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What Is Yield and How Does It Affect Your Recipe Costs?


Have you ever wondered if you are utilizing your ingredients to their maximum potential in your business? By configuring your food yield, you can see what percentage of the product you are actually using versus what is going to waste.

Having this information allows you to make more educated decisions in your food costing and purchasing. By using Recipe Costing Software, you can easily find these answers and start ordering accurate amounts of product, resulting in loads of savings.

Below, we explain what cooking yield is and how Recipe Costing can help you.

What Does “Yield” Mean in Cooking?

In the culinary industry, “food yields” refer to the amount of usable product left after the item has been processed. Processing an item means that the cook has either peeled, butchered and/or chopped it before using the product in their recipe.

For example, a recipe might require 4 pounds of potatoes. In that case, you would need to purchase 4.2 pounds of potatoes. This is because after you have peeled them, you are left with the exact 4 pounds of potatoes needed for your recipe. The 4 pounds of potatoes is the yield after peeling the potatoes.

When purchasing food items, you have to buy the product in its entirety, but that does not mean you will be using all of it in your cooking.

How to Calculate Yield Percentage in Food

How do you calculate food yield? Below are some basic steps you can follow to calculate yield percentage using the cooking yield formula: 

  1. Find out the original weight/volume of the food item. This is your raw weight or as-purchased (AP) weight. For example, the purchased weight of a primal beef loin cut is 129 pounds.
  2. Process your product accordingly, then measure the waste or trim weight. After removing the fat and bone from the beef loin cut, the weight of the waste is concluded to be 34.3 pounds.
  3. Subtract the trim weight from the AP weight. This gives you the edible product (EP) weight. The formula is AP weight – waste = EP weight. Therefore, 129 pounds – 34.3 pounds = 94.7 pounds of processed beef loin.
  4. Convert the EP weight into a percentage to find the yield percentage. The formula is EP weight ÷ AP weight x 100 = yield %. Using the same example, this would look like (94.7 ÷ 129) x 100 = 73.4% for the beef loin.

With this information, you can know how much raw product to order and how much usable product you have after processing. Calculating yield percentage is essential to a business as it allows you to place spot-on food orders that will not result in wasted money.

What Is the Standard Yield in Food Production?

Below, you will find the basic yields for various kinds of foods used in food production:


  • Broccoli (cored. florets only): 47%
  • Brussel sprouts (trim and ready to cook): 90%
  • Carrots: 68%
  • Cauliflower (cored. florets only): 53%
  • Corn (raw kernels cut off cob): 36%
  • Cucumber (pared and sliced): 84%
  • Eggplant (trim, pared and sliced): 81%
  • Garlic (peeled cloves): 87%
  • Mushrooms: 90% 
  • Onions: 63%
  • Peppers: 59%
  • Potatoes (skinned by hand and raw): 63%
    Romaine: 86%
  • Spinach (trimmed leaves): 72%


  • Apples (peeled and cored): 40%
  • Avocado (skin and seeded): 63%
  • Banana: 66%
  • Cherries (flesh): 62%
  • Coconut (meat): 48%
  • Grapes (stems removed): 96%
  • Lemons (juiced and strained): 36%
  • Limed (juiced and strained): 47%
  • Mango (without pit and skin): 69%
  • Oranges (pared, flesh): 44%
  • Peaches (without pit and skin): 76%
  • Pears (without pit and skin): 78%
  • Pineapple (peeled and cored): 38%
  • Strawberries (good quality, no stem): 90%
  • Tomato (stem and base): 90%


  • Beef chuck: 85%
  • Beef flank: 90%
  • Beef short ribs: 68%
  • Strip steak center cut: 50%
  • Peeled tenderloin: 52%
  • Lamb chop: 75%
  • Pork chop: 75%
  • Bacon: 93%
  • Ham: 85%
  • Veal chuck: 80%

Poultry and Fish

  • Chicken breast: 87%
  • Chicken thigh: 82%
  • Turkey whole: 90%
  • Cod (filet without skin): 30%
  • Crab (king from shell): 25%
  • Halibut (filet without skin): 59%
  • Lobster (meat body claw tail): 28%

How Can Food Yields Impact Recipe Costs? 

Understanding food yield can allow you to calculate your food costs more accurately, as it plays a role in the purchase of ingredients and production of food waste.

Purchasing Ingredients

When purchasing ingredients, it is essential to consider the food yield. For example, if you buy a whole chicken, you can use the meat and bones to make chicken stock, resulting in a higher food yield than buying only chicken breasts. This means the cost per serving for the whole chicken recipe would be lower than for a recipe that only uses chicken breasts.

By using ingredients that have a higher food yield, you can reduce waste and save money. For instance, if you use vegetable peels and trimmings to make stock instead of discarding them, you can increase the food yield and reduce waste.

Portion Sizes and Overall Cost

Food yields can also impact the portion sizes of a recipe. If you use ingredients with a lower food yield, you may need more to achieve the desired amount of food, increasing the overall recipe cost.

Depending on the recipe, adjusting the food yield can impact the overall cost, as well. If a recipe calls for a specific amount of cooked pasta, but you only have uncooked pasta on hand, you may need to adjust the amount of uncooked pasta to account for the food yield after cooking.

Overall, by considering the food yield of ingredients, you can make more informed decisions about recipe costs and optimize your budget while still creating delicious meals.

How Recipe Costing Software Can Improve Food Yields 

What Is Yield and How Does It Affect Your Recipe Costs?

Yielding is critical to your costs, and Recipe Costing can yield at all levels — the supplier level, recipe level and ingredient level. Our software can calculate all new costs after entering a percentage or serving size.

By entering “Yield” in our food costing calculator, you can see how much every ingredient for each recipe costs. Once you find and add the total cost of your ingredients together, you’ll have a better idea of how much each dish costs to make.

Within the software, you can see the cost breakdown for all menu items, which allows you to make strategic decisions that can reduce your expenses and improve your bottom line.

Calculate Food Yields and Menu Costs With Recipe Costing Software

What Is Yield and How Does It Affect Your Recipe Costs?

Recipe Costing Software was created by operators who are in the business and want to help you run your restaurant more efficiently. Let our food cost calculator do the math for you so you know the cost of the recipe at any portion size!

Take the guesswork out of the process and know you are profitable. Request a demo today to learn more about how you can optimize your recipe costs and start saving.

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