Right from the start, the civilians that you meet as you journey through Hyrule in Breath of the Wild are constantly telling you about cooking and creating concoctions with the ingredients you find around the world.
Cooking is actually fairly simple, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild does a fairly poor job of explaining the basics to you.
You can cook with almost anything you find out in the wild, but not everything will create something useful. Any fruits or foraging you find – apples, mushrooms, peppers – will make great health-replenishing foods, and some will offer extra benefits: resistance to cold; extra stamina; temporary extra hearts. The descriptions of each item will give you a good idea of what cooking it will do.
It’s recommended that you cook all health-replenishing items before you use them as they’ll give you a much greater boost to your health.
The first cooking pot you’ll come across is to the south of Temple of Time, near the border of your starting area, just east of Owa Daim Shrine. You’ll meet the old man who you met just outside of the Shrine of Resurrection, and the cooking pot is just outside his house. He invites you to use it. Great – but how?
If you select the pot, you’ll only be presented with options to rest by the fire. Not particularly useful if you actually want to cook.
What you need to do is press ‘+’ to get to your menu screen and navigate until you get to your inventory. Once in the ‘materials’ section, you can press ‘X’ to “hold” items. Link can hold up to five items at once, and these items will be what he can throw into the pot. Once you’ve pressed ‘X’, choose the items you want to cook by pressing ‘A’. When you’re done, press ‘B’ to leave the menu, and you’ll be prompted to cook. Press ‘A’ and Link will begin cooking up his concoction.
A few tips related to cooking in Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
- Cooking makes otherwise common items much more valuable. An apple is worth a couple of rupees, but chuck 5 in a pot and you’ve got a plate of simmered fruit worth 50 rupees.
- The first thing you’ll need is something to withstand the cold to the west. Peppers alone will do just fine – the more you cook at once, the longer your resistance will last. If you cook peppers along with other health-regeneration foods, the cold resistance effect may not come through.
- It’s worthwhile cooking up a few dishes every time you see a cooking pot – keep a good stock of foods that replenish hearts. You will need them – a lot.
- You can mark locations of cooking pots on your map by hovering over the area and pressing ‘A’ to stamp. There’s a cooking pot icon you can select, and it’s a helpful reminder if you need to stock up on some food items in a pinch.