Learn the basics of Cooking, Smelting, and Refining in RUST
From the dawn of civilization, man has marveled at the fire. Starting with naturally occurring weather and disaster, fire has now been harnessed and controlled after centuries of observation and study. In RUST, we begin and end with a spark; with a torch in hand from the beach, until that final spark goes out through being door-camped by our neighbor to the point of rage quitting.
No matter what gets your fire burning in the game, you will quickly find that hunting, gathering, and collecting will get you only so far. You are going to need to cook that meat, smelt that ore, or refine that crude to evolve yourself and your base beyond the primitive stages.
This guide aims to help you maximize the outputs and decrease the cook times for the RUST Cooking, Smelting, and Refining systems.
The quality of food in RUST varies from more putrid offerings, such as Raw Human Meat, to more savory Cooked Pork. The end result, translated to your character via satiating hunger or, in some cases, poison damage, comes down to the prep you put into it. Below are all of the implements that use Wood as a fuel source, to make even the grimiest door camper (or what’s left of him) taste like chicken!
Starting off with the strongest, fastest, most efficient (per piece of wood) cooking apparatus, the BBQ is the only entity in the cooking list to offer multiple input slots for your raw meats. With a maximum of 3 slots available, the cooking rate will consistently be triple that of any other listed method, whether using one of the slots or all three. This equates to one piece of raw food being converted to cooked every 5 seconds. Currently, it is a default blueprint.
Probably the most commonly crafted cooking apparatus on the list, the Camp Fire is the gold standard for introductory cooking within RUST. With a maximum input of 1 slot available at a time, the cooking rate of this item is consistent with the Cursed Cauldron, Stone Fireplace, and Hobo Barrel at 1 piece of food converted from raw to cooked every 15 seconds. Camp fires cannot be picked up once placed.
Appearing with a taller, Halloween-themed appearance, the Cursed Cauldron is a direct reskin of the camp fire. It is currently only available for purchase during the annual Halloween event or from other players on the steam marketplace. Slightly differentiating from the function of a standard camp fire, the cursed cauldron has the additional functionality of not causing fire damage to players that stand on top of it. It cannot be picked up once placed.
Also a direct reskin of the camp fire, the Hobo Barrel was available exclusively to those that participated in the January 2021 Twitch Drop event. It is no longer obtainable if you didn’t receive it then. It has the same appearance as comfort-offering lit barrels at Outpost but instead maxes out at 50% comfort status when solo. The hobo barrel is unique, however, in that it can be picked up once placed, and is tall enough to act as a boosting agent between base levels. This pick-up utility makes it invaluable to under-geared players in the arctic biome.
Skull Fire Pit
Yet another reskin of the camp fire, the Skull Fire Pit functions are exactly the same. Visibly, it is slightly taller with a Halloween-themed appearance that, additionally, wails menacingly when lit. It is currently only available for purchase during the annual Halloween event or from other players on the steam marketplace. It cannot be picked up once placed.
The Stone Fireplace, learnable via the tier 1 workbench tech tree, is the most particular implement in the cooking list with regards to placing. These fires must be placed directly against a wall, and if that wall is destroyed, so too is the fireplace. Their roleplay appeal is uncanny, practically appearing in every ‘cozy’ piece of imagery ever posted about RUST on the internet. Stone fireplaces can be picked up once placed.
All Cooking Implements
From the perspective of Charcoal production, all cooking implements are equal, taking 10 seconds per 1 wood used and producing charcoal at an output of roughly 75%. This means that per 1000 pieces of wood placed into any above-listed item, 750 charcoal will be yielded, taking 10,000 seconds, or 166.6 minutes.
All cooking implements are capable of providing up to 50% Comfort to the solo player when turned on, with this number increasing (max 75%) as other players close in.
Bases can be built out of an assortment of materials, ranging from simple wood housing to beefier metal monstrosities. Also true of weapons, some guns range from using ordinary components to needing large amounts of metal fragments and HQM to craft. Toss in the need for bullets and at some point; players are going to need to smelt up some resources just to keep up with it all.
Full disclosure, as of the writing of this guide, the Electric Furnace isn’t in the release but will be included anyway because it’s amaze-sauce.
Quick Reference Smelting Chart
|Device||Metal Ore Per|
Second / Minute
|Sulfur Ore Per|
Second / Minute
|High Quality Metal|
|Furnace||0.3 / 18||0.6 / 36||~9|
|Electric Furnace||0.5 / 30||1.0 / 60||~15|
|Large Furnace||1.5 / 90||3.0 / 180||~45|
While not technically ‘released’ yet, the Electric Furnace is a greener version of the standard Furnace; instead, it requires 3 electrical power input to function and is a notably large scrap investment into the Workbench Level 2 tech tree to learn. In its current form, players may load up to 2 stacks of ore at a time into the electric furnace; it will output metal fragments and sulfur at a ratio of 5:3 when compared to a standard furnace.
Because the electric furnace uses no wood, it outputs no Charcoal.
Players may attach a single Storage Adapter, allowing Industrial In and Industrial Out ports to be available by proxy, thus enabling a gateway into the new Industrial Automation system. Because the electric furnace (presumably) has an inexhaustible fuel source via electricity, as well as faster smelting times, it is much more ideal for automated smelting.
Furnace (Wood Burning)
The ‘small’ Furnace is a default blueprint, craftable as soon as you spawn on the beach and a staple in starter bases the world over. Some teams never strive to move past the small furnace, as its utility for being placed within an easily-crafted base means that non-teamed people must raid or go deep to loot it, unlike the outdoors large furnace.
Due to the nature of furnaces cooking consistently regardless of how ore is stacked in them, splitting stacks up no longer impacts output time. Charcoal is output on a ‘chance per tick’ basis, being around 75%.
Players may attach a single Storage Adapter, allowing Industrial In and Industrial Out ports to be available by proxy, thus enabling a gateway into the new Industrial Automation system. Due to limited fuel storage within the device, standard small furnaces require more setup to be properly included in an automated smelting system.
The Large Furnace is a relatively large scrap investment into the Workbench Level 2 tech tree, or potentially considerably less if you choose to purchase one at the Outpost. Due to their size, this massive cooking apparatus must be placed onto the ground, or have bases designed around them with certain roofing restrictions. Because of the ease of accessibility to them, especially early game, solos, and smaller groups tend to wait before deploying these for use. Due to the nature of furnaces cooking consistently regardless of how ore is stacked in them, splitting stacks up no longer impacts output time.
Charcoal is output on a ‘chance per tick’ basis, being around 75%.
Players may attach up to 4 Storage Adapters, allowing for multiple Industrial In and Industrial Out ports to be available by proxy, thus enabling a gateway into the new Industrial Automation system. Early player designs utilize the conveyor function to both input raw materials and remove cooked fragments or sulfur as soon as they are converted, prohibiting theft and partially eliminating the need to enclose the furnace itself.
During the travels of the average player, they are going to come across and collect a considerable amount of Crude Oil, especially if they are hitting red barrels or doing monuments like Dome or Arctic Research Base. On its own, this fuel is completely useless and has no function in the game whatsoever. When refined via a Small Oil Refinery, however, it turns into the liquid gold we call Low Grade Fuel.
Small Oil Refinery
The Small Oil Refinery is a relatively large scrap investment into the Workbench Level 2 tech tree, and still quite pricey if you choose to purchase one at the Outpost. Due to their size, these distilleries must be placed onto the ground (or in caves), but fit snugly into an opening the size of a single square foundation. Because of the ease of accessibility to them, especially early games, solos, and smaller groups tend to wait before deploying these for use, or working them into their base builds.
In its current form, players may load 1 stack of crude oil at a time into the refinery; it will output low grade fuel at a rate of 3 LFG per crude. Due to the limited output space (3 slots) of the refinery itself, it is only possible to process ~333 crude oil before filling up the output slots with LFG and charcoal.
Because wood is utilized at a rate of 1 per ~1.5 seconds, it takes nearly 19 minutes to utilize a full stack of wood. It takes just under 750 wood to process 333 crude into fuel.
Because of the rate at which wood cooks within the apparatus, the small oil refinery is the most time-efficient method of producing Charcoal.
Players may attach 1 Storage Adapter to the small oil refinery, allowing for a single Industrial In and Industrial Out port to be available by proxy, thus enabling a gateway into the new Industrial Automation system.
Final Thoughts on the Cooking, Smelting, and Refining Systems
As prefaced throughout this guide, the entire RUST Industrial System is currently subject to changes; we will do our absolute best to keep all guides relating to it as current as possible. As always, if you feel that you have something to add to the conversation or notice an inconsistency on our end, be sure to let us know by visiting our Discord and dropping us a line. We love to hear from the community.