Sims 3 Cooking Guide


Cooking Guide

“How do I make ambrosia” is a question I see quite often. Here I will provide many the details of cooking. I’ll create a separate post on how to make ambrosia, but almost all of the cooking details will be in this guide.


General Cooking Notes:

  • A sim must be at least a teenager to cook.
  • food can be purchased at the store for cheaper price, otherwise your sim will pay for the ingredients at the fridge or stove
  • If a food is not available, either you haven’t learned the recipe, or you do not have high enough skills
  • A sim can have a “quick snack” but it doesn’t add to their cooking skill or meals cooked
  • Do not leave food forever in the fridge, it will go bad. If a sims eats it they will get sick
  • In order to see what ingredients you need, use the cooking journal located in your inventory

Meal Times

3 AM-10 AM: Breakfast 9 AM-3 PM on Weekends: Brunch 12 PM-5 PM: Lunch 5 PM-3 AM: Dinner Anytime: Dessert



Starting Out

When you first start your sim will be horrible at cooking unless they have the cooking trait. I have seen horrific quality waffles nearly kill a sim. Don’t worry though, you’ll be flipping perfect pancakes before you know it with my help.

Choose cooking trait

*create better quality meals
*have cooking book in inventory


Improving Your Cooking Skill


1. Cook!

The first most obvious way is to cook whatever recipes your sim starts out with. The more you cook a recipe the better you get at making that particular meal!

LEARNED RECIPES (learned automatically through improving cooking skill)
Skill Level -> Recipe
0 -> Autumn Salad
0 -> Waffles 0Mac and Cheese
1 -> Pancakes
1 -> Peanut Butter and Jelly
1 -> Hot Dogs
2 -> Goopy Carbonara
2 -> Grilled Cheese
4 -> Spaghetti
4 -> Sushi Roll
5 -> Stu Surprise
6 -> Hamburger
7 -> Key Lime Pie
8 -> Grilled Salmon
9 -> French Toast
9 -> Dim Sum
10 -> Lobster Thermador


2. Books

The second way is reading recipe books. You’ll have to be at a certain skill level before you can read them. They are purchased at the bookstore, but if you work as a chef sometimes you will be given a recipe book to read as homework for a little job boost. The best thing about reading recipes, is that your cooking skill grows while you read them. so don’t worry if you feel like you “aren’t cooking” anything because you learn another recipe to cook of course 🙂

RECIPE BOOK LIST *After reading, the book will disappear, you cannot sell it back*

Skill level -> Book -> Cost
1 -> Ratatouille -> §25
3 -> Fish and Chips -> §50
3 -> Cookies -> §100
4 -> Fruit Parfait -> §200
5 -> Cheesesteak -> §300
6 -> Cobbler -> §450
7 -> Eggs Machiavellian -> §5,890
8 -> Tri-Tip Steak -> §650
9 -> Stuffed Turkey -> §800
10 -> Baked Angel Food Cake 10 -> §1,000
10 -> Ambrosia -> §12,000

*Note: Some of these recipes can be given as assignments if you are a chef, but there is also a chance you can learn them by dining out at the restaurant.


3. Cooking Channel

The Cooking channel is another way to increase it. But as with all the TV skill building, I prefer doing the actual cooking at the stove. In this game, the more you do something the better your products seem to get, that’s why I always try to do the real thing instead of watch tv for any skill set.


4. Chef

Working as a Chef at the restaurant will give you opportunities to improve cooking while at work. This is very efficient and you’ll also be given special cooking and gardening challenges to complete.


5. Equipment

Improving your fridge and stove through purchasing or having someone handy upgrade it (for instance “improve meal quality”) will help a great deal to achieve perfection. If you hit level 10 as the World’s Top Chef position, you’ll be given a special tool that greatly improves meals. NOTE: be sure when choosing what appliance you use. If you use the fridge menu to cook, you will not recieve the benefit of improved meal quality


6. Gardening

Use Gardening to get better quality ingredients. You cannot buy perfect fruits, veggies, or fish from the market, they all have to be created by you. If you buy them from the market they are simply “very nice”, but if you want better quality you have to grow it yourself. Have a gardener around, or become a gardener and a chef! Once you’ve grown higher quality fruit/vegetable/fish and harvested them, you can drag it into the fridge or simply cook and your sim will use it.

NOTE: If there is a price above the meal, that means you are purchasing items to cook it – NOT using the high quality items from your inventory!



Skill Challenges


Star Chef: Star Chefs have prepared at least 50 meals, so they clearly know their way around the kitchen. The dishes they prepare are higher quality and thus more pleasing.


World-Class Chef: World-Class Chefs have prepared at least 75 dishes and are masters of the kitchen. World-Class Chefs prepare meals significantly faster.


Menu Maven: Menu Mavens have learned to prepare all recipes. Recipes are earned by improving the Cooking skill and can be purchased at the bookstore. Menu Mavens prepare higher quality food.






17 Responses to “Sims 3 Cooking Guide”

  1. Sims 3 How to make Ambrosia? « Sims 3 hints and strategy guides Says:

    […] and saving money from your job, this is not a difficult process, but it does take time. See my cooking guide for more info. Goal State: Saved enough money to purchase ambrosia recipe, cooking skill level […]

  2. Tarot Says:

    You can also learn some of the extra recipes by watching the Cookin’ Cable channel on a TV. I’ve done so using the §500 Channel Troweler TV, so it doesn’t have to be an expensive one.

  3. J4142000 Says:

    Just so you know,Children CAN cook,you just need to buy a toy oven.They can make a muffin.
    Thank you,

    • wiremanart Says:

      I really never saw that option, but I only grew children one time. It was such a pain I skipped it altogether and only use premade young adults sims to start with. Good tip, does it count toward their cooking skill level I wonder?

  4. KaliBast Says:

    my guy keeps wanting to make meals with different types of fish that arent an ingredient in the listed food. for example, right now he wants to make a meal with swordfish. any help?

  5. Sedira Sanders Says:

    Cooking muffins, playing the xylophone, playing with the blocks and reading books to toddlers/children give them a head start on their skills. It doesn’t show while they are young, but when they are old enough to cook on the stove, play the guitar, play chess and paint it will show by starting them off at level 2 or 3.

  6. Sedira Sanders Says:

    Ugh…My original sims had 6 children and I was more than eager to get them out the house and retire my sims so that I could devout time to fishing, gardening and collecting items, but they wanted to see them with certain careers and married so I switched houses to play with the children and lost everything in their inventory except the plagues they received for maxing out their skills. I was upset because I had spent so much time searching and having stones cut it was ridiculous. Is this a glitch? I saw that I would loose my wishes, but I don’t remember anything about loosing my inventory. How can I go back and forth without loosing everything? Or once they are out of the house or they more or less out of my control? In the meantime I moved them back in just so I could build their skills up and get them the careers they wanted.

    • wiremanart Says:

      once you switch houses, the sims will do whatever the heck they want, you have absolutely no control. The worst part is once you switch back, everything you worked so hard to earn and collect will be gone.

  7. mollie Says:


  8. Avilahhh Says:

    I know a helpful cooking skill glitch. But you must have atleast 2 active sims, and one must have atleast one cooking skill. First have one sim(the one with cooking skill) sit down and watch their TV’s cooking channel. Wait for the bar above their head that indicates that they are gaining skill. Next have the other sim sit down and play video games while the other sim is still watching the cooking channel. If the bar above their head remaings, it means that the glitch worked! Your sim with the glitch can play the video game as well and keep earning skill points. Also, when your sim walks away from the TV to do something else,, he/she will keep earning skill until their cooking skill is at level ten (it may take a while because as your skill gets higher it takes longer to go up a level). You can even earn other skills while learning cooking skill! I don’t think this works with the gardening or fishing channel. I have yet to try! Thanks for your blog by the way, it helped a lot,, I didn’t even know what ambrosia did! 🙂 🙂

  9. amm Says:

    I really don’t know if you know this, but I’ve just found out that the digital aquarium has one DEATH FISH inside!!! So, there’s no need for improving your fishing skill or anything! Just improve your cooking skill and all the hard work will be done!

  10. Alisha Says:

    How do i look up ‘yum in the dictionary’?

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