A room for preparing food to be eaten at the Canteen. Kitchens are staffed by Cooks and Prisoners. The greater your inmate population, the more Fridges, Cookers and Cooks you will require to keep up with demand.
Note: the constant flow of incoming stacks of ingredients to your kitchen makes it a common place for contraband. Having dog patrols in your kitchen will help in catching the contraband before it makes it into prisoner hands.
For prisoners to be allowed to work in the kitchen, they have to pass the Kitchen Safety and Hygiene Program, which also takes place in the kitchen and requires one cooker per prisoner, up to 5 of them being able to attend at once. A session takes 2 hours and is lead by a cook. Afterwards, up to 20 qualified prisoners may work in the kitchen during work regime, each taking up 12 squares of space (so a kitchen of 240 squares will provide jobs for the maximum amount of prisoners), if assigned in the Prison Labour view of the Logistics menu.
In the Food Distribution view of the Logistics menu, you can assign which kitchens should serve which canteens, and which canteens should serve which sell blocks.
However, there's no distribution system sending the right amount of Ingredients for each canteen from delivery or Storage Room. Cooks (and prisoner's, if they are allowed to enter those rooms) go there when needed, and "first come, first served". So one big kitchen serving multiple canteens might work better than using multiple kitchens.
- The Kitchen should be near the canteen and deliveries zone or storage room to avoid long walks.
- Keep your kitchen secure, as inmates will try to fetch Knives from it.
- It is prudent to designate the kitchen a staff only area, if you have unlocked Deployment via Bureaucracy. This will prevent theft of tools/contraband, the potential escape of prisoners assigned to work there and also will prevent an optional route around any Metal Detectors you have installed at the canteen. However, keep in mind that prisoners cannot work at a kitchen marked as staff only.
- In Alpha 14, deliveries can be moved inside the prison and secured. So having prisoner jobs in the kitchen is no big risk anymore.
- This highly depends on the regime and meal quality/quantity: Recommended ratio for cooks, cookers, and fridges is 1 to 1 to 1. Each cooker cooks a maximum of 20 ingredients. Each Fridge holds a maximum of 20 ingredients.
- Placing a bin in the kitchen will reduce time spent walking to garbage area to dispose of food. Workmen will carry garbage bags from the bins to the garbage area.
- In Alpha 28, if you dismantle Fridges containing ingredients, the ingredients won't be used anymore and no more will be delivered until you dump them.