If you've spent any time at all in Valheim, you know how important maintenance is. You need to keep your tools repaired, your base fortified and reinforced, and your precious resources topped off. This even extends to your character's diet. Food is an extremely crucial element of the game, and with this guide, we'll help you whip up the best dishes so you can keep fighting that good fight.
Valheim Food - How does it work?
Unlike other survival crafting sims, Valheim doesn't have a hunger or thirst management system. Instead, food functions more as a means of health management. You can eat up to three pieces of food at a time, and depending on what you eat, your maximum health will increase and you will heal over time. Eventually these bonuses go away, even ones that affect your maximum health, but these edible helpers can boost you for ten to twenty minutes at a time if you're lucky. That can be the difference between victory and defeat in mid-to-late game scenarios.
Generally, there are three different categories of food. They are divided up in how easy they are to obtain, how easy they are to prepare, and how effective they are. We'll start with....
Valheim – Food You Can Gather
This category you will be getting very familiar with when you're just starting out. As the title implies, you can simply find these items in the wild as you are scavenging and heal well enough.
These include blueberries, raspberries, carrots and mushrooms. These pop up naturally in places you'd expect. Raspberries grow in the Meadow, blueberries grow in the Black Forest, mushrooms can be found in the Meadows and Forest. There are also yellow mushrooms that pack a lot of health and stamina bonuses, but they only grow in Burial Grounds so collect those at your own peril. Carrots are more involved than the others since you can only collect seeds in the Black Forest and will have to grow them yourself.
But the big daddy of this natural splendor is honey. Honey heals you a lot and heals you quickly. It is Valheim's superfood and fantastic for any early game player still trying to get leather armor crafted and a roof over their heads. As expected, you can find this golden sticky delight inside beehives. You can find beehives hidden either in old abandoned buildings or in tree branches in the Meadows biome.
You could just destroy these things until you have enough, but much like boar taming, there's a more economical solution. If you get a Queen Bee from the beehive remains, you can create your own private beehive and get your own honey for free. Bear in mind that beehives need wide open spaces to grow and expand properly, so it won't be good to just tuck it away in a corner in your hideout.
Valheim – Food You Can Hunt
On the second tier is the delicious meat that comes from tracking it down and killing it yourself. Before you get down to it, you will need a Cooking Station built over a fire at your base. The materials are quite basic, some wood and stone, so you should be fine. Generally speaking, these succulent dishes last much longer compared to the scavenged materials and provide stamina bonuses, allowing you to fight longer and travel greater distances. The best combo you can possibly have at this stage would be mushrooms, honey, and some freshly cooked meat for maximum healing and durability.
The food found in this category is generic raw meat. You get it from killing boars and deer. There's much else to it, it's meat. Next are neck tails, and they are dropped from lizard monsters called Necks. They chill out near the shores of large bodies of water and can be taken out pretty quickly. Finally, while you're near some water, you might want to check out our guide for a fishing rod and catch yourself some lunkers to throw on the fire as well.
As for how the Cooking Station works, it's similar to how the Monster Hunter series handles cooking meat. Put two raw items on the cooking rack then wait. After about twenty seconds, or just wait for the sizzle sound effect, take the items off the rack. Congratulations you have some cooked protein. However, if you leave your dish on the cooking rack too long, it will eventually burn up into charcoal. Unless you need some emergency fuel for some metalwork, it's generally a good idea not to let this happen.
Valheim – Food You Prepare
Finally, the highest tier of delicious dishes come from the kind of Viking who knows how to really cook, not just put raw meat over a fire.
First, you need a cauldron. This will take a while since you'll have to smelt some tin for the raw materials. If you need help there, please consult our Smelting guide. Much like the Cooking Station, you'll need to put it over a fire for it to work properly.
Once the cauldron is built, you can cook more elaborate dishes. Unlike the Cooking Station, these dishes will be ready instantly once you have the ingredients. The first of these is Queen's Jam, which is made up of eight blueberries and raspberries. It's the simplest of these recipes to pull off and really helps give these wild fruits more punch.
The second of these meals is carrot soup. The ingredients for a bowl are quite simple: some mushrooms and carrots. If you need tips on how to grow some carrots, please consult our Farming guide. If you want the biggest boost to your stamina and some stellar health regeneration, this is the dish to aim for.
Finally, there are delicious sausages. You get four of them every time you make them, they're lightweight and give you the largest health bonus and fantastic regeneration all on its own. If that all seems too good to be true, it's because you don't know the ingredients yet.
Making some sausages require a bit of raw meat, four bundles of thistle, and two lumps of entrails. The raw meat is obvious, and thistle grows all over the place in the Black Forest, easily identified by it glowing green. The big hurdle is going to be getting entrails since it is only dropped by Draugr, which only show up in the Swamp biome. If you're struggling to get to a Swamp, we have you covered there as well.
And that is our guide for cooking like a master chef from Midgard in Valheim. If you need help, please consult our other guides, and watch out for trolls.