Players who have spent some time in the Workshop slaving away over a hot forge or stove, wondering if the ingredients they have worked long and hard to collect will be wasted or not in an unsuccessful attempt to create a new item may or may not have noted the conditions under which your ingredients are returned to your Rucksack.
First, any unsuccessful attempt to create ANY item at the Forge or Workbench will not waste any ingredients. Your ingredients ALWAYS will be returned intact to your Rucksack if your attempt to create an item fails. The reason for this is because nothing is created in a failed attempt. Furthermore, the raw ingredients can sustain ‘damage’ and still be used again. A lump of ore that has been heated at the forge and yet has failed to become the desired item remains a lump of ore that can be used in another experiment.
In the Kitchen, however, a different set of rules prevails. There are two situations, each of which is subject to its own unique rule:
First, if you follow any recipe and it does not succeed because you have less than 100% chance of creating the dish, your ingredients will be lost as you will create a FAILED DISH. A FAILED DISH is an item and thus, the ingredients were used to create it. That is why they will not be returned to your Rucksack.
The other situation is when you use ingredients to create a dish that does not exist. In other words, when you use the WRONG ingredients in the Kitchen, your ingredients will NOT result in the creation of any item. In this situation, your ingredients will be returned to your rucksack intact.
An example of this would be when you sling a Yam into the Mixer by accident. You will see the 'FAILURE!' prompt and the Yam will reappear in your Rucksack. As there is no Recipe for pureed Yam, the Mixer will not accept the Yam. Do not forget, however, that ANY work conducted in the Workshop, however impossible it may be in terms of achieving a result, WILL USE ENERGY!
Finally, the more difficult the Recipe in terms of Skill Levels, the more experience it will bring, even if the result is unsuccessful. In other words, attempting a Recipe that has only 1% chance of success, whether in the Kitchen, the Forge, Workbench or Pharmacy will give you more experience towards the next Level of Skill than a Recipe that has 100% chance of success.
I do suggest that players attempt the easiest Recipes again and again when they first obtain their Workshop and fittings but once you have reached a decent level of Skill, you may wish to attempt very difficult Recipes with little chance of success in order to increase your Skill Levels more quickly with the most difficult Recipes in view. There are Recipes designated for maximum 99 Skill Levels.
Bear in mind the fact that the Skill Level assigned to any Recipe is the Level that guarantees a successful result, not the Level required to create the item successfully.