Look, everyone loves a tasty, high-quality meal. It’s always nice to head out for a fine steak and a glass of wine but sometimes the situation calls for a quick burger instead. PUGs, PVE questing and Battlegrounds are fine examples of this- certainly not steak time, but still no reason to go to battle hungry. But don’t go to the expense of burning your best food for PUGs, BGs or a few lowly mobs, save that stuff for raids and more difficult encounters. If all you want is to have a food buff (particularly the stamina component for use in battlegrounds) just purchase or cook up some of the cheaper versions of your favorite foods.
Flexibility is key when finding ‘Cheap Eats’. Even if you’ve got your heart set on +Spell Power food, be willing to accept +Spirit, Crit or Haste instead. No matter what way you still get the Stamina buff and a little something extra to boost your other stats. Also, as long as we’re talking about flexibility, don’t forget to look in the AH for the uncooked version of the food you’re after as well.
Keep in mind that a large part of keeping these foods cheap to craft is attaining spices as inexpensively as possible. While not all lower level foods will require the spices, it helps to constantly keep an eye on this item in the AH for deals. We find at least once a week some idiot will post a stack of Northern Spices for less than half the going rate. Even if we don’t need them at that particular moment we’ll scoop them up for later use or simply repost them higher. It’s easy money.
Finally, the profit-minded WoW trader will be interested to learn that there is often a significant disparity between the prices of this lower-tier uncooked and cooked food. Look at this difference as an opportunity to conduct some profitable market corrections. Develop an understanding of both the base costs of preparing the cooked food and the timing of the sale cycle for the food and use this knowledge to exploit the market.
Here is a short list of a few of our favorite lower-tier (and often very inexpensive) cooked Northrend foods:
- Cuttlesteak- Many WoW fishermen pick up Cuttlefish while doing one of their daily fishing quests. Since the material is utterly useless beyond cooking into steak of feeding to hunter pets, it often gets dumped in the AH at near vendor sale prices.
- Baked Manta Ray- This one is great because it grants a buff that is beneficial to both casters and melee (haste) and does not require spices.
- Grilled Sculpin- Another one that requires no spices to craft. Nice boost to AP. Watch the market closely, however, as the fish required to craft the item are also a key component of Fish Feast so sometimes it is better to sell the raw fish than to cook into this item.
- Blackened Worg Steak- What’s that you say? The buff is useless? Not at all… pop one of these prior to your Wintergrasp farming runs and never be surprised by a gank-seeking enemy again. Of course, maybe you’re the ganker in which case this might prove even more useful for finding new targets.
- Pickled Fangtooth- The raw fish required to craft this item are often vastly oversupplied and extremely cheap on the AH. Pick them up and cook them up and keep your mana up. Again, no spices required at all.
- Snapper Extreme- Requires 3 raw fish AND spices but the fish are extremely oversupplied to such an extent that the crafting cost is often little more than the cost of the spices and your time invested.
- Worm Delight- Another ‘no spice’ recipe with a buff that can benefit all classes and builds (Crit). This one used to be more expensive until more players started regularly killing worms for the Sons of Hodir. These days a savvy trader can find the raw materials on the AH at a much lower cost fairly regularly.
P.S. (free bonus tourist info): If you happen to be visiting the New York area sometime, be sure to check out Luger’s steak house (linked above). There are a lot of great joints in the city but this place is a bit out of the way so many tourists miss it. This New Yorker favorite has got a fantastic authentic Brooklyn atmosphere and serves up one of the finest steaks you’ll ever taste. Even the burgers here are great (and relatively cheap). This is not a paid advertisement, just us telling you where you can find a great meal during your visit. Not that we would complain if you invited us to come along for a bite mind you (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).