I think that, despite people’s dislike of the Turkinator achievement, this is turning out to be a great holiday. There are daily quests, reputation bonuses, a cute pet, and the opportunity to level a skill many people find tedious and skip entirely. Yes, one of my favorites – Cooking.
You can powerlevel Cooking on any of your characters up to Outland levels with little effort, and Northrend levels with a bit more. All of this for any of your characters, no matter what level they are.
Yes, you read that right. Any character can be a Grand Master Cook, regardless of level, and this holiday makes it easy. As someone who powerleveled Cooking and Fishing together the old way, over the course of several days, this change is awesome. Take advantage of the opportunity and level your alt’s skills now.
The strategy is quite simple. Start in either Elwynn Forest or Trisifal Glades, depending on your faction, and empty your bags as much as possible. If you want to collect all the mats up front and then cook, you’ll need 68 slots open.
- You will need to make 4 stacks (80 units) of each of the various holiday dishes. So, you’ll need 80 each of: Simple Flour, Mild Spices, Ripe Pumpkins (Alliance, Horde), Tangy Cranberries (Alliance, Horde), Sweet Potatoes (Alliance, Horde), and Wild Turkey meat.
- You will also need from the holiday vendors: 1 Bountiful Cookbook, 16-17 stacks of Autumnal Herbs, 20-22 stacks of Honey.
- Open the cookbook to reveal the recipes you’ll use.
- Start off by training Cooking and Spice Bread. You don’t need any other recipes yet, as they’ll just clutter your Cooking interface. You can always go back and learn them later.
- Make a Basic Campfire and start cooking Spice Bread. This will go green around 30, but you’ll need all 4 stacks for the next step, so keep going even if it goes gray.
- Cook Spice Bread Stuffing until your skill reaches 50. At that point, go train the Journeyman Cook skill and go back to making stuffing. This recipe goes yellow at 90 and green at 100; I’ve found you should end somewhere around 105-110.
- Learn the next recipe, Pumpkin Pie, and start cooking it until your skill reaches 125. Go train the Expert Cook skill and make the rest of the pies. Pumpkin Pie goes yellow at 150 and green at 160, just in time for the next recipe.
- You might need to switch cities at this point if you don’t have all the materials (Ironforge for Alliance, Orgrimmar for Horde), but you want to learn Cranberry Chutney and start cooking it. Train your Cooking skill at 200. This recipe will go yellow at 210 and green at 220, but make all 4 stacks.
- Again, if you don’t have all the mats, you’ll need to relocate to Darnassus or Thunder Bluff, but follow the same pattern for Candied Sweet Potatoes. I love Sweet Potatoes, and not just because they bring you up to about 280-300 Cooking. Cook everything you’ve got, but stop before you hit 300.
- Make sure you have 4-5 stacks of Wild Turkey and Autumnal Herbs, and 8-10 stacks of Honey, train Master Cooking, and then start making Slow-Roasted Turkey. If you have 4 stacks, you should get just about to 350; 5 stacks should take you past it.
- Once you’re at 350, train Grand Master and do a happy /dance!
- 2011 Update: Slow-Roasted Turkey will now stay orange well into the 400s. Once you’ve trained Grand Master, keep on going as long as you can!
Even if you aren’t that organized and end up doing a lot of traveling and turkey hunting, this process takes about 1-2 hours, which is a far cry from the days it used to take using Fishing.
Don’t forget that these items can’t be mailed, but they can be traded, so enlist the aid of some friends to serve as mutual material banks. (They work like conjured items.) High level mages can collect all the materials but the Wild Turkey meat in minutes, and friends can help you swap unused items over to different toons.
Good luck. May your cuisine reign supreme!