How to cook the best recipes in Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Cooking is one of the most important and fundamental aspects of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Everywhere you go there are apple trees ripe for picking, mushrooms sprouting with various effects, lizards and bugs scurrying around the landscape, and creatures that drop various types of meat and parts once vanquished. All of these items – and many others – can be tossed into a cooking pot to make a wide variety of dishes and elixirs.

Instead of having you fill up empty bottles with red, blue, or green potions to refill your hearts, magic, or both, Breath of the Wild takes a very different approach. The whole “taking a different approach” thing is a bit of a theme with this entry in Nintendo’s long-running series. You’ll need to use food and elixirs to refill your hearts, grant stat boost effects like cold and heat resistance, refill your stamina, and even to grant yourself additional attack or defensive bonuses. It’s used for pretty much everything, meaning it’s vital you understand the system and how to get the most out of it.

In this article, we’ll run down some of the best recipes in the game, some of the best spots to get ingredients, and what you’ll need to know to stay alive in Breath of the Wild’s harsh version of Hyrule.

Different Types of Ingredients

Before you even get started, it’s important to know the different types of ingredients and how they interact together. For starters, you’ve got your core foods, which consist of mushrooms, fruit, plants, meat, and other similar sources. If it’s something that you’d imagine would be considered food in most parts of the real world, include it in this group. These items should be grouped together with similar effects and cooked with enhancements such as rock salt, nuts, milk, eggs, and others to craft excellent dishes.

You should also only cook items that have the same benefits together. For example, if you mixed stamina boosting mushrooms with health boosting fish, you could end up with a basic healing dish that doesn’t boost either stat. Focusing your dishes is important because you can’t actually create super foods that do a little bit of everything, regardless of the ingredients.

After that, you’ve got your critters like lizards, bugs, frogs, etc. These are primarily used in the making of elixirs when you mix them with monster parts such as horns, talons, nails, and other bits from slain beasts that you’ve collected.

Going back to the previous point, you can’t mix monster parts with core foods and you can’t cook them all together. If you do, you’ll end up with a “Dubious Meal,” which only heals a handful of hearts and wastes all other benefits your ingredients held.

Different Types of Effects

Categorizing and understanding the cooking system starts with the ingredients mentioned before, but the real meat (pardon the pun) of it all revolves around the intended effects of said foods.

The most basic effect is the food that refills your permanent (red) hearts. These are your healing items. Then you’ve got foods that can grant you temporary (yellow) hearts, which act just like regular hearts except once they’re gone, they’re gone for good, unless you get some new ones through additional food. Consider them like a buffer.

Furthermore, you can cook dishes and elixirs to make you take less damage, do more damage, run faster, be stealthier, increase your resistance to heat, cold, electricity, flame, and more. It’s a complex system that’s both a balancing act and a finely tuned science.

Here are the adjectives you’ll see on ingredients and what each of them does:

  • Chilly – Increases your heat resistance
  • Spicy – Increases your cold resistance
  • Electro – Increases your shock resistance
  • Hasty – Increases your movement speed
  • Fireproof – Prevents you from catching on fire
  • Energizing – Restores lost stamina
  • Enduring – Restores lost stamina and grants extra stamina
  • Hearty – Restores lost health and grants extra health
  • Mighty – Increases attack power
  • Sneaky – Increases Stealth
  • Tough – Increases defences

The Basics of Good Cooking

To get started, find a cooking pot. Then go into your inventory, press X, and select the ingredients (up to five) that you’d like to hold in your hand. Once you’ve picked them, press A over the pot to dump them in and start cooking.

As stated before, the key to cooking the best recipes in the game is combining similar ingredients to boost their effects. For example, if you have five truffles, throw them all into a pot to get a ton of temporary hearts. However, throwing a single Hearty Truffle and one piece of Raw Meat will grant four temporary hearts.

Some of the Best Recipes in Breath of the Wild

Here are some of our favorite recipes to make that are easy and abundant based on materials available:

Hearty Simmered Fruit

Ingredients: Five Durians

Effect: Restores full health and grants 20 temporary hearts

Glazed Meat

Ingredients: Raw Meat + Hearty Truffle + Courser Bee Honey

Effect: Restores 10 hearts.

Spicy Meaty Rice Balls

Ingredients: Raw Meat + One Spicy Pepper + Hylian Rice + Goat Butter + Fresh Milk

Effects: Restores 6 hearts and grants cold resistance for 6 mins, 40 secs.

Hearty Steamed Mushrooms

Ingredients: Hearty Radish + Hearty Truffle

Effect: Restores full health and grants four temporary hearts

These are just a handful of the recipes that seem to give the best bang for your buck, but the beauty of the cooking system is that it’s all about the effects and not so much following strict recipes. There are tons of ingredients that boost various stats, so mix them together with appropriate other foods and you should be good to go.

Other Cooking Tips

  • The Blood Moon will cause all resource nodes (like plants and fruits) to respawn.
  • Cooking during a Blood Moon will grant a random bonus to any dish.
  • There is no recipe book at all. This means you’ll have to just remember the basics and cook things primarily based off of their in-game descriptions.
  • All dishes that grant temporary hearts also refill all of your red hearts.
  • There is a three-page limit in your inventory for completed dishes, but there doesn’t seem to be a limit, as far as I can tell, for ingredients. This means you should always pick up every single mushroom, bug, fish, ore, or anything else that you come across.
  • You can drop some food (like apples and meat) directly onto an open flame to bake or cook it. It won’t be as good as using a cooking pot, but making a quick campfire is easy to do using a bundle of wood, flint, and any weapon.