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If chefs are the new pop stars, then it’s probably no surprise that the figurative airwaves of cable and streaming TV are today as chock-a-block with food-related delights as they were full of hair metal videos and moonwalks in the ’80s. Some of Netflix’s most addictive shows are the food-porn delights of Chef’s Table and Street Food—series that are very nearly bingeable in the literal sense. Chefs like David Chang captain not just eateries but veritable media mini-empires. And your average cable package boasts more than one channel devoted to the culinary pursuits.
Most everyone knows about the Food Network, the channel that helped make superstars of Rachel Ray and Paula Deen. The Cooking Channel launched as a spin-off of that network in 2010, focusing on instructional and personality-based programming in a time when the Food Network had shifted toward reality TV and competition shows. Today, it’s one of the best places to turn for a very nearly 24/7 array of shows showcasing—well, really good food that’s really fun to look at. Culinary Yoda Alton Brown’s Good Eats: Reloaded revisits old gems from the classic series, reexamining and updating old episodes. Michael Symon’s Burgers, Brew & Que aims for maximum mouth watering. Man Fire Food’s Roger Mooking travels the country scouting out the best flame-cooked … well, everything. And Food Truck Nation … well, it’s a show full of delicious food truck food. What’s not to love?
The channel these days is pretty light on cooking instruction. But some would argue that’s what YouTube is for. Instead, the Cooking Channel focuses on great grub—most of it pretty indulgent—and where to discover it. And with a live TV subscription service, you can chew on it anytime, no cable subscription necessary.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch the Cooking Channel online
How to watch the Cooking Channel for free
There are a number of live TV streaming services that offer the Cooking Channel. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, that depends on your budget, what other channels you just can’t live without, and what device (or devices) you plan on streaming with. We cover all of those essential issues below. But don’t worry: No matter which service you select, you’ll be able to start with a one-week trial, allowing you to watch the Cooking Channel for free.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Dish Network’s foray into over-the-internet live TV is the most popular such service in the U.S. That’s no surprise, given the low barrier to entry it offers for many of the most popular cable networks. For only $25 a month, you can sign up for a tier of Sling TV that will handily compete with any basic cable package. Sling TV offers a slightly dizzying array of options: two distinct packages (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) that you can sign up for separately or together (Sling Orange + Blue, which costs just $40 per month), and add-ons ranging from premium channels like Starz to cloud DVR storage. In order to get the Cooking Channel, you’ll have to spring for just such an add-on: the Lifestyle Extra package, which is available for $5 on its own and also includes VH1, BET, the DIY Network, and more. You can also nab the Lifestyle Extra package alongside Kids, Comedy and News Extra for only $10 a month. Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
PlayStation Vue is Sony’s offering in the crowded live-streaming-TV arena, and with packages that start at $44.99 for over 45 channels, it’s a solid option. You can save shows up to 28 days, and up to five people can share a package. Four tiers—Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra—allow you to pick the package that works for you. In order to get the Cooking Channel, you’ll need to subscribe to the Core tier or above. And if your God of War machine doubles as your primary media center, PlayStation Vue is the only game in town—no other streaming TV service works on the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3. You can see all of the PlayStation Vue channels here, and read more about the PlayStation Vue DVR here.
Cooking Channel shows
The following is a sampler platter of Cooking Channel shows:
- Good Eats: Reloaded
- Burgers, Brew & Que
- Food Truck Nation
- Man Fire Food
- Food: Fact or Fiction
- Carnival Eats
- Extra Virgin
- Unique Sweets
- Beach Bites with Katie Lee
- Simply Laura
- Unwrapped 2.0
- Unique Eats
- Not My Mama’s Meals
- Real Girl’s Kitchens
- Spice Goddess
- Chuck’s Day Off
- Emeril’s Florida
- Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers
- Sinful Sweets
- Drink Up
- Food Detectives
- Fresh Fast Food
- United Tastes of America
- Belly Up!
- Pizza Masters
- Korean Food Made Simple
- Restaurant Redemption
- David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway
Patrick Caldwell is a streaming entertainment reporter. He previously served as a staff music critic at the Austin American-Statesman.