Evil Dave's spicy stew, or 'EVIL STEW OF DOOM' as he calls it, requires all 4 colours of spice and can boost or decrease a wide number of skills which can be -5 to +5. Each of the four colours of spice affects its own specific set of skills, so players making spicy stew after the quest usually only use one colour of spice, to get a temporary boost in a particular skill.
Note: This boost can no longer be maintained for a full minute by logging out and back in after the addition of the new prayers from raids. However, an update increased the likeliness of stat boosts to last longer as long as there are no current boosted stats.
When the cat successfully captures a hellrat, it will drop a spice shaker, one of 4 colours, which may have up to 4 doses of that colour in them. After the Evil Dave sub quest for Recipe for Disaster has been completed, you can gather spices much quicker. Using a cat (wily is best) to attack the hell-rat behemoths. These will always give a 4 dose of the specific color spice they are guarding. Bring any type of fish to heal your cat if they are going to die. You must use the fish on the curtain. (Tip:Raw salmon and trout can be looted in Barbarian Village on a busy server.)
Add up to 3 doses of a colour spice to the regular stew to get a spicy stew.
Each colour spice affects different skill levels by giving them a temporary increase or reduction, similar to taking a potion except that the effects are random every time. The number of doses added of a colour will determine how much the skills affected by that colour can gain or lose, as noted in the table. This is the maximum number of levels gained or lost. For example, if a stew contains two doses of red spice, each of the skills affected by red spice may gain or lose between 0 and 3 levels. Evil Dave's Spicy Stew (for the quest) takes all 4 coloured spices and needs to be approved by Evil Dave. You can make and eat spicy stew with only one colour of spice in it.
Note: The maximum positive skill boost for eating multiple spicy stews cannot exceed the maximum boost for one stew of that type. (See Eating multiple stews below.)
Number of Doses
Skill Boost Range
-1 to +1
-3 to +3
-5 to +5
If going for a boost (that can be done at Clan Wars, such as making potions), it is recommended to use the Clan Wars portal to restore any negative stats in between stews. If you have an action that has to be done at a specific location, such as thieving from a particular chest, you will need to stat-boost there. You could bring spices for multiple stews, and take a dose of Super restore in between attempts to return any negative stats. You could also wait a minute or two with the Rapid Restoreprayer on to remove the negative bonus. Each boosted skill is random; if you get a +5 boost, it will not be +5 in all the skills that spice boosts. For example, if you use the red spice, the Attack stat might get a +4 boost, while the Strength stat might get -2.
The skills affected by each colour of spice are as follows:
Only one spicy stew can be made at a time, but the player can have several normal stews in their inventory along with several spices and mix the next one right after consuming the previously-made spicy stew.
As with all player temporary skill boosts, spicy stews will not boost higher than the player's natural skill level plus the (maximum) regular boost amount (+5). Using a stew boost will not add onto a currently boosted skill, but the boost will be limited if you start with a skill that is already lower than the base level. Never try to boost starting with a skill that has a negative temporary level.
This boost gain limitation also applies to other player temporary boosts. However, some other boosts will stack with spicy stews, although not many. Crystal saws stack with stews (and with any other boost) because they do not actually boost your level; they simply allow you to build most constructed items as if your skill were three levels higher than it actually is, so they can be used with spicy stews for a maximum possible boost of +8
When trying to obtain a boost, it is important to note where the timer is for your skills to decay back to their normal levels. If using a third-party client, you can set a timer, which will always show the current state of the 60 second timer, so you don't waste your boost.
How useful spicy stew is for any given skill depends on what boost you could have got without the stew, and how much effort it would have taken you to train an extra level in the skill instead. For many skills, if your level is (say) 65, you may find that the time and effort of collecting enough spices to be in with a good chance of a +5 boost - for that special one-off level 70 task you need to perform - is so much that it would have been almost as quick to train two extra levels to 67 and collect enough spices for a +3 boost, which you are likely to need far fewer attempts to get. Of course, you would also then have the extra levels and not need to train them again. Whether it is worth it depends also on what alternative boosts were available. For example, Smithing can be raised +2 at reasonable cost with a mature Dwarven Stout, but beyond that, there is only spicy stew, so aiming for the +3, +4, and +5, are valuable uses for the stew since one or two extra bonus levels can allow you to make that special item you need. For Agility and Fishing on the other hand, +5 boosts are easily obtainable with pies, so the stew is of relatively little value for these skills. These boosts may be useful for Achievement Diary tasks where, for example, getting from level 91 to 96 via training will be tough.