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How To Measure Dry and Liquid Ingredients Correctly?

Updated on January 2, 2017

A Guide for Measuring Dry and Liquid Ingredients Correctly For Baking

I love baking. Baking is one of my passion. A lot of people likes to bake but afraid to try because they find baking intimidating due to the hard work that it requires - from the accurate measurement of ingredients to correctly following of procedures.

This article is a guide on how to measure ingredients for baking correctly to those who find baking intimidating. Intimidating in the sense that some baking recipes requires very accurate measurement of ingredients and the ability to accurately follow procedures in a recipe. You cannot just guess and invent the amount of ingredients to be used in baking because the baked goods will either turn out hard, flat or inedible.

This is the reason why some people prefer cooking over baking because with cooking you don't need to accurately measure ingredients and follow procedures to the letter. You can even cook a recipe by adding more or less ingredients from a recipe and adjust the ingredients according to your taste.

In baking, you cannot just add more or less ingredients in a recipe. You have to accurately measure the ingredients and follow the procedures not unless you are a very experienced pastry chef or baker.

An important procedure that should not be ignored in baking is the accurate or exact measurement of ingredients. Every person who loves to bake or would like to learn how to bake must have the right utensils to be able to measure ingredients accurately.

Kinds of Utensils To Invest For Measuring Ingredients In Baking

  • Measuring spoons set
  • Measuring cups set - nested and graduated types
  • Weighing scale - spring and digital types
  • stainless steel spatula

The Type of Measuring Spoon I Use

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Measuring spoons in 1/8 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 5 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 1 1/4 tablespoon and 2 tablespoon gradation.
Measuring spoons in 1/8 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 5 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 1 1/4 tablespoon and 2 tablespoon gradation.
Measuring spoons in 1/8 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, 5 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 1 1/4 tablespoon and 2 tablespoon gradation.

Types of Measuring Spoons

Measuring Spoons are either made in metal or plastic material. It is used to measure both solid and liquid ingredients in small quantity. It come as a basic of 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon.

My measuring spoons are made of both plastic and metal materials and comes in set of 1/8 teaspoon or 0.625 ml, 1/4 teaspoon 0r 1.25 ml, 1/2 teaspoon or 2.5 ml, 1 teaspoon or 5 ml, 2 teaspoon or 10 ml, 1 tablespoon or 15 ml, 1 1/2 tablespoon or 22.5 ml and 2 tablespoon or 30 ml. measurements.

Measuring Spoon

The Measuring Cups I Use

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Nested metal measuring cups in 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup gradation.Plastic graduated measuring cup with cup measurement gradation and its equivalent in fluid ounces gradation.Plastic graduated measuring cup with cup measurement gradation and its equivalent in milliliter gradation.
Nested metal measuring cups in 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup gradation.
Nested metal measuring cups in 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup gradation.
Plastic graduated measuring cup with cup measurement gradation and its equivalent in fluid ounces gradation.
Plastic graduated measuring cup with cup measurement gradation and its equivalent in fluid ounces gradation.
Plastic graduated measuring cup with cup measurement gradation and its equivalent in milliliter gradation.
Plastic graduated measuring cup with cup measurement gradation and its equivalent in milliliter gradation.

Two Types of Measuring Cups

Graduated measuring cups - can be either plastic or glass. This type is ideal for measuring liquid ingredients.

The graduated lines are either etched or printed on both side of the cup showing the measurement in milliliters and fluid ounces gradation. It has a spout to avoid spills. Graduated measuring cups comes in different sizes with the smallest in one cup size and the biggest in one gallon size. For household use, the ideal size is the one in two cup gradation.

Nested measuring cups - are made of either metal or plastic material and comes as a set in the following measures: 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup. The nested measuring cups are ideally used in measuring dry or solid ingredients.

I Use Both Spring And Digital Type Weighing Scale

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Spring TypeDigital Type
Spring Type
Spring Type
Digital Type
Digital Type

Types of Weighing Scales

Digital scale - this type of scale is rather expensive but provides the most accurate measurement.

Spring-type scale - the least expensive and comes in 20 grams gradation with a capacity of up to 3 kilograms for small quantities and the 100 grams gradation with a capacity of up to 10 kilograms for large quantities.

The spring-type scale in 20 grams gradation with a capacity of up to 3 kilograms is ideal in measuring ingredients for baking at home.

Basic Conversion Table

From
To
Equivalent
1/8 teaspoon
=
0.625 ml
1/4 teaspoon
=
1.25 ml
1/2 teaspoon
=
2.5 ml
1 teaspoon
=
5 ml
2 teaspoon
=
10 ml
1 tablespoon
=
15 ml
1 1/2 tablespoon
=
22.5 ml
2 tablespoon
=
30 ml
1/4 cup
=
60 ml or 2 oz
1/3 cup
=
80 ml or 22 oz
1/2 cup
=
125 ml or 44 oz
1 cup
=
250 ml or 88 oz
1 cup
=
16 tablespoons
2 cups
=
1 pint
4 cups
=
2 pints
16 cups
=
8 pints
8 pints
=
4 quarts
4 quarts
=
1 gallon

Please note some slight deference in the table above from the US metric conversion table or from the Common Measurement and Equivalents listed in the link below. It is because in my country we usually use 125 ml equivalent of 1/4 teaspoon because it is much easier to find and measure 125 ml than 123 ml and we round off some of the equivalents for much easier measurement of ingredients.

The very slight deference will not be noticeable in the finished product. But as a rule of thumb, to obtain consistent result in my baked goods, I used a standard form of measurement for all my recipes so that I get the same results each time I bake the recipe. To make the standard measurement of a recipe, instead of measuring the ingredients in cups, I measure the ingredients in grams, so I have the same accurate measurement of the ingredients and the same results all the time.

By being familiar with conversions, it will be easier for you to measure ingredients. For example, If a recipe calls for 3 teaspoons or 15 ml of iodized salt and you need to double the recipe, you will not have to measure the iodized salt six times using a teaspoon. You can directly measure 2 tablespoons of iodized salt because 16 teaspoons or 30 ml of iodized salt is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of iodized salt.

Familiarizing yourself with the conversion will save you a lot of time and effort and will make measurement of ingredients a lot simpler and easier.

Tips On How To Measure Ingredients Accurately

As a rule of thumb, always use the nested measuring cups when measuring dry or solid ingredients and use the granulated measuring cups when measuring the liquid ingredients. Remember that they are not inter-changeable.

When using the nested measuring spoons and measuring cups always remember to:

  • Fill the utensil to the brim and level off the dry ingredients with the back of a knife or with a spatula.
  • never dip the measuring cup into the container when measuring flour. Always spoon the flour into the measuring cup up to the brim and level off the excess.
  • to get the accurate measurement of brown sugar, always remember to pack it with the back of a spoon, then invert the measuring cup into a flat surface and let the sugar slide out. You'll know you've measured correctly if the sugar hold its shape and don't crumble or break down.
  • make sure to fill up to the edge of the spoon or cup when measuring liquid ingredients.

When using the graduated measuring cup always remember to:

  • put the measuring cup on a flat surface or near the edge of the table
  • check the measurement at eye level and looking down from a standing position.

When using a weighing scale always remember to:

  • set the weighing scale at zero before measuring the ingredients.
  • when using a spring-type scale always put the empty container first on the weighing scale and adjust the dial to zero before putting in your ingredients to be measured.
  • when using a digital scale, put the empty container on the scale, press "TARE" to remove the weight of the container before putting in the ingredients to be measured.

Never forget that the key to a hassle-free baking is by knowing the basics of measuring ingredients. Once you are familiar with the basics, you will find out that baking is just a breeze.

Tips On How To Accurately Measure Brown Sugar

pack the brown sugar with the back of a spoon
pack the brown sugar with the back of a spoon | Source
the brown sugar must hold its shape when the measuring cup is inverted and the sugar is slid into a flat surface.
the brown sugar must hold its shape when the measuring cup is inverted and the sugar is slid into a flat surface.

Why You Should Measure Ingredients Correctly in Baking?

Baking is a science so that when you put and mix all the ingredients together inside the oven, actual chemical reactions takes place and when ingredients are not properly measured the outcome or result of your finished product is greatly affected.

Comments

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  • ChristyWrites profile image

    Christy Birmingham 

    6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I actually find baking easier than cooking. I suppose I go against the norm! You give useful tips here, thank-you. I know this hub will help anyone who is intimidated in the kitchen.

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