This is a quick guide on how to best use multitasking, leftovers, and prep and cleaning time to your advantage.
Other Cooking Simulator Guides:
- How to View Recipes During Cooking.
- How to Cook Vinny's Milk Steak!
- How to Clean Cutting Board.
- Gift Codes.
This guide will hopefully help newer players ramp up more quickly and pick up on a few tricks I've learned so far. Please reach out if you have any tips or suggestions. This guide assumes you have some basic experience with the game and that you've done the tutorials and know the basic mechanics.
Prep and Cleaning Time
For quickly explaining cutting patterns, I'll be using _ for "vertical" cuts and | for "horizontal" cuts.
I see a lot of people online complaining that the prep time isn't enough time to get much done. Aside from the skills that you can unlock to extend your prep (and cleaning time), here are a few tips I've found to be more efficient during these crucial periods.This may feel cheaty since the game doesn't take into account the spoilage of ingredients just yet so if you're the kind of player aiming for realism, this may not be the guide for you.
1. Know your recipe catalog
If you know the ingredients to your recipes, you won't have to run back and forth to the laptop to see what you need. Being quick at addition/subtraction will help you quickly add up how much of an ingredient you need for recipes you don't know that well. After a while you'll be able to just remember that you need 8 tomatoes and 1 onion for tomato soup. This obviously gets more complicated when you have more involved recipes.
2. Prepare multiple items at once.
Take a cutting board and grab three pieces (or as many pieces as you can handle) of an item at once. Use the multiple grab option to your advantage when possible.
3. Trick items into going where you want them to go on the cutting board
As items are moving through the air, you can look left and right quickly to place items on the left and right sides of the cutting board. This will help to avoid awkward placement and having to manually move things around. As of writing this guide, the controls are clunky to say the least. The less you have to manually move things, the better off you'll be.
4. Be smart about seasoning
If your dish of the day is baked trout, grab three of them using the tricks above and take them to your prep station. Grab your pepper and season all three, then the thyme, then the dill, etc. Don't bake it yet. The idea is just to quickly have them ready to throw in the oven. Even if you're not planning for the dish of the day, it's good to have a few pieces of each meat pre-seasoned and ready to go.
5. Slice lemons and potatoes
Potatoes were a huge pain when I first started. Now I prep them in advance and they're not so bad. You'll want to take the odd shape of the potato into account when you think about the resulting chunks. Slice your potatoes for baked potatoes early with a _ | | pattern taking into consideration that the potato is smaller near the "top". I've found that six pieces (150g / 6 = 25g chunks) works best and gives me the most stars
Lemon quarters work best once you've unlocked the ability to hold the food still. That's a simple cross pattern. One _ cut and one | cut. Thick lemon slices for baked cod work best if you don't hold the lemon and then cut the resulting halves in half. I'm not sure if a food item rotation feature is planned, but until then, this is the best way I've found to do thick slices.
Store your stuff in plastic bowls on your spice rack near the fresh herbs and make sure to take advantage of the multi pick up option (scroll wheel up/down to switch between the quantity of items you're picking up) to grab everything you're cutting at once.Try not to fill your bowls up too much as the bowl is kind of glitchy once it's too full. I have trouble with items obstructing my cursor and preventing me from aiming at the shelves or counters correctly.
Now when you're plating cod, you simply run your fish over, multi grab 4 slices of lemon, and 3 pieces of parsley. This saves so much time it's insane.
French fries are the worst to cut in my experience, so you'll definitely want to keep plenty of those on hand too.
6. Fill up pots with water and broth early.
Pretty self explanatory here. Use the sink's context view while holding a pot or container to your advantage and fill up 1000ml for boiled potatoes and 1300ml for duck broth. Remember to salt the water as well.
7. Don't get mad and throw stuff or make messes.
Use cutting boards for seasoning. If you mess up, click ONCE on the trash can when you're holding the container or messed up food. I used to think I had to pour liquids in the sink. This leads to awkward cleaning angles and floor spills. Cleaning doesn't seem to have much of an effect as of yet, but I get annoyed when my kitchen looks bad. The fewer spills you have, the less you have to clean. Use that garbage can frequently.
I used to also get ♥♥♥ off and throw plates across the room. Don't do this even if it's fun. Unless you just like picking up glass shards, the mechanic gets old quickly and takes away from valuable prep time.
8. Keep spices close and organized.
Try to learn the spices by their pictures. Keep similarly colored spices close together so your mouse doesn't have to move as far. Once you unlock the long arms perk, you will have an easier time reaching spices quickly. I like to keep mine underneath the prep station that faces my cooktop.
9. Pre-plate your garnish and lemons.
Easy enough using the tools above.
10. Make large portions.
Double up your recipes and prepare extra. You can cut up half a loaf of bread and make one batch of gazpacho, or you can use double everything and one loaf of bread and prepare one big container of the stuff.
11. Stay busy!
Make sure you're never skipping the prep and cleaning times. Think of ways you can prepare for tomorrow. As mentioned above, food doesn't spoil, so you can prep anything and reheat it the next day in the microwave or stovetop. For more info on reheating, check out the next section.
When I first started playing, I wasn't even sure you could re-heat food as nothing I tried seemed to work to get that perfect temperature score after I left tomato soup out the night before. However, I've tested this mechanic and I'm pleased to report that it does work.
Annoyingly, you can't use plates/bowls to reheat food. I mean, I guess you can? But I've had horrible experiences with them breaking in the microwave and spilling the contents. It's a huge pain when you have three dishes due and you just spilled your last 300 ml of tomato soup and have to prep a fresh batch.
The microwave does not seem to be subject to the same physical limitations as a real microwave. You can place metal dishes inside without consequence. Use the small pot to reheat soups before transferring them to a deep plate to serve. 30 seconds to a minute in the microwave on medium seems to be enough for most dishes. I've been able to reheat stuff and get the perfect temperature indicator through this method.
Reheating food will save you a ton of time and free you up to do more pressing tasks like cooking batches of recipes you aren't super familiar with. If you know the tomato soup and duck broth recipe in and out, have that stuff ready to go and just reheat it. You can also use the cooktop for this if the microwave is in use, but that can get kind of crazy in terms of managing multiple quantities of multiple dishes.
The only real tip that I have here is to remember to pick up your seasonings once and use them on multiple dishes before moving onto the next. Don't use salt on one dish when you have another dish that needs salt lined up in the queue. Be efficient. This applies during prep/cleaning time and open restaurant hours.