Red Dead Redemption 2 is an action-adventure game set in the Wild West. One of the key aspects of surviving in this harsh environment is being able to cook. Cooking allows players to transform raw ingredients into delicious meals that provide various benefits such as restoring health or boosting stamina. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of cooking in Red Dead Redemption 2 and provide some tips to help you become a master chef.

To start cooking, you will need to set up a campfire. Once the campfire is set up, approach it and interact with it to open the crafting menu. Here, you will see a list of recipes that you can cook using the ingredients you have gathered throughout your journey. Each recipe requires specific ingredients, so make sure you have them in your inventory before attempting to cook.

Once you have selected a recipe, Arthur Morgan, the game’s main protagonist, will begin cooking. This process takes time, so make sure to keep an eye on the cooking meter. If you leave the campfire unattended for too long, your food might burn, and you will have to start over. As Arthur cooks, you can watch his progress and enjoy the immersive animations and sounds that bring the cooking experience to life.

After the cooking process is complete, your meal will be ready to eat. Interact with the campfire again and select “Eat” to consume the cooked food. Depending on the recipe, the meal will provide various benefits such as restoring health, increasing stamina, or fortifying your cores. It’s important to note that cooked food has a expiration time, so make sure to eat it before it spoils.

So, while exploring the vast open world of Red Dead Redemption 2, don’t forget to take a break and cook yourself a hearty meal. Not only will it provide you with valuable benefits, but it will also give you a moment to relax and appreciate the immersive cooking experience that the game offers.

Cooking Basics in RDR2

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In Red Dead Redemption 2, cooking plays an important role in survival. By cooking various types of meat and plants you find in the game, you can restore your health, improve your stamina, and gain other benefits. To start cooking, follow these simple steps:

1. Gather Ingredients:

Look for animals or plants that can be cooked. Animals such as deer, rabbits, and birds provide meat, while plants like herbs can be used to create potent tonics. It’s important to gather fresh ingredients for best results.

2. Build a Campfire:

Find a suitable location and create a campfire. This can be done by opening the Weapon Wheel, selecting the Items tab, and then choosing the Campfire option. Once the campfire is built, you can place your ingredients to start cooking.

3. Cooking:

To cook meat, open your Satchel and go to the provisions section. Select the meat you want to cook and press the appropriate button to start cooking. You can cook multiple pieces of meat at once. For plants, open your Satchel, go to the provisions section, and select the herb you want to cook.

4. Watch the Cooking Process:

As your meat or herbs cook, you’ll see them sizzling and changing color. This indicates that they’re being cooked properly. Be careful not to overcook, as it can reduce the benefits you’ll receive from the food.

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5. Eat and Enjoy:

Once your food is cooked, take it from the fire by approaching the campfire and pressing the appropriate button. Open your Satchel and consume the food from the provisions section. You’ll see your health and stamina restored, and any other benefits the food provides.

Remember, cooking is essential for survival in Red Dead Redemption 2. Experiment with different combinations of meat and herbs to create special recipes with additional benefits. Happy cooking!

Gathering Ingredients and Materials

Before you can start cooking in Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ll need to gather the necessary ingredients and materials. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Hunting: One of the best ways to obtain fresh meat is by hunting animals. You can track animals by following their footprints and signs, and use your bow or gun to take them down. Be careful not to damage the animal too much, as it will affect the quality of the meat.
  • Fishing: Another great way to get ingredients is by fishing. Find a body of water, equip your fishing rod, and cast your line. Wait patiently for a fish to bite, then reel it in and add it to your inventory.
  • Foraging: In addition to hunting and fishing, you can also gather ingredients by foraging. Look for plants and herbs in the wild, such as wild carrots or sage, and pick them up to use in your recipes.
  • Purchasing: If you don’t have time to search for ingredients, you can always buy them from general stores or trappers. Keep in mind that the variety of ingredients available for purchase may vary depending on the location.

Once you have gathered the necessary ingredients, you’ll also need some basic cooking equipment, such as a campfire or stove, a cooking pot, and some seasoning. With these items in hand, you’ll be ready to start cooking delicious meals in Red Dead Redemption 2!

Building a Campfire

One of the essential skills you’ll need in Red Dead Redemption 2 is building a campfire. A campfire serves as a central point for cooking food, crafting items, and resting. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build a campfire in the game:

Step 1: Gather Materials

To build a campfire, you’ll need two essential materials: wood and a fire starter. Wood can be collected by chopping trees or driftwood found near riverbanks. Fire starters can be looted from enemies or bought from general stores.

Step 2: Open Crafting Menu

Press the left directional button on your controller to open the crafting menu. This menu allows you to craft various items, including a campfire.

Step 3: Select Campfire

In the crafting menu, navigate to the “campfire” option and select it. This will show you the required materials for building a campfire.

Step 4: Craft Campfire

If you have the necessary materials, select the “craft” option. Arthur Morgan, the main character, will start building a campfire at the chosen location.

Step 5: Enjoy the Benefits

Once the campfire is built, you can use it for various purposes. Approach the campfire and interact with it to access the crafting and cooking options. You can cook meat collected from hunting, craft healing items, or simply rest and refill your cores.

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Remember to always keep an eye on the campfire’s durability. If it gets damaged or destroyed during a fight or bad weather, you’ll need to rebuild it using the same steps above.

Preparing Meat

Meat is an essential ingredient in many recipes in Red Dead Redemption 2. Whether you’ve hunted the animal yourself or purchased it from a butcher, proper preparation is crucial for a delicious meal.

Cleaning and Skinning

Before cooking meat, you need to clean and skin it. Start by selecting the appropriate knife from your inventory. Approach the animal carcass and press the appropriate button to begin the cleaning process. Follow the on-screen prompts to remove the skin, feathers, or scales.

Once the animal has been skinned, you can choose to harvest additional parts, such as the heart or animal fat. These ingredients can be used in various recipes to enhance their flavor and nutritional value.

Cooking Methods

There are several ways to cook meat in Red Dead Redemption 2:

  • Open Flame: Build a campfire and place a grill or skewers over the flames. Season the meat with herbs and spices, and cook it to your desired doneness. This method is ideal for cooking smaller cuts of meat.
  • Campfire Stew: Combine meat with vegetables, herbs, and seasonings in a cooking pot. Place the pot over a campfire and let it simmer until the meat is tender. This method is perfect for making hearty stews.
  • Oven: If you have access to a fully equipped camp or a house with a stove, you can roast or bake meat in an oven. Season the meat, place it in a baking dish, and cook it at the appropriate temperature and for the recommended time.

Remember to cook meat thoroughly to avoid any risk of foodborne illnesses. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches safe levels.

Experiment with different cuts of meat and cooking methods to discover new and delicious recipes. Enjoy the satisfaction of preparing a tasty meal in the vast and immersive world of Red Dead Redemption 2!

Hunting and Skinning Animals

One of the most important aspects of cooking in Red Dead Redemption 2 is hunting for animals and then skinning them to obtain their meat and pelts. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your hunting experience.

Choosing the Right Prey

When hunting, it’s essential to choose the right prey. Different animals provide different types and qualities of meat, pelts, and other resources. Some animals may be more difficult to hunt or have a higher chance of yielding valuable items. Make sure to prioritize hunting animals that will give you the resources you need for cooking.

Skinning the Animal

After successfully hunting an animal, you need to skin it to obtain its resources. To skin an animal in RDR2, approach the carcass and press the appropriate button prompt. The skinning animation will then commence, and you will receive the animal’s pelt, as well as any other valuable items it may have had. It’s important to note that you should be cautious when skinning animals, as predators could be attracted to the smell and pose a threat.

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Once you have obtained the animal’s pelt, it can be used for crafting or sold for money. The meat, on the other hand, can be used for cooking. Some animals may yield special types of meat, such as game meats or exotic meats, which can be cooked to provide specific benefits and buffs.

Animal Common Meat Special Meat
Deer Prime Beef Joint Stringy Meat
Rabbit Plump Bird Classic Oregano
Bear Bear Meat Fattened Bear

These are just a few examples of the different types of meat you can obtain from different animals. Make sure to experiment with cooking various combinations to discover the benefits and buffs they provide.

Remember, hunting is an essential part of cooking in Red Dead Redemption 2. So strap on your hunting gear, grab your weapon of choice, and head out into the wilderness to hunt and skin animals for the freshest ingredients.


What are the cooking mechanics in Red Dead Redemption 2?

In Red Dead Redemption 2, cooking is a vital mechanic that allows players to restore their health and gain various buffs. Players can cook meat and other ingredients at a campfire or stove to create a range of different recipes.

How do I cook in Red Dead Redemption 2?

To cook in Red Dead Redemption 2, you need to set up a campfire or find a stove in a town or settlement. Once you have the necessary cooking equipment, select the meat or ingredient you want to cook from your inventory, then interact with the campfire or stove to start the cooking process.

What types of food can I cook in Red Dead Redemption 2?

In Red Dead Redemption 2, you can cook various types of food, including different cuts of meat, herbs, and even fish. Each type of ingredient has a unique recipe that can provide different benefits, such as restoring health, increasing stamina, or improving the Dead Eye ability.

Are there any special recipes or combinations in Red Dead Redemption 2?

Yes, there are special recipes and combinations you can create in Red Dead Redemption 2. For example, you can combine certain meats with herbs to create potent food items that provide multiple benefits at once. Experimenting with different ingredients and cooking methods is key to unlocking these special recipes.

What are the benefits of cooking in Red Dead Redemption 2?

The benefits of cooking in Red Dead Redemption 2 are significant. Cooked food provides a higher health restoration than raw meat, and certain recipes can also boost your stamina or improve your Dead Eye ability. Additionally, eating cooked food can increase your overall health core, making you more resistant to damage during combat.

How do I cook meat in Red Dead Redemption 2?

To cook meat in Red Dead Redemption 2, you need to set up a campfire. Approach a campfire and interact with it. Then, select the “Cook” option from the menu. You can choose the specific meat you want to cook, and Arthur Morgan will start to cook it over the fire. Once the meat is cooked, you can eat it to restore your health and stamina.