The cooking station is used is to cook raw food. To cook food, place any raw food in the hotbar, select it, then press the use key on the cooking station. A fire will start and the raw food will then cook for a period of time until it is done. When it's done, the fire will go out and the player can collect the cooked food.
The cooking station has three sticks tied together in a tiki fashion and a grill suspended from hooks about a third of the way up. There is also a metal bowl at the base with some logs on it.