Why can't all recipes be decreased successfully

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Natalie R. October 19, 2016
I think there might be different reasons for different foods. For recipes such as braises, you're increasing the ratio of surface area of the liquid to body. That means it will evaporate faster, so you need more liquid if you decrease any simmering recipe. The same goes with cooking grains, which are essentially simmered (unless you're doing one of those boil-like-pasta methods).

Bread has a more involved answer, but I don't know it off the top of my head.

Recipes like salads will lose some dressing to the sides of the bowl, so you have to take that into account when you dress them. Since the amount that sticks is based on the size of the bowl instead of the size of the salad, decreasing the recipe in the same bowl means you would need more dressing. This generally isn't a problem for me, though.

Decreasing volume also decreases heat/cold retention. If you take the dinner off the stove, it will cool faster if it's smaller. If you take it out of the fridge or freezer, it will warm faster if it's smaller. A small amount of butter for a tiny batch of biscuits or pie crust will be very hard to keep cold and flaky.

Meat with bones will have a different ratio of meat to bone, which means decreasing the temperature isn't linear and prone to error. It's doable, but harder.

I don't know any other reasons off the top of my head. I'm excited to see what others say! Please correct me if any of the above is wrong.
 
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