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Some handy information on weights, measures and conversion.
Weights and Measures
The importance of Weights and Measures in Cooking
Correct weighing or measuring of ingredients is necessary in getting the correct
result from a recipe. This rule is especially true when backing, making large quantities
or for commercial use.
Although Weighing ingredients is the most accurate method, most recipes are not written
this way and you also requires a good quality scale that can measure accurately to
at least a gram or less. The most common scales are the balance and the digital scale.
They come in a varieties of designs and accuracies, Digital scales are probably the
best buy and can often weigh very small amounts accurately. However with most scales
the better the accuracy the more it is going to cost.
Measurement of ingredients is how most recipes are written and may seem easier than
weighing but not as accurate.
Often ingredients are in such small quantities that a scale may not work, yet a standard
measure will. The weighing of liquids is also difficult, however they can easily
be measured with cups in cc, ml, l, cups or numerous other standard measures.
Standard equipment should be used for measuring liquids and solids.
Equipment for Measuring Liquids and Solids
A standard liquid cup is of 8 oz. or 250 ml of capacity. It may be subdivided (graduated)
and marked for measuring ¼ ,½ ,¾ ,1/3 and 2/3 of a cup or graduated by 10,25,50 or
For measuring dry ingredients, it is better to use fractional cups rather than a
single full cup measure. With a single graduated cup measure it is difficult to get
a partial measure accurately.
A set of measuring spoons can measure 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon and
1 tablespoon or 1 ml, 2 ml, 5 ml, 15 ml, 20 and sometimes 30 ml.
How to Measure Liquids
Use a clear or see through measuring cup that can measure above the required amount.
Place the measuring cup on a flat surface.
Fill to the measure you need.
Sift dry ingredient before measuring them. Fill a measuring cup lightly with dry
ingredient using a tablespoon, until it is heaped full. Do not shake or tap the cup
while it is being filled. When heaped, level the dry ingredient in the cup with the
straight edge of the knife. Use a smaller fractional cup for measuring less than
For measuring spoons, fill the measuring spoon to heaping full by dipping it in the
dry ingredient and then level with the straight edge of a knife. Measure half spoon
can be done by cutting a full spoon in half lengthwise and scraping out one half.
Measure quarter spoon by cutting half spoon crosswise into portions as nearly equal
as possible and scraping out a quarter.
For Solids (Butter, margarine, lards, shortenings etc.)
Press the ingredient into the appropriate measuring cup so that air spaces are forced
Level the ingredient with the straight edge of a knife when the cup is full.
Some recipes use ratios rather than actual weights and measures for ingredients.
The way it works is that all ingredients are related to each other. One item will
represent ONE part, or a single (ONE) part as defined in the recipe. All other ingredients
are measured in accordance to the ONE. One could be anything from a proper measure
to a wheel barrow full.
1 part of ingredient A
2 Parts of ingredient B
½ part ingredient C
If 1 part = 100 grams then it would read as follows:
100 grams ingredient A
200 grams ingredient B
50 grams ingredient C
If 1 part = a coffee cup then it would read as follows:
1 coffee cup ingredient A
2 coffee cups ingredient B
½ coffee cup ingredient C
1/4 tsp = 1 ml 1/2 tsp = 2 ml 1 tsp = 5 ml 3 tsp = 15 ml = 1 Tbs
1 Tbs = 20 ml*
16 Tbs = 1 Cup
1 fl.oz = 28.35 ml. (30 ml)
1 jigger = 1.5 fluid ounces
1/4 cup = 60 ml = 2 fl oz = jigger 1/3 cup = 80 ml 1/2 cup = 125 ml = 4 fl oz 2/3 cup
= 170 ml 3/4 cup = 190 ml