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Skill: Cook
Profession Farmer
Job Title Cook
Labor Cooking
  • Prepare Easy Meal
  • Prepare Fine Meal
  • Prepare Lavish Meal
  • Render Fat


  • Agility
  • Analytical Ability
  • Creativity
  • Kinesthetic Sense
This article is about an older version of DF.

A Cook is a dwarf whose highest skill is in cooking. Cooks will prepare meals at the kitchen workshop using ingredients available in your fortress. They will also render fat into tallow at the kitchen. Both of these fall under the Cooking labor.

There are three kinds of meals- easy, fine, and lavish. An easy meal uses two components; a fine meal three components, and a lavish meal four components. The result is a stack of prepared food with the same size as the sum of the stack sizes of its components; if the stack size is greater than 11 it will be too big to fit in a barrel or pot and must be stored on the ground. Prepared meals can rot, but do so much more slowly than raw food, especially meat.

Preparing easy, fine, and lavish meals all give the same experience gain to the cooking skill, so making easy meals maximizes experience gain; if you don't care about experience gain, preparing lavish meals saves stockpile space. The number of servings produced has no effect on experience gain.

Although some kinds of food can be eaten raw, other food resources are ingredients which are only edible when cooked into a meal. Cooking thus increases the number of food sources available to your fortress. Conversely, cooking plants does not yield plant seeds, so cooking edible plants decreases your potential crops. Eating high quality prepared food gives your dwarves happy thoughts if the meal contains one of their favorite foods Bug:4661. It is not precisely known how a cook's skill and the quality of ingredients affect the happiness generated by a meal, but as a general rule there's no such thing as "too good".


See also List of Crops for ingredients.

Meals are prepared with a primary ingredient and 1~3 other ingredients. The primary ingredient determines what the meal will be called, and the remaining ingredients appear to be a random assortment of whatever is on hand. The result will be a stack of meals. The stack size is equal to the sum of the stack sizes of the ingredients.

Easy meals require two ingredients, and will be named "{last ingredient} biscuit".
Fine meals require three ingredients, and will be named "{last ingredient} stew".
Lavish meals require four ingredients, and will be named "{last ingredient} roast".

This table begins to show the interaction between preparation quality, and ingredient quality. The 'Value' column in the table is the total value of the stack divided by the number of portions in the stack, so that it is per portion.

Preparation Recipe Type Ingredients Value
(normal) Plump Helmet Biscuits 2x minced Plump Helmet 18
Well-Prepared Plump Helmet Biscuits 2x minced Plump Helmet 28
Well-Prepared Plump Helmet Biscuits 1x minced Plump Helmet, 1x well-minced Plump Helmet 32
Well-Prepared Plump Helmet Biscuits 2x well-minced Plump Helmet 36
Well-Prepared Plump Helmet Biscuits 1x well-minced Plump Helmet, 1x finely minced Plump Helmet 40
Finely-Prepared Plump Helmet Biscuits 2x minced Plump Helmet 38

Plump Helmet [1] have 4 value, and four Well-Prepared food in this table have 4☼ gaps each other. From this value table, food value per portion is total of base value, 10☼ multiplied prepare quality and each material value multiplied mince quality.
This formula applies to all (easy~lavish) meals.


There used to be an exploit called "boozecooking", which allowed for meals to be cooked entirely out of booze, which let you feed five times as many dwarves with the same amount of farming. This is because brewing one unit of food produces five units of booze.


  • Cooks will only use liquid bases (like dwarven syrup) as a last resort, instead preferring to cook solid foods with solid foods. Bug:2393
  • Cooking with eggs creates extreme kitchen clutter. Bug:3994
  • Frozen milk gets cooked into prepared meals as a solid, causing the meal to melt later. Bug:2787
  • High quality cooked meals only give a happy thought if at least one of the ingredients is preferred by the dwarf eating it. Bug:4661