A Guide to Recipe Conversion and Finding New Measurements

When cooking, it’s sometimes necessary to increase or decrease a recipe’s yield (the amount of what you are making). This is done when needing to make more or less of an item when making a meal for a certain number of people. That’s where recipe conversion comes in.  

Here’s how to use recipe conversions to change the yield and find the new measurements necessary for each ingredient. 

This will help you successfully make the same delicious recipe every time.

Recipe Conversion 101: What You Need to Know

There are two kinds of recipes that can be scaled up or down — they are savory recipes and baking recipes. Savory recipes require less complicated calculations and can be done primarily through taste. Adding ingredients including baking powder, soda, salt, pepper, herbs, and other seasonings should be done a very small amount at a time.  

When doubling the ingredients in a savory recipe, add around 1.5 times the savory ingredients for a bigger yield. This method will help avoid sacrificing taste or creating an overpowering flavor.

Baking recipes require a scientific approach, and ingredients must be weighed out rather than measured to achieve the ideal taste.

When scaling a recipe, the conversion factor is the most important number. You’ll use the conversion factor to convert all the quantities for your updated yield.

Here’s a simple example. 

Say your recipe serves 10 people, and you want it to serve 12. You would divide 12 by 10 to get a conversion factor of 1.2. 

With your conversion factor, you can multiply all your ingredients by 1.2; those new numbers are your updated amounts for each ingredient.

Now you know how much of each ingredient you need to make the recipe for 12 people rather than 10.

Why You Need a Recipe Conversion Calculator

As you know, a fair amount of math and science knowledge is required to be a recipe creator, chef, baker, or any kind of food connoisseur.

However, why make things more complicated than they need to be? Would you rather be doing conversions on your calculator or creating delicious, healthy recipes for your customers to enjoy?

Having a recipe conversion calculator you can rely on will make scaling up or down on recipes simple, effective, and accurate every time. You’ll be confident in your updated measurements and won’t have to stress about the outcome.

Scaling Tips

1. Don’t scale up by more than four

Using the simple conversion factor equation above, you can easily double, triple, or quadruple a recipe. However, once you try to scale by more than four, ingredient measurements can become inaccurate. Make several batches once you need more than quadruple a recipe.

2. Document your calculations for a smaller or larger recipe yield

Make sure to document new calculations for scaling up or down on a recipe and what worked and what didn’t. This way, your restaurant’s recipes stay consistent across the board, no matter how many servings you’re making. 

3. Keep an eye on cook time

While temperature can stay fairly consistent with the original recipe, cook time can change when scaling up or down. Therefore, check your dish often for signs of doneness, paying special attention to appearance and texture. 

Get Started with MenuCalc’s Recipe Conversion Factor Calculator 

Above all, MenuCalc has been perfected over 20 years, ensuring it suits individual restaurants and chains. Quickly calculate the nutritional information for your menus across multiple locations and keep your recipes organized in one database. Impress and retain your guests with a well-designed menu.  

Schedule a free, private consultation with one of our Nutritionists today. In addition, you may also have your recipes and ingredients reviewed by one of our experienced FDA-Certified Nutritionists. Learn more about MenuCalc here.

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