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Monday, June 21, 2010

Scaling a Recipe

Many of us have trouble scaling or converting recipes mostly when we have to cook in large amounts for family gatherings or simple social events but here is great news! Its not as difficult as it seems. I just have to share it with you!

Let's say you have a recipe that serves 6 people, but you want to make it for 2 people instead. Or even trickier, what if a recipe serves 4 people, but you need to make it for 6 Or 14?

It doesn't matter whether you're increasing a recipe or decreasing it the procedure for adjusting the ingredient quantities for a different number of portions is the same. We call this scaling a recipe.

How It Works

The first thing you need to do is calculate your conversion factor, which is a number you're going to use to convert all the quantities. There's a tiny bit of math involved, but it's OK to use a calculator that’s what they're there for!

To find your conversion factor, simply divide the desired number of servings by the original number of servings. The resulting number is your conversion factor. Here's the formula:

Desired servings
———————— = conversion factor
Original servings

Scaling that 10 portion recipe down to six portions involves two steps:

1. Divide 6 by 10, which give you a conversion factor of 0.6.

2. Multiply each ingredient amount by 0.6.

Let's work through a simple example to illustrate how this works. Say your recipe calls for 2 quarts of vegetable stock. All you need to do is multiply 2 quarts by your conversion factor of 0.6:

2 quarts × 0.6 = 1.2 quarts vegetable stock

The 1.2 quarts can now be converted to ounces:

32 × 1.2 = 38.4 ounces

We can round that down to about 38 ounces, but that's still kind of a weird amount. It'd be clearer if it were given in cups. There are 8 ounces in a cup, so:

38 ÷ 8 = 4.75

Which means 1.2 quarts is equal to approximately 4¾ cups. That's all there is to it!

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