGUN.COM Food by @thetuscangun Music by #MINIMONO - The Clover rmx Courtesy of @bosconirecords Jewelry by @cristianfenziofficial

A post shared by Gabriele Corcos (@thetuscangun) on

Tasty cooking videos

If there was a Michelin Star rating for cooking videos, it would surely go to the ever-drool-worthy, Tasty. Buzzfeed’s Tasty cooking videos are legendary (98 million Facebook fans kind of legendary). 

They follow a simple no-fuss formula: make it food, make it informative, and make it inspiring. Here’s some totally snackable recipe video examples from Tasty, notice variation of video formats for different platforms.

Tasty videos on Facebook

Voice over with high production value

Tasty videos on Instagram

(this one is repurposing a TikTok video - another platform going gangbusters for cooking videos).

Tasty videos on YouTube

See, even with big budgets, Tasty still talks to the people with it’s down to earth approach to food, often simply honing in for the sheer realness of cooking food, and having fun.  

What's next?

Hungry for more? Feast your eyes on further handy tips for video editing with Clipchamp. 

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