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The Ultimate Guide to Recipe Calculation

The Ultimate Guide to Recipe Calculation

The Culinary Institute of America

Calculating the Value of Usable Trim

Often, some of the trimmings from a food may be used to prepare other foods. For example, if you have tournéed a carrot, rather than cutting it into dice or rounds, you can use the trim to prepare a soup, purée, or other dish. Using the information from your yield test, you can calculate the value of the trim. First, determine the use for the trim, then find the cost per unit and yield percent for that ingredient, as if you had to buy it to prepare the dish. For instance, if you use the trim from carrot tournées to prepare a soup, the food cost for the carrot trim is the same as for a carrot that has been trimmed and chopped.

Example: $0.106 (As-purchased cost of carrots per ounce) / 0.89 (Yield percent for chopped carrots) = $0.119 (value of usable carrot trim for soup per ounce)


Some products produce trim that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, a strip loin produces trimmings that can be used in several recipes. The chef may use some of the trim to prepare a clarification that might otherwise require ground meat, and more of the trim to make a filling for fajitas. Finding additional uses for trim reduces costs and helps to eliminate waste.

Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, The Professional Chef, 8th Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2006).