Published on December 27, 2019
Updated on August 27, 2022

Black Desert Online - The Complete Cooking Guide

Cooking is one of the most AFK & profitable lifeskills in Black Desert Online, so whether you’re looking to advance your Cooking Mastery – or make a nice amount of extra silver while you’re not grinding for gear – this BDO cooking guide aims to provide you with all the information, buffs & gear you will need to make the most out of your cooking sessions!

Cooking is divided in 7 Ranks / 130 Levels, like the rest of BDO lifeskills:

  • Beginner Cooking 1-10 (Level 1-10)
  • Apprentice Cooking 1-10 (Level 11-20)
  • Skilled Cooking 1-10 (Level 21-30)
  • Professional Cooking 1-10 (Level 31-40)
  • Artisan Cooking 1-10 (Level 41-50)
  • Master Cooking 1-30 (Level 51-80)
  • Guru Cooking 1-50 (Level 81-130)

If you are a total beginner in Cooking and BDO lifeskills, I suggest you carefuly read through the whole guide. Veterans can skip the first two parts (overview & how to cook), and jump straight to the juice! ?

Cooking Overview – Is It Worth It?

Cooking is extremely similar with Alchemy. Both lifeskills function exactly the same way (with their own gear, buffs and recipes of course).

Choosing in which one to invest, comes down to how much time you are looking to put in optimizing your money-making. Cooking is “easy”, and Alchemy is “hard”, as far as recipe complexion and material gathering / grinding are concerned.

If you’re not a lifeskill guy but still want to tap on the Cooking / Alchemy money, then definitely go with Cooking. On the other hand, if you’re a lifeskill guy like me (you are going to do both anyway), then definitely go with Alchemy, as all the complexion it entails, rewards you with much more money.

A great thing with both lifeskills, is that you can set your cooking schedule according to your own IRL schedule.

You can use cooking devices (known as utensils) that take a long time for each craft, but also have a lot of durability, therefore letting you AFK for even 6 hours. If you’d rather do something else AFK (like fishing, training, or not having the game open – why you play BDO again?), you can take advantage of the fast utensils, that will let you do a thousand crafts in a few minutes.

Compared to most lifeskills, making money by Cooking is quite straightforward, as you can pack a lot of meals into boxes, which you can sell to Imperial Delivery NPCs for a nice sum of money, or also craft meals that are in high-demand from players and sell them on the Central Market – you will have to look for the most profitable option based on the recipe.

Keep in mind that both Cooking & Alchemy will provide you with many different byproducts with each craft, which you can trade for lifeskill XP, silver, materials, and most importantly Contribution Point XP!

How to Cook with Your Own Materials

If you aim to be a proper cook (therefore make proper money), it’s crucial to invest in your Worker Empire, and even your Farming Skill, so that you can source all your materials yourself, and not rely on the Central Market for your recipe choices.

Keep in mind this is not always wise though, ultimately you will have to do your own recipe & material research, and figure out what’s more profitable for your situation – which materials to cultivate, and which ones to buy straight off the market.

While exploring Cooking Recipes, you will realize that all of their base materials, can be either gathered by workers from Nodes you have invested in, cultivated in your farm or be produced by Cooking itself.

Therefore it’s paramount to invest in your production chain to suit your Cooking goals, and researching the recipes yourself is unavoidable.

I’m going to show you how to craft Beer step-by-step however, in order to introduce you in Cooking’s world, and stock some Stamina replenishment for your Workers. ?

How to Craft Beer

In order to start crafting your own food, you will need a few things:

  • A Residence
  • A Cooking Utensil
  • The Materials

Let’s break each one down:

Getting Your Residence

This is an easy step, even though a bit confusing it’s the first time you’re doing it.

It’s wise to invest some time and decide which City you’d like to make your “cooking” city. The more you cook, the more you will realize how important your node & workers setup is, so you are going to need to transport all your materials to your cooking city.

If you are a starter, then Velia or Heidel are arguably the best choices. They are both surrounded by a multitude of productions nodes, and they are always rich with population – so you won’t ever feel alone. ?

My personal choice is Grána though. Not only there are some beautiful villas up for rent, but it’s also a convenient location once you overcome the pain of transferring all your cooking / alchemy materials over there. It’s also a wise choice if you are planning to invest in your Trading skill in the future, as it’s located on the western side of the map.

So once you have decided the City you want to carry your cooking activities, simply open the map and click on it, then you are going to be presented with all the houses that are available for rent:

Choose a Residence that seems convenient, and you are ready to go!

Crafting Your Cooking Utensils

You can always buy a simple Cooking Utensil by the Central Market or the Cooking Vendor:

Alternatively, you can also craft your own! I do suggest you do so, because you will become more familiar with many more of BDO’s mechanics, as well as future income streams.

The single best place to do that, is the Glish 3 Tool Workshop, since it’s the only Level 4 Tool Workshop in the game! Glish 2 also offers the unique Ceramic Workshop, which can be used to create & sell some niche vase furniture. Glish 4 also offers a wealth of strong high-level workshops, so definitely invest in Glish 3 in order to make your own Cooking & Alchemy Utensils – but also gathering & fishing tools.

If you prefer to achieve the fastest cooking time, then craft Advanced Cooking Utensil. Otherwise if you are looking to AFK a longer time while cooking, definitely choose Calpheon Traditional Cooking Utensil. Their recipes are quite simple, and you can learn more about their material requirements by clicking their links.

You will need to have all the materials in your Glish storage, and one available worker in Glish, in order to start the crafting process.

Getting the Materials for Beer

Beer is truly one of the simplest recipes you can make, and it never stops being helpful since it’s the most popular food your workers will consume, in order to keep working.

So starting out, it’s a wise idea to stock at least 50,000 Beer, so that you can forget about it for some time.

To craft Beer you need:

  • 5Cereals – this is an Item Group, meaning that a few different items can be used for any recipe that’s asking for Cereals. These are Barley, Corn, Potato, Sweet Potato & Wheat. I definitely suggest you pick up a few Potato Production Nodes around Velia, there’s Loggia Farm, Bartali Farm & Finto Farm. The two last options also offer Eggs & Chicken Meat, which is a must-have for cooks! Wheat nodes are also easy to pick up early on, and if you can spare the Contribution Points, I suggest you do so.
  • 6Mineral Water – this is a very simple material, which you can only buy from the Cooking Vendor, for a very small price.
  • 1Sugar – similar to Mineral Water, you can only get Sugar by buying it from the Cooking Vendor for a small sum.
  • 2Leavening Agent – and again, the Cooking Vendor!

So now you see why making Beer is so simple, 3 out of 4 materials are directly bought from the Cooking Vendor, and you only need to worry about producing the Cereals with your workers.

You always need to calculate how many materials you will need, based on the number of crafts you aim to do. For example if you want to craft Beer 1,000 times (each time will offer more than 1 Beer, and always raising with your Cooking Level & Mastery), you will need 5,000 Cereals, 6,000 Mineral Water, 1,000 Sugar and 2,000 Leavening Agents.

You will also soon realize that the more you want to craft at once, the more the total weight you can carry will affect that ability.

So that’s it, you can now craft Beer on your own, and take care of your Workers’ stamina!

Make sure to check out our guide for crafting Good Feed as well, so that you can keep your pets fed as well!

Cooking Mastery

Lifeskill masteries were introduced in a huge patch in September 2019, and added a lot more depth and strategy to each lifeskill – Cooking is no exception of course!

You can check your Cooking Mastery anytime, by pressing P, and then choosing the Life Skill tab.

There are a lot of things affected by your Cooking Mastery:

  • Your chance to use Mass Cooking (up to 100%).
  • Your chance to craft the maximum number of dishes (up to 61.1%).
  • Your chance to receive the higher-grade version of your crafted dish (up to 19.3%) (as well as your chance to get the maximum number of them – up to 61.1%).
  • Your Imperial Delivery Profit (up to 144.9%)!

As it’s apparent, all of the above benefits can make a huge difference into your profits from Cooking, so definitely start investing in Cooking Mastery gear as soon as you surpass Master 1 in Cooking.

Cooking Mastery per Cooking Level
Beginner Cooking
Beginner 1 0 Apprentice 1 55 Skilled 1 105 Professional 1 155 Artisan 1 205
Beginner 2 10 Apprentice 2 60 Skilled 2 110 Professional 2 160 Artisan 2 210
Beginner 3 15 Apprentice 3 65 Skilled 3 115 Professional 3 165 Artisan 3 215
Beginner 4 20 Apprentice 4 70 Skilled 4 120 Professional 4 170 Artisan 4 220
Beginner 5 25 Apprentice 5 75 Skilled 5 125 Professional 5 175 Artisan 5 225
Beginner 6 30 Apprentice 6 80 Skilled 6 130 Professional 6 180 Artisan 6 230
Beginner 7 35 Apprentice 7 85 Skilled 7 135 Professional 7 185 Artisan 7 235
Beginner 8 40 Apprentice 8 90 Skilled 8 140 Professional 8 190 Artisan 8 240
Beginner 9 45 Apprentice 9 95 Skilled 9 145 Professional 9 195 Artisan 9 245
Beginner 10 50 Apprentice 10 100 Skilled 10 150 Professional 10 200 Artisan 10 250
Master Cooking
Master 1 255 Master 7 285 Master 13 315 Master 19 345 Master 25 375
Master 2 260 Master 8 290 Master 14 320 Master 20 350 Master 26 380
Master 3 265 Master 9 295 Master 15 325 Master 21 355 Master 27 385
Master 4 270 Master 10 300 Master 16 330 Master 22 360 Master 28 390
Master 5 275 Master 11 305 Master 17 335 Master 23 365 Master 29 395
Master 6 280 Master 12 310 Master 18 340 Master 24 370 Master 30 400
Guru Cooking
Guru 1 405 Guru 11 455 Guru 21 510 Guru 31 610 Guru 41 710
Guru 2 410 Guru 12 460 Guru 22 520 Guru 32 620 Guru 42 720
Guru 3 415 Guru 13 465 Guru 23 530 Guru 33 630 Guru 43 730
Guru 4 420 Guru 14 470 Guru 24 540 Guru 34 640 Guru 44 740
Guru 5 425 Guru 15 475 Guru 25 550 Guru 35 650 Guru 45 750
Guru 6 430 Guru 16 480 Guru 26 560 Guru 36 660 Guru 46 760
Guru 7 435 Guru 17 485 Guru 27 570 Guru 37 670 Guru 47 770
Guru 8 440 Guru 18 490 Guru 28 580 Guru 38 680 Guru 48 780
Guru 9 445 Guru 19 495 Guru 29 590 Guru 39 690 Guru 49 790
Guru 10 450 Guru 20 500 Guru 30 600 Guru 40 700 Guru 50 800

Cooking Gear

In order to cook efficiently, you need to know all the available Cooking gear, and get your hands at the best versions you can.

Cooking Utensils

This is where you cook everything, so if you are looking to make a long-term investment – which you should – then crafting your own Cooking Utensils is essential. Follow my advice in the 2nd section of the guide in order for the best advice on crafting your own.

These are all the available Cooking Utensils:

Item Cooking Time Durability Source
Advanced Cooking Utensil -1 sec. 900 Crafting
Intermediate Cooking Utensil 500 Crafting
Cooking Utensil 100 Crafting
Balenos Traditional Cooking Utensil +5 sec. 500 Crafting
Serendia Traditional Cooking Utensil +6 sec. 1,250 Crafting
Calpheon Traditional Cooking Utensil +7 sec. 2,000 Crafting

Cooking Clothes for Faster Leveling

Getting to Master level in Cooking – let alone Guru – is not an easy, and definitely not a fast accomplishment.

You will need tons of crafts to get there, and the best help you can get is using the dedicated Cooking Clothes, which offer you more Cooking XP, as well as shorter cooking times!

The best option when starting out, is Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes:

Item Movement Speed Cooking XP Cooking Time
Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes +1 -1 sec.
Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes +1 +1 +10% -2 sec.
Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes +2 +2 +15% -3 sec.
Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes +3 +2 +20% -4 sec.
Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes +4 +3 +25% -5 sec.
Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes +5 +4 +40% -7 sec.

Cooking Clothes for Faster Production

The higher you grow your Cooking Level, the more you will also grow your Cooking Mastery, which in turn will make you turn to Cooking Mastery clothes instead of XP, since they will be more profitable.

There are many options there, and all of them are quite expensive. So I definitely suggest to be aware of them and their difference, but wait until at least Master 1 Cooking before you invest in any of them:

Level Loggia Cook’s Clothes Roroju Cook’s Clothes Manos Cook’s Clothes
Cooking Mastery
0 +3 +4 +5
+1 +6 +8 +10
+2 +9 +12 +15
+3 +12 +16 +20
+4 +15 +20 +25
+5 +18 +24 +30
+6 +21 +28 +35
+7 +24 +32 +40
+8 +27 +36 +45
+9 +30 +40 +50
+10 +33 +44 +55
+11 +39 +50 +60
+12 +45 +58 +70
+13 +51 +66 +80
+14 +57 +74 +90
+15 +63 +80 +100
PRI +70 +95 +120
DUO +90 +125 +160
TRI +130 +180 +220
TET +200 +250 +300
PEN +280 +330 +400

Manos Accessories for More Cooking XP

Manos Necklace Manos Earring Manos Ring Manos Belt
Weight 2.34LT 0.25LT 0.40LT 0.17LT 0.95LT
Life XP 10% 2% 2% 2% Weight Limit +50LT
All Lifeskill Masteries 70 15 10 10 15
Life XP 20% 4% 4% 4% Weight Limit +80LT
All Lifeskill Masteries 160 30 25 25 30
Life XP 30% 6% 6% 6% Weight Limit +110LT
All Lifeskill Masteries 260 50 40 40 50
Life XP 40% 8% 8% 8% Weight Limit +140LT
All Lifeskill Masteries 410 75 65 65 75
Life XP 50% 10% 10% 10% Weight Limit +170LT
All Lifeskill Masteries 570 105 90 90 105
Life XP 60% 12% 12% 12% Weight Limit +200LT
All Lifeskill Masteries 800 150 125 125 150

Cooking Buffs

Cooking gear is not the only way you can get more out of cooking, since there are many buffs that will greatly help you.

Food Buffs for Cooking

The best food you can use to boost your Cooking, is Seafood Cron Meal (10% Life XP & -0.6 sec. Cooking Time for 120 minutes). It is quite expensive to make or buy, but I do suggest you work towards making your own – that activity alone will help you discover a lot about Cooking, as well as your node management.

Alternatively, you can stack a lifeskill XP buff with a lower cooking time buff, but you first have to wait 30 minutes before you can consume the second food item.

For this cheaper option you will use:

  • Sute Tea – +8% Life XP for 90 minutes
  • Teff Sandwich – -0.5 sec. Cooking Time for 90 minutes

On top of these, make sure to consume some Savory Steak, which will provide you with +10 Cooking Mastery.

Elixir Buffs for Cooking

The best elixir you can use for Cooking XP, is Verdure Draught by far (20% Life XP, -1 sec. Cooking Time & 200LT for 15 minutes)! But it is extremely expensive, and unlike Seafood Cron Meal, totally not worth investing in it.

A great alternative – which is still expensive – is Elixir of Flowing Time (15% Life XP for 8 minutes).

I highly suggest making these yourself if you want to invest in your Alchemy skill too (remember, it’s a much better money maker than Cooking in the long run – don’t skip the word “long” here).

P2W Buffs for Cooking

As you would expect, there are many ways you can Pay to Level your Cooking faster in BDO.

The best investment you can make on that aspect, is the Canape outfit. Not only it increases your Cooking XP by 15%, but it also provides you with 2 whole seconds of less Cooking Time! If you’re going the p2w-route, this is definitely the best item value / money you can get. It costs 2,900 pearls, and is bound to the class you open it with.

The second best investment if you are an active player, is of course the Value Pack. It offers too many benefits to not use it, along with 10% Life XP, 200LT and extra storage / inventory slots you are going to need. It costs 1,500 pearls, and lasts for 30 days. I suggest to never buy Value Packs full price, as they are always a part of some better deal, and it’s also one of the easiest pearl items you can get on the Central Market.

Another expensive way to buff your lifeskill XP, but I really not suggest it if you don’t do a lot of combat grinding as well. You can get the P2W tent, known as the Naphart Campsite, which will let you remotely buy Villa Scroll buffs (well you can get it from the villa itself too, but that’s far from convenient).

Last but not least, the most P2W – and naturally the most effective – pearl item, is the Sealed Book of Life. It offers 50% Life XP, costs 1,250 pearls, and lasts for 15 days. So whatever your circumstances, it will cut your Cooking Leveling time in half.

Pet Buffs for Cooking (Heavily P2W)

Pets are an extremely Pay-to-win way to highly raise your Cooking XP – as long as the RNG gods, and your wallet will let you.

So, every Pet has a Talent, which is always the same depending on the pet type. For example Cats, have a Life XP talent:

  • Tier 1 – 1% Life XP
  • Tier 2 – 2% Life XP
  • Tier 3 – 3% Life XP
  • Tier 4 – 4% Life XP

That means that there’s investing in Life XP pets, will actually let you benefit in all of your lifeskills, therefore it’s the best investment you can make – if lifeskilling is your primary concern.

Then, the real RNG kicks in. Pet Skills! Your pet can have 1 skill at Tiers 1 & 2, 2 skills at Tier 3, and 3 skills at Tier 4.

The skills it will learn are totally random, and changing them means breeding your pet, which costs more money and RNG.

Anyway, just for the sake of it you’re after the Cooking XP Skill, which will offer you 5% Cooking XP.

So if we assume you have the “perfect pet setup for Cooking”, and have spent around 1,000$, you will end up with:

  • 5 Pets X 4% Life XP = 20% Life XP
  • 5 Pets X 5% Cooking XP = 25% Cooking XP
  • 45% Additional Cooking XP extra.

So if you want to cut your Cooking Leveling time in half, prepare to pay a ridiculous amount of money.

Max Cooking XP / Mastery / Cooking Time Setup

These are just some calculations on the max values you can attain for extra Life XP, Cooking Mastery, and Cooking Time.

Please keep in mind that obtaining the gear listed below costs around 130,000,000,000 Silver – yes that’s 130 billion! So consult it for reference, and don’t get your hopes up! ?

  • Life Skill
    • Cooking Guru 50 – +800 Lifeskill Mastery
  • Gear
    • PEN: Manos Cook’s Clothes – +400 Cooking Mastery
    • PEN: Manos Necklace – +12% Life XP, +150 Lifeskill Mastery
    • 2 x PEN: Manos Earring – +24% Life XP, +250 Lifeskill Mastery
    • 2 x PEN: Manos Ring – +24% Life XP, +250 Lifeskill Mastery
    • PEN: Manos Belt – +150 Lifeskill Mastery
  • Buffs
    • Seafood Cron Meal – +10% Life XP, -0.6 sec. Cooking Time
    • Savory Steak – +10 Lifeskill Mastery
    • Verdure Draught – +20% Life XP, -1 sec. Cooking Time
  • P2W Buffs
    • Canape Clothes – +15% Life XP, -2 sec. Cooking Time
    • Value Pack – +10% Life XP
    • [Villa] Turning Gates – +10% Life XP
    • Sealed Book of Life – +50% Life XP
    • 5 x Tier 4 Life XP Pets with Cooking Skill – +45% Life XP
  • Totals
    • +220% Life XP, +2,010 Cooking Mastery, -3.6 sec. Cooking Time

If you are looking for the highest Cooking XP buff / lowest Cooking Time, just swap PEN: Manos Cook’s Clothes with +5 Silver Embroidered Cook’s Clothes, so the new totals are:

  • +260% Life XP, +1,610 Cooking Mastery, -10.6 sec. Cooking Time

How to Raise Your Contribution Points with Cooking ASAP

There are many players that simply want to “max out” their CP with Cooking, and don’t care for anything else related to the lifeskill itself or making money with Cooking.

This is understandable, and if you want to see Cooking just as a CP generator, let’s do some math, and see what’s the fastest & cheapest way to do just that.

Getting there fast, means you are going to need a 1 second Cooking Time, in order to be the most efficient.

Lowering Cooking Time to 1 Second

The default Cooking Time (without any positive or negative modifiers) is 10 seconds, therefore you will need to decrease that by XX seconds to achieve 1 second (it can’t go lower).

You will need:

Of course getting a +4 Silver Emrboidered Cook’s Clothes is far from cheap, and will cost you almost 1 billion!

A seemingly cheaper solution, is to get the +3 Cook’s Clothes, and then use a Verdure Draugs every 15 minutes, which can provide you that additional 1 second off cooking time.

Keep in mind that these Draughts are quite expensive though, so it’s really not worth it. If you have no use for the +4 Cook’s Clothes after your CP grind, you can just sell them back!

The Cheapest Cooking Recipe You Can Make for CP

So once nailing that 1 second Cooking Time, let’s see what’s the cheapest thing you can cook for CP, and also an alternative which will also let you end up with some items you can actually sell back to someone, and also make some money in the process!

Now most plebs out there craft Vinegar or Essence of Liquor in order to farm CP. Don’t be most plebs!

I mean sure, the materials are easy to acquire, and both recipes are being used in many higher recipes. But do you really want to end up with 2,000,000 Vinegar in your Storage?

If you don’t care, simply hoard Cereals & Fruits nodes, and you’re good to go. Choose Essence of Liquor if you also want to level your Processing on the way, or stick to Vinegar if getting the fastest CP is all that matters to you.

If you do want to make some good money while leveling your Cooking and CP levels, then I highly suggest you study the Cooking Boxes needed for Imperial Delivery. There’s a different one for each Cooking Rank (Apprentice, Skilled etc.), and each one can be made by a wealth of different recipes.

That means that you have many options for how you want to setup your nodes, and which items you can craft for each Cooking Rank, in order to maximize your profit while leveling.

Avatar photo
Babalon, Mother of Abominations

16-hours / day in front of the screen entrepreneur, of which 6+ are spent on gaming. MMOs, CCGs, RPGs and many more, Steam-addict & achievement-w***e. Currently wasting life on BDO & Gacha Games.


2 responses to “Black Desert Online – The Complete Cooking Guide”

  1. The Seraphym says:

    “I mean sure, the materials are easy to acquire, and both recipes are being used in many higher recipes. But do you really want to end up with 2,000,000 Vinegar in your Storage? … … If you do want to make some good money while leveling your Cooking and CP levels, then I highly suggest you study the Cooking Boxes needed for Imperial Delivery. There’s a different one for each Cooking Rank (Apprentice, Skilled etc.), and each one can be made by a wealth of different recipes.”

    Umm, yah, vinegar is a direct ingredient in PIcked Vegetables, which is used for the Professional Cooking Box ($300k each turn in). So, yah, vinegar is a great option for powerleveling Cooking and grinding CP.

    • Avatar photo Babalon, Mother of Abominations says:

      Hey Seraphym,

      Well, especially if you are looking to power level Cooking, getting to Master is more than easy, even Guru is not that challenging / expensive.

      So you won’t need Professional Boxes, you can go straight to Master, or Guru if you are really patient (or impatient, and need to start selling your max daily boxes asap).

      With bartering, demand for Vinegar & Essence of Liquor rose, making it way more useful than before, but still a bad investment in my opinion.

      If you want to make serious money with Cooking, you have to learn how to cook, and get a better estimate for each material’s source and amount (how much can your workers gather? how much can you gather? can you buy materials from the central market and still make profit?)

      So min-maxing-wise, it’s better to Vinegar your way to Guru, but I’d really advise to focus on experimenting with Guru recipes, and find out which ones seem the most convenient for daily production in the future.

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About BDO

Release Date
Jul 14, 2015
Pearl Abyss
Pearl Abyss
Country of Origin
South Korea
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