Recipe costing?!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jonny, May 14, 2014.

  1. jonny


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    Professional Chef
    Ok, so this is for everyone using cups, tsp, tbsp etc to measure.

    When I do my recipe costing they are all in metric, for example 1kg of potatoes is $1 and I need 200g for the recipe my cost is 20c. Pretty easy yeah? Let's not get into wastage, labour, blah blah,blah. Keep it simple.

    How do you guys work out cups, tsp, tbsp measurements if the volume weighs a different amount for different ingredients?

    Am I just being stupid? I just can't get my head round it.

    How do I do recipe/food costings based on cup measurements?

    Please help

  2. chefwriter


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    Professional Cook
    Weigh each ingredient. There are conversion tables for that if you don't want to do it yourself but for accurate costing, using weight is better. 

    Volume will always weigh differently. A pound of feathers is the same as a pound of lead but the volume will be quite different. An accurate scale is your best assistant. 
  3. foodpump


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    I've got a very simple spreadsheet that I call my "orthodontics sheet".  With this, I plug in my price and the weight I buy my ingredients in (ie walnut 1/2's and pieces, $32.69 for a 5 lb re-pack) and it spits out a price per kg. 

    EVERTYTHING in my kitchen is costed out in $/kg, including oil, booze, milk, cream, spices, etc.  All of my recipies are in metric weight  as well.  It doesn't matter what the packaging size is or if it is in imperial or metric, all that matters is your price per kg.  Once you do this you will see the actual prices you pay much easier and helps you deal with sales reps.  

    Not only does this ($/kg) make costing a lot simpler, it makes the recipies much easier and faster to scale out, fewer mistakes (no fractions of ounces, ounces by weight or volume, level cups, scant teaspoons, etc) but inventory is a whole lot easier, you just plop your stuff on the scale and X $/kg and you're done.

    It is a lot of work to change all of your recipies from  imperial volume to metric weight, but once you do, you will never go back, and wonder why you never did it earlier.

    Hope this helps
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  4. cheflayne


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    Professional Chef
    You can convert to metric volumes if that makes it any simpler. Weights are great ideas for recipe costing until you get to items that the purveyors charge you by volume for like milk. You can still convert them to weight, but I find it simpler for my purposes to generally keep it in the unit of measure that the purveyor uses for billing me.