I have a recipe for cassoulet which takes 45mins plus 30 mins extra when you put the beans in. How long would it take when recipe is halved?

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    I agree whole-heartedly with @Joshua Engel, but would also add that the length of time you have stated seems very short. I normally cook cassoulet for at least 3 hours - otherwise the beans don't break down at all and the texture is not correct
    – canardgras
    Dec 2, 2016 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


As several comments have said already: halving a recipe generally doesn't affect the cooking time very much. Depending on the recipe you may have to keep an eye to ensure that the increased surface area (relative to volume) doesn't cause it to evaporate too quickly or develop too much crust, but for the most part the time it takes to make something hot and allow chemical reactions to occur is about the same regardless of volume.

You're probably thinking of larger things like roasts and whole birds, where there is a minutes-per-pound estimate in cooking. That's a matter of radius, where you're just trying to get the thing to heat all the way through. Even there, minutes-per-pound is not a very good estimate.

For a casserole, braise, etc., it will reach temperature fairly quickly, and you're waiting for chemical reactions to occur (collagen gelatinizing, starches breaking down). That's the category your cassoulet fits in.

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