Amy Buras wheels her Famag spiral mixer in what used to be office space in her Strasburg home. The room serves as storage space for her kitchen hardware, which includes cooking appliances, pots and pans.

Amy Buras says that one of the reasons her YouTube cooking channel has been a success is that she’s been learning along with her viewers.

“One thing that’s great about YouTube is [it’s] a place where you can start without knowing anything,” said the Strasburg resident. “It gives you an opportunity to have a lot of fun, develop a great hobby. Even if you’re bad at whatever you’re trying to do … they like to watch your progress.”

Her channel, called AmyLearnsToCook, has 256,000 subscribers. Buris started it almost 10 years ago when she posted about using a smoker while camping. In that first video, she made jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.

“It was like the worst video ever,” Buras recalled.

She used her cellphone camera on a picnic table and later added music for transitions.

“I uploaded it, as bad as it was,” she said.

Then some friends and family watched, and her cousin shared it around. Still, it wasn’t meant to be the start of a cooking channel, Buras recalled.

“We wanted to learn how to use the smoker,” she said. But then “another one became another one.”

Eventually, she said, her self-professed obsession with kitchenware took over.

“I am totally obsessed with kitchen stuff,” she said.

“I do a lot of stand mixer videos because my viewers love it,” she said. “Your stand mixer is kind of like your kitchen trophy.”

Because of its versatility, she said it’s the perfect kitchen gadget.

Many of her videos feature new gadgets that she’s purchased or that companies have sent her.

But even with a world of kitchen appliances at her fingers, she said sometimes simple is best.

Cooking is “a hobby where you can go completely overboard and broke,” Buras said.

“People will say, ‘I don’t want to cook because I don’t like my kitchen,” she said.

But if they don’t cook now, she said, they won’t cook in a fancier kitchen.

“Cook in the kitchen that you have,” she said. “Teach yourself how to cook now, no matter what. That’s what’s great about cooking. It’s like an equalizer.”

To this day, her most popular video, with 21 million views, is from when she made scrambled eggs eight years ago.

“That video went absolutely crazy and it brought a lot of people to my channel,” she said.

“There was a lot of drama around that video,” Buras said. “A lot of people, they get an idea of what a dish is. … [But] something simple like scrambled eggs, there’s so many different ways to make scrambled eggs.”

For something more complex, like bread, she said to just go for it.

“The first time you do it, it might be terrible. It might be the worst loaf of bread you ever had. But make it again,” she said.

Soon you’ll be saying, “Wow, I can actually make a loaf of bread.”

Originally from California, Buras and her husband, Eric, relocated to Virginia 16 years ago for his computer software job.

“Obviously the humidity’s different,” she said.

In northern California, she said they were halfway between San Francisco and the Sierra Nevadas.

“You can go from surfing to skiing all within a couple hours,” she said.

But over the years, they’ve settled in, recently moving into a larger house outside of Strasburg that can better accommodate her shelves of kitchen supplies and also give her space in the basement for a permanent recording space.

Once you get into YouTube regularly, she said, “It seriously takes over your life.”

She said the couple has been constructing and deconstructing all the video equipment each week so they can still use their kitchen. They typically shoot the videos on Saturdays.

“He’s pretty much [the] behind-the-scenes person,” she said of Eric. “He does the cameras and he sets everything up.”

Now at the point with her channel where she can invest in better video equipment, she said the prospects are both exciting and scary.

“Now I gotta learn how to use that, so I’m somewhat back to stage one.”

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