This guide is aimed at beginners, but also has advanced tips useful for even experienced chefs. OK without further ado, let’s get started…
In general there are 3 types of dishes you can make in breath of the wild, basic ones that only restore lost hearts, elixirs that only give you a buff, and status dishes that both restore your lost hearts ‘and’ give you a buff.
To cook food you will need a fire and a cooking pot, which can be found in towns, stables and enemy camps. If you need to start your own fire you can drop wood and flint on the ground, then simply hit them with a sword to ignite. You can also roast food directly on an open fire but this yields inferior results to using a cooking pot, so always use a pot for cooking.
You can consume food raw, but this is not advisable, since cooking food will double the amount of hearts it replenishes when consumed, and some foods will give additional status effects only after being cooked, so it’s always worth cooking your food before consuming. To cook food go into your inventory, select the ingredients you want to use and select ‘hold’. You can hold up to 5 ingredients at a time. Then simply press ‘a’ while standing next to a cooking pot to cook your dish.
Some foods will just simply restore some of your lost hearts, while other foods can give one of 11 additional status effects to boost links effectiveness. You can only apply one effect at a time, so don’t eat foods with different effects unless you need to replace your existing effect with a new one. For example, you can’t have attack up and defence up at the same time.
Foods which possess additional status effects are graded from A to E, this grading system determines the potency of the effect it gives after cooking. Grade ‘A’ being the best and grade ‘E’ being the worst. So for example a cooked food which adds additional hearts to the end of your health bar when consumed, can give an additional 1-5 extra hearts depending on its grade, grade A will give 5 additional hearts while grade E will give just 1 additional heart.
For a list of available foods and their grades, as well as other useful information, check this link by rankedboost.com – https://rankedboost.com/zelda-breath-of-the-wild/crafting-materials/
You want to avoid combining foods with different status effects as they will simply cancel each other out. So for example, don’t cook a hearty radish with a mighty banana, or you’ll simply end up with a dish which restores a few hearts and nothing more, losing the additional status effects of both foods. However cooking multiple food items with the same status effect will stack, so cooking two or more hearty food items which all add additional hearts, will end up giving a dish which combines all the additional hearts of each food, until you reach the maximum allowance of 5 combined items. You can combine foods of different grades as long as they all have the same status effect.
It’s also worth noting that food should only be cooked with other food to make basic heart and status effect dishes, while critters should only be cooked with monster parts to make elixirs. Combining food with critters or monster parts will end up with a duff dish with minimal effect. So be sure to stick to this rule when experimenting.
There are 11 possible status effect categories foods will fall under once cooked, in no particular order these categories are as follows:
1.HEARTY – Any hearty food will not only fully restore all of links lost hearts when cooked, but will also give additional hearts which are displayed in yellow.
2.ENERGIZING – Energizing food will restore links lost stamina
3.ENDURING – Enduring food will not only restore links lost stamina, but will also give him additional stamina until used
4.FIREPROOF – Fireproof food will prevent link from catching fire
5.CHILLY – All chilly food will grant link resistance to heat
6.SPICY – Any spicy food will grant link resistance to cold
7.ELECTRO – All electro food will grant link resistance to shock
8.HASTY – Hasty food grants link increased movement speed while running, swimming or climbing
9.SNEAKY – Sneaky food grants link increased stealth
10.MIGHTY – Mighty food will grant link increased attack power
11.TOUGH – The final effect is tough which grants link increased defence
So let’s give examples of basic food dishes that just restore lost hearts.
If you consume an Apple raw, it simply replenishes half a heart, when cooked however it replenishes a whole heart, since cooking any food will always double the amount of hearts it restores when consumed. Therefore, if we combine and cook 5 apples you will end up with a dish that restores 5 full hearts (Simmered Fruit).
Next we have the Hyrule Herb, when consumed raw it replenishes a whole heart, when cooked it replenishes two whole hearts, if we combine and cook 5 Hyrule Herbs you will end up with a dish that restores 10 whole hearts (Fried Wild Greens).
Now let’s give examples of status dishes that both replenish hearts ‘and’ give additional status effects
Here we have the Hearty Radish, when consumed raw it simply replenishes two and a half hearts. However when cooked, as it’s a Hearty food, it will not only completely restore all of links hearts, but will also give additional yellow hearts, temporarily extending links health bar. Since a Hearty Radish is a grade C item, it will grant 3 additional yellow hearts when cooked. If we cook 5 of them together they will grant 15 additional yellow hearts (Hearty Fried Wild Greens).
The ‘Big’ Hearty Radish is a grade A item, so it gives 5 additional yellow hearts when cooked, up to a maximum of 25 additional hearts if you cook 5 of these together, in addition to restoring all of link’s health.
Below we have a Mighty Banana, when consumed raw it simply replenishes half a heart. When cooked, as it’s a mighty food, in addition to it replenishing a full heart, it will also increase links attack power for 50 seconds. A Mighty Banana is a grade B item, so when you cook 4-5 of them they will grant a high-level attack power dish. Cooking 5 mighty bananas together will grant a high-level attack power dish which lasts for 4 minutes and 10 seconds, basically 5x 50 seconds (Mighty Simmered Fruit).
There are 3 levels in total for status effect dishes, level 1 being a low-level effect, level 2 being a mid-level effect and level 3 being a high-level effect. The level of your dish is indicated by the displayed icons, 1 icon = low-level, 2 icons = mid-level and 3 icons = high-level. Generally you need to cook 4-5 grade A or B type foods to produce high-level effects. Grade D and E type foods will generally result in low level effect dishes even when combining 5 of them.
It’s worth noting what happens here when we combine two foods with different status effects, let’s cook a Hearty Radish with a Mighty Banana. As you can see below there are no status effects on the dish and we end up with a basic dish that simply restores a few hearts, so make sure to avoid combining foods with different status effects or you’ll lose out.
Any status effects that have a duration, like the Mighty Banana, you can combine other foods which further boost this duration, as long as the additional foods don’t possess different status effects. For example a Bird Egg simply restores 1 heart when consumed raw. When cooked it will restore 2 hearts and add 90 seconds onto any existing status effect food in the recipe that has a duration. So if you combine and cook a Mighty Banana and a Birds Egg together, you will end up with a dish (Mighty Omelet) which restores 3 hearts, and boosts attack power for 2 minutes and 20 seconds (50 seconds from the banana and 90 seconds from the egg). Add more bananas to increase the level of attack power, or add more eggs to increase its duration.
OK let’s give a couple more examples of status dishes before moving onto elixirs. Some environments in the game are extremely cold, and link will take damage when exposed to these harsh environments. You can make cold resistance dishes using any food under the Spicy category, such as Spicy Peppers, Sunshrooms, Warm Safflinas, Sizzlefin Trout, Summerwing Butterflies & Warm Darners.
Spicy Peppers are grade E items, so when cooked, as well as restoring a full heart, they create a low-level or level 1, cold resistance dish with a duration of 150 seconds. Adding 5 Spicy Peppers into the recipe will result in a low-level cold resistance dish which restores 5 hearts and lasts for 12 minutes and 30 seconds (Spicy Sauteed Peppers).
Sunshrooms also being a Spicy food will also create cold resistance dishes. However unlike Spicy Peppers, Sunshrooms are grade C items so if you cook 4-5 of them, you will end up with a mid-level, or level 2, cold resistance dish (Spicy Mushroom Skewer). As you can see below, 2 icons indicate the level 2 effect it gives. Some environments are much harsher than others, therefore requiring a higher level effect to prevent damage, so make sure to cook the appropriate level dish to suit the environment you are in.
Exactly the same goes for extremely hot environments, and you can make heat resistance dishes using any food under the Chilly category, that’s chilly as in cold, such as Hydromelons, Chillshrooms, Cool Safflinas, Chillfin Trout, Winterwing Butterflies and Cold Darners.
It’s worth noting there are no grade A or B food items that offer cold or heat resistance, this is because there is apparel available to link in the game already offering a good resistance to these elements when worn, and combined with the low- to mid-level resistance foods available, link will be safe in any of these harsh environments.
OK next up are Elixirs, in general Elixirs only give buffs and do not restore hearts, with the exception of the Hearty Elixir, which acts the same as hearty food dishes. To make an Elixir, you first need to choose a Critter to determine the desired status effect you want, then add Monster parts to add to the duration of the status effect. So Critters determine the status effect and Monster Parts determine the duration of the status effect. Unlike foods you can’t cook Critters by themselves, you always need to add at least one Monster Part to make an Elixir, adding just Critters will generally result in a duff dish, with the exception of a small number of Critters which give hearts.
Just like foods all Critters fall under the same 11 status effect categories, to recap these are Hearty, Energizing, Enduring, Fireproof, Chilly, Spicy, Electro, Hasty, Sneaky, Mighty and Tough. Critters also have the same quality grading system as foods, from A to E. In this next example we will cook Hot-Footed Frogs which are Hasty grade B items which speed up links movement. Remember all Critters must be cooked with at least one Monster Part. You add more Critters to increase the level of the status effect from 1-3 (depending on the grade of the Critter), and add more Monster Parts to add to the duration.
Here we add 4 Hot-Footed Frogs, and one Fire Keese Wing. As Hot-Footed Frogs are grade B items, we know cooking 4 of them will end up with a high-level, or level 3 Elixir, as indicated here by the 3 displayed icons. The Fire Keese Wing adds 110 seconds to the status effect while each frog adds 60 seconds resulting in a dish that boosts all links movement speed at the highest level 3 for 5 minutes and 50 seconds.
In this final example we will use Sunset Fireflies which are grade E critters under the Sneaky category which increases links stealthiness. As we know even if you combine 5 level D or E items you will still end up with a low-level, or level 1 effect. So if you only require level 1 effect, you will want to add just one level D or E critter for the effect, then the remaining ingredients should be chosen for the time extension required.
In the following this example i only need a low-level effect but i want it to last for as long as possible. The Sunset Firefly itself gives 120 seconds duration for each one added, but the Keese Eyeball Monster Part adds 190 seconds per eyeball, so if we add 4 eyeballs to the Sunset Firefly, we get a low-level, or level 1 stealth Elixir that lasts for 14 minutes and 40 seconds.
Before finishing this guide, a few important things to note in relation to cooking are:
Cooking a Fairy, Critical Success, cooking during a Blood Moon, and carrying capacity limits for dishes, i will quickly explain what all these are now.
Cooking a Fairy with your ingredients will greatly increase the number of hearts you get with your dish, just make sure you don’t cook a Fairy with Hearty foods or it will go to waste since all hearty foods will fully restore your health bar. Arguably Fairies are better just being held in your inventory since they automatically revive you if you fall in battle, which will be often.
Occasionally you’ll get an extra-special sound effect when cooking, and that means you had a Critical Success! The resulting Dish or Elixir will have one of five random bonuses when this happens as follows:
-Three extra hearts
-An extra yellow heart
-An extra two-fifths stamina
-Effect timer increased by five minutes
-Effect quality level increase (if lower than level 3)
You can guarantee a Critical Success if you cook during a Blood Moon, which is a rare event that sees the sky turn red for an in-game hour. This Blood Moon event also sees all the enemies you defeated in the open world re-spawn stronger, this only counts for enemies defeated since the last Blood Moon.
You can also guarantee a Critical Success if you use a Star Fragment, or Dragon Body Part in a recipe.
Finally it’s worth noting that you can hold up to 60 Dishes and/or Elixirs at any given time in your inventory. So make sure you have a good balance of basic Heart Dishes, Status Dishes, and Elixirs ready for all the trials and adventures that lie in wait.