HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Recipes - Do you prefer measurements for 2, 4 or 6 and why?

Working on a cookbook and thinking that recipes for 4 would be most useful, but I could be wrong. How many servings do you prefer and why?

Thanks in advance for your input. :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I prefer recipes intended for 4 because:
    If I have to reduce it to 2 or increase it for 6 or 8 the increase or reduction doesn't dramatically affect the outcome. I one worked with an old military "cookbook" - that's a thrill. Try reducing a recipe for 100 (or 500) to a meal for 2 people.

    1. i routinely make recipes with four servings, even though i cook for only 2 99% of the time. Occasionally I will reduce a recipe by half, but often I don't. We like leftovers here, and I think it is fine to have prepared food in the fridge to eat the next day. So, I suspect that 4 servings is a pretty good choice for many people. However, when I cooked for five, I found recipes that served 4 not useful.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo

        We are big fans of leftovers too. So, when I use a recipe for 4 to serve 5 people, I adjust it to feed 6 and enjoy leftovers. I try to avoid adjusting recipes for uneven numbers. The math is sometimes unnecessarily complex and where a recipe calls for one can of x ingredient in don't want to split out one fifth of another can or other container.

        1. re: todao

          I'm with you guys on the leftovers. :)

          1. re: todao

            I had forgotten! That's what I used to do. Its been years since I cooked for five regularly. I used to increase by half to get 6 servings.

        2. Thanks for your input! 4 seemed most practical to me, too.

          1. I vote for 4.

            Good luck on the book.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fanboy12

              Thanks for the input and good wishes, fanboy. :)

            2. I cook for six (or maybe more) because there are four people in my family and the two kids need something for lunch the next day. A recipe for four works out well, because I can modify it as necessary.

              1 Reply
              1. Four, though I cook for two most of the time. It's easy to halve a recipe if need be, but like others I like to work with leftovers during the work week. One caveat, if I'm going to bake, I prefer a recipe to make at least eight servings, or even up to twelve. That way, I have enough to accompany several meals, or be used for breakfast or lunch, and possibly store some in the fridge or freezer to have for later. If I'm going to bother getting out all the ingredients, I want a good quantity for my trouble. There are some baked goods that don't store well, but those I can always give away while fresh, and people really appreciate homemade scones, etc. Earns points with the handyman, and it's a valuable investment to be on his good side!