On measuring

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On measuring

Postby Jac » Mon May 09, 2011 9:44 pm

I rarely measure anything unless I'm combining dry ingredients or wet with dry ingredients (like when I bake); I usually just eyeball based on what I'm cooking and how previous dishes have turned out. So when I mention an amount in a recipe, it's an approximation and can be modified to taste. If I do use an exact amount, I'll be sure to specify. :biggrin:

A conversion table by Elaura:

Here are some general conversions for everyday use. For more exact conversions and especially for German-speaking cooks, check out German Recipes Conversion at about.com.

Common Abbreviations:
c = cup
t = tsp = teaspoon
T = tbsp = tablespoon
C = Celsius
F = Fahrenheit
lb = pound
g = gr = gram
kg = kilogram
ml = milliliter
dl = deciliter = 1/10 liter
l = liter


Metric Conversion Charts:

Volume:
Image

Weight:
Image

Temperature:
Image


Special conversions for specific ingredients:
Image


One stick of butter is 1/4 pound or about 110 grams. (Butter in the US is sold in one pound boxes, each box containing 4 sticks)

Decimals:

0.25 = 1/4
0.33 = 1/3
0.50 = 1/2
0.66 = 2/3
0.75 = 3/4


The following is provided for general use only. It's best to use a kitchen scale and weigh ingredients when more precise measurements are needed, as in *baking*.

Weight-volume conversions for liquid or "wet" ingredients:

1 lb = 16 oz = 2 c
1 oz = 2 tbsp
1 tbsp = 3 tsp = 0.5 oz = 15 g
1 tsp = 0.17 oz = 5 g
1 dl = 1/10 of a liter = 1/2 c

Weight-volume conversions of the two most common dry ingredients in cooking:

Flour: 1 pound = 3 1/2 cups
Sugar: 1 pound = 2 1/4 cups

A pinch is less than 1/8 teaspoon, wet or dry, though I'm not sure how one would "pinch" a liquid.
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Re: On measuring

Postby RubberMan » Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:17 am

I love cooking to. Have my own section on the BBC good food guide, has to be done :D

Think I will be doing pork in pears for lunch yum :bouncy:
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Re: On measuring

Postby Miserina » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:43 am

It's been several years by now since I finally understood how to pretend that I was a well-adjusted being. I got so good at it so fast that there's a lot of people these days that I went to school with for thirteen years that can't even really remember that I was ever a weird person until high school.

But I fully admit, I'm totally a freak about measuring anything that's not salt.

I get pissy when people try to tell me that dry and liquid measuring cups are perfectly identical. Mostly because the one year long cooking class I took was primarily focused on baking, where it's sort of an issue if you're off by 25% because someone said "a pinch of yeast" and they really meant "precisely one sixteenth of a teaspoon" or whatever. Pinches are a crappy measurement anyway. Just like smidges and other such nonsensical crap. "Heaping" anythings are annoying in my mind too, because they're not consistent.

Nice tables though. Might even be convenient enough for me to print out for later use, if only because I've never had one before that mentioned "Australian" weight and volume as if it was significantly different, which I guess it is...? That'll be dead useful I suppose if I ever decide to cook using an Australian recipe. Which isn't strictly impossible given all the people I know online who live in Australia.

I'm enough of a math geek at least that I can do Fahrenheit/Celsius/Kelvin conversions in my head at least, which is convenient sometimes for stuff like that. Well, it's not really useful to be able to specify how many kelvins you want your food cooked at, no matter what you're cooking with.


Oh, and the salt thing. I'm just retarded about salt I guess. I lose all common sense and just pour in whatever seems like enough. It screws me over more often than not anytime I try to cook rice, and I just can't figure out why salt can totally bypass my internal filters for this stuff. So my food tends to wind up too salty unless I'm baking or something where I have all the itty bitty measuring cups out already.
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Re: On measuring

Postby Praedator » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:54 am

I miss the measurement in stones :P
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Re: On measuring

Postby DARoot » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:15 am

Greetings, All
I realize I'm probably taking an awful chance, here, by posting something that might be construed as disagreeing with Miserina -- I hope that she, and you, will take it not as a form of criticism, but merely an expression of a different personal opinion [I don't want my soul devoured!!]

Cooking, to me, is not "Chemistry Class" -- [I can still remember spending 6 months in college doing 101 fussy steps to extract "cholesterol" from something, and we were graded at the end not only on the "amount of yield" we achieved, but also on the "purity" of the resultant product - as meaured by a dozen tests, which I had to perform, and submit the results of, with the product sample].

Cooking is both an Art and a Science -- so, a certain "variation" in the recipe amounts is both permissible, and in some cases, desirable [I love Indian food, and always ask for "Extra Spicy" at my favorite restaurant -- depending on who is the "Duty Chef" that day, what I get often varies -- but, is always good!] And, really, when you think about what you are working with [fruits, vegetables, meats], there is NO consistency in the amount and proportion of the chemical ingedients in each that you will get from day to day, so when you combine them, it will come out different each time anyway. So why worry? And, each "Chef" will do variations on the basic recipe anyway....

I got no problems with "pinch," "smidgen," or the like in recipes -- just means to me "a little bit," and also that the EXACT
amount of whatever is not really important to the Grand Scheme of the dish.

Remember what Spiro Agnew once said -- "A foolish consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds"
[And, NOBODY on these Forums wants to imitate HIM...]

So, enjoy life, and good food, and try to keep your blood pressure low
[As the years go by, you'll be glad you did...]
The less salt, the better [you'd be surprised how much salt is already included in the food you buy...]

My two cents
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Re: On measuring

Postby Jac » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:48 pm

The only time I'm precise about my measurements is when I'm baking because being off can throw off the entire dish. Even Iron Chefs (from Iron Chef America) use measuring cups when they're baking but not when they're seasoning foods. So if someone who's been trained to cook and has been doing it professionally for years measures when they bake, I will too. :biggrin:
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Re: On measuring

Postby neildarkstar » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:10 pm

My most common means of measurement has more to do with how much stays on the blade of a butter knife. My daughter complains that nothing I fix ever tastes the same twice in a row, and this upsets her because there is no way to duplicate a certaian thing... meaning that if she loves it, she'd better enjoy it it because she will never taste it again.

The only consistency in my cooking happens to be rice (oddly enough, Miserina) and that is true because I never add salt to the rice when cooking it. I grab a cube of butter, cut off two of the little tablespoon marks (for about a cup of rice) and drop it in the pot when I first put it on the heat.

The thing is that something doesn't need to taste consistently the same in order to always be good, and variety and change are the spice of life....
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." - Movie "Flypaper"
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Re: On measuring

Postby Miserina » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:27 pm

Ah, perhaps I should clarify some. I say that I like to measure things precisely, because it bugs me when I get a recipe wrong. But that doesn't mean I won't eventually change it myself when I decide the recipe is retarded and generalized.

All sorts of stuff that I cook these days, I'm still precise. I'll still measure out all the ingredients flawlessly... I'll just then apply my own adjustments. Get two cups of water, then pour out about 10% of that water because I don't like my food being too wet. Get a teaspoon of cinnamon and then pour a little more on top because I like it.

I'm not as anal retentive as I sound in my first post in this thread. Oh, and aside from all that, I hardly consider spices when cooking. There's little enough that we really use spices on when cooking as opposed to seasoning applied afterwards. We use more salt than is probably healthy, and aside from adding a 'pinch' or two of that to just about anything that we think needs seasoning, we also use my dads personal meat-seasoning mix for when we make cheeseburgers or pork chops or what have you. I suppose my dad also likes to add stuff like garlic powder and chopped onions to whatever the hell he's cooking, but I don't care for most of the crap we have on our spice rack.

Except cinnamon, actually. I'll add cinnamon to anything.
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Re: On measuring

Postby Sister » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:55 pm

My father and I collect old cookbooks. There we go with quarts and pints...
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Re: On measuring

Postby neildarkstar » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:25 pm

I like quarts and pints... a quart of grapefruit juice in a Mason jar and a pint of Jose Ceurvo are three of my vest friends...
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