How TikTok has changed the way we cook

TikTok has changed the way we cook

TikTok's quick step-by-step videos provide great recipe ideas for foodies as well as beginners in the kitchen.
Published: March 25, 2021
Person taking photo of their food.
Social media, like TikTok, has given many people new ideas for easy recipes and food ideas to try.

TikTok popularity and influence have taken over the culinary industry as a major source of new recipes for users, including established chefs and beginners in the kitchen.

In the last year, TikTok has emerged as the latest social media platform to captivate our culture’s increasingly small attention spans. The app has everything from the most popular dance trends to explainer videos for recipes and DIY crafts that have users scrolling for hours.  

TikTok currently has over 1 billion users worldwide and caught the attention of many different industries, including news outlets and popular professional sports players like Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

@foodiesEat or Pass ⁉️ ##foodies (via @insta.noodls )♬ Sugarcrash! – ElyOtto

It is the short-form style of the video that makes it easy for beginners to learn how to cook as well as those who already have experience in the kitchen. With comprehensive ingredient lists and easy steps, these videos allow users like college students to better their eating habits while living on their own.

David Hart, finance and accounting senior at Syracuse University, has used the app to help him in his transition from dorm living to off-campus housing.  

“I’ve never really had to cook before and I usually use TikTok just as a form of entertainment, but it has honestly really helped me with a few recipes,” Hart said. “The baked feta pasta was really easy, and it came out a lot better than I expected it to.” 

Due to their simplicity and quality, recipes like baked feta pasta have gone viral among all age groups and even found their way onto many popular cooking shows like the Rachael Ray Show. These emerging cooking ideas are being dubbed as “TikTok recipes” as they go viral through the app.

The TikTok account @foodies has almost 20 million followers and showcases a variety of meals to try through quick step-by-step tutorials. Pinterest even has its own section dedicated to the best TikTok recipes that currently has over one million followers.   

@grilledcheesesocialBaked feta pasta viral recipe! Inspired by #uunifeta via @liemessa & @tiiupiret #learnontiktok #foodtiktok #foodie♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

Aside from being a popular foodie trend, these recipes can have an impact from a business standpoint as well as a cultural one.  

According to The New York Timesthe cheese industry is beginning to explode thanks to the popularity of TikTok’s baked feta pasta recipe. Anne Saxelby, the founder and co-owner of a cheese shop in New York City called Saxelby Cheesemongers, was unable to get a weekly shipment of cheese because of the demand for feta cheese due to the popularity of the recipe generated by the app, The Times said.

“(TikTok is) an easy way to go viral,” said Joe Puccio, broadcast and digital journalism freshman at SU. “There is a huge audience, and I think that it’s a great way for people to learn how to cook, which we all should.”  

Not only is TikTok becoming a useful tool for foodies sharing old recipes and learning new onesbut it’s also completely changing the way people are using social media. 

“I use TikTok every day,” Puccio said. “I’ve seen a lot of sports broadcasters putting their reels on there, but the way the videos are set up to go step by step and take the viewer through the design principles, it not only makes a magnificent product, but it makes TikTok a great place for that sort of content.”

Avatar for Dominick Pfisterer

is a magazine, news and online graduate student and contributing writer for The NewsHouse.