Cooking is a learning-based skill that allows you to cook food using a cooking tool. Without this skill, you will get the message "You don't know how to cook." when you try to use a cooking appliance. The higher level this skill is, the more often you will be able to cook tastier meals, such as steak, and the less often you will cook things that will turn your stomach upside down, like grotesque meat.
For technical details of the cooking skill, see this page.
There are several very good reasons to take up cooking.
- Most foods rot. Some rot at an extremely fast rate (raw meat rots in only 4 game hours). Cooked food can still rot but at a greatly slowed rate. Eating rotten food without special equipment can be very detrimental since most will lower your stats. As you can't use cargoes of traveler food in dungeons without portable shelter, and jerky can be a hassle to make, cooking is a relatively easy and cheap method to keep yourself from starving to death inside dungeons. Combine with a decent level of Anatomy or Gardening and a Farm for a near-guaranteed supply of food.
- Weight. All dishes cooked by you (and this is important to note as cooked dishes bought from NPCs may differ) weigh 0.5s. This might not be a big deal when things like strawberries weigh 0.7s but when you pick up that meat of a green dragon and find out it weighs over 20s, turning it into 0.5s and still keeping the nutrition value makes a big difference. Jerky retains the weight of the item used to make it (despite ostensibly being created by removing water) so a 37.9s corpse will produce a 37.9s jerky, but a 0.5s roast meat will make a 0.5s jerky. However, certain things weigh less uncooked, such as api nuts and healthy leaves. It is more efficient to carry non-perishable light items like those in raw form and cook them as needed. Also, there are some situations (such as offering tribute to your God) where you do want to lug around a heavy corpse. The Cooler Box or a spell of 4-Dimensional Pocket can help in that situation.
- Quests. All too often, you'll probably see a quest that asks for a certain dish and unless you get lucky at goods/food vendors/bakers, the only way to obtain the item for the quest is by cooking.
- Improved benefits. Eating a grand parfait trains your stats by about 5 times as much as eating a grape. Also, the parfait will fill you up much more than the grape.
- Profit. High-level cooking results sell for a great deal more than the base material. As an example, a corpse that sells for 105 gold to a vendor can instead be cooked into a steak and sold for 850 gold. This may be the best way to deal with creatures you wouldn't normally risk eating (wisps, undead, etc.), and could eventually become necessary as your skills improve and you earn or find so much food that you can't possibly eat it all before it rots. Well-cooked items also sell quite briskly in your shop.
- More food! Once you get past 100 cooking, either through buffs or raw skill, you'll start cooking two meals per ingredient. 200 cooking gives you three.
Apart from the multiplier to attribute training, eating cooked food has the same possible effects as eating the respective uncooked food. That is, eating a cooked dish of kobolt meat will poison you just as if you were eating a raw kobolt meat. Check the list of known food effects at the food page for more detail.
How to cook
Cooking in Elona is one of the easiest and safest things to do, as opposed to real life cooking. Simply use a cooking tool withand then select the raw material you want to cook.
Most cooking tools, excluding the campfire and portable cooking tool, are furniture, and can sometimes be bought from general vendors. Note that the microwave oven in this game is NOT a cooking tool. The quality of the food you produce is affected by the base value of the cooking tool you use before any quality or material modifier -- more expensive tools will allow you to cook higher quality meals more regularly. Value multipliers for material (gold, silk, adamantium) and quality adjective (maniac, madam's favorite, etc.) have no effect on cooking; ergo, a stupid spirit clothwork barbecue set is generally considered a better portable cooking device than a heavenly diamondwork barbecue set by virtue of its lower weight.
Characters that lack the Cooking skill can still occasionally produce cooked food by setting the raw material on the ground and applying a source of fire damage, and being hit with a fire attack has a chance of cooking any raw food in your inventory, even when protected by a fireproof blanket. This has a high chance of producing a cooked item worth less than the raw material, and items on the ground may be destroyed outright.
The only way to gain any Cooking experience is by cooking food. However, you will not get experience for cooking anything that's in the lowest two levels of quality. That is to say, cooking grotesque or charred meat, kitchen refuse or smelly vegetables, etc., will not net you any Cooking experience. You'll need to cook things of third quality level and better in order to gain cooking experience. Refer to the food training reference table for an ordered list of the quality levels for various food types.
Because base tool value affects the result, and because higher-quality results increase the amount of experience per dish, it is recommended to carry and cook with the best tools available, weight permitting. In the case that you cannot find, afford, or carry one of the better cooking devices, most towns (except for Yowyn) will have a food processor and/or food maker near the baker or innkeeper. Yowyn has a campfire and pot available, though these are the worst possible cooking implements to use; use them only if you lack even a basic portable cooking tool.
An efficient way to level Cooking is to pair it with other skills, namely fishing and gardening. You can fish in the pond right below the fisher's house in Vernis and run over to the bakery/inn to cook what you've just caught. Lumiest and Palmia are also other good places to fish and cook, and water tiles can be added to any home of Cyber House quality or better. As for gardening, by worshiping Kumiromi, you can get seeds from food as it rots. Simply let the food rot and extract seeds for planting, then cook the rotten food that did not give you any seeds. Note that Kumiromi's bonus has been changed in Elona+ and you will no longer generate seeds from rotten food, but earn them by doing The Harvest Time quests instead. If your strength is 85 or higher, you can steal fruit trees and drop them in your buildings for a steady supply of fruits to cook or rot.
Cooking rotten food
Rotten food can be cooked, but if eaten without the equipment attribute allowing you to digest rotten food, there is a high probability that it will cause detrimental effects (it seems like cooked rotten food always has a high chance of decreasing charisma in addition to the penalties that eating the same rotten food uncooked would give). Cooked rotten food (or rotted cooked food) can be handed over to NPCs to complete a quest, but the AI forces the NPC to immediately begin eating any food they receive if they're not satisfied or bloated, which will cause them to die and net you a -5 karma penalty. Note that NPCs will cease eating when attacked (including by ashes) or teleported (or moved, though you can't move a talkative NPC), but try again on their next turn. If you are able to exit the map before the NPC has finished eating, you can safely re-enter afterwards; there will be no death or karma loss and the NPC will only "look glum", as if they were a pet eating rotten food.
Types of cookable food
Consult the food page for additional effects (where applicable) and specifics.
Meat will probably be the food you will see the most of if you tend to do lots of fighting and dungeon crawling. All monsters can drop a corpse (even ones you would assume to have no corporeal form), and the chance for them to do so goes up as your Anatomy skill increases. Monsters bred and killed in ranches have a much higher chance of dropping a corpse, and may even drop multiple corpses. Certain kinds of meat can give permanent benefits beyond basic attribute training that other food types cannot. It's also possible to buy meat or obtain it as a salary/strongbox item, but it will be a generic 'corpse' that weighs 2.0s; when cooked, the monster name will be 'beast'. Basic meat foods train the CON stat the most, followed by STR and a very small amount of CHA; additional effects can be gleaned from eating certain monsters.
The value of meat items (in stat training and price) from lowest to highest:
|-||Corpse (raw meat)|
|4||Deep fried meat|
|5||Skewer grilled meat|
Note: If you have the "You have no trouble eating human flesh" mutation (which is more like "crave human flesh"), any human meat will always be delicious and more filling than normal, even if it's grotesque or charred.
Vegetables consist of most items grown from vegetable seeds as well as some things picked up on wilderness maps (edible wild plants and healthy leaves). It's also sometimes possible to buy vegetables from food or goods vendors and receive them as quest rewards and salary/strongbox items. They also drop occasionally as monster loot or when breaking pots in harvest quests. Vegetables train LER and WIL equally.
The value of vegetable items from lowest to highest:
|1||Kitchen refuse vegetable|
|8||Meat and vegetable stew|
Fruits can be obtained from growing fruit seeds, fruit trees in wilderness maps and some cities, as monster loot, in pots, as quest rewards or salary/strongbox items, and are purchasable from food/goods vendors. In order to get fruit from fruit trees in wilderness and cities, simply stand next to or on a fruit tree and ()ash in the direction of the tree. If you are standing on the same square of the tree, hit ' ' (yourself). Fruit items train the MAG stat the most, but also train the PER and CHA stats to a slightly lesser extent.
Fruit items, from least to most worth:
|3||Fruit jelly salad|
|6||Fruit ice cream|
|8||Fruit fruit cake|
|9||Fruit grand parfait|
Fish can be obtained from fishing, farming (they can be harvested from strange trees grown from unknown seeds), as monster loot, pot item, quest rewards, salary/strongbox items, and are purchasable from food/goods vendors. Note: Dead fish items found in wilderness maps cannot be cooked. Eating fish trains DEX and LER an equal amount, and PER slightly less.
Fish items, from least to most worth:
Unlike meat, vegetables, fruits, and fish, there's only one material that can be used to make noodle dishes, and that is the Raw Noodle. Raw Noodle can be purchased from bakers/food/goods vendors, or received as a salary/strongbox item, monster loot, pot item, quest reward, and harvested from unknown seeds. Eating noodles trains CON by a large amount and DEX somewhat less.
Noodle dishes, from least to most worth:
|-||Raw noodle (uncooked)|
Similar to noodle dishes, bread can only be made from Bag of Flour items. Flour can be obtained from the exact same sources as Raw Noodles. Bread items in Elona do not rot. Eating bread trains STR, CON, DEX, and LER by an equal amount.
Breads, from least to most valuable:
|-||Bag of Flour (uncooked)|
|9||Melon flavored bread|
The only ingredient in Elona that can be made into candy is the api nut (later versions of Elona+ add chestnuts and acorns). Nuts can be found in wilderness maps, as quest rewards, salary/strongbox items, and inside pots. Acorns can be found by mining forest tiles(tree-like ones in Forest dungeons). Like bread, they do not rot. Like other foods except for bread and noodles, the word 'candy' is replaced with the type of nut in the final product; however quests will still refer to the item as 'candy'. Eating candy trains MAG the most, but trains DEX and LER to a lesser extent.
Candy dishes, from least to most valuable:
|-||(uncooked nut)||, ,|
|7||Candy cream puff|
Apparently, everything in this game is asexual and can lay eggs. If left alone long enough, bred monsters on a ranch will lay eggs. Anything that drinks, steps in, or is hit with a love potion might release an egg. Likewise, anything that consumes food that has been mixed with a love potion will also have a chance of producing a egg. You can also get generic eggs in the same ways as most other foods. Eggs train PER, WIL, and CHA equally, but eaten monster eggs may produce a similar effect to eating the meat of the respective monster, albeit with a smaller chance.
Egg dishes, in ascending order of quality:
|4||Animal egg toast|
|5||Soft boiled egg|
|6||Soup with animal egg|
|7||Mature animal cheeze[sic]|
|8||Animal cheeze cake[sic]|
A list of cooking tools, from best to worst. A higher quality tool will be more likely to produce high quality dishes. Note that pets will only carry the portable cooking tool, since it doesn't count as furniture.
Cooking tools of higher quality are usually sold by furniture vendors at Cyber Dome, The Embassy, and barbecue sets can also be found at Party Time! quests. If you haven't got one yet, almost every town has a decent cooking tool that can be found at inns or food shops, and they can be used for free.
|Portable Cooking Tool||1.2s||80|
Once you have over 100 cooking (including skill bonus from items/gods), each ingredient you cook produces an additional cooked item without using extra ingredients. Having 200 Cooking produces three cooked items from one ingredient. Moreover, the cooking tool you use will determine the highest-ranked dish you are able to create.
|Barbecue Set||Rank 9|
|Food Maker||Rank 8|
|Food Processor||Rank 8|
|Kitchen Oven||Rank 6|
|Portable Cooking Tool||Rank 5|
Cooking by pets in Elona+
In Elona+, if you wake from sleep in the morning (between 4AM~9AM) and you have any high relationship pets in your party with the cooking skill, one of them will cook you breakfast. Other pets can contribute half their related skill to the primary pet. This will fill up everyone in the party to "bloated", and increase the potential of everyone in the party. The potential increase scales with the cooking skill of the cook, so you should use Gene Engineering to add that skill to any pets that are going to be in your party. A pet cooking doesn't use any tools, and creates the breakfast from out of nothing.
#cookingmay increase Cooking by 1 level and train its potential, but may raise Lock Picking instead.
barbewill create a barbecue set.
campfwill create a campfire.
food mawill create a food maker.
food prwill create a food processor.
kitchwill create a kitchen or kitchen oven.
kitchenwill create a kitchen.
kitchen owill create a kitchen oven.
ovenwill create a oven.
portablwill create a portable cooking tool.
potwill create a pot.
In mobile, Cooking is a Magic stat based skill.
|Strength||Tactics · Two Hand · Weight Lifting · Long Sword · Axe · Martial Arts · Scythe|
|Constitution||Healing · Mining · Shield · Heavy Armor · Medium Armor · Carpentry · Blunt · Polearm · Stave|
|Dexterity||Lock Picking · Dual Wield · Light Armor · Evasion · Tailoring · Pickpocket · Jeweler · Disarm Trap · Short Sword · Bow · Crossbow · Throwing|
|Perception||Stealth · Sense Quality · Detection · Fishing · Eye of Mind · Greater Evasion · Marksman · Firearm · Analysis (Elona+)|
|Learning||Literacy · Memorization · Alchemy · Anatomy · Gardening · Cooking · Gene Engineer|
|Will||Magic Capacity · Faith · Traveling · Riding · Eye of Mind (Elona+)|
|Magic||Meditation · Casting · Magic Device · Control Magic|
|Charisma||Negotiation · Investing · Performer|
|Speed||Swimming · Traveling (Elona+)|