WotLK Cooking Progression: 375-440 (BETA)

I’ve been trying really hard to level Cooking all the way to 450, but all the recipes are green at 440 and it’s been very difficult to get the last 10 points.  So I gave up and I’m just going to talk about getting to 440.  Maybe Blizzard will ease the end-path before launch :)

The first thing I want to mention about Cooking is the daily quest in Dalaran.  It will benefit you greatly to start doing these as soon as possible.  Mostly because you’ll want to start building up a stash of Dalaran Cooking tokens.  The token recipes don’t kick in until 400, but by the time you get there you’ll want to have some buying power.  In addition to the many new recipes you can get at 400 skill, the vendor also sells spices that you’ll need to make those recipes.  So take my advice – start early on Cooking dailies!

Getting to level 400 in Cooking is pretty easy, you get a whole slew of recipes at 350 from the trainer.  The 350 recipes are yellow at 375 and go green at 382, but you can still get points up to 400 without too much trouble.  From 382-395 I was still getting 50% skill-ups and from 395-400 I got about 25% skill-ups.  Still, this was enough to reach the next wave of spells from the Cooking vendor in Dalaran.

Another suggestion I’d like to make is to plan a little for your Cooking progression once you start to collect the various meaty bits.  It may seem kind of stupid, but there are certain types of meat you’ll have much more of than others.  Once you get to 400 and start looking at the Dalaran vendor’s wares, you may be kicking yourself that you wasted your rhino meat on Rhino Dogs instead of saving them for the Small Feast.  Some critter meats have a pretty low drop rate, so you don’t want to waste them on easy skill-ups.  But if you can plow your way up to 400 with the bountiful chilled meat and save the other vittles for later on, you’ll thank me for the tip ;)

Once you reach 400, assess your meat (or fish) supply.  Whatever you have the most of – buy a recipe for it.  In my case this was Critter Bites, Northrend seems to be swimming in chilled meat.  You’re going to have to be selective with your recipe purchases unless you’ve accrued a bunch of Dalaran tokens.  Once you’ve spent all your tokens it will take 3 days to collect enough for another recipe, so choose wisely!

Another thing you’ll have to plan for is Northern Spices.  They’re required for every 400+ recipe and you can’t just buy them.  You usually get a few in the goodie bag (3-5 per bag?) from the daily quest, but not enough to level at a decent pace.  The only way to get spices in any quantity is to purchase them with your Cooking tokens.  So the token stockpiling becomes trickier because you also have to balance recipe acquisition with the spice purchases necessary to make those recipes.  Now you begin to see why I suggest hitting town ASAP and working the Cooking daily even if you aren’t ready yet.

I came up with a kind of workaround to this, maybe not ideal but it helps.  At this point I’ve gotten 3 of my 4 toons portalled to Dalaran.  So Kaliope does the cooking, she does the daily quest and purchases recipes with her tokens.  She’s also the keeper of piles of meat and fish (hehe).  The other toons do the daily, but they purchase only spices with their tokens and send Kaliope all the spices they collect.  The spices are not BoP, but the recipes are.  So you can use your alts to funnel extra spices to your main ‘chef’ and help her progress faster.  Obviously this doesn’t help your alts with Cooking, but at least one of your toons is leveling up.  Then once Kaliope caps, one of the other girls can be the recipe collector and the others can funnel spices.

Sooooo.  The push to 450 is a bit… ugly.  Well, it is right now anyway.  I’ve submitted multiple “suggestions” about it and maybe it will be addressed before launch.  At 415 cooking skill all of the 400 cooking recipes go green.  You can still push your way to 425 with them, so no major worries there.

At 425 there are only 2 recipes: Gigantic Feast and Small Feast.  The recipes are both yellow when you learn them and turn green at 437.  Each feast requires 2x fishy + 2x some other fishy + 2x critter meat + 1x northern spice.  The fish aren’t too horrible to collect, just a bit time consuming is all.  The critter meats in question are where it gets rough.  Gigantic Feast requires 2x chunks o’ mammoth while the Small Feast requires 2x rhino meat.  Each of these meats has about a 15% drop rate.  For the final 13 points (after the feasts are green), you’ll be getting about 20% skill-ups for making them.

What this means is that just for the last 10 points of Cooking (not including what you make to get *to* 440), you’ll have to make about 50 feasts.  I put some numbers to this and came up with roughly 670 mammoths/rhinos that would have to be slaughtered for the meat.  There’s also 200 fish that would have to be caught and 50 spices that would have to be collected.  This is probably about 8-10 hours worth of work.  I’ve already spent about 3 hours collecting mammoth meat (and leather) and I’m still sitting at 441.  Like I said… it’s ugly.

Now I realize that there are no new recipes past 425 and I don’t *have* to skill up to 450.  But come on, of course we all want to!  We’re crafters, how can we hold our head high if we haven’t maxed our professions?!?!  Then we’ll be like every other PvP scrub who can’t afford his repair bills and is always mooching food and potions.  Don’t make us sink to that level, take pity on us!  Ok, I’m done begging.  The moral of the story is, getting all the recipes isn’t too difficult.  If you want to max out your Cooking skill, well I dunno what to tell ya.  You will be Nesingwary’s new best friend :P

UPDATE:  This post was made during the BETA, please visit our updated version with new info!

16 Responses to “WotLK Cooking Progression: 375-440 (BETA)”

  1. Solidstate Says:

    I didn’t know about the spices thing – thanks for the tip!

  2. Alazasthas Says:

    Why would I want to get to 450 in cooking? Why oh my….because of the title……nuf said

  3. Diabolos Says:


  4. kaliope Says:

    Hehe, I concur!

  5. Rakhman Says:

    Awesome tips, thanks very much. I’ll be working them into my cooking plan once Wrath is out.

  6. Warcraftecon Says:

    Great post, nice to see someone covering cooking in Wotlk. I am a big fan of the untapped cooking market, there is a huge buff in cooking in the beta. With the limited supply of spices, food prices will become closer to potions/elixirs. This means more money for us cooks. I plan to invest in buying out spices and meat on the auction house to level, eventaully I will make all that back if the prices of food go up.

  7. Wotlk Preparation: Part 1 « Warcraft Econ Says:

    […] of the mats for these so I can save my Northrend meat and fish for better recipes. Kaliope over at WoW Crafting Blog has attempted to level cooking in the beta and has reported that it is going to take a lot of mats […]

  8. Matt Says:

    Great Info! I would like to mention fishing being a wise investment to complement cooking ;)

  9. Warcraftecon Says:

    Im on the edge of getting a realm first for cooking. The skill ups seem to be worse than 10%. I gone 17 dishes in a row without a single skill up. I have 4 points left, so close…

  10. kaliope Says:

    Econ: I completely sympathize with your situation! I got my Cooking to 449 (from 425) on the Beta server by making over 150 feasts and 50 Critter Bites. I was buying every rhino and mammoth drop that came up on the auction to try and cap. I sent multiple bug reports complaining about the mat requirements, but ultimately it did no good. I wish I had a tip to share, but for the final stretch I do not :(

  11. Raima Says:

    I’ve been trying to hit 425 for a couple days now but with no luck. I seem to be stuck at 424 and unable to learn my Gigantic Feast recipe. Yesterday I made 60 Poached Northern Sculpin. Today I have made 65 Firecracker Salmon and 25 Feast. I’m so thankful for my druid alt and my husband’s 3 level 70 toons that are farming spice for me by doing the cooking daily, yet still no point. Definitely frustrating.

  12. Zeep Says:

    The cooking seems buggy. I just bought one of the recipes with my first 3 tokens and it was already green at 404.

    A GM told me it was working as intended, checked with someone else, and told me it was intended to be yellow at 400 and green at 402. At this point, it seems better to skill up with recipes that use one piece of meat instead of 2.

    The GM said I could post a suggestion in the forums, and that he could understand why I’d think a level-400 recipe shouldn’t turn green at 402. Is this how it’s always been?

  13. kaliope Says:

    Zeep: I don’t believe the recipes should turn green at 402, at least that’s not my recollection of the cooking progression. My notes have the Critter Bites turning green at 415, which was one of the 400 recipes I purchased in beta. However, this may not reflect the status of the Live recipes, so I can’t say for certain that they should absolutely stay yellow until 415. At this point, I would strongly encourage you to go with the 1x meat recipes as you mentioned. In fact, I would encourage you to use your mats conservatively throughout the process as the situation will only get worse from here.

    I would also suggest you consider 1x fish recipes (Cuttlesteak, Dragonfin Filet) as fish are easier to farm if you have fishing. Alternately you should go with Critter Bites, which use 2x chilled meat. While it takes more of them, chilled meat drops from everything and it’s in strong supply right now. I’ve been picking them up for a fraction of the price of other meats on the Auction. It’s also possible you got a bum recipe, I’d try purchasing another when you have enough tokens and see if you have the same result. Please let us know how it works out!

  14. Zeep Says:

    Thanks. Since I’m leveling fishing, I will do the 1x recipes you get when you arrive in Northrend until they turn gray. It looks as if they will stay green until at least 420.

    I thought about trying another recipe, but it will be 3 days until I have the tokens. I’ll let you know then if I get a good one and can tell, but have already leveled cooking past 415 with hundreds of random fish, so I won’t know if a new recipe would have stayed yellow until 415.

    Chiled meat seems to be another change. When I picked up my first Dalaran cooking quest and started farming for chilled meat, I got none after killing dozens of shoveltusks. It did drop off all the animals at launch, but has stopped doing so. After I’d wasted a half hour or hour, I searched the web and found others with the same problem. They reported no chilled meat from any animals that dropped any other sort of meat. I took their advice and farmed non-hostile animals like rams, which dropped a reasonable amount of chilled meat. The other animals have stopped, at least for now, so the price may start to go up in the AH as supply goes down.

  15. Zeep Says:

    Oops, I hadn’t leveled past 415 but to 414 with the level 350 recipes, which go gray at 415. At that point I tried buying another recipe – rhino since it’s easy to farm the groups of 5 with a frost mage – and of course am having the same experience as others above, going through stacks of meat at 424 for now. Hopefully they’ll change things back to the way they were in the beta, level-400 recipes going green at 415 instead of 402, and I’ve got out and about enough now to see chilled meat on angry bears in Dragonblight, but in terms of farming the starting zones, still not seeing it in hundreds of kills except on the poor rams in Howling Fjord.

  16. Zeep Says:

    Update – some recipes are different than others, or all have been fixed in the absence of a patch.

    The tender shoveltusk steak is the one that the GM told me was meant to go green at 402. I got to 425 with mass quantities of that and firecracker salmon for my casters and the level-400 rhino mp5 food, all green when I got them but not sure what level I got the last two at.

    However, wanting strength food for my prot paladin, I picked up the dragonfin filet recipe with another character at 400 yesterday, and it didn’t turn green until 415 – leveled cooking to 425 very quickly with it.

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