Cooking is a secondary profession within WoW Classic. As the name might suggest, you’ll use raw materials found from monsters and fishing to create food that can heal you and even give combat bonuses! Because cooking can create valuable consumables at max level, it becomes an important skill with high demand. Check out the rest of this guide to level your cooking from 1-300, regardless of your faction and whether or not you want to fish!
Because the cooking skill is a secondary profession, it won’t take up one of your two main profession slots, meaning any character, race, or class can learn cooking. To level your cooking skill, you’ll need raw meat that you can find on the corpses of specific beasts.
Cooking is an excellent skill for casual or serious players. Questing, especially alone, is often difficult and requires the frequent use of food to continue fighting. Unless you’re a mage, this means you’ll need to buy food from a vendor to keep yourself sustained.
With cooking, you can make yourself free food with meat you’ll pick up just by leveling. At max skill level, cooking is excellent for providing food with combat bonuses. These recipes require materials that are harder to obtain and the resulting foods are generally much more expensive.
When it comes to leveling methods, there are two traditional routes. You can level your cooking using the standard method, which entails collecting meat from beasts all across Azeroth. Alternatively, you can also choose the pescatarian route by taking the fishing route. We’ll cover both strategies in this guide, as well as noting key differences for Alliance and Horde players.
Training plays a huge role in leveling your cooking, as you’ll need new recipes learned from trainers and vendors both to reach even higher levels. For any specific recipes you’ll need to find, we’ll tell you where to find them in the section where you need them. For general cooking trainers that offer you level cap increases, you can find them at these locations:
Apprentice (1-75) – Like most other professions, simply ask a guard in any major city where a cooking trainer is. For Alliance, that means Stormwind, Ironforge, or Darnassus. For the Horde, you can go to Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, or Undercity.
Journeyman (75-150) – Return to the same city you originally learned cooking in. This is the last time you’ll visit this trainer!
Expert (150-225) – To learn expert cooking, you’ll actually need to learn it from a cookbook! How fitting. For Alliance players, you can purchase that book from Shandrina in Mystral Lake, Ashenvale, while Horde players can purchase it from Wulan in Shadowprey Village, Desolace.
Before you start cooking, there are a few key things to keep in mind! Depending on what faction you play and how you want to tackle leveling, you’ll have a very different experience!
Although both Alliance and Horde players have fairly similar leveling routes to reach 300 cooking, there are several instances where a different recipe is used. The first and last 75 levels are identical for both factions, but the middle levels are where the route differs.
The exception to this is Nightelves who do not have wolves or boars in their starting zone. Instead they acquire the Kaldorei Spider Kabob from a quest of the same name in their starting zone.
For those sections, each faction will have their own instructions.
One of the easier ways of leveling cooking is by simultaneously leveling your fishing skill. You can entirely source your way to 300 cooking from fishing alone, but this will require several hours of fishing in order to reach a high enough fishing level to catch the fish you’ll need to cook.
If you already plan on leveling your fishing, this is a perfect opportunity for you to freely level your cooking skill at the same time. It is important to note that there is also a fishing quest required to learn artisan fishing, which you’ll need to catch the fish required to cap your cooking.
Because fishing drastically changes the way the guide looks, there is an entirely separate cooking guide for if you want to fish rather than kill beasts.
Throughout the guide, you’ll notice there are a few quests that you’ll need to do. These quests are required to learn the recipe you’ll use, but fortunately most quests are as simple as collecting a set amount of ingredients and handing them in.
For anything more advance, we’ll illustrate how to complete the quest. Additionally, we’ll mention when you need to purchase a specific recipe from a vendor!
Depending upon your method and faction, your material needs will differ. Keep in mind totals will vary based upon your RNG, but these should serve as a good guideline of what to expect. Here are the totals for each cooking leveling method:
Welcome to the wonderful world of cooking! Where flavor is king and quality is never an afterthought! Just kidding, you’ll use any old cut of meat you can find! For your first cooking recipe, both factions will make any combination of charred wolf meat and roast boar meat to reach 40 cooking. You can kill boars and wolves found around Elwynn Forest and Mulgore/Durotar. If you are playing as a Nightelf, wolves and boars are not an option, so hunt spiders all over Teldrassil to get the legs you need for a Kaldorei favorite!
For the next recipe, you’ll need to purchase it from a vendor. Alliance players will head to Drac Roughcut in Thelsamar, Loch Modan. Horde players can find theirs at Andrew Hilbert in The Sepulcher, Silverpine Forest. Kill bears from the surrounding zones. Smoke enough bear meat to reach at least 75 cooking, feel free to keep going until 90 if you’re Horde.
Now things start to get a little different! Learn journeyman cooking, while also picking up this nifty little recipe for some delectable crab cake. Make just 10 of them, but don’t eat them all at once! Don’t forget to buy mild spices from a cooking vendor near your trainer. You can find some pinchy crawlers over in Westfall near the coast.
Crabfest continues, but now you’re cooking whole crab claws. Pick up this recipe from Kendor Kabonka in Stormwind. Cook crab claws until you reach triple digits for your cooking level! These also drop from crawlers, so keep farming them in Westfall.
Yes, wolf is actually quite a versatile meat. You’re going to turn it into a kabob now, which requires you to complete a quest to learn the seasoned wolf kabob recipe. After finishing it, collect lean wolf flanks again from the wolves in Duskwood.
To complete: Seasoned Wolf Kabobs, grab the quest from Chef Grual in Darkshire, Duskwood. Collect 10 Lean Wolf Flank from wolves in the zone. Pick up the Stormwind Seasoning Herbs from Felicia Gump in a flower shop in the Canal District, then head back to Chef Grual to finish up.
For this next part, you’ll actually need to head to a few spots. First you’ll need the recipe for a curiously tasty omelet, which can be purchased yet again from Kendor Kabonka in Stormwind. To make these omelets, you’ll need (surprise!) eggs, but more specifically, raptor eggs! You can get them from raptors around Arathi Highlands, but might have more luck with the raptors in the wetlands just north of Grim Batol. Don’t forget to buy hot spices from a cooking vendor!
After reaching 150, you’ll need to purchase a cookbook to unlock expert cooking. You can find it in Mystral Lake, Ashenvale from a vendor named Shandrina.
Continue killing and cooking bears, until you’ve reached 90 in cooking. You can still get the bear meat easily enough in Silverpine Forest and you’ll already be there so it is convenient. If you are looking for a higher drop rate and are high enough level (at least 28), the Giant Ashenvale Bear drops meat at a 71% rate, which is the highest.
While the Alliance gets to make some tasty crab dishes, the Horde gets the pleasure of the delicacy that is dig rat stew. This does require you to complete the simple quest Dig Rat Stew, but afterwards you’ll simply need to kill dig rats and cook them using the recipe you get as a reward from the quest until you’ve reached 125 in cooking.
To complete Dig Rat Stew, pick up the quest from Grub in The Barrens. You’ll find him in one of the towers that hug the mountain north of the road between Ratchet and The Crossroads. Once you have the quest from Grub, head south to the Bael’dun Excavation site in The Barrens and collect 8 dig rats in Bael Modan to fulfill the quest requirements.
The easiest way for horde players to get the recipe for this one is to take the zeppelin from Orgrimmar to Grom’gol Base Camp in the Arathi Highlands and purchase it from Nerrist. You can also get it from Keena in Hammerfall and may want to, as hunting raptors for the eggs for this recipe can be done from the Arathi Highlands, or more efficiently from the Wetlands, just north of the road to Grim Batol.
Once you’ve capped at 150, make your way to Shadowprey Village, Desolace to purchase an Expert Cookbook from Wulan.
Once you reach 175 cooking, you’ll encounter another cooking recipe quest! This one is for soothing turtle bisque, requiring turtle meat from turtles in Hillsbrad Foothills.
To complete Soothing Turtle Bisque, speak to Chef Jessen in Southshore, Hillsbrad Foothills. You’ll need 10 Turtle Meat, found on turtles around the river to the north. Head back to Chef Jessen once finished.
Have you ever thought about what a raptor would taste like? Now’s your chance to find out! Head to Grom’gol Base Camp in Stranglethorn Vale to find Nerrist. Purchase the recipe for roast raptor, and don’t forget some hot spices! Roast up some raptor from the surrounding jungle until you’ve reached 200 in cooking.
It still makes no sense how white spider meat can make a tasty sausage, but your character doesn’t seem to be complaining. Make 25 tubed meats to reach 225 in cooking, unlocking the artisan cooking quest! You can find these spiders in Dustwallow Marsh.
Artisan Cooking Quest
If you’ve made it this far, great work! But you’ve also probably noticed there isn’t an obvious way of unlocking artisan cooking. This is because you need to complete a quest to do so! Both Alliance and Horde players will need to be at least level 35 and head to Gadgetzan, Tanaris and pick up Clamlette Surprise from Dirge Quikcleave. As a side note, don’t forget to purchase the recipe for tender wolf steak from him as well.
The quest itself is simple, but requires you to acquire ingredients that may consume your time. You’ll need to collect: 20 Alterac Swiss, 12 Giant Eggs, and 10 Zesty Clam Meat. The giant eggs can be found from owlbeasts in The Hinterlands. Zesty clam meat can be found in clams looted off turtles in Tanaris. The alterac swiss can be purchased from Ben Trias in Stormwind or Innkeeper Pala in Thunder Bluff.
Once you have all items, head back to Dirge to unlock artisan cooking! If you didn’t do so earlier, purchase the tender wolf steak recipe! The rest of your cooking leveling journey is fairly straightforward, although will take a lot of time for you to grind out the materials.
Both factions will cook the same recipes to reach 300 in cooking. For the next part, you’ll need to purchase two separate recipes. The recipe for tender wolf steak can be purchased from Dirge Quikcleave in Gadgetzan, Tanaris. The monster omelet recipe can be found in Felwood. Alliance players can head to Malygen in Talonbranch Glade, while Horde players can go to Bale in Bloodvenom Post. The recipe can also be purchased in Everlook, Winterspring from Himmik. This is a good time to stock up on soothing spices.
While you do need only 50 skill points to reach 275 cooking, you won’t get a skill up for every piece of food you cook. You’ll need to cook a combination of around 100 monster omelets or tender wolf steaks. You can stop at 275! Giant eggs and tender wolf meat can both be found in Felwood. Wolves drop the meat while owlbeasts drop eggs.
You’ve finally made it to the last recipe! But if you thought it was that simple, think again! You’ll need to complete another quest, this time a short chain of three quests. Once you finish, simply cook around 25 smoked desert dumplings, using the dredge worms around Silithus to reach max cooking. Congratulations on your freshly maxed cooking skill!
Accept the second quest: Sharing the Knowledge. Simply head back to Calandrath in Cenarion Hold to hand in the Torn Recipe Page. Accept the third and final quest: Kitchen Assistance. For this one, you’ll need to collect 10 Sandworm Meat and turn it into Smoked Desert Dumplings to finish the quest!
The best spot for brilliant smallfish is in Elwynn Forest for Alliance players and Mulgore for Horde players. The recipe is available from multiple vendors, depending upon which race you are playing you can view this list of vendors. The trainers also sell the recipes for Brilliant Smallfish and Longjaw Mud Snapper. Purchase both of them and cook brilliant smallfish until 50 cooking. Fish directly next to the fishing trainer to collect raw brilliant smallfish and raw longjaw mud snappers.
Once you reach 50 in cooking, you can start cooking those pesky mud snappers! You should have bought these recipes from the same spot you purchase your brilliant smallfish recipe. Keep fishing in the same spot.
The mud snappers are back! They won’t go away until you’re at least 100 in cooking, so keep catching and cooking until you get there! No need to switch up fishing spots unless you want a change of scenery.
Both Alliance and Horde players will now converge in Hillsbrad Foothills. Both factions will look to fish out of the river east of Southshore. Alliance players will want to pick up the recipe for Bristle Whisker Catfish and Mithril Head Trout from Donald Rabonne in Southshore. Horde players should pick up the bristle whisker catfish recipe from Derak Nightfall in Tarren Mill.
Once you reach 150, don’t forget to unlock expert cooking! For Alliance, purchase your cookbook from Shandrina in Mystral Lake, Ashenvale. Horde players can seek out Wulan in Shadowprey Village, Desolace.
At this point, Alliance and Horde players will split once again. Alliance players already purchased the mithril head trout recipe from Donald Rabonne in Southshore, so they are free to fish up Raw Mithril Head Trout from Arathi Highlands.
Horde players need to pick up the mithril head trout recipe from Wulan in Shadowprey Village, Desolace. Horde players will fish in Shadowprey Village as well. This step will take a while, so don’t be surprised if it takes upwards of 100 fish.
After you reach 225 cooking and fishing, you’ll need to do quests to unlock artisan cooking and fishing. You can find instructions for the artisan cooking quest up above.
Both factions converge once again, this time in the sunny desert of Tanaris. Make you way to Steamwheedle Port, and purchase the recipe for spotted yellowtail and poached sunscale salmon from Gikkix. You can easily catch spotted yellowtail right off the dock. Continue cooking them until you reach 250 in cooking!
Alliance and Horde players will both now migrate to Bloodvenom Falls in Felwood. You should’ve already purchased the poached sunscale salmon recipe from Gikkix in Steamwheedle Port. Cook up some salmon until you’ve reached at least 275 in cooking! One recipe to go!
Mightfish Steak x30 (1x Large Raw Mightfish + 1x Hot Spices + 1x Soothing Spices)
This last one is a bit of a doozy, but it is absolutely worth it. Alliance players will need to go to The Feathermoon Stronghold in Feralas to purchase the mightfish steak recipe from Vivianna. Horde players must head to Camp Mojache in Feralas to buy it from Sheendra Tallgrass. This is also a great time to stock up on hot and soothing spices!
Once you’ve got the recipe, you can catch mightfish in Scalebeard’s Cave, Azshara! Because Azshara requires a minimum of 250 fishing, lures might be a good idea for faster farming. Either way, after about 30 mightfish, you should reach max cooking. Congratulations!