Gordon Ramsay slays Link's dubious food.

How To Cook The Best Foods in BotW

Welcome back to the Hylian handbook! Today, I’d like to help make your experience with Breath of the Wild a bit easier. I see a handful of people struggling at the start of the game, and with the following recipes, I can guarantee you’ll blast through the game much easier.

The short answer is there are two essential recipes: one where you stockpile 5 hearty durian fruits and one where you stockpile 5 mighty bananas over a cooking range. The first recipe will grant you a full recovery and 20 additional hearts. The second recipe will grant you a 4 minute and 20-second attack buff, offering a helping hand for slaying difficult enemies. You can harvest plentiful collections of both ingredients near Faron Tower. 

But, if you’re reading this, odds are that either:

  1. You’re struggling to play the game, let alone find these items and effectively farm them. 
  2. You’re a seasoned veteran, looking for a specific location to harvest ingredients or a more streamlined approach to getting the most bang for your buck.


So I wound up creating a complete definitive guide to cooking the best meals in Breath of the Wild. I’ll also help you find the right ingredients in bulk. I’ll be crediting research where it is due.

The Basics to Cooking

  • Foods are more potent than elixirs in BotW.
  • Dubious food is the result of mixing monster parts, or critters alone. Any elixirs that won’t yield an effect also become dubious food.
  • Rock-hard food is the result of cooking minerals (other than salt) or ancient items into a dish. 
  • We can only combine ingredients over a cooking pot. Campfires will cook your materials, but they won’t form dishes. We can find cooking ranges in villages and stables.
  • Each dish is limited to one special property. (i.e. Defense up, Speed up, Additional hearts) Ingredients with different properties will cancel each other out.
  • Similarly, Link can only be affected by one secondary buff at a time. The exceptions are bonus stamina and bonus hearts, which can be stacked with active buffs.
  • Some ingredients have more powerful effects than others. Stacking multiples of the same ingredient will help amplify secondary effects.
  • “Spice” or “generic food’ ingredients will only grant their full effect once. This is typically a buff to effect duration.
  • A critical cooking bonus increases a meal’s potency. When you get this bonus, a xylophone jingle will chime in the background.
  • Cooking within half an hour of a Blood Moon guarantees a “critical cooking” bonus.
  • Cooking with a dragon horn guarantees a critical cook bonus.
Link cooks a bunch of gourmet meat over a fire

Most ingredients will hint toward their added effect by the names they’ve been given:

  • Hearty foods will grant additional hearts.
  • Armored or Iron foods will increase defense.
  • Mighty or Razor foods will increase attack.
  • Chill, Hydro, Cool, and Winterwing foods will help you endure desert heat, but not Death Mountain.
  • Fireproof foods will help you traverse Death Mountain.
  • Endura or Tireless foods will grant additional stamina.
  • Restless, Stamina, or Energizing foods immediately restore stamina.
  • Warm, Spicy, Sizzle, or Sun foods will help you brave the cold.
  • Swift, Rush, Hightail, and Fleet foods will make you run faster.
  • Silent, Sunset, or Sneaky foods will help cloak you from enemies.
  • Volt, Shock, Electric, or Thunder foods will provide shock resistance.

 

Pro Tip: If you want the longest possible duration of a secondary effect, you can add one dragon horn to each dish and the effect is guaranteed to last 30 minutes. Dragon fangs aren’t too shabby, either. Tossing one in the pot will grant an additional 10 and a half minutes to a recipe’s duration. Buffs cannot be stacked above 30 minutes.

If you want to see the varying levels of strength offered by ingredients, there’s an incredible fan-made infographic that highlights the individual healing properties of every item in Breath of the wild. Clicking the image will link you to its source:

All of Hyrule’s resources are guaranteed to respawn after a Blood Moon takes place. With this knowledge, we can farm the living daylights out of the best ingredients available in Breath of the Wild!

The Secondary Effect Tier System

You’ve probably noticed, after cooking a dish in BotW, 1-3 icons of the added effect will appear to signify its effect strength.

Let’s break down secondary effect strength so that we can hit those top tier effects as efficiently as possible:

Each tier of an added effect has a hidden in-game score threshold that allows it to level up. In most categories, a top-grade ingredient will add three counters. Hearty foods have ingredients that go as high as five counters. Foods that grant a speed buff or flameproof have ingredients that cap out at two counters. Stamina foods use a convoluted system that isn’t worth the explanation… but if you like this sort of stuff, I’ll link you to the source.

So, let’s whip out the fun-cooker. Here are the hidden threshold values to ranking up your food effects in BotW:

  • Shock Resist: 4 counters to tier two, 6 counters to tier three.
  • Speed/ Attack/ Defense Boost:  5 counters to tier two, 7 counters to tier three.
  • Stealth Buff: 6 counters to tier two, 9 counters to tier three.
  • Heat and Cold Resist (Max Tier 2): 6 counters to break.
  • Flameproof (Max Tier 2): 7 counters to break.
  • Additional Hearts: One temporary heart per counter, max 25 (or 26 with critical cook).

Pro Tip: Since additional heart (Hearty) and additional stamina (Endura, Tireless) ingredients don’t have a tier cap or duration limit, they are best tossed in a pure dish. Just chuck all five of the same ingredient and call it a day. All other foods can be optimized.

The Possible Outcomes of A Critical Cook Bonus

Link embraces the upcoming blood moon.

When the almighty cooking spirits grant you their blessing and you hear the chime of a critical cook, one of the following effects will be added to your meal without any negative side effects:

  • Three red hearts
  • One additional yellow heart (bonus heart)
  • Green stamina refill
  • Additional yellow stamina (bonus stamina meter)
  • + 5 minutes effect duration
  • Secondary effect tier up (Max 1)

 

A critical cook still cannot stack multiple secondary benefits. The game will only apply a bonus that is relevant to the dish you are cooking.

Top-Grade Ingredients And Their Locations

Alright, time to get into the meat of this article.

*Crickets*

A bulk of these ingredients can achieve their maximum effect with three stacks, often two stacks with a mid-grade ingredient thrown in the third slot. That gives us room to use the final ingredient slots toward increasing effect duration or adding more healing capabilities.

Best food for attack buffs:

Mighty Porgy 

  • Adds 3 effect counters
  • Can be found in Horon Lagoon – located in the Lanayru Great Springs region.
Map view of Shai Yota Shrine, directly above Horon Lagoon.

Mighty Bananas

  • Adds 2 effect counters
  • Can be found in Ubota Point – located in the Faron region.
  • Can be found in Yiga Clan Hideout.
In BotW, Mighty Bananas grow on these stubby little palm trees. Note that I started on the lowest plateau. Don't try to be a hero! The rain makes climbing difficult most of the time.

Special note: The nearest fast travel location to Ubota Point is Shai Utoh shrine, which is directly beside Lakeside Stable. You’ll need to climb up the plateaus to find most of the Bananas.

If you want to access the Yiga Clan Hideout, travel to Sho Dantu shrine or the Gerudo Highlands Tower. Mighty Bananas don’t heal many hearts, so I strongly recommend tossing a piece of meat into the 5th item slot when cooking with them.

Map location of Sho Dantu shrine, closest shrine to Yiga Clan Hideout
infographic text: To make the Sho Dantu shrine appear, drop a luminous stone on this conspicuous platform outside of the Yiga Clan Hideout. (Don't worry, there are plenty of luminous stone spawns nearby)

Best food for defense buffs:

Armored Porgy

  • Adds 3 effect counters
  • Can be found in Horon Lagoon – located in the Lanayru Great Springs region.
A beautiful view from above Horon Lagoon.

Special notes: Fishing with bombs makes life in Hyrule easier. This farming location is also great for collecting Mighty Porgy.

Ironshroom

  • Adds 2 effect counters
  • Can be found in the forest surrounding Batrea Lake – Located NW of the Dueling Peaks in the West Necluda region. You can also pick up a few while scouring Faron for Hearty Durian.
These spiky little yellow fruits may not look very tasty, but they will quickly become your new best friends. I promise. Note: Ironshroom growing on the base of a durian fruit tree.

Special note: Ironshrooms are located around trees throughout both the East and West Necluda region. Fortified Pumpkins, Armored Carp, and Ironshell Crabs all offer the same 2 counter boost as Ironshrooms but are considerably harder to farm.

Map location of Ta'loh Naeg Shrine, near great fairy fountain and kakariko village.

Best food for additional hearts:

Big Hearty Radish

  • Provide 5 additional hearts each
  • Can be found in the Lanayru Great Springs region and Akkala region
Map view of Satori Mountain and Rutile Lake.

Special note: Big Hearty Radishes are considerably harder to find than Hearty Durian. They do sprout near Rutile Lake in Lanayru – which is lush with other rich ingredients that will be listed soon, so it’s worth the occasional trip even if the yield isn’t as high.

Hearty Durian

  • Provide 4 additional hearts each
  • Can be found on the plateau directly North of Faron Tower
Here's a visual reference for the Durian spawn point near faron tower.

Special note: These puppies are abundant, and a ton can be found within a short glide from an easy-to-find fast travel location. Don’t bother climbing the trees, the Faron region gets a ton of rain. It’s faster to blast the trees away with bombs. The Faron region is also rich with Ironshroom and Mighty Bananas, making it the best region to farm after each Blood Moon.

Big Hearty Truffles, Hearty Lizards, and Hearty Salmon also provide 4 additional hearts. You guessed it, they aren’t as popular because they’re a bit tougher to find. Adding them to a Durian meal won’t do any harm, though.

These spiky little yellow fruits may not look very tasty, but they will quickly become your new best friends. I promise. Note: Ironshroom growing on the base of a durian fruit tree.

Best food for additional stamina:

Endura Carrot

  • Provides double the buff of a Tireless Frog
  • Can be found around the peak of Satori Mountain (including Rutile Lake), or behind Great Fairy fountains
Map view of Satori Mountain and Rutile Lake.

Special note: Additional stamina foods outclass stamina restoration meals because they’ll rejuvenate stamina on top of their bonus effect. 

Special note: Endura carrots spawn in many of the same locations as Silent Princess blooms. Feeding endura carrots to your horse will help restore its stamina, too!

Infographic text: Here's a visual reference for Rutile Lake. There's a Silent Princes within view, too.

Best food for bonus stealth:

Silent Princess

  • Adds 3 effect counters
  • Can be found around Great Fairy fountains and Rutile Lake
Great Fairiy fountain

Special note: Silent Princess is the only stealth-inducing ingredient that can heal hearts. Many of their spawn points also feature weaker stealth-inducing ingredients such as Blue Nightshade and Sunset Fireflies. Hopefully, you’re reading this before you took on Prince Sidon’s quest to sneak around a fearsome Lynel, or before raiding the Yiga Clan Hideout!

Rushroom

  • Adds 1 effect counter
  • These annoying buggers always spawn on steep cliff sides. There is a pretty exploitable spawn in the Faron region, in an unmarked lake just South of Dracozu river. It’s easy to find if you follow the plateaus West of Faron tower.
Rushrooms are abundant right here, and don't require near as much climbing!

Special note: Rushrooms will make a tier 3 recipe near impossible unless used with a combination of 4 Fleet-lotus seed, Swift Violet, or Hot-Footed Frogs. I included them anyway because extra running speed while wandering is always a welcome bonus.

Special note: Speed enhancing meals are difficult to achieve tier three in. Regardless of the mixture, you’ll need four ingredients to hit the highest rank. I recommend using your coveted dragon horns on cranking the duration up for these recipes.

A quick summary of resistance ingredients:

Ingredients that offer cold resistance will be found in warm climates and vice versa. Since tier-three protection isn’t possible or necessary, my recommendation is to stack the healing value or effect duration as much as possible. There are also special pieces of armor that can assist you in braving the elements, which I strongly recommend you collect! In a pinch, equipping a fire weapon will help heat Link up. A frost weapon will help cool Link down, too.

Bonus: The Best Food for Getting Rich!

There may not be any money trees in Hyrule, but we get a close second:

Located in the entryway of Outskirt Stable is a man named Trott who will purchase Raw Gourmet Meat for 100 rupees up to three times a day. This is part of an ever-ongoing side quest called A Rare Find.

If you haven’t found the Outskirt Stable yet, it is located slightly southwest of the edge of Aquame lake. If you struggle finding Raw Gourmet Meat, it can be carved from the large animals that frequent the Hebra Mountains, Tabantha Tundra, and Gerudo Highlands.

Generic Food Ingredients

Each item on this list can add sizable chunks to a meal’s effect duration once. Adding multiples will produce a static effect of +30 seconds. Don’t waste your ingredients!

  • 1 minute and 30 seconds: Bird Egg and Goron Spice
  • 1 minute and 20 seconds: Fresh Milk, Goat Butter, Cane Sugar
  • 1 minute: Tabantha Wheat, Salt, Hylian Rice
  • 50 seconds: Acorn
  • 40 seconds: Chickaloo Tree Nut
  • 30 seconds: Apple, Palm Fruit, Hylian Shroom, Wildberry, Hrule Herb, Sanke Carp, Hylian Bass, and Meat.

 

Pro Tip: While the 30 second buffs might look underwhelming at first glance, many of them are meat-based and provide a great source of healing.

Miscellaneous: Cooking with Fairies and Monster Extract

Link cooks fairies in BotW! What a fricken monster!

Yes, you can cook fairies. If you fancy Link as one of those self-righteous means-to-an-end sociopaths, you’ll notice how he heartlessly drops them into the cooking pot with no regrets. Luckily, for the sake of my mental health, they won’t get cooked. They spin around the dish and create pixie dust, adding extra red hearts to your meal.

It generally isn’t worth giving up their instant revive effect, unless you want to watch Link’s expressionless face as he attempts to commit unfathomable crimes against humanity. Fairies are valuable.

Monster Extract will sporadically randomize a meal’s effect duration and effect tier. Sometimes I like to think of myself as a gambling man, and I’ll toss a single fleet-lotus seed in a pot with a monster extract to see if I can get that full 30-minute speed buff. I wouldn’t recommend using all your precious ingredients at once, though. There’s no way for us to maximize our prayers to RNGsus.

Aside from that, monster extract doesn’t serve much purpose outside of making Monster Cake for a side quest in Tarreytown called A Parent’s Love.

Monster cake is made with the following ingredients:

  • Monster extract
  • Goat butter
  • Cane sugar
  • Tabantha wheat

 

Maybe you can try offering it to a tribe of Bokoblins when you want to celebrate a birthday or something. Your mileage may vary.

Anyway, I think that covers all you need to know for cooking the best meals in Breath of the Wild. You should be a cooking pro if you’ve read this far, Gordon Ramsay might even give you a Michelin star. I wouldn’t count on it, though. Happy hunting, my Hylian friends!