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Recipe Formats - Level II


Recipe formats and their use.

Background for Teachers

A recipe, no matter its format, gives ingredients and instructions for a specific food so that the food item tastes the same every time.

A good recipe lists the following:

  1. complete list of ingredients with specific amounts in the order they are to be used
  2. step-by-step, logical instructions that are stated clearly.
  3. kind/size equipment to be used
  4. temperature terms such as simmer or chill
  5. servings/yield

When choosing a recipe you must consider your cooking skills, time, budget, and likes/dislikes. You save money by choosing recipes with common ingredients. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 Tbsp. chutney, you will have to buy a whole jar and may never use it again. Also, you may make substitutions if you don't have a particular ingredient. Good cookbooks have a substitution list.

If you want more or less servings than listed on the recipe you can increase/decrease the recipe. For example: if you want three servings and a recipe makes six servings divide the recipe in half. Or if you wanted twelve servings, you'd multiply by 2. It doesn't work as well to roast small amounts of meat - it dries out. You must know equivalents to decrease and increase a recipe. Example: half of 1/4 cup is 1/8 cup. Some measuring cup sets do not come in 1/8 cup size so you must use 2 Tbsp.

Instructional Procedures


  1. Write the items a good recipe must have on the board. Have the students write in ways to improve the three recipes on RATING RECIPE FORMATS. Debrief in class.
  2. Have students prepare chocolate chip cookies (or another recipe of choice) in the lab to give them practice in measuring, reading a recipe, using equipment, work habits, etc.
  3. Have students practice increasing/decreasing three different recipes. They could double, increase by 2 1/2 times, cut in half, etc.
  4. Give students some recipe ingredients and have them write the instructions for assembling the ingredients. If desired students could make the product according to their instructions and compare the results.
  5. Have students take the LAB MANAGEMENT/COOKING BASIC TEST as an evaluation of unit knowledge.


  • Content from Food for Today, 1990. pp.224-228
  • "Rating Recipe Formats" created from the three recipes given in Food for Today, 1990, p.225

Created: 06/20/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018