About weights and measures

If you have been reading this blog for a while you may have noticed that I have been tended toward using gravimetric rather than volumetric measures, i.e. weights instead of volumes. The reason for this is that recipes in which the ingredients are measured by weight are far more reproducible. Consider onions. If I specify two medium onions the result can easily range for 6 ounces to 12 ounces or more. On the other hand, if I call for 8 ounces of onions you and I will be using exactly the same amount. Naturally onions don’t come in conveniently even weights so I assume you will exercise some judgment and  recognize that seven or nine ounces are close enough. I will continue to use volume measures for liquids, of course, but also for things like dried herbs and spices. Professional cooks have long used gravimetric measures in their recipes while home cooks, not have scales, were reduced to inaccurate volumetric units. Today small digital scales are very inexpensive so there is no reason not to make the change. The biggest problem will be converting your current recipes. The best way to do that is to measure out the ingredients by volume as usual but to weigh each quantity and note it in your cook book. Cooking by weight may seem a bit odd at first but once you get used to it you will never go back.

On September 14, the NY Times weighed in on the subject. Read their article here.

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