Guide to Cooking in Project Zomboid

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Cooking in Project Zomboid is pretty much the most vital skill in the game. Sure, the crafting elements are pretty cool for building bases and defenses. But, you can’t last too long without food and water. And just like any other skill in the game, there’s a bunch of crafting recipes associated with it. The goal with cooking is to use cookware and appliances to make delicious meals. To add ingredients to a recipe, players can use the cooking section of the crafting menu. You may also learn more recipes by reading cooking skill books, or watching VHS tapes for the skill.

Once you know some things to cook, you actually have to know how to put that recipe into practice. There’s a lot to learn so let’s get started. This guide will explain both the basics of Cooking in Project Zomboid, as well as all the recipes you can make.

What you need to cook in Project Zomboid

You need a few basic tools to start cooking. One of the few necessary items, aside from food itself, is a cooking pot. This can be found out in the world, mostly inside home kitchens. You also need a heat source. You can use a Microwave, Oven, or a Campfire for cooking as well. All of them work equally well, but have their drawbacks. A Microwave is only really useful in the very early days while the power grid is still on. The Oven is another option you could go for at this stage. You can also hook one up to a generator in the later stages if you want. But with fuel for gennies at such a premium, it’s better just to use the campfire. The wood required to burn a fire and cook is far more plentiful compared to gas.

There are a few other cooking utensils you can use, but the Cooking Pot is the most common. For most recipes you can just use that. There are other recipes that use baking utensils as well. Here’s a list of all the current cooking utensils in the game.

  • Cooking Pot – Used to make Stews, Pots of Soup.
  • Frying Pan or Griddle Pan –  makes Stir-Fry.
  • Roasting Pan – Makes roasted food.
  • Baking Pan – Can make pies, etc.
  • Muffin Baking Tray – Makes muffins.
  • Bowl – Can makes bowls of pasta, soup, stew and rice.

How to Cook in PZ

To turn on an oven or microwave in Project Zomboid, first right-click the object and then click the turn on optionFrom there, you need to set the temperature and time settings. After turning it on, right-click the microwave or oven again and then select Settings. From there, you can change the dials for temperature and time. This is important, as meat often has to be cooked at the right temp to be safe to eat. Once you set the time and temperature, just place the food items you wish to cook inside the oven inventory and it will cook.

You could also use a campfire to cook, which is much less dependent on power, and instead uses fuel and an ignition source. Lighting a campfire requires a fuel source of some kind. Here are the items you can use and how to make them. Gather these items and then have them in your inventory. When ready to cook, place some wood in the campfire inventory and then right-click it. You will have an option to light the fire. From there, you can cook in the campfire in the same way you would any other cooking appliance.

Fuel to Light a Campfire in Project Zomboid

  • Notched Wood + Sturdy Stick or Tree Brach
  • Books, Magazines, Newspaper, Journal, Paper + Lighter or Matches
  • Sheets, Ripped Sheets + Lighter or Matches
  • Gas Can + Lighter or Matches

To cook food in a campfire, open its inventory and then place a food item inside it. Let time pass and check on the food periodically. Once it’s cooked, pull it out and eat it. Grills can also be used to cook food in this same manner.

There’s a fairly big word of warning with Cooking in Project Zomboid, and that’s fire. If you leave stoves on too long, they have a chance to explore with food cooking in them. Anytime you have food cooking, be sure to keep an eye on it. If any food item cooks too long, it will eventually blow up. And if you have a nice base, it would be a real shame to see it all burned down because of that forgotten pot of soup.

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Also, even if you prevent a fire, burning the food is possible as well. If food becomes burnt, it will give a high happiness loss when consumed. 

All Cooking Recipes in Project Zomboid

For many of these items, it doesn’t really matter what items you use. The base of these recipes is the cooking pot, which can be found in many home kitchen cabinets. Having a couple of these at your base is a good bet, as you might need them for various crafting recipes.

You can also can vegetables that you grow in your garden. This is the preferable option for long-term food storage in the game. When the water and electricity go out, you won’t have the freezer to rely on. You will need to have things canned to be able to feed yourself over time.

Project Zomboid Cooking Recipe Necessary Ingredients
Stew Cooking Pot + Meat or Vegetable
Pot of Soup Cooking Pot + Can of Soup
Burger Bread slices + oven then add any Meat or Vegetable combination.
Bacon Strips Bacon + Kitchen Knife/Hunting Knife
Bowl of Cereal Empty Bowl + 5 Cereal + 2 Milk
Bowl of Stew Pot of Stew + Empty Bowl
Bowl of Soup Pot of Soup + Empty Bowl
Bowl of Rice Pot of Rice + Empty Bowl
Bowl of Beans Pot of Beans + Empty Bowl
Bowl of Oatmeal 10 Oatmeal + Empty Bowl
Slice of Watermelon Watermelon + Axe, Knife, etc.
Slice of Ham Ham + Knife, Meat Cleaver, etc.
Slice of Bread Bread + Butter Knife, Kitchen Knife etc.
Slice of Pie Pie + Knife, Meat Cleaver, etc.
Slice of Frog Frog + Knife, Meat Cleaver, etc.
Slice of Fillet Fish ++ Knife, Meat Cleaver, etc.
Maki 2 Avocado + Seaweed + Fish Fillet or Salmon + Cooking Pot of Rice or Saucepan of Rice
Pancakes 1 Pancake mix + 2 Units of Water then add any fruit combination
Salad Empty Bowl + any fruit, Vegetable, Meat combination
Sandwich Baguette or Bread slices + vegetable, Meat, Condiment combination
Squid Calamari 1 Squid + Hunting Knife, Kitchen Knife, Meat Cleaver, Machete, etc.
Fried Onion Rings 1 Baking Soda + 1 Flour + Onion Rings
Fried Shrimp 1 Baking Soda + 1 Flour + Shrimp
Fruit Salad Empty + any kind of Fruit combination
Gravy 1 Gravy Mix + 2 units of water ( can be from water bottles, pots etc.)
Jar of Peppers 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Bell Peppers + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Broccoli 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Broccoli + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Cabbage 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 3 Broccoli + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Carrots 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Carrots + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Eggplants 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Eggplant + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Leeks 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Leeks + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Potato 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Potato + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Radishes 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Radish + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Jar of Tomatoes 1 Empty Jar + 1 Jar Lid + 5 Tomatoes + 10 units of water + 2 Vinegar + 1 Sugar
Sushi 1 Fish Fillet or Salmon + Cooking Pot with Rice or Sauce pan with Rice
Omelette Frying Pan + Eggs then add any kind of Vegetable and Meat combination
Cake Cake Batter + Baking Pan then add any Fruit combination
Beverage Mug or Cup + Heat source then add Cocoa Powder, Coffee, Honey, Milk, Sugar, Tea Bag
Roast Roasting Pan + Meat
Stir-Fry Frying Pan, or Girdle Pan + Meat or Vegetable
Pasta 10 Pasta + Cooking pot with water + Heat source, then add Vegetables or Meat.
Burrito Tortilla + Meat or Vegetable, Rice, Beans, etc.
Taco Taco Shell + Meat or Vegetable, Rice, Beans, etc.
Muffins Muffin Baking Tray + 2 Eggs + 2 Vegetable Oil + 5 Milk + Sugar + 2 Flour.
Pie First Pie Dough + Baking Pan + Rolling pin, then add Meat or Vegetables.

For the full list of ingredients, and items you can add to recipes, check the crafting menu in-game.

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