How Do I Scale a Recipe Down to Serve Two?

published Jun 23, 2014
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Q: I am single and often look for ways to successfully and reliably scale down recipes I want to try to serve 2. I was so happy to to see the cooking for two cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen and I quickly purchased it. So far, I love it.

However, my burning question is: for the rest of the recipes I want to try from other sites and magazines or cookbooks, how can I scale down the recipe to work for me? Is there a formula or rules of thumb I can go by to take any recipe I find and make it taste just as great for two people? I asked them and they basically said there is no reliable way.

Sent by Jenise

Editor: Scaling down recipes starts with math and may also require a mixture of intuition and cooking experience to make it work. Think about reducing the cookware size and always err on checking on the food earlier, as cook times may go down. If you can, taste as you go so that seasonings can be adjusted as needed.

Readers, what tips do you have when scaling down a recipe?