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How to Accurately Measure Different Ingredients

Updated on September 28, 2016

I assume that you were directed to this article because you were looking for answers to some failures in your cooking and baking journey or you may be a beginner trying to impress somebody by cooking the perfect recipe taste. In cooking and baking, the secret to making a food taste, feel and smell good is the proper measurement or balance of ingredients. Let us say, you are cooking for a single person and your one cup of cooked pasta needs just a pinch of black pepper so that would be easier for you to prepare. What if you will be preparing for a family dinner and your one cup of pasta becomes 6 to 10 cups? Will you still be using pinches and count 6 pinches for 6 cups or 10 pinches for 10 cups? Well, you can do that if you are sure to achieve the desired taste of your recipe but if you are still a novice, you better use measuring spoons. Measuring spoons and cups are the cheapest yet one of the most important utensils you should add in your kitchen tools. There are complete sets of measuring spoons today that come in 6 pieces composed of 1/8, ¼, ½, ¾, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon like for example the 1Easylife Stainless Steel Metal measuring spoons. Going back to the situation earlier, if you need 6 pinches then you can just use the 1/8 measuring spoon thrice because 1 pinch is equivalent to 1/16 teaspoon and that is half of 1/8 teaspoon.

The secret to serving a perfect recipe is the proper or accurate balance of ingredients which may be achieved by using the right measuring tools.
The secret to serving a perfect recipe is the proper or accurate balance of ingredients which may be achieved by using the right measuring tools.

How Must You Use the Measuring Spoon?

  • For baking powder and baking soda, use the spoon to get the ingredient and level it by using a spatula, knife or any kitchen tool with a straight edge.
  • Spices may come in narrow mouthed jars and rounded measuring spoons might not fit. Pour the spice on the measuring but with a small bowl below to catch extras then level it. To put the extra spices back to its jar, roll a paper or use a small funnel. When buying your set of measuring spoons, try to find something with a narrow design so it might fit in spice bottles.

How Should You Use the Measuring Cup?

Measuring Dry Ingredients

Use the measuring cup to take the ingredient from its container and level it with a straight edge knife or a spatula. Make sure not to leave spaces to ensure accuracy and do not use a drinking cup in place of the required measuring cups for cooking and baking.

When measuring brown sugar, pack it in the measuring cup by using your bare hands or a spoon. You will do this because some brown sugars are moist and they will not be evenly distributed inside the measuring cup without the aid of something to compress it.

To measure butter and other sticky ingredients, dry measuring cups are also recommended for use because they are easier to be filled in and for a more accurate measurement because liquid measuring cups are exclusively for liquid ingredients.

To measure liquid ingredients, put the measuring cup in a clean, flat space and pour the ingredients. Check measurement in eye level.
To measure liquid ingredients, put the measuring cup in a clean, flat space and pour the ingredients. Check measurement in eye level.

Measuring Liquid Ingredients

Like I said, liquid measuring cups are for liquid ingredients and vice versa. Liquid measuring cups were designed with a spout on their lid to easily pour the ingredient and have a handle for a safer grip. In measuring liquid ingredients, pour the ingredient and check outside the measuring cup through its printed or engraved guides on an eye-level. Make sure that you put your measuring cups in a leveled surface to avoid tilting.

Cooking scales may look like this in the photo and some are digital.
Cooking scales may look like this in the photo and some are digital.

Measuring by Weight

Have you ever tried doing this in chemistry classes? Measuring by weight is now being used in the kitchen too but rarely. In cases you want to give it a try, here are just simple guides.

  • Always make sure that your weighing scale is set to zero before weighing your ingredient
  • Add one ingredient at a time
  • Conversion Guides:

1 Teaspoon = 5 milliliters

1 Tablespoon = 15 milliliters

1 cup = 250 milliliters


According to experts, the best thing about using the weighing scale is that you can put your mixing bowls directly on it and just by practicing to reset the scale to zero after putting each ingredient, you will not worry about leveling and others. You just add and mix.

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