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How to cook in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

It’s been well over a year, and yet Animal Crossing: New Horizons is still giving us more new things to do on our islands. With the latest 2.0 update, a whole host of new activities and features were added, both for free and as part of the paid DLC. While there were many parts that fans were eager to see return — or show up for the first time in the series — there was one aspect in particular everyone seemed to be craving more than others.

Cooking was the perfect ingredient to add to Animal Crossing: New Horizons in this update. Collecting materials, including food, fishing, and crafting, all felt like cooking was the next logical step, and thankfully, it was. Just like in real life, cooking isn’t so easy, though. You’ll need to do some prep work to get your kitchen in order before you can start whipping up some delicious dishes. If you want to know everything there is about how to cook in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we’ve got a step-by-step recipe for you to follow.

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How to unlock cooking

Buying the DIY cooking app.
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There are a few tasks you need to complete before you’ll even be able to fire up your oven. Right off the bat, pay a visit to the Resident Services building and interact with the Nook Stop to buy the “Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+” upgrade to your DIY Recipes app for 2,000 Nook Miles. This will unlock the new recipe for the Stonework kitchen, which is what you’ll be cooking on, and it will add food recipes to your app.

To craft the Stonework kitchen you will need:

  • 30 Stone
  • 15 Clay
  • 10 Iron Nuggets

Take these to your crafting bench to make your new oven! There are also other oven types with different material requirements you can craft, such as the Brick oven, but they all function the same. Once it’s placed, you can interact with it to see any recipes you have to cook, so long as you have the required ingredients.

How to find recipes

Shopping for recipes.
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Having a kitchen is great, but it’s not worth much if you don’t know how to cook anything. That’s where recipes come in. Just like other item recipes, these will tell you exactly what you need to cook up a brand new meal. You can get recipes in a variety of ways beyond the ones you start with after getting the new DIY Recipes+.

The fastest way to get started with a nice course of recipes to work on is to go right over to Nook’s Cranny and pick up the “Basic Cooking Recipes” item. This costs 4,980 Bells and contains around eight recipes to start you off.

You’ll need to come up with the rest of the recipes yourself by collecting ingredients, finding them in bottles on the beach, or as random drops from shooting down balloons. Each new food item that you collect that has an associated meal will automatically unlock the recipe for you.

How to find ingredients

Buying seeds from Leif.
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Whether you’re looking to expand your recipe list or stock up for a feast, you’ll need plenty of ingredients to get your kitchen adventure started. Obviously, different dishes will require different ingredients, but there are a few new ones you may not be familiar with.

New to your island with the 2.0 update is a host of vegetables you can grow. These are very common ingredients in a ton of recipes, so you will want to make sure your farm is tended well so you can harvest enough of these new ingredients. To get these new veggies, you will need to pay a visit to Leif on Harv’s island and invest a hefty 100,000 Bells so he will set up his new shop selling these new seeds. The new ones you want to grab are:

  • Wheat
  • Tomatoes
  • Sugarcane
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots

Flour, as it is in real cooking, is a very common ingredient made from wheat, so we recommend stocking up on plenty of wheat. Otherwise, plant your new fruit and vegetables (yes, tomatoes are fruit), and give them plenty of water for the biggest harvest.

Fishing and gathering will be your other primary way of getting ingredients. There are tons of recipes that use fish, plus things like clams and mushrooms that you’ll want to have on hand as well.

How to cook

A recipe for carrot potage.
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With your oven built and set, a recipe in hand, and a batch of fresh ingredients, it’s time to actually get cooking. Just head up to your kitchen or oven and interact with it. This will pop open the cooking menu, which will look very familiar to the crafting menu you see at your workbench. All you need to do is select the recipe you want to make, making sure you have the required ingredients and confirming your choice. The meal will be made perfectly each and every time!

Once completed, you can hold your meal in your inventory, display it for decorative purposes, give it as a present to fellow villagers or other players, or, heaven forbid, eat it. Eating a meal works just like eating fruit. It will boost your energy meter so you can do things like crack rocks in a single strike. There’s a ton of meals to make, so be glad you don’t have to do the dishes if you plan on cooking them all!

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Jesse Lennox
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