There’s a lot to like about Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve. First released in 2013, this Tim Burton-inspired survival game has an adorably macabre aesthetic, a surprising amount of depth and some fantastic music. If you’re a player who enjoys slowly teasing out a game’s intricacies and steadily improving at it, Don’t Starve is certainly for you.
It’s also dang difficult, however, and very unwelcoming for new players. You’ll have to get to grips with simple concepts like keeping your character fed very quickly. Which is where our handy-dandy guide to one of the player’s most crucial tools, the Crock Pot, comes in. Let’s take a look at ten of the game’s must-know recipes.
Make your Crock Pot (from 3 Cut Stone, 6 Charcoal and 6 Twigs) quickly, and then let’s dive into things.
10 Meaty Stew
Right from the off, you can see how valuable Meaty Stew can be. It offers a phenomenal 150 points of Hunger when eaten, which is pretty well guaranteed to top you off with one meal!
To create it, you need to add meats to the pot to a total meat value of 3.0 or higher (general meats, but only a maximum of one Monster Meat).
The issue is, these ingredients won’t tend to be readily available early-game, and it’s hard to get the very best value from Meaty Stew. Some characters don’t even hit 150 Hunger, after all, making it inefficient. For best value, you’ll want to use it with a character with a high maximum hunger threshold, ideally after they’ve just slept or are otherwise in dire straits.
If you have a little less meat and a little more filler lying around (Berries or the like), Meatballs are another excellent dish to shoot for. While they don’t restore nearly as much Hunger as Meaty Stew does (only 62.5 points), Meatballs are rather more convenient to whip up on the fly, and there’s less worry about timing eating them in order to not waste the effects.
To cook Meatballs, you simply need to add ingredients with a combined meat value of less than 3.0 to your Crock Pot. Generally, this means at least one piece of meat. This is a useful way of converting that otherwise-largely-useless Monster Meat you’ve got hanging around into a food source.
8 Dragon Pie
As vast and frightening as some of the denizens of Don’t Starve are, there are no dragons in the game. Instead, you only need to worry about slaying a Dragon Fruit for this next recipe.
Dragon Pie is cooked in a similar fashion to Meatballs, requiring at least one Dragon Fruit and an assortment of filler items (which cannot be Meat of any kind, or it’ll result in Meat-based dishes instead).
This hearty meal with restore 75 Hunger and 40 Health, making it valuable and versatile. In the DLC packs Reign of Giants and Shipwrecked, it will also give the player a brief temperature boost, which can save your life in desperate scenarios.
Those of us with a sweet tooth will be glad to hear that the super-sticky Taffy is also a very useful recipe in the world of Don’t Starve.
It’s not worth very much Hunger-wise, offering a meager 25 points. That’s useful in a pinch, sure, but as we’ve seen, other dishes grant several times more than that in one meal. Taffy’s main selling point is its Sanity restoration, offering 15 points (three times more than a lot of dishes).
Three Honey are required to make Taffy in a Crock Pot, plus a filler (a Twig usually being the most convenient). Don’t add Meat, though, because that’ll result in Honey Nuggets instead.
6 Ice Cream
Generally speaking, the real world is a far preferable place to live than the Don’t Starve world. You know, what with all the demonic creatures, supernatural dangers, and furious hairy Beefalo that lurk within every biome of Don’t Starve.
On the other hand, sugary treats are quite healthy in this game. Not only is Taffy pretty darn good, but Ice Cream (available via the Crock Pot as of the Reign of Giants DLC) is an excellent dish.
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It’s a little awkward to create, requiring at least one Dairy product, one Ice and one Sweetener (plus fruits or the like as filler), and it doesn’t help much with Hunger (a middling 25 points). The main use of Ice Cream is its Sanity restoration, giving you a whopping 50 points (the highest possible from food, tied with the Lobster Dinner).
The secondary benefit is briefly decreasing your character’s temperature, which can prove vital in the Summer.
Managing resources is one of the key things that a new Don’t Starve player has to get to grips with. At first, you’ll be picking up all manner of obscure items, without really knowing how best to use them.
When it comes to the Crock Pot, this is important. Some meals have similar results but cost much more valuable resources, and you’ve got to pick carefully. One dish that doesn’t cost very much (at least 0.5 Fishes and one Twig) but has great results would be Fishsticks.
37.5 Hunger is fairly average, but the true value of this recipe is its healing. 40 Health for such a quick and easy meal is excellent.
Here in the real world, I’ve always found guacamole to be quite a polarising dish. Some people swear by this avocado-centric dip and slather it on everything, while others simply won’t touch it.
People’s tastes are their own, though; you can’t really question it. Don’t Starve’s take on Guacamole, however, sure does come in handy.
It requires one Cactus Flesh and one Moleworm to create, and is quite effective as an all-rounder. It doesn’t affect your character’s sanity, but gives them 20 Health and 37.5 Hunger. The handy thing about it (as the ever-useful Don’t Starve Wiki points out) is that you can arrange your environment so that Moleworms are always in the vicinity of Cactus, allowing you to keep up a good supply of Guacamole.
3 Bacon And Eggs
Ah, yes, that perennial breakfast favourite. There are few combinations quite as perfect as bacon and eggs. Unless we’re talking about peanut butter and chocolate (don’t even CONSIDER @ing me on this). Which we aren’t, so let’s just forget that.
Again, Bacon and Eggs is a very long way from being a superfood here in the real world, but it’s just fantastic in Don’t Starve. You’ll need to combine Meats with a Meat value of above 1.5 and Eggs with an Eggs value of 2.0 or above to create it, and you’ll get a mighty 75 Hunger and 20 HP for your troubles (with a little boost to Sanity).
Another bonus is that this dish lasts for a considerable time before rotting (20 days), so you’ll want to keep that in mind too.
2 Turkey Dinner
Another issue that newer players will run into is that darn Gobbler, spawning and trying to steal the Berries from bushes. Fortunately, revenge is super sweet, and so is a Turkey Dinner.
This is one of those recipes that isn’t optimal for any one situation, but is all-round useful and give you some nice boosts. It doesn’t require any specialised equipment (say, a Bird Cage) either. All you’ll need is two Drumsticks, a Morsel or stray Monster Meat, and a filler like Berries.
Eating the Turkey Dinner yields 75 Hunger and 20 Health, and will also give you some very brief insulation against the cold in a pinch.
1 Banana Pop
Don’t ask why you need a Crock Pot to ‘cook’ a frozen banana on a stick. Don’t Starve will just put its fingers in its ears and sing “Lalalalalala, I can’t hear you.”
This final recipe was added with the Shipwrecked DLC and is super simple to craft. You just need a Banana, a Twig, some Ice and… a convenient non-meat filler (make that another Twig or Banana, as the Crock Pot always needs to contain four items to work).
As tends to be the case with Shipwrecked, this recipe gives you very high Sanity restoration (33), reasonable Health (20) and a little Hunger (12.5). In keeping with the theme of the recipe, it also reduces your character’s temperature by 40 degrees for a brief time.
PREVIOUSLY: 10 Facts About Don't Starve Characters