Although there are several foods that you can consume instantly to reduce hunger, cooked foods are reliable and beneficial to sustain your survival in Project Zomboid.
There are many cooking recipes to make food in Project Zomboid, ranging from basic to complex ones. For that reason, choosing the best food to cook can be challenging.
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The best food to cook depends on your available ingredients, taste, and cooking purpose, such as gaining or reducing weight or eliminating negative moodles.
In most cases, the best food to cook in Project Zomboid is Soup, Stew, Stir Fry, or Roasted Vegetables using 6 meat ingredients with no more than 3 meats of the same type. Then, consider adding as many condiments and spices as possible unless you’re overweight or obese.
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Best Food to Cook in Project Zomboid
Cooking in Project Zomboid can be both tricky and fun. While placing meat in the oven is a simple recipe, there are more complex ones to explore.
It’s important to note that all recipes must follow 11 cooking methods. Moreover, there are more than 50 cooking ingredients in Project Zomboid, divided into 6 groups:
- Meats: Steak, Bacon, Chicken, Fish Fillet, Frog Meat, Small Bird Meat, etc.
- Vegetable: Avocado, Mushroom, Onion, Tomato, etc.
- Canned Food: Canned Pea, Canned Carrot, Canned Potato, etc.
- Fruit: Apple, Banana, Cherry, Orange, etc.
- Misc: Bread, Cheese, Chocolate, Eggs, etc.
- Condiments and Spices: Lard, Olive Oil, Peper, Salt, etc.
You can mix several ingredients together or increase the quantity of a particular ingredient in a single dish, resulting in countless cooking recipes with different effects.
While foods in Project Zomboid can reduce hunger, thirst, boredom, and unhappiness, the primary goal of the best food is to reduce hunger, as you can easily deal with other attributes by drinking water, watching TV, or reading books.
In most cases, the best food to cook in Project Zomboid is either a Soup, Stew, Stir Fry, or Roasted Vegetables. It should include 6 meat ingredients with no more than 3 meats of the same type and as many condiments and spices as possible.
Sounds complicated, right? Here’s why!
Understand the Role of Cooking Ingredients
While all cooking ingredients can be used to prepare food, each of them offers distinct advantages:
- Meat is highly effective at reducing hunger.
- Canned foods provide massive calories.
- Fruits and vegetables restore hunger and thirst.
- Spices and condiments contribute to boredom and unhappiness reduction.
Therefore, to create the best food in Project Zomboid, you must combine these ingredients strategically based on your needs.
In theory, you can add up to 6 main ingredients (except spices and condiments) when cooking. However, dishes with more than 3 units of the same ingredient reduce your happiness. To avoid this effect, add 2 or 3 ingredient variants.
For example, you can add 3 steaks, 2 chicken, and 1 fish fillet to achieve the maximum hunger reduction while having zero penalties for boredom and unhappiness attributes.
Vegetables and fruit can be used to increase thirst reduction in the food.
These ingredients are extremely common in Project Zomboid, so you can add 2-3 units of each to the recipe, depending on what kind of vegetables and fruits you have.
Canned food, despite providing high calories, should be consumed directly rather than being a part of cooking recipes.
Since meats and vegetables are abundant in the game’s early days and are perishable, it’s advisable to save canned food for emergency situations.
Finally, you can add one of every spice or condiment to your recipe, but consider the effect of each one first, as a few of them (olive oil, lard, butter, etc.) can increase the amount of calories significantly.
This results in an increase in your weight, which can lead to being overweight or obese.
Which Cooking Methods Are Optimal to Make the Best Food?
In Project Zomboid, there are 11 cooking methods.
Among them, Soup & Stew, Salad & Fruit Salad, and Stir Fry & Roasted Vegetables stand out since they offer the most nutritional value, their ingredients are common, and they can be easily cooked.
For this reason, we’ll focus solely on the advantages and disadvantages of preparing dishes using the above methods.
1. Soup & Stew
Soup and stew are highly recommended cooking methods in Project Zomboid. These methods only require a cooking pot, which is available in most kitchens and restaurants.
Soups and stews provide high calories, substantially reducing hunger and offering good nutritional value.
Another benefit is that you can serve soup in bowls, making it suitable for multiplayer games where you and your teammates can share a meal.
Additionally, with a typical day-to-rotten duration of 5–6 days, soup and stew can be used multiple times.
However, there are some drawbacks to consider. You need a heat source to get the best results, although it can be consumed uncooked if necessary.
Moreover, cooking soup and stew takes some time, typically 50–60 minutes.
2. Stir Fry & Roasted Vegetables
If you find a pan or roast pan in the kitchen rather than a cooking pot, you can prepare stir-fry or roasted vegetable dishes.
Stir fry, similar to soup or stew, provides a high nutritional value, but it comes with the benefit of requiring less cooking time, which is probably 30 minutes to cook thoroughly.
This makes it a quicker option for satisfying your hunger and is ideal for players looking for significant weight gain.
Compared to soup and stew, stir fry and roasted vegetables allow for more meat options, which means they can provide greater hunger reduction and more choices for cooking.
However, there is a limitation when it comes to condiments and spices with stir fry and roasted vegetables, resulting in less boredom and unhappiness reduction compared to soups and stews.
3. Salad & Fruit
One of the standout benefits of salad is its instant consumption. You don’t need any heat source or additional time to prepare it, making it an optimal choice for quick, improvised meals.
Salad recipes allow you to combine almost all fruits, vegetables, and spices available in the game, which means you can enhance various moodles with a single dish.
Additionally, salad is low in calories, making it suitable for players dealing with the overweight trait.
However, its day-to-rotten period is short, typically around 3 days, so it’s important to consume it quickly.
Moreover, while you can add meat to a salad, it must be cooked in advance, which can be inconvenient in many situations.
That’s the best food to cook in Project Zomboid.
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