YouTube Star Kalen Allen’s Kitchen Tour Will Brighten Your Whole Day
Kalen Allen, star and creator of Kalen Reacts—a brutally honest and funny series in which he records his live reactions to outlandish food videos—is essentially a mood boost in human form.
His viral video collection has bravely tackled often-repulsive recipes like the epic Deep-Fried BBQ Chicken Pizzadilla, a gelatinous SpaghettiO Wreath, and even our very own Pumpkin Spice Hot Dog (yes, it’s a thing we made). Allen’s unfiltered responses are real, relatable, and hilarious, and he says that’s what makes them work.
“The key to anything that I make is everything has to be a shared experience,” Allen recently told The Kansas City Star. “With the initial food videos, when I would say the things about the food, the person watching was saying the same thing at the same time. It wasn’t like you were just watching something; you were involved with it and interacting,” he says.
In his Los Angeles kitchen, Kalen gravitates toward more traditional recipes and saves the weird stuff for work.
Watch the video above for the whole tour, and check out highlights below.
Our tour starts at the kitchen island, which Allen had installed when he moved in. “I bought the kitchen island because as a kid for some reason I used to think, ‘you know what, when I grow up, I want to have a kitchen island, because I feel like once you have a kitchen island, that means that you have really made it.’ So, the first thing I bought when I got my own apartment? A kitchen island.”
But Allen’s prize possession is the Beyoncé print above his bar, which he jokes makes him feel like a better human, because “Beyoncé can’t cook; she’s told us that. So there’s something I can do that Beyoncé can’t do.”
In the freezer, Allen has plenty of protein on hand for cooking: ground turkey, corn dogs, grilled chicken, Italian meatballs for an upcoming batch of Jambalaya, and his favorite, Johnsonville Beer Brats ($5, instacart.com). Also on ice: taquitos, pie crust for an upcoming sweet potato pie, and Tillamook Vanilla Ice Cream ($7, instacart.com), the perfect accompaniment for his go-to dessert, peach cobbler.
In Allen’s favorite cabinet is his uber-organized and vast collection of spices. “We need every single seasoning on Earth,” he says.
In his multipurpose cabinet, Allen has a stash of practical canned food and fun stuff, like funnel cake mix and Zatarain’s Jambalaya mix ($2, instacart.com).
As for the appliance he can’t live without? It’s got to be his Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer ($525, on sale for $350, williams-sonoma.com). “I highly recommend it—it’ll change your life,” he says.
One thing you won’t find in his kitchen? Pickles. “Why? Because I don’t like pickles. However, I am going to be in a movie about pickles,” he says, referring to An American Pickle, Allen’s feature film debut, which is now streaming on HBO Max and costars Seth Rogen, Sarah Snook, and Molly Evensen.