Across all cultures and planes of existence, from our grounded reality to the far-flung reaches of fantasy, food is a universal constant. It’s a language that speaks straight to the heart by taking the expressway from the stomach. And in OldSchool RuneScape — just like in real life — food keeps you alive. Not by providing necessary nourishment, but by miraculously and instantly healing your wounds. 

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On second thought, perhaps it’s not quite like real life.

The cuisine of Gielinor is as varied as the world itself. But let’s be honest — it basically boils down to seafood. Ready to don your chef’s hat? The following OSRS F2P Cooking Guide will take you from prep cook zero to five-star chef hero the RuneScape way: by leveraging a gratuitous amount of lobsters and swordfish. 

So tighten your belt, and let’s start burning some food. 

OSRS F2P Cooking Guide: Preparing for Culinary Excellence

OSRS Cooking 1
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Getting started with Cooking is as easy as killing a cow and grilling its succulent steaks over a campfire. But if you want to look the part, you’ll need a few items:

ItemCost
Chef’s hat2gp
Apron2gp

You’ll need the chef’s hat to enter the Cook’s Guild, eventually. The apron serves no real purpose other than verisimilitude. It’s the classic case of dressing for the job you want. 

Completing the Cook’s Assistant quest grants you some token Cooking XP, but that’s not the real draw. Upon completing the quest, you’re permitted to use the “Cook-o-matic 100” — the Lumbridge chef’s personal range. It offers a lower burn rate on most F2P foodstuffs up through Level 25, so it makes the early grind that much more palatable. It’s location immediately beneath the Lumbridge Castle bank also helps. Another decent range would be in the house west of the Edgeville Bank, for once you’ve moved beyond Level 25 cooking. 

Next, you’ll need some raw foodstuffs to cook. If you’re already knee-deep in the oceans and streams of the world for Fishing, you should have no shortage of raw fish on hand. If you prefer meatier foodstuffs, perhaps the early haul from Ranged training might tide you over. Either way, late-game Cooking will be all about more uncommon and expensive ingredients, so having a source of funds like Mining or magical High Alchemy will keep you slaving over a hot stove all the way to 99.

So you’ve got the costume — ahem, uniform — of a chef and a way to source the ingredients you need. Let’s get cooking.

The Song of the Sizzle

Cooking Guide 3
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

For this F2P Cooking Guide 1-99, OSRS is going to look a little different. There won’t be any daring combat or thrilling heroics. You’re going to spend most of your time indoors huddled beside a flickering light, enjoying a variety of novel smells as you listen to your stomach growl while performing the same simple action over and over for hours on end.

Well, perhaps that is like the OSRS experience you know. 

You’re going to be starting at the bottom. The exciting things like pies, pizzas, and stews come later — first, you have a whole lot of steaks and shrimp to grill on the barbie. If there’s one thing we love to do at High Ground Gaming, it’s illustrating a grind through numbers. Let’s talk about your first lap around the Cooking track, with our target being Level 32 Cooking so we can enter the Cooks’ Guild. For the number needed, note that you will burn some even using the Lumbridge range, so bring some extra raw items. 

FoodLevel RangeNumber RequiredTarget XP (Total)
Meat/shrimps/anchovies1-15812,411xp
Trout15-25787,842xp
Salmon25-306213,363xp
Tuna30-323116,456xp

Upon cooking your last tuna, you’ll be Level 32 Cooking and ready to enter the Cooks’ Guild. Now, there are a few ways we can proceed from here (it wouldn’t be a proper Cooking Guide for F2P OSRS if there weren’t), and as always, the choice is yours. 

The Cook’s Guild

Cooking Guide 2
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Unlocking the Cooks’ Guild makes mass training Cooking a breeze thanks to the close proximity of several banks and the Grand Exchange. Source your items from the Grand Exchange, run them down to the Cooks’ Guild to take care of business, then run back to either Varrock West or the Grand Exchange to bank.  

The first floor offers a water source and a bin for retrieving flour. Sorry, but the bank and the ranges down here are for members or max level Cooking masters only. There’s also a respawning chocolate bar here, which can otherwise be a tough item to come by in F2P. 

Once you’re done exploring, making your way up the stairs reveals a smorgasbord of culinary delights to help you on your way. The second floor has respawning cooking apples, a pie dish, a cake tin, a bowl, and two ranges. Note that the dairy churn is members-only, but it adds some lovely ambiance to the proceedings. 

Heading up the stairs one final time reveals the top floor, where you’ll likely be spending a good portion of your training. 

Cooking Guide 5
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

On the third floor, you have a respawning pot and cooking apple, but it’s the jug and grapes that should have your attention. Once you hit Level 35 Cooking, the Cooks’ Guild offers you all you need to start your career as a vintner. Using grapes on jugs filled with water (conveniently obtained from the source on the first floor) is the simple process to get a jug of wine cooking. And once it finishes in about 12 seconds (or when your entire inventory of unfermented wine pops about 12 seconds after preparing the last jug), you’ll net a sparkling 200xp per jug for your effort.

There’s also a hopper up here for turning wheat from the field outside into flour. You can grab the pot from up here on your way down to scoop it up. 

It takes just shy of a minute for the jug and grapes to respawn, so you won’t likely want to sit here idle. Combining winemaking with the other activities in the Cooks’ Guild, like making pies and cakes, will net you the biggest return on your time investment. Note that you won’t be able to get milk without a trip to a dairy cow field, so stock up on buckets and stash the milk in your bank for easy access. Then you’re free to bake cakes to your heart’s content.   

OSRS F2P Cooking Guide: A Leveling Charcuterie

Now that you know the lay of the land, it’s time to really get cooking. We’ve come to the part of this F2P OSRS Cooking Guide where we’ll be talking turkey (ha!) on the Cooking marathon. Each of the routes below will evaluate a single path forward, but you’ll likely want to mix and match them to keep yourself on task and focused. As you’re looking for items to cook, consider whatever item’s level range from each path contains your current level for the best efficiency.

The Seafood Path

FoodLevel RangeNumber RequiredTarget XP (Total)
Tuna32-4545161,512xp
Lobster45-55877166,636xp
Swordfish55-9991,91313,034,431xp

When cooking seafood, you don’t just want to move on to the next tier item as soon as you can cook it — you’ll end up burning a ton and wasting time and money. Grind out a few levels over the threshold needed to cook lobster and swordfish, and you’ll find the experience far less frustrating.

The Baked Goods Path

FoodLevel RangeNumber RequiredTarget XP (Total)
Apple pie32-4016037,224xp
Plain pizza40-4517061,512xp
Cake45-50222101,333xp
Meat pizza50-55387166,636xp
Chocolate cake55-9961,27613,034,431xp

There’s a little more variety found in the baked goods realm. We didn’t even include anchovy pizza, which simply isn’t worth the labor involved for the experience gained. Chocolate cake may be just about as labor-intensive, but it at least rewards you appropriately. 

The Comfort Foods Path

FoodLevel RangeNumber RequiredTarget XP (Total)
Stew32-355122,406xp
Jug of wine35-9965,06113,034,431xp

Stew can be somewhat labor-intensive as well, but it’s a decent healing item early on and may fetch you some coin for your trouble. Jugs of wine are an excellent option for cooking as they can be done en masse right at your bank — simply stockpile the grapes and jugs, withdraw an inventory full, make the jugs of wine, then deposit them and repeat. This can be one of the fastest ways to climb to 99 Cooking if done properly. But the other paths are out there if you need a change of pace. 

The High Ground for Cooking

If you’ve followed along with our Cooking Guide for OSRS F2P, then congratulations! You’ve cooked far more than your fair share of seafood and cakes — and brewed an excessive amount of wine besides. You’re now a master chef to rival the likes of Gordon Ramsay himself. That’s something to be proud of. 

But don’t doff your chef’s hat just yet. If you plan to undertake the Combat grind, you’ll need all the food you can get. Such is the life of a chef. Someone is always hungry.

And often that someone is yourself. Stay hungry for levels, friends. We’ll see you in the next guide. 

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