The Importance of Measuring

The Importance of Measuring

Properly measuring ingredients is critical to a successful dish. The last thing you want to happen is to go shopping, spend money for the ingredients, come home, put it all together, and in the end you are left with something unrecognizable and inedible. Trust me. It’s happened to me many times. The disappointment is palpable and it tastes bad.

Over the past few years I’ve converted my recipes to grams. The measurement is much more accurate and can be used for solid and liquid ingredients. The beauty of using grams for all ingredients is you can just keep adding ingredients to the same bowl, and tare or zero the scale after each addition of an ingredient. No messing around with cups, half cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc. Just add the ingredient to a bowl on the scale set to zero. Add the appropriate amount. Tare or zero the scale and move on to the next ingredient. It’s that easy.

Also for dry ingredients, weighing them out is much more accurate than using the standard measuring cup or spoon measurements. Take brown sugar for example. Measuring brown sugar in a measuring cups usually is a guess at best. Recipes calling for packing the brown sugar to get the best measurement are never that accurate. I always feel like did I pack it enough? When I weight it out in grams, I know it is correct. No more guessing.

I am admittedly crazy and have taken the gram measurement into the 0.1 gram range. I know if sounds crazy, but I read an article from the NY Times  a few years ago about how snack food manufactures are actually measuring their recipes down into the o.01 gram range. The human mouth is actually that sensitive. Their recipes are based on thousands upon thousands of trials, dialing in the salt, sugar and spices to the hundredth of a  gram. This is basically the secret to snack food’s addiction.

Now do you need to do this? I would argue probably not, unless you have a lot of time on your hands. But the point being is that measuring to the 0.1 gram range is reasonable. Especially for powerful spices such as allspice and nutmeg to name a few. I’ve played around with recipes and the flavors are perceptible in the 0.1 gram range. It might be subtle, but that subtly is what can take a recipe from good to amazing in my opinion. Addictive.

I have two scales in my kitchen for each purpose. One is a general use scale that measures in grams, the other is a pocket scale that measures in the 0.1  gram range.

I haven’t thrown away my measuring cup yet. It still has it’s purpose at times. Same goes for measuring spoons. Often times now I use them when I find a new recipe I want to try that is using the traditional cups/spoons measurement and then convert to grams.

Do yourself a favor and get some good quality measuring tools. You wouldn’t build a house without a good tape measure, right? Good quality tools will last years and not let you down in the middle of a big dinner prep.

There are some basic kitchen tools that you will need to help guarantee success. Here is my short list of measuring tools that are my gotos.

Hope this helps. Until next time, buen provecho!


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