Cooking

Cooking is a survival skill that is used to cook raw food. Cooking offers several benefits, including increasing the condition of raw food and reducing the risk of food poisoning. There are many different types of food in The Long Dark, each providing a certain number of calories. Cooking also has a larger variety of training options compared to any other skill, due to the number of foods types that can be cooked.

How to cook[edit | edit source]

Cooking menu.png

Cooking is known as one of the easiest skills to train in The Long Dark, as players can increase their skill by cooking any food or drink item. Players also encounter a variety of food items that can be cooked throughout a playthrough, providing many opportunities to gain cooking experience.

Players can cook their food items on any fire. There is no difference between food cooked over a campfire or food cooked over a contained fire.

To actually cook something, players must select the food item or cooking tool (e.g., a recycled can) from the radial menu or inventory and place it on or next to the fire in a designated cooking space. When using a cooking tool, the player can "use" the placed can or pot to select which food or drink to cook.

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Players need a fire before they can start cooking, and certain pieces of equipment can be used to assist with cooking.

Image Equipment Benefit
Fire icon.png Fire
  • Used to cook any food or drink
Recycled can icon.png Recycled can
  • Can melt and boil up to 0.5 liters of water at a time
Cooking pot icon.png Cooking pot
  • Cooking times reduced by 20%
  • Used to cook any food or drink
  • Can melt and boil up to 2.0 liters of water at a time
  • Food takes 20% longer to burn

Types of food[edit | edit source]

Meat[edit | edit source]

Players can obtain raw meat from harvesting rabbits, wolves, deer, bears, and moose.

Image Name Cooking times[1 1] Notes
Cooked rabbit meat icon.png Rabbit meat 38 minutes Obtained by cooking raw rabbit meat harvested from a rabbit carcass
Cooked venison icon.png Venison 57 minutes Obtained by cooking raw venison harvested from a deer carcass
Cooked wolf meat icon.png Wolf meat 69 minutes Obtained by cooking raw wolf meat harvested from a wolf carcass
Cooked black bear meat icon.png Black bear meat 82 minutes Obtained by cooking raw black bear meat harvested from a black bear carcass
Cooked moose meat icon.png Moose meat 82 minutes Obtained by cooking raw moose meat harvested from a moose carcass
  1. Cooking times are per kilogram of meat cooked directly on a fire. Cooking times scale accordingly with the weight cooked (i.e. 0.5 kilograms cooks in half the time that 1.0 kilograms)

Fish[edit | edit source]

Players can obtain raw fish from fishing smallmouth bass, coho salmon, lake whitefish, and rainbow trout.

Image Name Cooking time [2 1] Notes
Cooked lake whitefish icon.png Lake whitefish 21 minutes Obtained by cooking raw lake whitefish fished from a freshwater location.
Cooked rainbow trout icon.png Rainbow trout 19 minutes Obtained by cooking raw rainbow trout fished from a saltwater location.
Cooked coho salmon icon.png Coho salmon 12 minutes Obtained by cooking raw coho salmon fished from a saltwater location.
Cooked smallmouth bass icon.png Smallmouth bass 15 minutes Obtained by cooking raw smallmouth bass fished from a freshwater location.

Cooking fish will also produce a small amount of Lantern Fuel .

  1. Cooking times are per kilogram of fish cooked directly on a fire. Cooking times scale accordingly with the weight cooked (i.e. 0.5 kilograms cooks in half the time that 1.0 kilograms)

Canned[edit | edit source]

Players can obtain canned goods by scavenging throughout their playthrough. Canned goods requires a can opener, hunting knife, or hatchet to be opened while retaining the full content. It is also possible to smash the can open if the player does not have any of these tools, but this will result in losing some of its contents to spillage if the player's cooking level is less than 3.

Image Name Cooking time [3 1] Notes
Pinnacle peaches icon.png Pinnacle peaches 15 minutes Consuming pinnacle peaches while hot also provides a bonus to the player.
Tomato soup icon.png Tomato soup 15 minutes Consuming tomato soup while hot also provides a bonus to the player.
Pork and beans icon.png Pork and beans 15 minutes Consuming pork and beans while hot also provides a bonus to the player.
  1. Cooking times are for canned goods cooked directly on a fire

Drinks[edit | edit source]

Players can obtain hot drinks from brewing coffee, herbal tea, prepared reishi mushrooms, or prepared rose hips with 0.25 liters of potable water.

Image Name Cooking time [4 1] Notes
Cup of coffee icon.png Cup of coffee 12 minutes Players can brew a cup of coffee with a tin of coffee and 0.25 liters of potable water. Consuming a cup of coffee while hot also provides a bonus to the player.
Cup of herbal tea icon.png Cup of herbal tea 12 minutes Players can brew a cup of herbal tea with an herbal tea and 0.25 liters of potable water. Consuming a cup of herbal tea while hot also provides a bonus to the player.
Reishi tea icon.png Reishi tea 12 minutes Players can brew a cup of reishi tea with prepared reishi mushrooms and 0.25 liters of potable water. Consuming a cup of reishi tea while hot also provides a bonus to the player.
Rose hip tea icon.png Rose hip tea 12 minutes Players can brew a cup of rose hip tea with prepared rose hips and 0.25 liters of potable water. Consuming a cup of rose hip tea while hot also provides a bonus to the player.
  1. Cooking times are for drinks brewed in a recycled can directly on a fire - reheating takes 33% less time

Removing from fire[edit | edit source]

If meat is removed from the fire or stove before cooking is complete, the food is still considered raw, and it will require the full cooking time if cooking is resumed at a later point. A fire that briefly goes out pauses the cooking process; if the fire is quickly relit, cooking will resume without an additional penalty.

Food left on an active fire after it is finished cooking will burn after a set amount of time. Burnt food items are unusable and will disappear when picked up. Recycled cans and cooking pots will degrade if food is burnt. Food cooked in a cooking pot will take 20% longer to burn compared to food cooked directly by the fire or in a recycled can.

Skill levels[edit | edit source]

Players can increase their cooking skill by cooking any food or drink item. This excludes melting and boiling water, or warming up food that has already been cooked. Warming up canned food, however, does increase cooking skill.

Skill increase occurs per item cooked -- regardless of its weight or for how long it cooked.  (E.g., cooking a 100 mg morsel of rabbit meat in a cooking pot for 3 minutes results in the same increase as cooking 1 kg of moose meat on a bare stone for 1.5 hours!)

A limited increase can be obtained from the research book Wilderness Kitchen, which allows players to increase their cooking by 10 skill points with 5 hours of research.

Once players have reached a new skill level, they unlock the effects described in the table below.

Level Skill points Effects
1 0
  • Basic cooking skill
2 25
  • 10% calories from any cooked food item
3 75
  • 15% calories from any cooked food item
  • No calorie loss when smashing open cans
  • Cooking times reduced by 10%
4 150
  • 20% calories from any cooked food item
  • No calorie loss when smashing open cans
  • Cooking times reduced by 20%
  • Ready times increased by 20%
5 350
  • 25% calories from any cooked food item
  • No calorie loss when smashing open cans
  • Cooking times reduced by 30%
  • Ready times increased by 20%
  • Never get Parasites or Food poisoning from cooked food. Retroactive, meaning carnivore meat cooked before level 5 will also carry no risk of Parasites or Food poisoning
Survival skills
Hunting ArcheryRifle FirearmRevolver Firearm
Gathering Carcass HarvestingIce Fishing
Crafting CookingFire StartingMendingGunsmithing
Other CleaningRepairSharpening
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