Successful cooking requires proper measurement. While cooking, you can get away with looking at the number of ingredients on the plate such as three tomatoes, a knob of butter, and a ball of mozzarella. Unlike cooking, when it comes to baking, then it requires precision. While making a cake recipe, if you add too much flour to the batter, it might be too dry or tough. On the other hand, if you add a little flour to the batter, the cake will be structured poorly and it will fall apart in the oven.
If you want to be a professional cook, you cannot only rely on your instincts but you have to use kitchen measuring tools. They are used to make sure that you add the right amount. For this purpose, you can use a digital scale, mixing bowls, liquid measuring cups, dry measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc.
Best Tools To Measure Dry Ingredients
Dry Measuring Cups
The concept of dry measuring cups was introduced by Fannie Farmer in her book The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book in 1896. Later on, dry measuring cups became an essential kitchen tool. Dry measuring cups are used to weigh dry ingredients such as sugar, salt, spices, or flour.
They are usually made of stainless steel or plastic. You should be having dry measuring cups of different sizes to make sure that you have an exact amount of ingredients for the recipe. Take out the cup with the ingredient and remove the excess with a flat utensil. This method is known as dip and sweep. The dry measuring cups come in different sizes as follows:
- 1/4 cups
- 1/3 cups
- 1/2 cups
- 1 cup
Liquid Measuring Cups
Dry measuring cups cannot be used for liquids. There is a difference between the measurement of solid ingredients and liquid ingredients. Along with dry measuring cups, you need liquid measuring cups too. They are made of clear plastic or glass which makes them perfect to check the quantity of liquid in the cup.
It is suggested by the experts that when you want to measure a liquid ingredient, place the liquid measuring cup on a flat surface. Make sure that the marks on the cup are at eye level while pouring the liquid into the cup. If still, you are not satisfied with the measurement, you can always use a weighing scale to get 100% accuracy.
Liquid measuring cups come in three materials such as glass, metal, and plastic. Liquid measuring cups made of plastic are lightweight and dishwasher safe. Metal measuring cups, on the other hand, are durable and stronger. Glass vs. metal, which measuring cup is best? Unlike metal and plastic measuring cups, glass does not absorb any kind of odors or stains. Also, they are dishwasher safe and heat resistant.
In modern kitchen utensils, you must have measuring spoons. They help to measure the small amounts of wet and dry ingredients. As baking recipes require precise measuring of ingredients, measuring spoons is one of the best options. They come in different sizes such as follows:
- 1/4 tsp
- 1/2 tsp
- 1/2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp
A guide to measuring spoons can help you to know the different materials and colors. You will find them in stainless steel, plastic, wooden, and magnetic materials. All types of measuring spoons are capable of measuring both solids and liquids.
You will find mixing bowls in almost every kitchen but not all the mixing bowls are created equally. Different types of materials used in making mixing bowls come with different pros and cons. For example, glass mixing bowls are not prone to discoloration and they are easy to wash and durable. Stainless steel mixing bowls, on the other hand, are dishwasher safe and rust-resistant. Even some silicone mixing bowls are microwave and oven safe.
Mixing bowls are one of the best tools to measure dry ingredients because of their different sizes. Nowadays, these mixing bowls come with measurement marks on the inside. They come in a light shade such as white or off-white or transparent. The bright markings on the smooth inner surface make it easier for you to use ingredients with precise measurements. Also, these mixing bowls can be used for cooking and baking.
To measure both dry and liquid ingredients, you can use digital scales. As mentioned earlier, digital scales provide you with 100% accuracy. To measure an ingredient on a digital scale, put it on an electronic surface. You will get the weight of the ingredient on the analog or digital display. To your surprise, weight measurements are more accurate than volume measurements. Hence, digital scales are the best measuring tools.
A digital scale can measure the weight in pounds, ounces, grams, or kilograms. They come with a feature that returns the scale to zero once the weight has been removed from the scale. Also, they have an automatic shutdown feature in at least a minute or 3 minutes.
Hanging scales are one of the best tools to measure dry ingredients but they are old-fashioned. They are also known as crane scales because of the hook at the bottom. You can use hanging scales to measure the weight of heavy foods such as poultry, meat, or fish. To measure things in the kitchen such as the weight, attach the food with the hook while hanging it down.
Not all the hanging scales have a hook at the bottom. Some come with a bowl at the bottom that makes it easier for you to weigh the food.
Slotted spoons are primarily used for retrieving solid ingredients from the cooking pot. Apart from separating the solid food from the liquid, they can be used as a measuring tool for dry ingredients. Most of the slotted spoons come with a hole in the middle that serves as a weighing tool.
Most people use slotted spoons for serving spaghetti but they don’t know that the hole in the spoon can be used to determine the spaghetti serving. You can measure the serving size accurately with the hole in the slotted spoon.
Mason Jars with Measuring Marks
Mason jars were invented by John Landis Mason to store food. These unique jars are also known as canning jars, bead jars, and fruit jars. Although these jars are used for sprouting and canning, they make a perfect fit for measuring liquid ingredients. The scale on the jar allows you to measure the quantity of the liquid.
Mason jars come in different sizes, shapes, designs, and colors. If it is too simple to be added to your kitchen utensil collection, you can décor them according to your choice. For example, you can paint them or make designs over them. Also, you can wrap them in different colors but make sure that the measurement scale does not fade or the jar becomes opaque.
An oven thermometer is not a dry ingredient measurement tool but it can be of great use. It is used to check the oven temperature. At times, the oven gets too hot or too cold and without an oven thermometer, it is hard to tell the temperature. It makes sure that the temperature of the oven is maintained for the baking and roasting process.
Primarily, oven thermometers are developed for grills and ovens but they can be used for barbecue grills. However, the barbecue grill thermometers are known as grilling thermometers. Some oven thermometers come with a two-in-one feature known as dual sensor thermometers. Such thermometers are used for measuring the temperature of the oven and meat.
Some digital oven thermometers come with a wireless remote locator. They are used as a timer while baking and roasting. Hence, you get accurate readings of the temperature to make a perfect dish.
Dry Ingredients – Must Have Dry Ingredient Measuring Tools
When you want to make a perfect dish, make sure that you have all the ingredients. Once you have all the ingredients, it is time to measure them according to the recipe. Cooking is like making a formula in a chemistry lab. A lesser quantity of the ingredient cannot result in a perfect dish and the same goes with an excess quantity of ingredients. To make a perfect dish, you need to have an accurate measuring while cooking.
For dry ingredients, you can use a lot of measuring tools such as dry measuring cups, liquid measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, slotted spoons, digital scales, hanging scales, oven thermometers, mason jars with measure marks, etc. All these measuring tools come in different sizes, colors, designs, and shapes. You can use them to measure the dry ingredients in grams, kilograms, pounds, or ounces. Hence, you will be able to add an accurate quantity of ingredients to make a perfect dish.