Kitchen Hacks: Measuring Tips & Techniques
Proper measuring of ingredients is important to successful cooking and baking. Some foods can be greatly affect by too much or too little of certain ingredients, such as salt, baking soda, baking powder and hot or spicy ingredients, such as cayenne pepper. The following tips will assist in ensuring that your ingredients are measured proper.
1. Standard yogurt measurements
If you find yourself in a kitchen without a set of measuring cups, you can substitute cleaned yogurt containers: the 4-ounce size for ½ cup, the 6-ounce size for ¾ cup, and the 8-ounce size for a full cup.
2. Halve or halve not
Here’s an ingenious way to accurately measure ½ cup of liquid with a 1-cup dry measuring cup: fill a straight-sided 1-cup measuring cup with liquid approximately halfway and tilt the cup diagonally. When the liquid touches the brim on one side of the cup and the edge of the flat bottom on the opposite side of the cup, you have measured exactly ½ cup. Use the same method to measure ¼ cup from a ½-cup measure, ⅛ cup from a ¼-cup measure, and so on.
3. Solving sticky spoons
When measuring small amounts of sticky liquid like honey or corn syrup, run the measuring spoons under hot water before using them. A heated spoon keeps the sticky liquid runnier, which helps it release more easily.
4. Measuring by the spoonful
Dipping a measuring spoon into a dry ingredient, then sweeping across the top with a knife to level it off, is the best way to get an accurate measurement. But it can also be a messy proposition. Here are two ways to tidy things up.
A. Coffee filter
1. Holding a cone-shaped coffee filter in one hand, pour in a generous amount of the spice. Dip the measuring spoon into the spice, using a straight edge to level it off.
2. Holding the coffee filter at an angle and pinching one corner, carefully pour the excess back into the spice container.
B. Masking tape
Run a double strip of masking tape across the opening of the container. Scoop up a heaping spoonful of the ingredient and level it off by scraping it against the tape.
5. Kitchen scale perch
Bulky containers, large roasts, and the like can obscure the display on a digital scale. Here’s a clever way around the problem: steady a lightweight cake stand on the scale, and set the tare at zero. The cake stand, which is wide enough to accommodate large pans and big cuts of meat, elevates items so that the display is visible.
6. A flexible way to weigh
Pouring dry ingredients from a bowl into a running stand mixer usually results in a messy counter. Try setting a silicone cake pan on the scale and measuring the dry ingredients in it instead. The pan easily bends, so you can add to the mixer without a mess.
7. A clean stream
Some liquid measuring cups have itsy-bitsy pouring spouts that can make a big mess if you pour too quickly—the liquid will leak and run down the cup, not into your bowl. For a mess-free pour, follow this easy procedure: as you pour, hold a butter knife (blade up) in the spout at an angle. The liquid will follow the knife and stay in a steady stream.