Cooking is a relatively easy skill to train in F2P (free-to-play) due to the wide availability of cooking resources (such as fish) and the large amount of experience training yields over a short period of time. Even power levelling cooking is cheap, efficient, and viable in F2P. Completing the Cook's Assistant quest is helpful for all players as it opens up access to a new range in Lumbridge, which is close to a bank and reduces the chance of burning low-levelled food compared to using a fire or other ranges across Gielinor.
Some food items that require a combination of multiple items can be bought uncooked from the Grand Exchange. Though they are usually hard to buy, they may be good for training cooking.
Cooking level table
This is a cropped table indicating what can be achieved starting at certain levels. It only covers items efficient for training cooking.
|1||Shrimps, Meat, Crayfish, Chicken. Anchovies||30||All these items are easily obtainable by fishing or killing beginner monsters. You can also pick up meat dropped by cows in the cow field in Lumbridge where many people train and leave meat lying around. Also, when you kill chickens for their meat, always pick up the feathers dropped by them. 100 feathers are worth 1,300 at the Grand Exchange.|
|15||Trout||70||Trout can be multi-purposed. They can serve as mid level food, healing 300 life points each, or as power levelling items for both fishing and cooking. You can also pick up Trout from many power-fishers at the river near Gunnarsgrunn. Power-cooking Trout is a popular way of levelling Cooking in F2P and costs about 4.43 per XP gained.|
|20||Pike||80||Pike are generally harder to fish, expensive, and yield a low amount of experience.|
|25||Salmon||90||Salmon can be used for food, heal 500 life points each, or sold for 29 coins each. They are mainly obtained by lure fishing above level 30 fishing, or you can pick them up at the barbarian village where power fishers drop them. After cooking Salmon, it can be taken into the Stronghold of Security and sold to players training combat on the second and third floors.|
|30||Apple pie||130||Apple pie can be made as mid-high level food, healing 300 life points twice each, although 32 Cooking is needed to enter the cooking guild to make these pies in bulk. They currently cost 251 coins each.|
|30||Tuna||100||Tuna can be used as mid-level food, healing 750 life points each. They are very popular for training cooking since power-fishers (mostly at Musa Point) often drop them ready to be picked up and cooked, creating a free source to train cooking quickly. Cooked tuna also has a constant demand and can be sold for 37 coins each, higher than the raw counterpart.|
|32||Cooking Guild||N/A||The Cooking Guild is a good place to train cooking by making Jugs of wine and Apple pies, as it provides materials sufficient to make them.|
|35||Pizza||143||Cooked pizza can be used as food, healing 350 life points twice each. Cooked pizzas should not be sold, but kept for adding toppings later on.|
|35||Jug of wine||200||Jug of wine can be used as mid-high level food, healing 700 life points each, but causes the Attack stat to decrease. It is ideal for Ranged or Magic training. You may enter the cooking guild to make free wine, considering there are jugs, grapes, and water.|
|40||Lobster||120||Lobsters can be cooked as high level food, healing 1200 life points each. Cooked lobster can be sold for 141 coins, which is less than the raw counterpart.|
|45||Swordfish||140||Swordfish can be cooked as high level food, giving the highest healing rate for F2P players in a single bite, healing 1400 life points. As with all fish, it can be consumed in one bite. Although the difference between price of raw and cooked swordfish is small, cooking swordfish would incur major loss due to the low success rate when cooking the fish.|
|45||Meat pizza||(143+25)||Meat pizzas, which heal 450 life points twice, can be made by adding cooked meat to plain pizza. Raw meat is easily obtainable from killing giant rats, cows, and bears.|
|55||Anchovy pizza||(143+39)||Anchovy pizzas, which heal 550 life points twice, are made by adding cooked anchovies to plain pizza, making it the best pizza for F2P players. Anchovy pizza can be sold for 600 coins.|
Note: Cooking with a fire now gives 10% more xp as of the recent Bonfires update
Below are some training routes suitable for different kinds of players.
Training with Fishing
This route is suitable for players willing to train cooking along with fishing.
Crayfish and shrimps can be caught without any requirements. Crayfish can be fished much faster, though both of them yield 30 experience per successful cooking. Cooked crayfish and shrimps don't sell much in Grand Exchange, thus they should be used for food only. The best place to net shrimps is Draynor, and the best place to cage crayfish is at the river behind the Lumbridge church.
Trout can be caught in Gunnarsgrunn or in Lumbridge, provided you have level 20 Fishing. Trouts are very handy and each of them give 70 experience. Power-cookers can even grab dropped raw trouts from powerfishers and cook them. If you go to Gunnarsgrunn in World 3, or a populated world, there are usually people giving away free raw trouts and salmon.
Tunas can be caught at Musa point in Karamja by harpooning them at level 35 fishing. Tuna yields 100 experience each cooking, though the catching speed is slow. The dropped raw tunas from powerfishers can be taken to cook. If a player decides to use this method to train cooking, a very busy world should be selected.
Lobsters can be caught at Musa point in Karamja at level 40 fishing. Lobster yields 120 experience each. Cooking and catching speed is comparable to harpooning. There are rarely any lobster drops from powerfishers, thus fishing them yourself is better.
Swordfish can be caught in Musa point in Karamja at level 50 fishing. Swordfish yields 140 experience each cooking. With the swordfish gloves obtained from the Fist of Guthix activity, players can earn double the amount of experience in catching a swordfish. However swordfish catching speed is the slowest among all fish, because tunas are also caught while harpooning. Also, a higher cooking level should be attained before starting to cook swordfish, as the burning rate is high among them.
It used to be a common practice to trade cooked for raw food; however, this is less common now due to the prices of raw food being more expensive.
The reason this method is placed in a small part, is fishing is also involved in the part, and dungeoneering cannot yield stable cooking experience. The working principle is simple. Just chop/buy some high tier branches, fish and cook them into cooked food. There are several points to notice:
- Fishing speed is much faster, and each fishing spot yields 11-14 fish before depletion.
- Wood for burning can greatly affect the burning rate, choose the best wood to cook.
- Buying wood would be much more expensive than cutting them, but fish do not have great cost.
- Do it after defeating the boss.
Alternate method to level without burning food
This is an alternate method to level cooking without burning fish; however, it will most likely be slower than the method suggested above. It is recommended to use the other methods to attain level 50 cooking before beginning.
|Image||Fish Type||Start Level||Finishing Level||Number Of|
Raw Fish (coins)
|Coins per |
|Total Fish||99,297||Total cost||-35,005,987||13,966,511||-21,039,476|
With Cooking urns
|Image||Fish Type||Start Level||Finishing Level||Number Of|
Raw Fish (coins)
|Total Fish||92,370||Total cost||-35,806,064||12,088,514||-23,717,550|
*It is not advisable to cook swordfish after you reach level 86 while cooking with urns, because you can't use urns on Swordfish, the amount of Swordfish you need to cook is a couple of thousand more than you need with Lobsters and you will lose a bit more money.
A cooking urn gives 950 experience when full. If one uses a cooking urn and 40 lobsters the experience gained averages to 143.75 per lobster. This is higher than swordfish at only 140 per swordfish.
Also, another faster method is to cook pizza from the level you're able to cook them all the way to 99. It is better experience than swordfish (143 vs 140) and you make 100 coins per pizza. The prices change all the time though, so check the prices before selling the pizzas. If one uses a cooking urn and 43 uncooked pizzas the experience gained averages to 170.94 per pizza.
Training via Cooking guild
Please note, 32 Cooking is needed to enter the guild. Some equipment, like a chef's hat should be brought before entering the guild as well.
Although apple pies can be made at level 30 cooking, only the cooking guild has free and fairly abundant resources for mass-producing them. One jug, pot, pie dish and three cooking apple spawns are available in the guild. The process of making pies can be sped up if players bring their own jugs and pots prior. Wheat can be harvested in the field directly behind the guild, then made into flour using the mill. Collecting flour, water and mixing pastry dough can all be done on the ground floor.
Jugs and grapes can also be found inside the guild. Wine can be fermented within the guild by filling jugs with water from the sink on the ground floor, then using grapes on the jugs of water. Buying the ingredients from the GE results in a profit/loss of -66,192 coins per inventory. Wine gives the highest cooking experience per success, though grape spawning is slow. Nothing is needed to be brought prior. This method of training is somewhat expensive, but can give up to 2,800 experience per inventory (14 grapes/14 jugs of water).
Training with complex food
Complex food requires time to make and can initially be a bit costly, but can be very rewarding. Complex food basically has varied trips, ranging from Draynor to Wilderness. It is possible to power-level these kinds of food, simply by purchasing the final uncooked version of the food (an uncooked pie, for example) from the Grand Exchange, or trading with another player. This method is usually quite expensive, but in turn offers very fast experience.
Redberry pies are the first complex food that can be made. As these pies serve no purpose at higher levels, a quick method shall be shown here. Redberries, jug, pie dish, and pots can be bought from Beefy Bill in the cowfield south of Varrock. Beefy Bill can supply all the goods for about 8 coins. If you're in Lumbridge, Beefy Bill can bank them and the mill can give flour, so it's the easiest power-levelling. Note that Beefy Bill charges a 10% commission to bank items. The supplies such as buckets or jugs can also be bought from general store, but it's better to get them from the bushes south-east of Varrock, straight north from the entrance to Al Kharid. After that, redberry pies can be made in bulk.
Meat pies can be similar to redberry pies, except cows can be killed at the old Gnomecopter site and banked for quick storage.
Stews can be made by picking potatoes in the potato field between Lumbridge and Varrock (directly north of the Lumbridge cow farm) and killing the cows for raw beef. Bowls can be taken from the kitchen of Lumbridge Castle, purchased from general stores or the Grand Exchange, or manufactured with the Crafting skill (requires level 8 Crafting).
Plain pizza can be made from one tomato, one cheese and one pizza base; the pizza base can be made by using a pot of flour with a jug of water or bought from Fat Tony in the Bandit Camp (Wilderness) for 4 coins each. To ensure quick buying of pizza bases, exactly 51 coins can be brought to buy exactly 10 pizza bases, and immediately move to and from the bank. Due to the personal shop update, the respawn rate of shop supply is low and players might choose to make the pizza bases themselves or wait. Cheese and tomatoes can be taken from Aggie's house or Fat Tony's camp, but both of them have disadvantages. Draynor lacks a support of cooking ranges, and Fat Tony is in Level 23 Wilderness which means players are at risk of being attacked by other players. Bandits are also aggressive, meaning that lower-levelled players must take care if they choose to train with pizzas in the Wilderness. Cooking pizzas at the range in Al Kharid can earn up to 180k xp per hour.
Bonfires are a great way of earning more experience, as cooking on a bonfire will earn a player 10% more experience over a range. For example, cooking a lobster on a range will result in 120 experience, while cooking a lobster on a bonfire provides 132 experience. This is particularly beneficial if a player has a high enough level that the food will no longer burn. Bonfires can be frequently found at popular Firemaking training locations, such as at the Grand Exchange.
When power levelling, using plain cooking urns can be beneficial since they grant extra experience and thus speed up the levelling process. Plain cooking urns can only be filled by foods that require a Cooking level of up to 40, which means that lobster is the highest grade of fish that can be used in conjunction with plain cooking urns. In practice plain cooking urns provide an XP bonus of almost 20%.
Usable plain cooking urns are untradeable and thus are not sold in the Grand Exchange. Instead, plain cooking urns are sold as plain cooking urn (nr)'s to which the player must attach fire runes to make them into plain cooking urn (r)'s. The act of finishing the urn with a fire rune is instantaneous but makes the urns untradeable.
Currently, buying two pieces soft clay, crafting them into a plain cooking urn (nr) and selling it at the default market price of 977 yields a profit of 139. When the profit is negative, be prepared to pay above the market price or consider crafting the urns yourself.
The recommended bank preset for using plain cooking urns while power levelling with lobsters is one plain cooking urn (r), one plain cooking urn that has already been partially filled, and 26 raw lobsters. This minimises the need for banking and ensures that every lobster cooked contributes to a plain cooking urn.
It's advisable to turn on the "Auto-teleport current skilling urn when full" option from the Miscellaneous Settings section of the Gameplay settings to eliminate the need to manually teleport the urns once they're full.
Sell and buy, or just trade
Fish, particularly the high level ones, play a big role in the cooking market. They make up the bulk of the food market, with high demands of both raw and cooked forms.
When training on lobsters or swordfish, players may wish to use the RuneScape food forum to buy raw fish and sell cooked ones. This can be made quicker by going to the fishing spot in Karamja and ask for lobster, usually they will be happy to oblige.
Buying most fish raw from the Grand Exchange and selling the cooked product in the Grand Exchange is no longer profitable due to many players buying mass amounts of fish to get to 99 Cooking. For many fish there is a significant price difference between cooked and raw fish. If players wish to be profitable, they should sell on demand. This, however, is a slow way to sell food. A way to train cooking and gain a profit would be to make foods containing many steps. These foods give much more experience than fish when made from scratch, many cannot be burnt, and can be sold for modest profit in the Grand Exchange. The downside to this method is that it takes much longer to prepare the ingredients for combining.
Some places are more suited for cooking than others. Here are some recommended places.
Note: If you create your own fires in the Grand Exchange near the bankers, you can eliminate travel time entirely. However, this means you can only cook 27 items per inventory, as you need one spot for logs (and your tinderbox would be on your tool belt). Also, this requires one log for every 27 items you wish to cook, slightly increasing the cost of cooking. Nevertheless, it is significantly faster.
A fire can also almost always be found in crowded worlds in the Grand Exchange and in the Combat Academy near the bank box (preferable for the zero walking distance to the fire). This solution means you can cook 28 items per inventory, minimise walking distance and get the bonfire's bonus XP. From time to time a portable range can be found in these locations, so it is worth considering as a training location.
|Location||Distance from range||Optimal food||Notes|
|Edgeville bank||Very short||Lured fish||There is a range right by the bank in Doris's house. (However Doris is a members-only NPC, so the house is empty.) It is also a popular place to train firemaking, which means that there will be plenty of fires around to cook on if the player wishes for faster runs. (Note: the house that contains the range has a door that automatically closes occasionally.)|
|Lumbridge bank||Very short||Lured, netted and crayfish||Either the 4 log respawn points just outside the bank, or the cooking range in the kitchen in Lumbridge castle can be used for cooking, which the latter boasts lower chance of burning food, although Cook's Assistant is required for access. Players can cook trouts, pikes and salmons by their ways from River Lum to the bank. Bring 28 raw pieces of food. Make a fire and cook all 28 pieces of food. Bank and repeat. Power cooking is also recommended as logs spawn very near to the bank.|
|Al Kharid bank||Very short||Power levelling||Although the range is nearest to bank among everywhere in F2P worlds, fishing spots are rather remote. However, this hot spot has no doors or anything that could block you, which can reduce time taken to cook an inventory. This place is recommended for powercookers who already have all the necessary food.|
|Draynor Village||Short||Shrimp and anchovies||Though the nearest range is in Draynor mansion, the shrimps and anchovies can be cooked on fires made by firemakers. Free supplies of tinderboxes can be obtained from the Wise old man's house by searching the bookcases.|
|Grand Exchange||Medium - Very short||Power levelling||Grand Exchange is a popular place to train firemaking, and materials can be bought and sold freely. A busy world is recommended for training cooking at Grand Exchange.|
|Gunnarsgrunn fishing spots||Medium||Lured fish||Players may stay at the fishing spots and make fire by themselves to cook their food, or cook at the non-stop fire in Peksa's shop (the helmet shop), or the Long hall is a slightly longer way to cook food.|
|Musa Point Spot||Very long||Tuna, lobsters and swordfish||Musa spot is the most popular place for Free-To-Play players to catch tunas, swordfish and lobsters, which is a major source of Cooking Experience. Fire must be manually made by cutting logs (at the entrance to the Musa Point) and lit with a tinderbox, or other players might do it instead. In busy worlds, fires are usually lit by other players. The cooked fish generally have lower value and are not recommended to be sold to the general store. They can be banked in Draynor bank or noted at Stiles, which can then be sold to other players or used as reliable food. To maximise the experience rate, players can login to a very busy world (possibly world 1-3), take raw fish on the ground and cook them, trade to give away to players (the best way), eat/drop them (if out of energy) or run to Stiles to note them. Use the Explorer's ring 3 to teleport to the cabbage patch when you are going to go back to Draynor bank, or using Lumbridge teleport if it is available. Using ferries to travel back to Port Sarim is not recommended. Stiles, as mentioned before, resides south-east from the Karamja volcano entrance and can aid a player in converting fish to bank notes. This removes the need of a player to have to leave the island to bank fish. Thus, a fisherman can stay at the island indefinitely and proceed to cook the fish later on.|