Parents' Guide to

Mystery Recipe

By Molly Jackel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Fun, educational cooking pod fosters curiosity, acceptance.

Podcast Food America’s Test Kitchen Kids Average run time: 25 minutes
Mystery Recipe Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 1 parent review

age 3+

First season great - second season not so much

The first season of this podcast we were all hooked! My sons loved listening and learning all about the ingredients involved in the mystery recipe and the different segments of each episode were really well done. We love learning about food and we were excited to have found a well made podcast on just this topic that was engaging, funny and educational. We were all pumped to listen to season two when without warning the podcast added a new pot holder character that identifies as gender-neutral with they/them pronouns and the entire season seemed to focus on driving this lesson home and the sensitivity around this topic. I didn’t really understand why a podcast about learning about food was so heavily fixated on this topic and it really ruined it for me. They also introduce the topic of racism and segregation which at least made more sense in relation to food in historical context, but if I’m going to talk to my kids about sensitive topics as part of a lighthearted cooking podcast, a little warning would be appreciated - both of these topics took me completely by surprise. It went from a fun and food-rich learning experience for all ages to pushing some sort of social agenda.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This show packs in a lot of hard- and soft-skills in each episode. Mystery Recipe is fun and silly while also providing solid cooking skills, food history and science, and a robust social-emotional learning element. Positive messages about diversity also infused in each episode and lesson. The host is a perfect mix of playful and knowledgeable; a cool older-sister voice that informs while showing empathy and patience. Mystery Recipe may be too goofy for tweens. For younger listeners, some segments may drag a bit. Fun wordplay and jokes are sprinkled in for adults. Cook-along segments are expertly paced for cooking while listening, and carefully developed with both safety and learning in mind, thanks to America's Test Kitchen's expertise. Parent fans of ATK and cooking shows in general, will appreciate how well the food information and the cooking skills are scaled to younger listeners.

Production is tight, with lots of sound effects and smooth transitions. The show uses the medium to their advantage, like playing guessing games with audio clues. Descriptions of episodes are too brief to make an informed choice. For example, season three (of four) introduces a character with autism, but you wouldn't know this based on the episode summary; this can be especially frustrating for parents of children on the spectrum who would love for their child to feel represented in the media.

Podcast Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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