Cooking is an enjoyable task for many people. However, it is also very challenging for some, especially when it comes to the measurements of different ingredients. A pinch of salt, a dash of pepper, a lot of cooks prefer estimating the quantities of ingredients and simply adjusting them as they cook. However, getting the proportions of the ingredients correctly can make all the difference, especially when it comes to baking.
Proper measuring is a crucial part of successful cooking and baking. It’s because some foods can be affected greatly by too much or too little of certain ingredients, like flour, salt, baking soda, and as well as hot and spicy ingredients. If you are new to cooking and baking or want to learn how to properly measure the ingredients, you’re in the right place. Today, we will give you the best tips for accurate measuring while cooking. But before you delve into the details, you may want to know first the benefits you’ll get from using healthy cooking oil.
1. Use the Right Tools for Accurate Measurements
To measure the ingredients accurately while cooking, you first need to have the right tools. Using real and accurate measuring cups instead of a random mug at home is better. There are proper measuring cups for both dry and liquid ingredients, and as well as measuring spoons. And for best results, it is also great if you have a quality scale to measure the ingredients by weight.
If you want to learn more about the tools for measuring ingredients when cooking or baking, you can check out the following links:
- A Guide to Measuring Spoons
- Choosing Between Stainless Steel and Copper Measuring Cups
- What Materials are Best for Measuring Cups and Spoons?
- How are Scoops Used in the Kitchen
- Types of Measuring Spoons
2. Spoon in Dry Ingredients
When you measure dry ingredients such as sugar or flour, you can dip an appropriately sized dry measuring cup or spoon and scoop it out. Scooping up powdery ingredients with the measuring cup is not advisable as it can lead to compression and cause you to pour in more than you really want. Instead, it’s better to spoon lighter ingredients into the cup and reserve the scooping for heavier ingredients such as salt.
Whether you choose to spoon or scoop, you should always level off the dome at the top of the container with a straight edge utensil like a knife. That is how you measure dry ingredients by volume. But to make sure that you are right with your proportions, it is also better if you can check the weight on a cooking scale. It’s because slight variations on how you pack the ingredients will have consequences on your dish. Therefore, measuring them by weight can help you make fine adjustments.
For more information, you can check out the following articles:
- Best Tools to Measure Dry Ingredients
- Reasons to Use Double-Sided Measuring Spoons
- What to Use If You Don’t Have Measuring Cups
- The Benefit of Adjustable Measuring Cups and Spoons
3. Pour out Wet Ingredients
It is best to use measuring cups that are properly calibrated for liquids when measuring wet or liquid ingredients. However, remember that most liquid measuring cups are made with larger quantities in mind. With this, you can also use a dry cup or spoon when measuring smaller amounts of liquid ingredients. Also, keep in mind that ounces and fluid ounces are different units of measurements. Fluid ounces measure the volume of liquid why ounces measure the weight.
When measuring liquids, always place the measuring cup on a level surface. Then, fill it up to just under the appropriate mark. Before you pour it in, try to lower your sightline first to the level of the measuring cup to ensure that the liquid is on the right level. After that, continue pouring out the liquid slowly until the bottom of the curve at the liquid’s surface is level with the line.
You can also check out these articles for more information:
- Top Tools for Measuring Wet Ingredients
- Glass vs. Metal – Which Measuring Cup is Best?
- Which is More Accurate – Angled or Straight Measuring Cups?
- The Benefits of Collapsible Measuring Cups
4. Prevent the Ingredients from Sticking To Your Measuring Tools
When measuring ingredients, sometimes they stick to the measuring tools, which leads to incorrect measurements of ingredients being used. This usually happens with sticky ingredients like peanut butter, molasses, or honey. It can also get messy when these ingredients are involved.
To save yourself from the struggle, one of the ways is to dip the measuring cup or spoon in hot water. Do not dry them off and use them to measure out the ingredient. In addition to that, another way is to coat the measuring cups with cooking spray. These techniques will ready your measuring tools and ensure that the correct amount of these ingredients will slide off the tools easily.
5. Tip for Measuring Butter or Margarine
Most baking recipes call for butter or margarine requirements in stick form. A general rule of thumb for measuring butter is that half of the stick equals four tablespoons. So, eight tablespoons mean you need to use a whole stick of butter. Margarine or butter wrappers also come with portions clearly outlined on them.
Miscellaneous Measuring Tips
- Try not to do it over the mixing bowl that already has some ingredients mixed in it. You may accidentally spill some ingredients in the mixing bowl and ruin the whole batch. Measure over another countertop or sink so that even if some ingredients fall, there is no harm to the mixed batch.
- Let us be realistic and understand that some cooks might not have two sets of measuring tools. If so, then measure the dry ingredients before the liquid ones. It will save you from having to wait for the tools to be washed and dried before you can use them again.
- Store some essential dry ingredients in a wide-mouthed container so that it is easier to spoon them out without the hassle of pouring them over and spilling.
- A pro-tip for most novice cooks for measuring ingredients is to keep the measured and un-measured ingredients on separate sides of the mixing bowl. Once you measure an ingredient, quickly move it over to the opposite side so that you do not mistakenly measure and add it again.
- Fluid ounces and ounces are two different measures. A general rule is that ounces are a weight measure while fluid ounces are for measuring liquids.
Basic Volume Equivalencies for Your Help
Measuring by volume is an accurate way to ensure that you add the correct quantities. Most baking recipes in the US use volume measurement. Therefore, having a measuring scale is a must.
However, knowing basic volume measurement equivalencies is crucial for using a scale for measurement.
Here is a table to help you out:
|US Standard Measurements||Equivalencies|
|1 teaspoon||5 milliliters|
|1 tablespoon||15 milliliters (3 teaspoons)|
|1/4th cup||59 milliliters (4 tablespoons)|
|½ cup||118 milliliters (8 tablespoons)|
|1 cup||237 milliliters (16 tablespoons)|
|1 pint||473 milliliters (2 cups)|
|1 quart||946 milliliters or 1 liter (2 pints)|
|1 gallon||3,785 milliliters (4 quarts)|
Measuring ingredients accurately while cooking is very important. This ensures that you use the right amount of ingredients that a dish needs for it to taste good. With the right measuring tools and by using them correctly, you will be able to get the right measurements of ingredients when you cook. We hope that these tips will help you in your next cooking session.