The Importance of Counting Costs
The first topic of yield management is the yield test. A yield test is a guide on how you can determine the yield of dishes.
What a Yield Test reveals
How much of the food is actually used.
- This calls for determining the relationship between food in various forms during handling (example: after trimming and cooking), and the original form of the ingredient when the food was purchased.
How much usable amount is left at certain stages of food preparation. Using a yield test, these questions must be answered:
- How much food should I buy, based on the amount I need to serve on the table?
- What is the best form in which to buy certain ingredients to minimise loss and to make the most out of the money spent?
- Which method of handling and cooking will produce a greater yield?
What a Yield Test Tells Us
A yield test will tell us three things:
- The amount of food to buy
- Best form of food to buy
- The best cooking method to use
Yield test: Amount of Food to Buy
Yield tests tell us the amount of food to buy when we know how much to serve per portion. By calculating the amount of waste and trimmings produced by a particular food, we can determine the best form of it to buy.
To serve 50 guests with 100 grams of fish fillet per portion, a yield test will tell us:
- How much whole fish we should buy or
- How much filleted fish we should buy
Keep in mind the AP and EP of the whole fish, and if it is more or less efficient than the pre-filleted fish.
A 500 gram whole fish fillet needs to have the head, tail and bones trimmed and discarded. Trim/waste was a total of 100 grams. You have 400 grams of fish fillet left for serving.
20% of AP weight
80% of AP weight
Yield Test: The Best Form of Food to Buy
Looking into the details of the example in the last page, ask yourself:
- Which costs less?
- A whole fish, cut into a fish that gives 80% EP? Or a ready-to-cook pre-fabricated filleted fish that is 100% EP?
- Consider the trimmings and waste for whole fish.
- Consider the price of fish fillet vs whole fish less trimmings.
Now you can ascertain that if you need to serve 50 servings, 25 kilos of whole fish must be bought, or 20 kilos of fish fillet.
Yield Test: Best Method To Cook
Yield tests also tell us the best method of cooking when we know how much mass is in an ingredient during cooking.
- 1605g of Australian ribeye, roasted in an oven at 100ºC for 2 hours (core temp 60 ºC) and rested for 15 minutes, weighs 1468g. This gives a yield of 92%.
- 1605g of Australian ribeye, roasted in an oven at 180ºC for 1 hour (core temp 60 ºC) and rested for 15 minutes, weighs 1395g. This gives a yield of 87%.
This means that roasting the beef at a lower temperature over a longer period of time produces a higher yield, meaning you can purchase less raw beef since 92% can be served (as opposed to 87% from roasting it at a higher temperature).
Do consider healthy cooking methods. Remember that diners today are looking for healthier alternatives in establishments.
Cooking Loss Test
From the term itself, the Cooking Loss Test details how cooking affects yield. This is connected to RTS. Wherein food loses weight or adds weight after it is cooked.
It tells us how much weight is lost during cooking for a fixed quantity of a certain ingredient. Again, this relates to RTS where some food loses moisture when cooked, making it “shrink” or if it absorbs liquid, making it weigh more.
We will also know which cooking method gives greater yield? Some cooking methods remove a lot of moisture from food whereas some add liquid to food. Learning these will help you determine which cooking method can meet the yield you need for recipes.
The cooking loss is inevitable. However, you can choose a cooking method that does not significantly increase the price of ingredients after cooking.
Congratulations, you’ve completed the Yield Test topic!
Continue on to the next topic or pick a related topic from the Importance of Counting Costs module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.