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Zelda: Breath of the Wild cooking explained - ingredients list, bonus effects, and how to cook with the cooking pot

Everything you need to know about cooking the best meals in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a brilliant game for a lot of reasons, but one particularly great part of it is kind of surprising: cooking.

Cooking in Breath of the Wild is, at its core, all about experimenting. The system is designed in such a way that you're encouraged to take a trial-and-error attitude to whipping up meals, learning from the outcomes of your unusual concoctions and experimenting again. But that doesn't mean there isn't a clear way to get the most out of it.

Meals you cook from ingredients gathered in Breath of the Wild can have a variety of positive effects, from recovering lost Hearts to boosting your attack, defense, sneakiness or even resistances to heat and cold, but in order to get those beneficial meals yourself, you'll need to know which ingredients do what.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch vs Wii U Comparison + Frame Rate Test

Here in this guide, we'll start with the basics of how to cook in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, including how to use to cooking pot, as well as getting into the deeper mechanics of cooking, like explaining meal Bonus Effects - which are Hearty, Energizing, Enduring, Fireproof, Chilly, Spicy, Electro, Hasty, Sneaky, Mighty, and Tough meals, in case you were wondering - plus showing the cooking formula for finding out how much meals will heal you, and providing a full list of ingredients in Breath of the Wild and their corresponding benefits, all so you know the best possible combinations of ingredients to gather and whip up at the campfire's cooking pot.

How to cook in Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and how to use the cooking pot at a campfire

Whilst Breath of the Wild's philosophy on player discovery is generally executed with an unrivalled deftness, there are one or two occasions where the most simple things can be a little cumbersome to figure out.

How to cook is one of them. The game, despite going as far as telling you specific button presses for things like attacking or blocking, never actually tells you how to get the ingredients from your inventory to the cooking pot. Do you just drop them in there? Should a prompt come up when you try to interact with a campfire or cooking pot?

Well, like all things that take an annoying amount of time to figure out, it's actually pretty simple.

How to cook in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:

  1. Locate a cooking pot, which looks like a black frame-like object on top of a campfire. The first one you find is by the Old Man's house on the Great Plateau, where you get the quest for the Warm Doublet.
  2. Go into your inventory and select the first ingredient you'd like to cook.
  3. Then select "Hold", and then select the other ingredients you'd like to add.
  4. Now walk up to the cooking pot and interact with it, where you'll get a prompt to cook.

That's it! Dead simple, as we said, but oddly obscure to figure out without a proper tutorial. For a little more flavour on cooking you can talk to the Old Man on the Great Plateau, who'll appear both by his house and, after you've picked up the quest there, back up at the first campfire you'll discover, to the right after exiting the place where you wake up at the start of the game.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild cooking explained - list of bonus effects and how they work

Alright, so we know how to cook something, but how does cooking itself actually work? What's the difference, for example, between a Hearty Meat Curry and a Hasty one? And how do you get one over the other?

Well, the first thing you need to do to understand cooking in Breath of the Wild is forget about recipes. That's right, bin the cookbook and open your mind to the idea of improvisation and experimentation, because the important thing for cooking a meal that works for you - say, by protecting you from extreme heat, or fully healling all of your Hearts - is not understanding meals, but understanding ingredients.

There are essentially three kinds of cooking ingredient - excluding Elixirs, which are a separate, albeit similar thing - in Breath of the Wild: ingredients that restore Hearts when cooked in a meal, ingredients that add a Bonus Effect to meals, and ingredients that boost the length of time a meal's bonus effects will last for.

Many of these overlap. For example, Hylian Shrooms will restore Hearts, but Stamella Shrooms will restore the same amount of Hearts, whilst also adding the Enduring effect to the meal, and Silent Princess flowers will restore lots of Hearts, add the Sneaky effect, and boost the length of time the meal's effect will last.

Next up, the effect that cooking has on an ingredient, as opposed to eating it raw.

Generally speaking, cooking an ingredient in a meal will double the Heart restoration of the ingredient - so two apples cooked together to make Simmered Fruit will restore a total of two Hearts, with a raw Apple normally restoring half a heart each. A quick note here: you can also roast single ingredients on a campfire, without a cooking pot. This will multiply the restorative effect by 1.5, instead of two. So your two individually Roasted Apples will restore 3/4 of a Heart each instead of half, or 1.5 in total instead of 3. There's also a formula, for making clear how many Hearts a meal will restore:

Cooking formula for number of Hearts restored:

  • Hearts Restored by a meal = Total Hearts Restored from each ingredient when raw x 2

So, for example, a raw Apple restores half a heart. Two raw Apples, then, would restore one Heart, and so cooked in a meal that's (0.5 + 0.5) x 2 = 2 Hearts restored by a cooked meal made up of just two Apples. Note that each meal can have a maximum of five ingredients.

Alongside the additional Heart restoration - a benefit anyway - is the ability to add a Bonus Effect to a meal. The first example of this you find in-game is the Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry, from one of your first side quests. Whilst a standard Meat and Seafood Fry, being made up of Heart-restoring meat and seafood only, would just restore some Hearts, a Spicy one has the added effect provided by the Spicy prefix: resistance to cold.

How do you get these added Bonus Effects? By throwing in ingredients from the right category, such as the Spicy Pepper in the Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry. What happens if you'd thrown in, say, some Fleet-Lotus Seeds instead? Well, that would be a Hasty Meat and Seafood Fry. Often the base name of the meal will change, but this is purely cosmetic. The prefix tells you the Bonus Effect, the base meal name is just a pretty way of telling you it's a meal that restores Hearts. So with that in mind, what are the Bonus Effects?

Bonus Effects list for meal ingredients in Zelda: Breath of the Wild:

Meal Type PrefixAdded Bonus Effect
HeartyRecover all Hearts
Temporary extra Hearts
EnergizingRestore Stamina
EnduringTemporary extra Stamina
FireproofResist Fire
ChillyResist Heat
SpicyResist Cold
ElectroResist Shock
HastyIncrease Movement Speed
SneakyIncrease Stealthiness
MightyIncrease Attack
ToughIncrease Defense

Finally, before we get into our list of ingredients by category, a quick note: if you add two different ingredients with bonus effects, like, say, a Chillfin Trout and a Sizzlefin Trout, these two effects will cancel out, making it just normal, Heart-restoring fish-based meal. There can only be one Bonus Effect per meal at any time.

The effects can stack, however, within the same category. So a Spicy Meat and Seafood Fry made with one piece of Raw Meat, one piece of Hyrule Bass, and three Spicy Peppers will provide a higher level of cold resistance than one made with just one Pepper.

To boost the length of time the effect lasts for, meanwhile, you need to add ingredients that increase effect lengths, such as the aforementioned Silent Princess. Like the effects themselves, these stack when multiple are added, but some don't stack addatively - they increase by a flat amount for each additional ingredient instead. Not the simplest, but hopefully that's all clear!

Zelda: Breath of the Wild ingredients list and effects - Hearty, Energizing, Enduring, Fireproof, Chilly, Spicy, Electro, Hasty, Sneaky, Mighty, and Tough ingredients

So, with all of that hopefully made clear, it's time to get listing ingredients. We've broken these up below into separate tables, according to their bonus effects, and ranked them by the amount of Hearts they restore. Remember, though, that Hearty meals will automatically restore all of your Hearts anyway.

Mix and match at least one ingredient from a list below, with at least one that just restores Hearts, to create meals that suit whatever purpose you need!

List of Heart-restoring only ingredients

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Raw Gourmet Meat3
Raw Whole Bird3
Raw Prime Meat1.5
Raw Bird Thigh1.5
Palm Fruit1
Hyrule Herb1
Raw Meat1
Raw Bird Drumstick1
Hylian Rice1
Bird Egg1
Tabantha Wheat1
Hyrule Bass1
Sanke Carp1
Fresh Milk0.5
Hylian Shroom0.5
Chickaloo Tree Nut0.25

List of Hearty ingredients - restores all Hearts and temporarily boosts total Hearts

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Big Hearty Raddish4
Hearty Salmon4
Hearty Durian3
Big Hearty Truffle3
Hearty Blueshell Snail3
Hearty Raddish2.5
Hearty Truffle2
Hearty Bass2
Hearty Lizard0

List of Energizing ingredients - restores Stamina

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Raw Gourmet Meat3
Raw Whole Bird3
Raw Prime Meat1.5
Raw Bird Thigh1.5
Palm Fruit1
Hyrule Herb1
Raw Meat1
Raw Bird Drumstick1
Hylian Rice1
Bird Egg1
Tabantha Wheat1
Hyrule Bass1
Sanke Carp1
Fresh Milk0.5
Hylian Shroom0.5
Chickaloo Tree Nut0.25

List of Enduring ingredients - temporarily boosts Stamina

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Tireless Frog4*
Endura Carrot2
Endura Shroom1

List of Fireproof ingredients - resists Fire

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Smotherwing Butterfly0
Fireproof Lizard0

List of Chilly ingredients - resists Heat

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Chillfin Trout1
Cool Safflina0
Winterwing Butterfly0
Cold Darner0

List of Spicy ingredients - resists Cold

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Sizzlefin Trout1
Spicy Pepper0.5
Summerwing Butterfly0
Warm Darner0

List of Electro ingredients - resists Shock

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Voltfin Trout1
Electric Safflina0
Thunderwing Butterfly0
Electric Darner0

List of Hasty ingredients - temporarily boosts movement speed

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Fleet-Lotus Seeds0.5
Swift Carrot0.5
Hot-Footed Frog0
Hightail Lizard0

List of Sneaky ingredients - temporarily boosts stealthiness

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Silent Princess2*
Stealthfin Trout1
Sneaky River Snail1
Silent Shroom0.5
Swift Violet0
Blue Nightshade0
Sunset Firefly0

List of Mighty ingredients - temporarily boosts attack

IngredientBase Hearts Recovered
Mighty Carp1
Mighty Porgy1
Razorclaw Crab1
Mighty Bananas0.5
Bladed Rhino Beetle0
Mighty Thistle0

Thanks to a new update, it's now possible to play Zelda Breath of the Wild in VR. Want help with the main game? Our Zelda: Breath of the Wild walkthrough can help complete Divine Beasts Vah Ruta, Vah Rudiana, Vah Medoh and Vah Naboris and more. There's also how to get the Master Sword, Hylian Shield and all Zelda Captured Memories and Great Fairy Fountain locations, while our Shrines locations and Shrine maps hub explains where to find and solve every puzzle room, including dragon locations and Labyrinth solutions. We also have a DLC 1 guide and DLC 2 guide, including all Tingle, Majora's Mask, Phantom, Midna outfit locations.

List of Tough ingredients - temporarily boosts defense

IngredientBase HP Recovery
Armored Carp1
Armored Porgy1
Ironshell Crab1
Fortified Pumpkin0.5
Rugged Rhino Beetle0

* These ingredients restore no Hearts when raw, so you don't need to mutliply this figure by two when cooking them to find out the amount of Hearts the meal will restore. Luckily there are only two of these exceptions to worry about!

That should hopefully be all you need for cooking whatever your heart desires in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If you've any questions, ask away in the comments and we'll do our best to help, and don't forget to check out our main Breath of the Wild guide and walkthrough, and our walkthrough of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Shrines and Trials for more tips and explainers, too!

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Chris Tapsell

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Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Deputy Editor and most decorated Football Manager. He used to write guides, and will send you links to his favourite spreadsheets if you ask him about League of Legends or competitive Pokémon.