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Old 05-14-2005, 09:04 AM   #1
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Arrow Is that really necessary?

i found that people would like to use a numeric measure while cooking, like 5g sugar, 6oz beef. etc. i m wondering is that really necessary when we are cooking? it will be a tough job for me to measure everything. thanks for advice. btw, i love this fourm. that seems just for people like me

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Old 05-14-2005, 09:14 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site!

The short answer to your question is no.

The longer answer is still no, but with conditions. In most cooking, measurements do not need to be exact. If a recipe calls for 6oz of beef and you use 8oz then your recipe will still work (in most cases). If you like jalopeno peppers more than the average person and a recipe calls for a little amount, you can certainly add as many more as you like. It will change the end result, but as long as it tastes good to you then who cares The ingredient amounts are there for a point of reference in my opinion. Otherwise you would look at a recipe and it would just say beef, stock, celery, etc. Well does that mean 6oz or beef or 3lb of beef? A couple of tablespoons of stock or 8 cups of stock?

Now baking is a different story altogether. Baking is like chemistry. It is very important to use the exact amounts listed or the equation will not work. Your cake will not rise properly or your pie will not set etc.
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Old 05-14-2005, 09:28 AM   #3
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Thanks GB. that's why i was confused when i read the recipe. it's really hard for me to know how much is 550ml.

the chef in china grows up without numbers. and they just taste the food to check the measure. of course, for those flavorings only.
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Old 05-14-2005, 11:04 AM   #4
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bemeuk, I had these saved. Hope they can help you.

British Liquid Measures
1 UK pint is about 6 dl
1 UK liquid oz is 0.96 US liquid oz.


1 pint = 570 ml = 20 fl oz
1 breakfast cup = 10 fl oz = 1/2 pint
1 tea cup = 1/3 pint
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 dessertspoon = 10 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml = 1/3 tablespoon


Top of page

Weight

1 ounce = 28.4 g (can usually be rounded to 25 or 30)
1 pound = 454 g
1 kg = 2.2 pounds


Liquid Measures

1 cup

8 fluid ounces

1/2 pint

237 ml

2 cups

16 fluid ounces

1 pint

473 ml

4 cups

32 fluid ounces

1 quart

946 ml

2 pints

32 fluid ounces

1 quart

0.946 liters

4 quarts

128 fluid ounces

1 gallon

3.785 liters

8 quarts

one peck





4 pecks

one bushel





dash

less than 1/4 teaspoon










Dry Measures


3 teaspoons

1 tablespoon

1/2 ounce

14.3 grams



2 tablespoons

1/8 cup

1 fluid ounce

28.35 grams



4 tablespoons

1/4 cup

2 fluid ounces

56.7 grams



5-1/3 tablespoons

1/3 cup

2.6 fluid ounces

75.6 grams



8 tablespoons

1/2 cup

4 ounces

113.4 grams

1 stick butter

12 tablespoons

3/4 cup

6 ounces

.375 pound

170 grams

32 tablespoons

2 cups

16 ounces

1 pound

453.6 grams

64 tablespoons

4 cups

32 ounces

2 pounds

907 grams
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Old 05-14-2005, 11:40 AM   #5
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In baking, though, exact measurement is important
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Old 05-14-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
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Tell me if I'm wrong - but in the above list are you putting together the 1 stick of butter and 12 TBS? Or am I reading that wrong.

Like everyone else has said exact measurements are usually not necessary except in the case of baking. But some people are new to cooking and need to start with exact measurements. Like most everyone here a recipe is a guide. But for some a recipe is how you begin to learn and that comes from knowing proportions of different ingredients compared to others.

And with the proper measuring devices all these numbers would be written on it and easy to follow.
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Old 05-14-2005, 01:24 PM   #7
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Hi Bemeuk, I agree that there are many good cooks who never use a recipe. But almost all of those people, I believe, learned at least the basics of cooking at some time in their lives.

Most of the time I cook without a recipe.

But I read recipes to learn how to cook something I may not be familiar with, or a variation of a recipe I know.

And there are a lot of folks who are learning to cook and try very hard to adhere to the amounts of ingredients listed in the recipe.

And they, I suspect, and I don't want to have to guess how much of an ingredient the author had in mind.

And I agree that it is difficult to measure small amounts of liquids and solids without more sophisticated devices than most cooks, including myself, wish to bother with.

That is why we often use terms like pinch, dash, splash, and other not very precise terms.

Or we use volumes, such a teaspoonfuls and tablespoonfuls, instead of weights for solids.

Five grams of sugar is a ridiculous measurement, and shame on those who write recipes calling for those amounts. No one has a scale in their kitchen to measure 5 g. But if you realize that the contents of one packet of the sugar subsititues weighs one gram, you can kinda eyeball five grams.

550 ml? Well, take a liter, 1000 ml, which is about a quart, add one half of it, 500 ml, about a pint, and toss in a bit more.

Similarly, for those not familiar with metric equivalents, a kilogram (1000g) is about two pounds. Therefore 500g is about a pound.

These measurement approximations are for cooking and not baking of course.

I guess what I am trying to say is that when I read a recipe I want to know about how much the author intends to go into the dish.

Was just thinking about what kind of a mess someone could make out of some of my favorite recipes if the amounts of ingredients were omitted.
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Old 05-14-2005, 03:28 PM   #8
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Kitchen elf the 1 stick of butter goes with the 8 tablespoons above it. there should have been a space after it. I copied it from my word program and it jammed it all together. I should have checked the post more carefully. Sorry.

8 tablespoons:

1/2 cup

4 ounces

113.4 grams

1 stick butter




12 tablespoons:

3/4 cup

6 ounces

.375 pound

170 grams




32 tablespoons:

2 cups

16 ounces

1 pound

453.6 grams




64 tablespoons:

4 cups

32 ounces

2 pounds

907 grams
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Old 05-14-2005, 05:54 PM   #9
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It depends largely on the recipe. If you're baking, no matter what recipe, you need to follow the directions to a "T".

For simple cooking recipes, as long as you can eyeball everything to within a small margin of error, then you don't need to measure. If you can't do that consistently, then you should measure everything until you are able to do so. For my recipes, the average cook should measure it because I do a lot of reductions and flavor combinations. Over or underseasoning in one area will throw the entire flavor specturm off kilter.

Basically, you have to practice. The more you do it, the more you'll be able to gauge the amounts of the ingredients you are adding without actually measuring every single component of the dish.
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:05 AM   #10
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In cookery a recipe, and it's measurements, are a guide for the consistent reproducability of a dish. If you want to make a dish that will taste like one someone else created - then you will need to follow their recipe. And yes, that means going to the trouble of measuring. Especially at first until you gain some knowledge and experience in the kitchen.

As you gain experience in cooking then you will learn how to "eyeball" ingredients ... for example if a recipe calls for a cup of diced onion you'll learn about how much that is by looking at it on your cutting board without having to measure it - you'll actually know by looking at the onion before you chop it.

On the other hand - a little more or less of this or that generally will not greatly alter the results. If a recipe calls for a 6-oz fillet of beef and you use an 8-oz, no problem. If a recipe calls for a 14-oz can of diced tomatoes and your can is 11.8-oz - don't sweat it.

Some measurements you'll just need to learn - or keep a chart handy so you can look them up. Like, 5g of sugar is about 1-teaspoon.

As has been pointed out ... baking is a different matter - a matter of formulas (specific ratios) of ingredients. While I eyeball a lot in cookery, I measure everything in baking.
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