Cooking is the process of turning raw food -- such as meat collected by hunting wild animals or produce grown via horticulture -- into prepared food using a variety of methods, and is one of the main sources of energy for people surviving in the wilderness.
Players are able to utilize a variety of cooking methods, all of which are accomplished with one of three tools:
Choice of cooking method will depend upon available resources, tools at the player's disposal, and their end goal for using the cooked food.
The process of converting raw food into other states has several purposes behind it, but the primary drive to do so is making the food more useful to players. For meat, that means killing potential diseases to make it safe for consumption; for produce, preventing it from rotting and becoming unsafe to eat after sitting too long.
Food typically has varying nutritional value between its different states, meaning that certain ways of preparing it will have advantages over others in regards to energy, water, volume, or all of the above.
Overcooking food, regardless of what is being cooked and the method used, will result in the food becoming burned. Burned food is essentially a waste, because it cannot be eaten without making the person sick.
What to Cook
Players are able to cook most fruits, vegetables, and meat. Fruits and vegetables can be cooked whole with the exception of the Pumpkin, which must first be cut into slices. Animals are not able to be cooked whole either, meaning players must first skin the animal to obtain meat which can be cooked.
A complete list of cook-able items can be found below.
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Boar Steak
- Carp Fillet
- Chicken Steak
- Cow Steak
- Venison Steak
- Goat Steak
- Human Steak
- Mackerel Fillet
- Pig Steak
- Rabbit Leg
- Mouflon Steak
- Wolf Steak
- Fat (Human and Animal)
How to Cook
Method 1: Sharpened Stick
- This is the simplest but slowest method of Cooking in DayZ and results in the food items becoming Baked. This is the only possible state that can be achieved with this method.
- This method leaves the player vulnerable whilst cooking because you have to sit and stay still whilst the item cooks as you hold it.
- House Fireplaces have 1-3 cooking slots attached so the Stick method may be unnecessary unless you want to cook more items than the Fireplace allows.
Note: House fireplaces with 1 cooking slot do NOT allow this cooking method as at Patch 1.08.
- Obtain a Long Wooden Stick by using a Knife to cut one from a bush or interacting with a bush with empty hands (using empty hands can cause bleeding if unlucky and damages gloves).
- Combine a long wooden stick with a Knife to sharpen it.
- Put the Sharpened Stick in your empty hands and attach the food to be cooked in order to prepare it for cooking. Only one item at a time can be cooked this way.
- A Fire of some sort is necessary to then cook the food. Either build your own or use one of the natural Fireplaces found inside of certain houses.
- Place stick in hand with food item attached, stand close to the fire and then select the option 'Roast' to do the action described. Your character will sit and hold the stick in place while the action is being performed.
- Click and hold until the Cooking circle fills one revolution (approximately 1m30sec) and the item changes state visibly. Do not hold click on the circle for too long past the first revolution or you risk Burning your food.
- Remove the Food item from the stick and enjoy consuming or cook another piece.
Method 2: Cooking Pot
- When cooking with Water in the Pot, it purifies the water within which can then be drunk straight from the Pot or poured into Plastic Bottle, Canteens or a Leather Bottle without Cholera risks.
- To empty a Pot of Water for a cooking method, put the Pot in your hands, look at your feet and choose the 'Empty Pot' option.
- Food items and Pots retain heat when cooked and if stored in clothing or inventory on the Upper/Lower body can be used to keep a player warm. Be wary of overheating!
- While it does have to be found as loot rather than being gathered practically anywhere as a resource like the Long Wooden Stick: the Cooking Pot is arguably far more versatile, making it worth your time (and Inventory space as it can store items within itself) to carry one around if you plan to cook regularly. It can be used in conjunction with a Portable Gas Stove, any kind of advanced Fireplace found in houses, player-created Stone Ovens, or alongside a Cooking Tripod.
There are three (3) possible cooking methods when using this piece of equipment:
- Boiling -- Before cooking, fill the pot with Water.
- Baking -- Starting with an empty pot: and, optionally add Fat as an attachment to avoid nutritional value loss. Do not add water.
- Drying -- Cook in a pot that is otherwise empty (No Water, no Fat) whilst keeping items to be cooked under 100 degrees or else your items will become Baked.
- To cook with the pot,: choose a desired Cooking method and prepare the pot accordingly. Up to 12 slots worth of food items at a time can be added to the pot.
- After you have completed preparations: add the Pot full of food to the fireplace and wait for it to heat up.
- After a short time (approximately 1min 30 secs), the food will be cooked. The changes in Food Cooking states are visible once the player is watching the Pot in the fireplace menu and the food items can be hovered over to see their state. An audible sound change will also tell when something is ready by a consistent rolling, bubbling sound.
- Remove the Pot from the fire and any food item within to consume.
Method 3: Frying Pan
This utensil cannot hold water so it limits your cooking methods to Baking and Drying and can be used in conjunction with a Portable Gas Stove - thus giving a very quick and portable cookfire system; albeit with fewer options.
There are two (2) possible cooking methods when using this piece of equipment:
- Baking -- Starting with an empty pan: Optionally add Fat as an attachment to avoid nutritional value loss then put your food in the pan.
- Drying -- Cook in a pan that is otherwise empty whilst keeping items to be cooked under 100 degrees or else your items will become Baked.
- To cook with the pan,: choose a desired Cooking method and prepare the pot accordingly. Up to 12 slots worth of food items at a time can be added to the pan.
- After you have completed preparations: add the Pan full of food to the fireplace and wait for it to heat up.
- After a short time (approximately 1min 30 secs), the food will be cooked. The changes in Food Cooking states are visible once the player is watching the Pan in the fireplace menu and the food items can be hovered over to see their state. An audible sound change will also tell when something is ready by a consistent hissing and frying sound.
- Remove the Pan from the fire and any food item within to consume.
Cooking Time Tables
|Nothing||w/ Water||w/ Fat|
|30 Seconds||75 Seconds||60 Seconds|
Time it takes to cook food when you are using cookware over a Fireplace with said things in it to cook food.
|Nothing||w/ Water||w/ Fat|
|120 Seconds||300 Seconds||240 Seconds|
Cooking without Fat or Water
With the addition 1.17 Cooking an Item without Fat or Water will Bake the item instead of becoming Burnt however you lose some of the nutritional value of the food in question. Losing 20% for Fruits and Vegetables and 10% for Meats. Leaving the food for 15 seconds more in a pot or pan after then will then render the food Burnt.
Also with the 1.17 update came the addition of durability to the Cooking Pot, the Frying Pan, the Cauldron and the 2 stands the Campfire Tripod, and the Cooking Stand. All use durability at a rate of 0.125 per second when over any kind of fire whether it be a fireplace or gas stove.
So the longer something is over a fire the more durability on the cookware your using is used up. There is also currently no real way to repair any kind of cookware so the only solution to cookware that gets ruined is to seek out a replacement. And since the amount of durability used is a static 0.125 per second when its over a fireplace or gas stove. That also means that a gas stove taking 4x the time to cook items over it while on also means it uses 4x the amount of durability on your cookware, so to reduce wear and tear on the cookware its ideal to cook over a fireplace instead of a gas stove.
In the concurrent 1.18 Experimental build all durability use is halved to 0.0625 per second this means all Cookware will last twice as long.