The reason to cook things is to increase the available calories from raw ingredients.
So I got 3 meal lice on to the grill (3x600 cals) and it produced a pickled meal with 1800 cals. No change.
The recipe for pickled meal says the input is supposed to be 1800 cals meal lice and the output is supposed to be 2400 cals picked meal.
What gives? Is it because of cooking skill? - if so why is that not mentioned in the recipe?
This happens on the latest version (rancher upgrade II)
I note that in https://oxygennotincluded.gamepedia.com/Electric_Grill it mentions that the recipe produces only 1800 cals.
But that is a player wiki, not from Klei. They are just documenting existing behavior (which contradicts the recipe in-game)
Just get 3 meal lice on the grill (I had it on continuous) and produce a pickled meal.