A higher cooking skill reduces the chances of a Sim accidentally causing a fire while cooking. In The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and The Sims 4, Sims will learn to make different meals as their cooking skill increases, and the chance that they will burn a meal will go down. Some careers require cooking skills, most notably the Culinary career.
To increase a Sim's cooking skills, they may need to buy a bookcase and read a cooking book. In The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, preparing food, even cold food such as cereal or sandwiches, also increases the skill. Even so, it's still recommended to have a few skill points before attempting to cook on a stove, as one constant in the Sims games is that an unskilled cook using a stove is liable to start a fire.
In The Sims and The Sims 3, the Cooking skill determines how satisfying a meal is when a Sim has made it. The better the Sim's cooking skill, the faster the hunger bar will be filled. Cooking with fresh food improves the quality of the meal in The Sims 2, The Sims 3 and The Sims 4.
In The Sims, cooking is a very important skill, as using a stove or toaster oven with less than three points carries a risk of fire, and using one with no Cooking skill at all is a high fire risk. Sims with low cooking skill can use a microwave, which only has a small chance of starting a fire, but meals made in a toaster oven or microwave are not as satisfying as those cooked on a stove. Also, if a kitchen has multiple types of cooking appliances, the player cannot choose which one the Sim will use. The only way to be sure that a low-skilled Sim uses a toaster oven or microwave is to not give him or her anything else.
Higher cooking skill will reduce the amount of time a Sim needs to prepare and cook a meal unless a food processor is used.
Sims will always prepare the same meals regardless of their cooking skill level. When instructed to make or serve a meal, they will always produce a can of beans if there is no preparation surface or food processor; a plate of salad if there is no cooking appliance; and a plate of steak and beans if both a preparation surface and a cooking appliance are available.
The Sims: Makin' Magic
In The Sims: Makin' Magic, cooking is vastly expanded to encompass baked goods and nectar. Sims can make bread, pie or cake in the Standard-Plus Brick Oven for Bakers and nectar can be made in the A Pressing Feeling nectar press by collecting and combining ingredients. The baking oven carries a slightly higher fire risk than a regular stove; Sims need at least five points to use it safely. Using incorrect ingredients will produce a burned mess or undrinkable liquid, regardless of the maker's cooking skill. All recipes and their required ingredients are listed in the Sim's Guide to Cooking cookbook. Baked food is immediately served just like regular meals, while bottles of nectar are added to the maker's inventory. Nectar can be sold or stored in the Taste of the Vine Nectar Bar, which will also allow Sims to consume the nectar.
Several new appliances included in Makin' Magic can increase a Sim's cooking skill, such as the Old-Fashioned Butter Churn and the Wax'n'Honey Maker. The cooking skill also determines how many charges a magical Sim will get when making a spell.
This is a full list of recipes, which can also be found when viewing the recipe book. Carrot cake requires The Sims: Unleashed, as carrots are only obtainable by growing them or purchasing them in Old Town. Magic nectar and magic tart are not initially listed in the recipe book, but the recipe will appear after being made for the first time. Magic nectar can only be consumed directly from the press and will temporarily turn the drinker into a ghost, much like the Shed Your Skin charm. The magic tart will be immediately consumed by the chef and will either boost their mood, or temporarily turn their head into that of a donkey.
The Sims 2
Sims that keep reading and cooking to build this skill will be surprised by how much more satisfying their meals become. Cooking is especially important if your Sim entertains ideas of one day becoming a famous chef and hopes to avoid kitchen disasters.
In The Sims 2, cooking skill can be gained from the bookshelf, by preparing a meal, by using the Culinary career reward object, which is the chocolate maker, or by watching the cooking channel (Yummy Channel) on television.
While cooking skill does not actually determine the amount of satisfaction gained from eating food, a higher cooking skill means the Sim can cook dishes that have a higher satisfaction, and decreases the chance of burning the food, or even starting a fire. In addition, high-level Sims will occasionally giggle and mock the program when watching the yummy channel.
The Sims 2: Open for Business allows Sims to make any meal, except for a TV dinner, they have the skill to prepare at any time of day. A meal made in this fashion will not be automatically served.
Food by cooking level
|Skill||Food||Serving Time||Expansion Pack||Notes|
|Base Game||Liquid meal-in-a-can. Requires no preparation or cooking.|
|Base Game||Individual Meal only|
Requires no preparation.
Cannot be made with the Make... or Make many... actions.
|0||Cereal||Breakfast||Base Game||Cold food. Requires no cooking|
|0||Toaster Pastries||Breakfast||Base Game||Requires no preparation.|
Can be made in a regular oven. May be made in a regular oven even if a toaster oven is available.
|0||Lunch Meat Sandwich||Lunch||Base Game||Cold food. Requires no cooking|
|0||Mac and Cheese||Lunch
|0||Cup O' Ramen||Lunch
|University||Individual Meal only|
Requires a microwave
Requires no preparation.
|0||Grandma's Comfort Soup||Lunch
|FreeTime||Family Aspiration Benefit|
|0||Bass with Squash||Lunch
|Seasons||Requires a Largemouth Bass|
Can be grilled
|0||Hot Dogs||Grilled||Base Game||Requires a grill|
|0||Gelatin||Dessert||Base Game||Group Meal only. Requires no preparation or cooking.|
|0||Ramen||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Far East Food Stand|
|0||Steamed Rice Bowl||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Far East Food Stand|
|0||Chirashi||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Far East Food Stand|
|0||Char-Broiled Catfish||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Mountain Food Stand|
|0||Flapjacks||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Mountain Food Stand|
|0||Chicken Pot Pie||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Mountain Food Stand|
|0||Teriyaki Mahi-Mahi||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Tropical Food Stand|
|0||Pineapple Surprise||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Tropical Food Stand|
|0||Luau Ribs||Food Stand||Bon Voyage||Tropical Food Stand|
|0||Gyro||Food Stand||Apartment Life||Diner Food Stand|
Erroneously named as "Flapjacks" in ownable Restaurant menu
|1||Santa Cookies||Dessert||Happy Holiday Stuff||Can only be made in Residential or Community lot zoning. Otherwise, must use make many... interaction|
|2||Grilled Cheese Sandwich||Lunch
|Base Game||Sims with the Grilled Cheese aspiration can make this at any time even if they have fewer than two cooking points.|
|Seasons||Requires a Catfish|
Can be grilled
|Base Game||Cold food. Requires no cooking|
|Base Game||Can be grilled|
|4||Chili Con Carne||Lunch||Base Game|
|4||Stuffed Rainbow Trout||Lunch
|Seasons||Requires a Rainbow Trout|
Can be grilled
|4||Crepes Suzette||Dessert||Nightlife||Group Meal only|
|5||Pork Chops||Dinner||Base Game|
|5||Berry Pie||Dessert||Open for Business||Group Meal only|
|6||Turkey||Dinner||Base Game||Group Meal only|
|6||Stuffed Golden Trout||Lunch
|Seasons||Requires a Golden Trout|
Can be grilled
|6||Cake||Dessert||Base Game||Group Meal only|
|7||Holiday Roast||Dinner||Happy Holiday Stuff||Requires a cornucopia on the lot|
|7||Ribs||Grilled||Base Game||Requires a grill|
|7||Cheesecake||Dessert||Open for Business||Group Meal only|
Guarantees twins if Sim is pregnant.
|8||Baked Alaska||Dessert||Base Game||Group Meal only|
|10||Lobster Thermidor||Dinner||Base Game|
|10||Fried Chicken||Restaurant Menu||Nightlife||Restaurant-exclusive food|
|10||Lime Seared Prawns||Restaurant Menu||Nightlife||Restaurant-exclusive food|
|10||Filet Mignon||Restaurant Menu||Nightlife||Restaurant-exclusive food|
|10||Nectarine Tartlette||Restaurant Menu||Nightlife||Restaurant-exclusive food|
The Sims 3
Cooking as a skill returns in The Sims 3. The skill is augmented by the natural cook trait. The level of cooking skill determines what quality dishes can be made, what kinds of foods can be made, and the likelihood of whether the cooker will start a fire (if using appliances that aren't fireproof). However, Sims are not able to make certain foods until they learn the recipes for them. Several opportunities exist for skilled cooks. Sims can purchase cooking books and from there learn how to cook certain foods.
The Sims 4
Cooking as a skill returns in The Sims 4. Advancing the cooking skill unlocks new recipes and is required to advance in the culinary career. Achieving cooking skill of 5 unlocks the gourmet cooking skill, and if the player owns Dine Out, the ability to make certain experimental food dishes. If the Sim has at least a cooking skill level of 2, and is in certain emotional states, the ability to cook foods that will put Sims that eat it in that same emotional state, is unlocked. Certain mods that add new customized foods tend to override the ability to make emotional meals. If a Sim is in an inspired emotional state, the Sim will be able to make better quality food and beverages.
- Silly Gummy Bear Pancakes (playful)
- Flaming Angry Spaghetti (angry)
- Protein Plate (energetic)
- Flirty Heart Cookies (flirty)