With a little math and some practice you can make most recipes as large as you wish. Batch cooking is great for big dinner parties or for simplifying your meal planning process by providing leftovers for weeks to come. Simply multiplying each ingredient by two (or three, or four) works with most recipes (except for baking items such as bread, cakes, etc. – see our baking tip below). Just keep in mind that this process can sometimes alter the texture, taste, or appearance of the original recipe. Follow these big batch meal prep tips to help you get the best results.
Increasing the output of a baking recipe can be a little trickier, since the original quantities given are meant to obtain a specific reaction from the leavening agents and other ingredients. It's also safer to double a recipe than to triple it or more. Here’s how to increase your chances of success:
• Combine ingredients well to distribute the leavening agents evenly.
• If you double the size of the baking pan, adjust the baking temperature and duration as necessary.
• If you use twice as many pans, you don't need to adjust the baking time or temperature.
A little seasoning often goes a long way. Instead of doubling the amount of seasoning, simply multiply the original quantity by half. For example, if you want to double a recipe, start with 1 ½ of the original amounts. It's much easier to add some more than try to correct an overly salty or spicy dish later on.
Oil & butter
As with seasonings, there's no need to double the amount of fats used for sautéing. Just make sure there's enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Cooking time (stove-top or oven)
It's not always necessary to double the cooking time. Some recipes will require it, some will require less and some more, depending on the size of the dish. If the dish has meat in it, use a thermometer to make sure it is thoroughly cooked. In other cases, your best bet is to keep a close eye on what’s cooking.
Want to be more efficient with your cooking and meal prep? Try these 5 time-savers or check out our tips for starting your own cooking club.