An abridged list of the most beneficial and easy to prepare cooking recipes

Credits to franks-and-beans who originally posted this list on Reddit!

Over the past few weeks I had made a few comments in various posts about how useless I felt cooking recipes were in general. I decided to take a closer look at them to see which ones are the best. I do believe we’re swimming in too many lackluster recipes or recipes that do the same thing as 4 or 5 others do and this wall of recipes so to speak turns off many people. Hopefully the below compendium of the “best” recipes and the ones which are easiest to gather ingredients for will be of use to players. After buying a few recipes from the Whitespring vendor I think I now have most cooking recipes, but I’m sure I’m missing a few that are world drops only.

Food recipes of the same type generally do not stack with each other. The foods that give melee damage bonus will all stack with each other. I made 4 of the 5 types of melee damage foods and they all stacked to give a whopping +45% damage bonus. Other foods that give bonuses do not stack, however. I tried this with the XP bonus foods and health regen foods and in those cases the last item you eat overwrites the effects and timer for the previous you ate so be careful that you don’t overwrite something that lasts 60 mins with something that only lasts 30 mins. Recipes that do different things DO stack. Like bonus to XP and bonus to melee damage will work at the same time from two different recipes.

Food recipes DO stack with bobbleheads though. I tested this on the leader bobblehead and food that gives bonus xp and the effects stacks. Based on this I would think that if there are other bobbleheads that have the same effects as various recipes that those effects will also stack.

The below list does not contain any recipes that merely increase stats like strength or luck. As far as I’ve seen there is no food or drink that increases a stat more than 3 points. There are many variations on foods that increase stats so I didn’t care to try to track those.

Before I give the list I’d like to mention plain food and drink that merely satisfies food / hunger. I think we’ve all been creatures of convenience most of the time in that we might just cook what we have on hand regardless of what it does as long as it satisfies hunger and thirst. The simplest recipes to satisfy either requirement are those with only one ingredient. Due to the hassle of even gathering ingredients I prefer to simply rely on canned dog food and purified water rather than prepared foods/drinks. Both of those items satisfy more thirst and hunger than simple recipes will. Recipes that satisfy greatly more than purified water or canned dogfood ALWAYS require hard to find ingredients or ingredients that are found so far apart that you have to fast travel to get to them so I always just ignore anything that requires, for example, things like any radscorpion ingredient, melon flowers, scorchbeast body parts, etc etc etc.

All that said I do make exceptions for recipes that satisfy BOTH thirst and hunger and lean towards preferring those that satisfy more thirst than hunger since we get thirsty more often than hungry. So if I’m running low on canned dog food or purified water I stick with things like corn soup which satisfy 12% hunger and 18% thirst. Since we can grow corn at our camps this is really the only one I make although in the field I might make some brain fungus soup or soot flower herb paste or similar since those also give the 12/18 ratio and don’t require more than one ingredient.

Another problem with making the more esoteric recipes is that when you fast travel the items you pick like berries or flowers or meat that you scavenge will degrade more quickly. So if you do decide to make the oddball recipe make sure to make as few jumps as possible to get the ingredients. Cooked food ALWAYS degrades more slowly even with multiple fast travel jumps although I’ve had a couple of surprises to find a stack suddenly gone way too quickly, but this doesn’t happen often.

In general food weighs twice what water does, but we need it less so you can carry less dog food than water. Foods that weigh a pound or more (I have level 1 Thru-Hiker) I try my best to avoid.

The below list has the recipes for food and drink that:

  • increase melee damage
  • gives instant AP refills of various large amounts
  • gives a bonus to XP
  • increases damage resistance
  • regens health over time
  • food that boosts critical damage

I decided to leave off recipes that give small boosts to rad resistance and those that increase energy resistance. Food that gives rad resistance boosts are small effects compared to rad shield, rad-x and diluted rad-x. I didn’t test it, but I imagine the food bonus will stack with rad-x and its variants. Foods that increase energy resistance seem to be a rare situational thing imo so I don’t worry about them. Perhaps in future DLC content we’ll need it more.

For the list below I only mention the items you have to gather. I assume you already have salt, pepper, sugar and spices on hand. If not, you need to be picking that stuff up when ever you see it. All weights listed are for level 1 Thru-Hiker.


Recipes that increase melee damage

Glowing Meat Steak +10% melee damage, lasts 30 mins, weighs 1.05, requires 1 glowing meat

Mutant Hound Chops +10% melee damage, lasts 30 mins(?), weighs 0.7, requires 1 mutant hound meat

Yao Guai Ribs +10% melee damage, lasts 30 mins(?), weighs 1.05, requires 1 yao guai meat

Yao Guai Roast +15% melee damage, lasts 60 mins(?), weighs 0.7, requires 2 yao guai meat and 2 mutfruit

Mutant Hound Stew +15% melee damage, lasts 60 mins(?), weighs 0.7, requires 2 mutant hound meat and 2 starlight berries

My opinion is that even though it weighs more and doesn’t give as much of a bonus, the Glowing Meat Steak is the one to go with. In the higher level areas glowing meat is easy to find. Unless you want to take the time to try to gather enough yao guai meat to last several hours of play time I think Glowing Meat Steak is the easiest to gather. That said, there’s always one bear at the Philipi Graveyard in Ash Heap. He respawns fairly quickly, but I’d think you can server hop to get another one faster.


Recipes that give AP refills

I’ve very rarely wished my AP could refill instantly outside of scorchbeast fights, but if you do then these foods are for you.

Tarberry Juice refills 120 AP, weighs 0.35, requires 1 tarberry

Mud Cookie refills 180 AP, weighs 0.7, requires 1 Blackwater Brew, 1 Mirelurk egg, 2 razorgrain

Sweet Blackberry Tea refills 200 AP, weighs 0.35, requires 2 starlight berries and 2 blackberries

Blackberry Honey Crisp refills 300 AP, weighs 0.18, requires 2 razorgrain, 3 royal jelly, 3 blackberries

Sweet Roll refills 300 AP, weighs 0.18, requires 3 sugar bombs

Sunshine Oil refills 400 AP, weighs 0.7, requires 3 Blight, 1 Glowing Blood, 1 Sugar Bomb

None of the above are particularly easy to make at the drop of a hat unless you’re saving up any Sugar Bomb boxes that you find. Some vendors do sell them though. If you do want to run around to gather ingredients Sweet Blackberry Tea and Sunshine Oil might be the two easiest to make. If you’ve spent any time around Morganton then you know where the starlight berries are, not that they’re all over the place. Tarberries can be found in containers, some vendors and growing in the water around Watoga or other random bodies of still water. Mirelurk eggs are NOT that common. Good luck finding royal jelly. As far as I know it only drops on the big bee that can be found, among other random places, at the Seneca Rocks Visitor Center. It’s considered a junk item so be careful not to junk it! Blight isn’t that hard to find. Go to the Welch train station and then run behind the house that has the overseer’s stash. There should be 3 growing on logs right there. There’s also another 5 -7 up the road towards the Red Rocket. At the billboard sign to the right of the road continue up the hill to the right and there’s a bunch right up there.


Recipes that give Damage Resist

Cranberry Jam +10 resist, weighs 0.7, lasts 60 mins, requires 2 carrot flower and 2 diseased cranberry

Mirelurk Jerky +15 resist, weighs 0.7, lasts 60 mins, requires 2 Blight (see above for where to get them easy) and 2 Mirelurk Meat

Silt Bean Puree +15 resist, weighs 0.35, lasts 60 mins, requires 2 silt bean and 2 tato

I think it’s easy to see which of the above is the easiest to make AND gives the highest resist: Silt Bean Puree. Both ingredients are found in Flatwoods. Silt Bean is on the right side of the church and up near the trailer at the Red Rocket. There’s a bunch of tatos on the ground beside the always-dead brahmin. Since they last 1 hour you really only need a few of these, but if you do want a bunch for friends then just server hop once or twice to gather enough for oodles of them. On the off chance you want to Mirelurk Jerky mirelurks can be found easily around the big lake near the dam and steel plant in Ash Heap. I don’t have the perk to get extra meat, but once around that lake got me 14 meats. On another run I got fewer.


Foods that give a bonus to XP

It’s nice that we have so many things that will increase XP, you can eat food to boost it, use the Leader bobblehead and get the well rested bonus to get a nice boost to XP.

Cranberry Juice 2% XP bonus, lasts 30 mins, weighs 0.35, requires 1 diseased cranberry

Cranberry Cobbler 5% XP bonus, lasts 30 mins, weighs 0.35, requires 1 normal cranberry

Tasty Squirrel Stew 10% XP bonus, lasts 60 mins, weighs 0.7, requires 2 squirrel bits and 2 tatos

Cranberry Relish 10% XP bonus + 200AP refill, lasts 60 min, weighs 0.7, requires 2 cranberries and 2 gourds (recipe on vendor at Whitespring Resort)

EDIT: People keep missing the TLDR at the bottom where I mention Cranberry Relish so I guess I’ll move it up here:

Cranberry Relish is an oddity in that it gives bonuses to two things that I’m tracking here: XP bonus and AP refill. It gives an instant 200AP refill and also gives a 10% bonus to XP for one hour. Since it only requires 2 cranberries and 2 gourds I think this one is the easiest to prepare. Cranberries can be found easily in the northwest of Cranberry Bog and gourds can be grown at your camp. If you have trouble finding gourds to grow you can find some, among other places, in Raleigh’s bunker in The Mire.

Regarding the other XP bonus foods, unfortunately the Tasty Squirrel Stew, which lasts an hour, is not going to be something you can probably make in quantity of more than 1 or 2 unless you have the perk to find extra meat. Finding squirrels in the wild is rare although some have reported having a spot to easily find them. I’ve found 2 at once and I’ve found 3 at once, but never more. I’ve seen them in the Forest, Ash Heap in the forested areas and in the Savage Divide. They never seem to be in the same place twice (unlike chickens). Luckily the food vendor at Whitespring sells some. I’ve never seen more than 2 and sometimes only 1. Other vendors might also sell them and occasionally I’ll find them in containers. If you just want to avoid that altogether then the cranberries, both diseased and regular, are easy to find around Watoga. Regular cranberries are near Sundew Grove.


Foods that give a heal over time effect

Melon Juice ~ 1HP/2 secs, lasts 30 mins, weighs 0.35, requires 1 melon

Bloodbug Pepper Steak, presumably 2 HP/sec, lasts 60 min(?), weighs 0.35, requires 2 bloodbug meat and 2 bloodleaf

Swamp Tofu Soup, presumably 2 HP/sec, lasts 60 min(?), weighs 0.35, requires 2 gourds and 2 swamp plant

Sweet Tato Stew, 2 HP/sec, lasts 60 mins, weighs 0.7, requires 2 mutfruit and 2 tato

As with the XP bonus foods the best option is clear: Sweet Tato Stew. What can be better than the ability to grow the necessary ingredients in your own camp? The regen is crazy good at 2HP/sec (out of combat only I believe) and it lasts an hour! Melon juice would also be easy to make since you can grow those also. Bloodbug meat is too hard to find and good luck finding that damned swamp plant. Are there even 2 in the game world??? These recipes all say the regen is 0.08 in the case of the melon juice and 0.25 in the case of the others. I don’t know what the hell that means. I’ve listed the actual regen/time above.


Foods that give a bonus to crit damage

Firecracker Berry Juice +10% crit damage, lasts 30 mins, weighs 0.35, requires 1 firecracker berry

Steeped Thistle Tea +20% crit damage, lasts 60 mins(?), weighs 0.35, requires 2 thistles

Sweet Mutfruit Tea +20% crit damage, lasts 60 mins, weighs 0.35, requires 2 mutfruit and 2 starlight berries

Blight Soup +20% crit damage, lasts 60 mins(?), weighs 0.35, requires 1 blight

Among this group of recipes the easiest to me to get ingredients for appears to be either the Firecracker Berry Juice if you know the convenient locations of some of these berries (although the effect lasts only 30 mins). If you follow the directions I listed above for finding blight, though, you can gather enough blight to have enough juice to last you several hours (assuming the juice doesn’t degrade and disappear). For me it’s just too much of a hassle to gather up more than 4-6 starlight berries to the Sweet Mutfruit Tea recipe is out for me and even if you could find a number of thistles the recipe is bugged for me at the moment (can’t prepare it even if I have the ingredients) and presumably is bugged for every one. The only place to find thistle is in Ash Heap on the immediate west of the water park (like right outside the grounds of the park) and in Willard Corporate Housing which is right beside the park. I know the exact location of only 4 plants, but there may be others in the area. Regardless, it takes 2 of those to make the tea so using this drink would be sub-optimal.


In closing (the TLDR version) based on the effectiveness of each of these types of recipes and the ease to gather the ingredients (see above for things you might not know how to easily gather) the recommendations for each group would be the following recipes:

Glowing Meat Steak +10% melee damage, lasts 30 mins, weighs 1.05, requires 1 glowing meat

Sweet Blackberry Tea refills 200 AP, weighs 0.35, requires 2 starlight berries and 2 blackberries (or the Sunshine Oil)

Silt Bean Puree +15 resist, weighs 0.35, lasts 60 mins, requires 2 silt bean and 2 tato

Cranberry Relish 10% XP bonus + 200AP refill, lasts 60 min, weighs 0.7, requires 2 cranberries and 2 gourds (recipe on vendor at Whitespring Resort)

Sweet Tato Stew, 2 HP/sec, lasts 60 mins, weighs 0.7, requires 2 mutfruit and 2 tato

Blight Soup +20% crit damage, lasts 60 mins(?), weighs 0.35, requires 1 blight

January 3, 2019 at 1:12 pm


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well thank you very much ! this guide is very help full . going to delve in to this and start some farming . you helped a ton , thanks for all the leg work .

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