You may have dismissed player-made food early on as something designed for melee or at least non-healing types, since its basic function is to give you back health out of combat. But food in the World of Warcraft is like food in real life – the stuff you make yourself (instead of grabbing from the nearest fast-food vendor) is not only cheaper, but it's better for you, too. Many foods provide a 15- or 30-minute "well-fed" buff, giving you stats and effects that can help you solo stronger and longer or boost you through tough boss encounters: stamina, strength, agility, +healing, mp5, spirit ... Hunters and warlocks can even make special foods for their pets or minions. Patch 2.3 brought cooks daily cooking quests with a variety of rewards. And don't discount the fun factor – you can melt a blood elf's cold heart with a well-timed gift of even a humble Gingerbread Cookie.
Preheat your engines!
Ok, back to this business of leftovers for minute – you don't really have to save every little scrap of wolf meat you ever get in order to level up cooking. Like all the other professions by this point in time, cooking is supported by a number of powerleveling guides to help you get from Point A to Point B as painlessly as possible.
One thing you do need to consider: cooking and fishing are the perfect partners, leaning on one another for ingredients and recipes. If +healing or high stamina is what you're after, you'll need fish for Golden Fish Sticks or Spicy Crawdads. If you're after +spell damage, agility or strength, you can get away without fishing. Read over a few powerleveling guides before you make a firm decision, especially some of the handy fishing/cooking combo guides.
Feel like browsing the fridge yet? While I'm sure you can visit several sites to sort out stat-specific foods, I heartily recommend taking the time to browse an overall list of food and drinks such as the one at Wowhead
, sorted to the crafted food and drinks
. Besides targeting which foods you'll eventually want to make for your own characters as well as for profit, you're sure to discover some entertaining options that may endear you to your groupmates forever – Delicious Chocolate Cake
Insider Trader's Lisa Poisso is a writer, a wonderful trade that affords her the flexibility to work while whipping up batches of – you guessed it – Delicious Chocolate Cake.