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Insider Trader: Cooking, the final stretch


Cooking is a secondary tradeskill that most players should strongly consider learning, and maximizing. The buffs that many of the foods award can be quite helpful, and aside from damage buffs, there are also healing buffs, tank buffs, and food for hunter and warlock pets, among other yummy treats. If you rely on purchasing the foods from the auction house, you'll find your consumables bill soaring upward.

You can also make a profit from cooking, especially regarding pet food. Because many players are stubborn and won't learn any of the secondary skills, you can sell your dishes for a hefty price.

Still, if you don't fall madly in love with cooking, searching high and low for the latest recipe and farming to your favorite tunes, then you might have some trouble and confusion when trying to reach 375. This week, Insider Trader will take an in-depth look at the easiest path to cooking 375, avoiding fishing altogether. Although they go hand-in-hand, they can be done separately, and many cooks do not want to become fishermen.

Cooking, like many tradeskills before it, benefits from the craftsman's skills in a complimentary profession. While fishing might be a pain to level up, doing so while leveling cooking does give you more options in terms of dishes, buffs, and places to farm. These days, fishing is actually quite profitable, so you might want to consider it!

That being said, as of patch 2.4, it is now possible to level cooking without leveling fishing, or purchasing quantities of fish from other players. Because of this, we'll focus on the easiest way to maximize cooking without becoming a pro angler.

While there are cooking guides all over the internet, here are a few that I found most helpful:
Because of the previous leveling deadzone from about 260 to 300 cooking skill, we'll begin cooking's final stretch early, at skill 250.

250-285:
  1. The first step here will be to acquire the recipes added in patch 2.4, [Recipe: Juicy Bear Burger] and [Recipe: Charred Bear Kabobs]. To do this, Horde members will need to visit Bale in Bloodvenom Post, Felwood, while Alliance players will want to visit Malygen in Talonbranch Glade, Felwood. Bonus: Check out our Well Fed Buff version of the kabobs!
  2. Now you will need to farm enough [Bear Flank] to reach 285 cooking skill. The recipes begin orange at 250, turn yellow at 275, and green at 285, where you'll probably want to halt production.
  3. The meat drops from level 48-58 bears, giving you a few options in terms of where you'd like to farm.
    If you are on the low end of this, you might want to kill the bears that wander in pockets around Felwood, or in the Western Plaguelands. One of the best areas to farm happens to be northern Winterspring, as bears are plentiful, and with a higher level comes a higher drop rate. Unfortunately, because of the chimera, owlbeasts, and wild cats you'll encounter, this spot will not be easy for low levels.
  4. If you are not a skinner, I suggest bringing one along, as the bears, chimera and cats all skin for [Rugged Leather]. Skinning them will also ensure that your mobs spawn faster.
  5. The chimera and bears seem to be on the same spawn cycle, so it is recommended that you kill both in order to encourage the best spawn rate for the bears.
  6. The grey bear parts that will drop actually sell very well to vendors, so be sure to pick them up. The bones won't stack, but many of the other parts will.
285-300:
  1. One of the best ways to reach 300 from 285 is to take a trip to the Cenarion Hold in Silithus. Again, if you are leveling cooking faster than you're leveling your character, you might need an alternative, or a higher level friend to help out. Speak with the innkeeper, and begin the cooking quest chain starting with Desert Recipe, and ending with you having [Recipe: Smoked Desert Dumplings] in your cookbook. The quest requires you be at least level 54.
  2. At this point, you'll want to farm Dredge Crushers and Dredge Strikers for [Sandworm Meat]. Their populations stretch from above the two southern hives northward, filling the entire map except for the northern hive and the northwestern elemental region.
  3. There are some quests you'll want to grab before you head out to farm, each requiring level 54. Deadly Desert Venom will reward you for killing the spiders and scorpids that you will encounter, as will Noggle's Last Hope. Make sure that you get the quest Taking Back Silithus, either from Ironforge or Orgrimmar, as it will lead you to Windcaller Proudhorn, who will give you the quest Securing the Supply Lines and then Stepping up Security, calling for you to kill the very worms you're farming.
Becoming a Master Cook
At this point, you'll have to up your game. Head out to Thrallmar to see Baxter or Honor Hold to see Gaston and purchase your promotion. There's no higher honor than purchasing your own glory. Enjoy your [Master Cookbook] and welcome to the beginning of your future as a Master Chef!

300-325:
  1. The next item on the list, [Recipe: Ravager Dog] can be purchased from Cookie One-Eye in Thrallmar for the Horde, and from Sid the Innkeeper at Honor Hold for the Alliance. Cookie often stands near the stable master, but he does wander to check on injured grunts.
  2. The best part about [Ravager Dog] is that the buff is so useful, that even if it does not suit your character, you should be able to sell it at a nice profit. You will find ravagers to farm along the path to Zangarmarsh in the far west (camp A), along the path to Terokkar Forest in the far south (camp C), and just to the west of Falcon Watch (camp B).
  3. Again, there are plenty of quests that will be helpful to you while farming, but before you set out, make sure you Investigate the Crash. This will open up several quests either involving ravagers, or taking you right near them.
  4. Before heading to camp B, acquire Ravager Egg Roundup for both factions at the crash site. There will be eggs to pick up, but they also drop from the Skitterers.
  5. Horde won't want to enter camp B without A Pilgrim's Plight, otherwise you won't be able to bring back a backpack for an easy reward. The Alliance can acquire Rampaging Ravagers, which will send them into camp C to kill Quillfang Ravagers.
  6. Near camp A is Cenarion Post, and both factions will want to snag the quest, Keep Thornfang Hill Clear! It intends that you kill ravagers, which you'll be doing anyway.
  7. Because you'll encounter many boars and such between camps, both factions can pick up Demonic Contamination from Cenarion Post and In Case of Emergency... from the crash site. Horde might also consider grabbing Preparing the Salve from Spinebreaker Post, as the herbs are littered freely around the southern parts of the province.
325-350:
  1. Head out to Nagrand and purchase [Recipe: Roasted Clefthoof] from Nula in Garadar or for the Alliance, Uriku in Telaar. You can then hunt Clefthoof which roam all around Nagrand for their meat, which has a fairly high drop rate.
  2. There are several quests you might want to snag while hunting Celfthoof. Most obviously, both factions should visit Nesingwary Safari in north eastern Nagrand, and pick up the three quest chains, Talbuk Mastery, Clefthoof Mastery and Windroc Mastery. Talbuks and Windrocs will be all around your Clefthoof, so knocking off the quests while farming will be easy.
  3. You may also want to pick up A Head Full of Ivory, which turns into the repeatable quest creatively named More Heads Full of Ivory. You'll find quite a few Elekks in your path, and drop ivory that you can turn in for Consortium reputation.
  4. Both factions should head to Halaa as soon as possible and pick up Oshu'gun Crystal Powder. Because the powder samples drop off of any mob in Nagrand, you'll be getting stacks of repeatable hand-ins while you farm, which can help get you tokens for items like [Halaani Bag].
325-350 Alternate:
  1. If you are finding Nagrand to be overly farmed, or would prefer an agility buff to strength, you could purchase [Recipe: Warp Burger] instead. In fact, you'll likely want the recipe later should you choose to do the cooking daily quests. The Horde can purchase the recipe from the innkeeper in Stonebreaker Hold, while the Alliance will find the supply officer at Allerian Stronghold carrying it.
  2. If you have flight, you can hunt varying types of warpstalkers while completing your daily quests in Skettis, although there are warpstalkers all over Terokkar. Fel iron and terocone spawns are common, as well as other veins and herbs. Tip: See our guide to unlocking Skettis daily quests, as well as our guide to completing them.
  3. As for quests, while wandering around looking for the sneaky warping creatures, Horde could carry Olemba Seed Oil and Alliance, Olemba seeds, identical quests requiring you pick up some seeds off the ground. Both factions can snag Strange Energy from the Cenarion Thicket just east of the northern/central parts of Shattrath, and kill a few Teromoths. Timber Worg Tails for the Alliance, and Vestments of the Wolf Spirit for Horde, will reward you for killing wolves, which you'll find mingle with your prey.
350-365:
  1. This next recipes can be taken all the way to 375, although they will turn green at 365 so those last ten points will take more meat than you might think. The last points are actually much easier as a fisherman.
  2. Alliance can simply visit Toshley's Station and purchase [Recipe: Mok'Nathal Shortribs] and [Recipe: Crunchy Serpent]. Horde, on the other hand, must complete a quest from Thunderlord Stronghold in the Blade's Edge Mountains, Mok'Nathal Treats. Bonus: Check out our Mok'Nathal Shortribs on Well Fed Buff!
  3. Now all you need to do is hunt the raptors and scalewings that can be found throughout many areas of Blade's Edge. If you are a skinner, hunt the Felsworn Scalewings and the Scalewing Serpents along the eastern shelf, stretching from east of Thunderlord Stronghold north to the bridge to Netherstorm, as they shed [Wind Scales]. These are used in high-end including epic leatherworking. If you'd like to do a full circuit of the ledge, include the very southern part where the dragons are; they drop [Nether dragonscales], also used in high-end leatherworking.
Using the cooking daily quests from The Rokk:
While being a fisherman might mean an easier path to 375 cooking, it is not everyone's cup of tea. Unfortunately for those players, there are an abundance of cooking recipes involving fish, and the last ten points are most easily won by cooking up fish. Although you can purchase your fish from the auction house, you may find the fish overpriced or understocked.

Every cook at level 70 with a minimum of 275 cooking should complete the daily cooking quest from The Rokk in Lower City, at least until the cooking skill is maxed. This is for two reasons, the first being that you'll end up with free things to cook and new recipes. The second is that these "things to cook" can be either meats or fish, allowing you to make use of your abundant fishing recipes for skill points, without having to pay auction house prices or level your angling.

One of the more notable fish you might find as a reward is the [Furious Crawdad], which will allow you to cook up [Recipe: Spicy Crawdad], which will readily get you to 375, as it will still be yellow at 375. This recipe can be purchased from the innkeeper at Allerian Stronghold for the Alliance, or the trade goods vendor at Stonebreaker Hold for the Horde, in Terokkar Forest.

Note to hunters and warlocks:
300-355:
There are two cooking recipes for pets, including [Recipe: Kibler's Bits], available as a random, but common, reward from the daily quests with The Rokk. Because the recipe is bind on pick-up, you'll actually have to complete the quests to learn it. Still, because it is orange at 300, yellow at 345 (that's 45 orange points!) and green at 355, it's worth getting. Most Outland buzzards will be forthcoming with their meat, and you'll find perhaps the best concentration in Hellfire Peninsula.

310-340:
[Recipe: Sporeling Snack] can be purchased from Mycah, the Sporeggar Quartermaster, for only two [Glowcaps]. You need only be neutral with Sporeggar. The leveling-potential of this recipe is not as high, but chances are that while questing in Zangarmarsh, you'll pick up quite a few of the [Strange Spores] from spore bats, marshwalkers, and the like. The final product sells well if you prefer the other pet food. This recipe is yellow at 330 and green at 340. Tip: Refer to our guide to becoming exalted with Sporeggar.

Each week, Insider Trader takes you behind the scenes of the bustling sub-culture of professional craftsmen, examining the profitable, the tragically lacking, and the methods behind the madness. Be sure to visit our guide to the daily cooking quests, or learn more about how fishing can enrich your cooking experience, as well as make you cash. If all of this talk is making you hungry, check out our array of game-based recipes from Well Fed Buff.

Filed under: Fishing, Insider Trader (Professions), Buffs, Making money, Guides, Leveling, Features, Quests, How-tos, Tricks, Tips, Items, Cooking, Skinning, Well Fed Buff

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