How to Cook in Project Zomboid

How to cook in Project Zomboid
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist

Figuring out how to cook in Project Zomboid is one of the game’s biggest challenges that new players need to overcome early. Needless to say, if you can’t cook, you can’t really eat. If you can’t eat, then your own body will consume you way quicker than a zombie will.

We’re going to run you through the entire Project Zomboid cooking process – including how to cook in Project Zomboid, and what recipe we recommend you use by default.

How to Cook in Project Zomboid

How to cook in Project Zomboid - Stir-fry.
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist

If you’re trying to cook in Project Zomboid, there are a few bits and pieces you’ll want to pick up so that you can assemble your kitchen:

  • A cooking container – Cooking pots or pans are great.
  • Raw ingredients – Veggies, meats, oils, if you can eat it – you can cook it.
  • A source of heat – Unless you’re cooking a salad or sandwich, you’ll need a source of heat to actually cook the food. This can be a Microwave, Oven, or even a fireplace.

Anytime you cook in Project Zomboid – you do it through the crafting menu. That’s the little hammer and ruler on the left-hand side of your screen, in case you didn’t know.

In the crafting menu, head over to the “cooking” tab and you’ll be able to see every single recipe you know. Most of this will be greyed out, but if you’ve gotten your ingredients together, there should be a couple of meals you can cook.

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It’s worth pointing out that the cooking crafting menu isn’t for cooking new meals exclusively. You can also use it to open tins and split up food packs if you need to. Most of that can be done directly from your inventory, too.

Speaking of inventory, you don’t actually need all your cooking supplies in your inventory to cook in Project Zomboid. As long as you’re within looting distance of a container with the item you need – you’ll be able to use it in the recipe.

Inside the cooking menu, you’ll see a few different options. If you want to get fancy and serve up a feast, go ahead. However, there’s only one meal I recommend you stick to, and that’s stir-fries.

Stir-fries are the perfect apocalypse food. You can throw anything into a pan with a bit of oil and end up with a finished meal. That’s true for both real life and cooking in Zomboid. If you have a pan, you can add a random assortment of ingredients to it to get a stir-fry, meaning you don’t have to worry about recipes or specific ingredients.

Whether you’re cooking a stir-fry or not, hover over the recipe in your cooking menu and click on “add ingredient” underneath the picture of the item you’re making, next to any ingredients you want to add to the dish.

Food cooking.
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist

Once you’ve got all your ingredients in your container of choice – it’s time to cook. Take your container over to whatever heat source you’re using. I like Microwaves because they’re incredibly portable, meaning you can bring one to whatever base you’re currently residing in.

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Put the container in the heat source, and turn it on. This process will change slightly from appliance to appliance. In the case of a Microwave, it’s just a single button press. For ovens, though, you get to choose a temperature and set a timer.

The temperature and timer don’t really matter. If you hover over the dish inside the heat source, you’ll see an empty progress bar that fills up green as time goes on. This is the cooking progress bar. Once it’s full, your meal is ready to be eaten. If you leave it too long, it can burn, so keep that in mind.

You don’t need to dish your food up once it’s cooked – you eat it straight from the pot or pan. Just remember that food can go off. So, if you’ve cooked soup for the house, make sure you store it in a fridge.

That’s all there is to cooking in Project Zomboid. Have fun and Bon Appetit!

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