Cooking is one of the most profitable lifeskills in BDO, but it's far from simple. This guide aims to help you succeed - big time!
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:
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! 🧃
Table of Contents
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!
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. 🍻
In order to start crafting your own food, you will need a few things:
Let’s break each one down:
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!
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.
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:
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!
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:
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 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 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 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|
In order to cook efficiently, you need to know all the available Cooking gear, and get your hands at the best versions you can.
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:
|Advanced Cooking Utensil||-1 sec.||900||Crafting|
|Intermediate Cooking Utensil||–||500||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|
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.|
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|
|Manos Necklace||Manos Earring||Manos Ring||Manos Belt|
|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 gear is not the only way you can get more out of cooking, since there are many buffs that will greatly help you.
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:
On top of these, make sure to consume some Savory Steak, which will provide you with +10 Cooking Mastery.
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).
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.
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:
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:
So if you want to cut your Cooking Leveling time in half, prepare to pay a ridiculous amount of money.
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! 😂
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:
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.
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!
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!
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.