I’ve been on a mission to explore Skilling in New World, trying to figure out all the ins and outs that other people haven’t yet established — or at least haven’t written about on the internet if they have.

My latest quest has been to work out how to level up cooking in New World in the fastest possible time.

At first I was a little put off cooking due to the range of different ingredients you need. Whilst I don’t mind grinding a game like this out, I didn’t want to be running all over Aeternum picking up flour, or nuts, or other items that aren’t typically available in huge quantities.

Then, about 10 minutes before writing this New World cooking leveling guide, I figured out a way — or maybe even the best way to level cooking level in New World. It took me to a Cooking skill of 63 in a matter of seconds.

This is a simple one but there are some useful things that I found out that I’ll share with you too, so let’s get stuck in.

Where to Cook

You’ll be able to follow this guide by cooking in any town that has a Kitchen.

You only need a Tier 2 Kitchen and I used the one located in Windsward.

I like cooking in towns like this because it’s only a short walk to the storage shed, meaning I could withdraw even more items to cook after maxing out my 200.0 carry capacity.

The Best Way to Increase Cooking Level Fast

The best method I’ve found for this is to utilize fish. It took me a while to figure out how to cook fish in New World in the first place, but once I’d worked this out I stumbled across probably the fastest way to level cooking in New World.

You can make the things I’m going to talk about at cooking skill levels of 1 and 2.

Using this New World cooking method took me from a Cooking skill of 20 to level 36 after choosing to cook just one thing — though I did have enough ingredients to make 49 of them.

cooking level 20 to 36

I then continued for a short while longer and I’m confident in saying this method is very good.

Once I was finished cooking all of the fish I’d managed to stockpile from putting my fishing guide together, Cooking became my highest skill level at 63.

cooking level 63

Cooking everything to go from level 19 to 63 took approximately 2 minutes. Of course, getting the ingredients was a lengthier process — which was Fishing in this instance — but this definitely seems to be the best way to go about things, especially if you want to level up two skills (Cooking and Fishing) at the same time.

If you don’t want to spend time fishing, I’d recommend buying a load of medium or large common and uncommon fish at the Trading Post. You can leave a Buy Order running to purchase fish that land on the Trading Post whilst you’re not around.

These fish could be things like Perch, Pike and Catfish. As lots of people are looking to find large Salmon for quests, these would probably be overpriced — but you’ll pick up a large quantity of other fish without needing a huge investment.

Just to emphasize that again: you don’t need to spend hours fishing for this if you don’t want to also level your Fishing skill up at the same time. Buy the fish if you’re lazy or don’t have time.

What we’re going to do with this strategy is not actually cook the fish directly, but instead we’re going to salvage all of our fish in order to get lots of Fish Filets.

Salvaging fish

As you can see from the image above, salvaging 29 of this fish would return me 58-87 Fish Filets.

The even better news is that there are different types of Fish Filets and we can make use of all of them in our recipes — in fact, if salvaging only returned a single type of Filet this wouldn’t be as good. The fact it can return multiple types is the beauty of using this method.

Why does returning multiple types matter so much?

Well, to cook something like an Energizing Travel Ration, we need to combine a Tier 2 Raw Food and a regular Raw Food.

energizing travel ration

But what we can do here is use a Firm Fish Filet as our Tier 2 raw food and a standard Fish Filet as our regular raw food.

To change the item we wish to use whilst cooking, simply click on the box with the ingredient in and see what other options are available.

Select raw foods

But what if you can’t cook an Energizing Travel Ration yet? Or what if you only have regular Fish Filets rather than Firm Fish Filets (or better)?

Well, you can simply make Energizing Light Rations. These only require a raw food, i.e. a Fish Filet.

Energizing light rations

And because we can cook in bulk — check out the image above and you’ll see I can actually make 339 Energizing Light Rations thanks to having 339 Fish Filets — it only takes a few clicks and your cooking XP goes through the roof.

Other Things to Know

Cooking Better Items

You’ll find that as you level up, you’ll be able to cook some other better items too. This will be especially true if you already have a few cooking items in your possession such as Honey or other random ingredients. If you only have fish after following the guidance above, no worries, this doesn’t really affect things too much.

I’d recommend cooking the better items where possible just as the XP per item is a little higher.


Make sure you’re always using Fish Filets as your raw food rather than a fish that you haven’t salvaged yet. This is because salvaging fish regularly returns more than one filet meaning the cooking XP per fish is much higher once you’ve salvaged them.

In this experiment, I even tried to salvage the only Legendary fish (Tier V) that I’ve caught so far just to see what it would do. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t allow it and no option to salvage shows.


Still, no one can say I’m not committed to the cause!

Don’t Use Default Ingredients

If you don’t know how to level cooking in New World, you might end up using whatever ingredients you can find. If you can cook something using items in your inventory, New World will suggest a random way that you can cook it. However, you must check the items you’re using — if you have a lot of them in your inventory, the default ingredients probably aren’t the best or most efficient you could be using.

My precious Tier 5 Albenaja, pictured above, was nearly used as a Raw Food in a meal.

You should always check that you’re using your worst possible items in the secondary and tertiary ingredient options.

Another Useful Method for Cooking Skilling

Another handy tip that we picked up from the New World subreddit is to run from farm to farm gathering all of the Tier 1-3 vegetables. Then also gather Honey as this can be used as a Raw Food in many recipes.