A standardized recipe refers to a particular standard-of-use of certain metrics in cooking – Standard sizes, time, temperature, amount, etc. Abiding by this rule creates uniformity in kitchen produce, whether or not it is tangible or intangible.
The idea of a standardized recipe is definitely not alien to many of us anymore. In fact, it has been very widely used around the globe and there are certain metrics to a standardized recipe that we must follow. In the kitchen, a standardized recipe is a crucial part of standardizing dishes, ingredients and elements in a restaurant that might lead to gain or loss during operational hours. Certain restaurants benchmark standardized recipes in their kitchen, some do not. There are pros and cons of using standardized recipes.
Benefits of having a Standardized Recipe
- Creates an absolute standard in kitchen produce and cooking activities.
- Allows smooth transition between different kitchen staffs.
- Maintains food quality and food standards during kitchen operational hours.
- Guiding tool for newcomers to the kitchen.
- Refresh minds of kitchen staff after some time. (Eliminating guesswork)
- Referral material should there be any disputes.
- Base for costing when kitchen costs are calculated.
- Be a great guide to implementing a new menu should there be any need.
- Planning and costing purposes when a particular event needs accounting/kitchen control auditing.
- Prevents raw food leftovers (with good Kitchen Control)
Cons of having a Standardized Recipe
- Inconvenient – This can be from the Head Chef keeping the list of standardized recipe in his room and had it locked or having three big books of standardized recipe and need kitchen staff to flip over one by one to get everything done. Inconvenience is the number ONE factor that led to kitchen staff not using standardized recipes.
- Time consuming – This is also one of the reasons why standardized recipe are not followed. During peak hours, a kitchen do not have time to waste, and every second counts.
- Better variations – Some Chefs prefer to follow their centric of taste, some are just worship their own believes. This could cause a problem when there is no proper training provided and Kitchen Control.
- Rules are meant to be broken – There are always different people/consumers around your restaurant. What’s important, the customers. When standardized recipes are not tested regularly on the restaurant, inaccurate information may be provided in the standardized recipe. Solution: Leave room or space for food/cooking variation. This usually happen when the Head Chef is not properly organized or trained well for his position.
- A secret no more – Some restaurateurs or Chefs frown on making a book of standardized recipe because they want to protect their food knowledge. This is a classic perception: Someone comes by, takes all the recipe and leave the restaurant after a month.
- When it’s gone, it’s really gone – At certain times in a restaurant, a piece of recipe sheet can get lost. When it’s lost, there will be a slight havoc in understanding as the Head Chef needs to take action immediately. On another situation, it can also be ‘stolen’ or ‘retrieved’ as management of the restaurant changes, and/or someone steals the particular information, or the restaurant faces mishaps like kitchen on fire.
Standardized recipes do not necessarily have certain standards that you need to follow. There are many ways to actually personalize your standardized recipe, keep them into your book and use them for referrals in the future. Alternatively, you can also save them into your computer, and organize them well. Whatever it is, standardized recipes serve good purposes in a kitchen – Take the time to actually follow the steps, and you might just get happier guests/customers.
There are three (3) common ways of writing a recipe:
- Paragraph-style recipes
- List-style recipes
- Action-style recipes
Paragraph Style Recipes This way of writing a recipe is classic – And they serve their own purpose in writing that way. There are many pros and cons to this kind of writing style, and we’d like to leave it up to you to figure it out. Anyway, here’s an example of a paragraph-style written recipe:
Put your skillet on the pan and turn on the heat to low. Now take a bowl, crack 2 fresh eggs inside and add in some salt and pepper. Next, grab a whisk and start beating it until it’s mixed or quite fluffy. When your skillet is hot enough, add in 1 tbsp of oil, and swirl the oil around. You’ll notice the oil runs faster on hot pans. When your pan and oil is hot enough, turn on the heat to high and pour in your eggs. Leave the heat on high until your eggs (at the side of the pan) forms a solid texture. At this time, reduce your heat to low. When your egg is cooked enough, flip it over and top it off with some ikan kering! Voilá!
Paragraph-style recipes can work at certain extent. Be sure to choose your methods of writing well.
List-style Recipes The list-style writing of recipes is one of the easiest, practical and most common ways of writing a recipe. This method consist of two sections – The header, and footer. Header consist of different elements such as recipe title, temperature, yield, time, etc, while the footer contains methods to use these ingredients. An example of list-style recipes: