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A Kitchen is a workshop used by a cook. The cook uses this workshop primarily to combine base ingredients (meat, plump helmets, etc.) into prepared food. It is also used to render fat into tallow. Kitchens can sometimes be a source of miasma from rotting food, and it might prove worth it to take precautions against this, such as digging a vertical ventilation shaft from the surface and covering its opening with a grate.
On the Kitchen sub-menu of the (z)-Overall Status/Kitchen screen, you can specify which foods kitchens are allowed to cook. (This is a universal control, and cannot be refined to one or more specific kitchen workshops or cooks.)
There are three grades of meals you can prepare at a kitchen:
- Easy (biscuit) requires two cookable items.
- Fine (stew) requires three cookable items.
- Lavish (roast) requires four cookable items.
The items to be cooked do not have to be different kinds of food: for instance, a cook might combine two plump helmet spawn into a single stack of two "plump helmet spawn biscuits", or four separate spawn into a single stack of four "plump helmet spawn roasts". The amount of food produced always equals the total number of food items used.
If large stacks of food are used as the ingredients, a large stack of meals will be produced. For example, 22 "cave fish roasts" could be created from "minced cave fish , minced turtle, minced dwarven wine , and minced turtle ".
Cooking foods destroys any byproducts such as seeds, shells, or bones - none are left, not after cooking, not after eating. This makes them ideal for placement in dining rooms located far away from your main population because food and refuse haulers will not have to trek long distances to retrieve the seeds or bones left after a meal, and a single enormous meal stack can feed several dwarves for a year or more
A food stockpile can be customized to accept prepared meals, or only prepared meals, by using the u key within that stockpile. A stockpile that accepts prepared meals does not filter based on what ingredients were used - a prepared meal is simply a prepared meal, end of discussion. This can be toggled either on an existing stockpile by querying it and then using the s option to change it, or when creating a custom stockpile using p and then t. If all foods are blocked and prepared foods are allowed, only prepared foods will be placed in that stockpile.
Barrels can only hold a max of 10 items - stacks of prepared food that are larger than 10 will not fit in barrels, and will be placed individually on stockpile tiles. This may leave them more vulnerable to vermin, but can actually create denser stockpiles in terms of meals/tile. Meals that are not in barrels do not seem to rot any faster.
Many players put their prepared foods stockpiles near dining rooms, to reduce the travel time for dwarves that are eating.
A big problem with prepared meals is that if they are not stored in a stockpile (with or without a barrel) they will rot much faster than other foodstuffs. This will occur right there in the kitchen, effectively rendering their preparation a waste of time and resources and creating a large cloud of miasma.
Currently, prepared food stacks of 10 or less can be stored in a barrel, ensuring their long-lasting preservation. Prepared meals will not rot in a food stockpile, even outside of a barrel.
Ensuring that you have enough food haulers and open stockpiles that accept prepared food is the only way to prevent this.
Value of a prepared meal
Regardless of the type of meal you produce, a stack of prepared meals has a base value of 10 for each meal in the stack, multiplied by the quality rating of the preparation quality. However, the final value of a stack of meals is highly variable because it is so strongly influenced by the quality of the ingredients and the size of the ingredient stacks. The value added by the preparation can be a small fraction of the total value of the meal when expensive or exceptionally-prepared ingredients go into the meal. Meat from animals with high MODVALUE, processed plants that generate large stacks, or luxury food items like cheese are all ingredients that can cause a stack of prepared meals to have a surprisingly high value.
≡Dwarven wheat flour roast ≡
- This is a stack of 33 finely-prepared dwarven wheat flour roast. The ingredients are exceptionally minced plump helmet, well-minced deer meat, superiorly minced quarry bush leaves and minced dwarven wheat flour.
- Total value: 3102☼
- 10 (prepared meal) * 3 (fine) == 30
- 2 (plant) * 2 (plump helmet) * 5 (exceptional) == 20
- 2 (meat) * 1 (deer) * 2 (well-made) == 4
- 5 (quarry bush leaves) * 4 (superior) == 20
- 20 (dwarven wheat flour) * 1 (no label) == 20
- Subtotal (value of one serving): 94☼
- 94 (value) * 33 (quantity) == 3102☼
*Dragon meat stew *
- This is a stack of 41 well-prepared dragon meat stew. The ingredients are finely-minced dwarven syrup, minced quarry bush leaves and well-minced dragon meat.
- Total value: 11685☼
- 10 (prepared meal) * 2 (well) == 20
- 20 (dwarven syrup) * 3 (fine) == 60
- 5 (quarry bush leaves) * 1 (no label) == 5
- 2 (meat) * 50 (dragon) * 2 (well) == 200
- Subtotal (value of one serving): 285☼
- 285 (value) * 41 (quantity) == 11685☼
Glass furnace (Magma) · Kiln (Magma) · Smelter (Magma) · Wood furnace
Clutter · Kennel · Shop · Trade depot