The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a deep cooking system that allows you to cook food and elixirs that can restore Link's health and provide him with status buffs. However, how you cook in Zelda: BOTW isn't explained very well in the game. Instead the Old Man you meet at the beginning of the game may tell you some vague facts about cooking and then you're pretty much left to figure it out for yourself. Below we'll show you the basics of how to cook in BoTW so you can get started using food and elixirs to help you out at the start of your adventure.
How to cook - Breath of the Wild
The question of how to cook in Breath of the Wild stumped me the first time I tried it. When it comes to cooking single ingredients, it's easy enough. You can toss apples, meat, and other singular components straight into the flames of a campfire and grab the cooked results. However, making complex dishes is a bit harder. After all, the only direction the game gives you is to dump up to five ingredients into a cooking bowl. However, what BOTW doesn't tell you is that the metal pot has to have a fire under it before you can place in ingredients in it.
There are plenty of these cooking pots scattered throughout Hyrule, but if you find one without a fire under it, it's useless until you light it up. Once you've lit a fire under the pot, you can choose up to five different ingredients and throw them in a pot. After a short cooking period, you'll receive the result of your cooking attempt, and you'll be free to cook another food or elixir if you'd like.
What Can I Use to Cook in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?
Hyrule is filled with items for you to cook. You can pick wild herbs, fruits, and vegetables; hunt animals for meat, or trap fish. If you use these ingredients, you'll cook food, which typically is best used to restore health and add a small buff to Link. These buffs can be defensive, offensive, allow you to move faster, or protect you from the weather or certain kinds of damage.
To cook elixirs, which give you better buffs, but don't restore as much health as food, you need monster parts and critters. Cooking an elixir can be trickier than cooking food because the items you use to cook them are much more vague in the description of what they do. You can use common sense to guess which items of food will work best together when cooking, but not so with elixirs.
Cooking Tips for Food and Elixirs in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Cooking food and elixirs in Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a blast, and the resulting items can make your life a lot easier. The following tips will help you get started on your path to being a Zelda: BOTW cooking master.
- When cooking food, you can use common sense to tell which items will go together. Cooking meat or fish with herbs will result in a superior dish to if you just cooked a bunch of herbs together.
- If you happen to come across a fairy, consider using it in your cooking. You won't cook the fairy, but it will help you cook and provide a significant boost to your dish or elixir.
- Don't try to use monster parts or critters with regular food items. It will just make a failed dish, and you'll have wasted your items.
- Prepared dishes and elixirs can only take on one status boost, so make sure you're only adding one ingredient that adds that effect. Otherwise, you're just wasting it.
- If you find a cooked item or elixir that you'd like to make yourself, you can click on it in your inventory and look at the ingredients that were used to make it. However, if the item had only on ingredient (Baked Apple, Seared Steak) you won't get the option to look at the recipe.
- Make sure to cook often. While food ingredients offer a small bit of health restoration by themselves, cooking them together increases that benefit significantly. Getting stuck in a dungeon and having to eat a ton of raw ingredients to restore your health is a waste of resources.
Need to get around faster to gather more cooking ingredients? Learn how to tame a horse to move around Hyrule quicker, or consult our The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild guide for more helpful info.