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Old 08-22-2008, 04:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
You were being silly, GW?
For the heck of it I googled: 1.5 lbs of potatoes = ? cups, and you know what I got?
A page saying there wasn't an answer to that question.

I thought maybe you were onto something
Indeed, there is a way to measure the volume of a potato using calculus. We had to determine the volume of several odd shapes that had no geometric straight lines, or perfect curves. In fact, calculus is often described as the first real math because it allows you to determine close to exact values from imperfect shapes. Once the volume of something is found, then it is just a matter of determining the specific weight of a substance and then plugging the values into into an algebraic formula. But it seems to me that this is a very tedious process for finding the folume of a certain weight of potatoes. It's much easier to weigh a large, say, 8 cup measuring cup, and then adding sifficient skined, cubed potato to achieve the same thing. The masuring cup gives you the volume, and the scale gives you the weight.

I haven't had to use any calculous techniques for many years and so would stand very little chance at determining anythiing but the most basic integrals and derivitives at this point. But it can be done.

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Old 08-22-2008, 04:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sattie View Post
Do you have a digital scale? That would be the best way, but not sure how many cups that would be. Maybe 3?
A digital scale is not necessary - an analog one works just as well and costs 1/4 as much.
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Old 08-22-2008, 04:57 PM   #13
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Ok. The easiest say to do this is with an 8 cup measuring cup and a scale that will handle the weight of the cup plus 4 cups of water. Fill the measuring cup with 4 cups of water and weigh it. Then add one potato. Using the measuring cup, determine the potato volume by measring the volume of water with the potato, and subtracting the original 4 cups from it. That will give you the potato volume. Next, measure the weight of the combined water and potato, again subtracting the original weight from the new weight. That will give you the weight of the potato. Now, divide the weight of the potato by the volume and it will give you the weight per volume of the potato. Using that ratio, figure out the volume per 1.5 lbs of potato.

I found online that a potato weighs 1.6 gram per mililiter, or 1600 grams per liter. I also found conversion charts that gave me the following:
1 lb. = 453.59 grams
1 liter = 4.226 cups. Using a bit of alegebra (no calculous required), I found that 1.5 lbs. of potatoes = 1.8 cups, or one and four-fifths cups.

There. It's done. Someone put it in Wikipedia or something.

And you thought that those alegebra classes had no practical application. Ha!

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Old 08-22-2008, 05:06 PM   #14
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Oh for God's sake - just estimate it!!!!!

If I had to go thru all the rigamarole the rest of you are imposing I'd give up cooking all together in a heartbeat. Why do you have to make this so utterly confusing & complicated?? We're talking about what amounts to 2 or 3 medium-size potatoes!!!!!!
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Oh for God's sake - just estimate it!!!!!

If I had to go thru all the rigamarole the rest of you are imposing I'd give up cooking all together in a heartbeat. Why do you have to make this so utterly confusing & complicated?? We're talking about what amounts to 2 or 3 medium-size potatoes!!!!!!
That's what I'd do I'd I was actually cooking, estimate. But the challenge was there. I just had to take the challenge and figure it out, for the fun of it.

Breezy, don't you jump at the occasional challenge. It's pushups for the brain.

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Old 08-22-2008, 05:22 PM   #16
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That's all well & good, but I think the OP was just looking for an answer - not a potato-weighing think tank.

Poor Maureen - & this was her very first post here by the way - probably just left the building & gone elsewhere for a reasonable answer. And I wouldn't blame her. I sure would have.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:44 PM   #17
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Maureen Urlaub; I sure hope we, I, didn't scare you away. I was just in a mood. Usually, I will just try to help out with ordinary info. This is really a great place, full of great people.

If what I did was entertaining, which is what I was trying for originally, then I'm glad I did it. If it was too over-the-top, then I apologize.

And Breezy, I know your heart is in the right place. But we are all different. What is funny to one person, is boring to another, or even annoying. In the last post I made, I did give the correct answer, and with the info to maybe allow someone else to verify it. Please take it in the spirit it was given. And know that I am just another human on this planet who sometimes hits the mark, and sometimes misses. I was trying to be lightheartedly academic, giving the Rube Goldberg method for finding the answer. And if you are unfamiliar with Rube Goldberg, he was the guy who made the cartoons that showed rediculously complex mechanincal devices that performed very simple tasks. The idea was to point out the silliness of over-complicating things. I was trying to do the same thing with words instead of cartoons.

Seeeeeya' Goodweed of the North
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:08 PM   #18
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Get a large measuring jug, one that will allow you to measure say 6 cups.

Fill with water upto the 2 cup line.

Then start putting in your cubed potato until the water comes upto the 4 cup line.

You will then have exactly 2 cups of potatoes measured.

Adjust measuring system as needed...ie you need enough water to cover all of the potatoes as any not covered in water will give a false reading.

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Old 08-22-2008, 08:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by KissTC View Post
Get a large measuring jug, one that will allow you to measure say 6 cups.

Fill with water upto the 2 cup line.

Then start putting in your cubed potato until the water comes upto the 4 cup line.

You will then have exactly 2 cups of potatoes measured.

Adjust measuring system as needed...ie you need enough water to cover all of the potatoes as any not covered in water will give a false reading.

Not to mention turn brown.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:37 PM   #20
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Oh - geeze Louise ... youse guys made me go dig in the garage to find my analog scales and run some tests ....

A medium sized Idaho/Irish potato (5" L x 2.5" W) weighs about 8-oz (1/2 lb). It would take 3 to make 1.5 lb. Using the water displacement method - about 1-cup per 8-oz (or 3-cups for 1.5 lbs) - but you have to measure by the water displacement method - just tossing raw potato chunks into a measuing cup will not be accurate.

So, Maureen, there is no simple answer for this - it depends on the size of the cubes and how you measure them. It's like asking the question, "How much does a cup of flour weigh?" The answer is, it depends on how you measure it.

If this is for a baking recipe - then the weight might be important ... if it is for a cookery application (potato salad, a soup, etc.) then you have a lot more leeway.

What are you trying to cook?
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