|This article is about an older version of DF.
A kitchen is operated by a dwarf with the cooking labor enabled. It is used to cook meals and render fat from butchered animals into tallow. Cooking meals applies a quality modifier to the sum of the input products, which may drastically increase the food's value. Cooked meals rot more slowly when placed in a stockpile, but any seeds from raw crops are lost.
If you cook 15 plump helmets worth 60, and your cook creates a masterpiece, you will receive 15 meals worth 2640.
Types of meals
There are three different types of food to be cooked:
- Easy meal will use two ingredients and will result in biscuits.
- Fine meal uses three ingredients and will result in stew.
- Lavish meal uses four ingredients and will result in roasts.
Better meals result in larger stacks of food, but require more hauling, take longer to produce and provide slower experience gains for your cook. Also, with a greater variety of materials in the prepared meal, there is a higher probability a dwarf will get something he likes, giving the eater a happy thought.
Using Liquid Ingredients
At least one stack going into a prepared meal must be a solid item. If you have only booze, milk, and syrup, your cooking jobs will get cancelled. However, a single plump helmet can be cooked with ten dwarven wine, ten dwarven milk, and ten dwarven syrup to make 31 +Plump Helmet Roast+ without issue.
What to cook
You may want to adjust what your dwarves are allowed to cook. For example, your dwarves may happily cook away all the seeds you need for planting, or use all your booze as part of the ingredients, a good way to create fun in the early stages of the fortress. To suppress the cooking of certain items (such as booze, seeds or tallow) go to the status screen ( key) and then go to Kitchen. Every cookable and/or brewable item in your fortress will be listed. Once you allow or forbid the cooking or brewing of some kind of product, it will be used accordingly.
Individual types of prepared meals are not listed in the middle column or right column of the stockpile menu for the Food category. The switch for allowing or banning prepared meals in a stockpile is displayed underneath the right column and toggled by pressing the key.
The size of a prepared food stack varies, and with the proper inputs and skill, your kitchen will create a stack that is too big to fit into a barrel. If you want to designate a stockpile as the destination for your kitchen's output, be sure that the number of barrels allowed in the stockpile is lower than the number of squares in the stockpile. That way there will be a few non-barrel squares for your haulers to deposit overly large stacks of prepared meals.