Kitchen Scale
[1] Use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients (photo © GreaterGoods).

Dish Of Almonds
[2] Read the directions carefully before you chop nuts, for example (photo © Good Eggs).

 

If you pay close attention to recipe ingredients, especially for baked goods, you’ve noted that some recipes give measurements in both ounces/teaspoons and grams/milliliters.

While Americans have grown up with the former (and attempts to convert us to the metric system have failed), if you’re a baker, consider going metric.

That’s because baking is a exact science: mixing reactive ingredients creates a chemical reaction. Hence, the cake rises—or doesn’t.

If your butter is hard versus softened, or vice versa, don’t expect the cookies or pie crust to be perfect.

Unlike stove top cooking, where some extra cream or tomato doesn’t matter much, in baking, the balance between fats, flour, leaveners and liquids is critical.
 
 
GET A KITCHEN SCALE

Over the last decade or so, American bakers have found that measurements by weight are more precise than measuring cups and spoons.

The solution is simple: Get a kitchen scale (photo #1).

They’re not expensive, and they don’t take up much room.

If you don’t want a scale but still want to convert measurements, it’s easy to find a conversion app online. Just type your needs into the browser bar, e.g.

  • Ounces to grams – or be precise –
  • 3 teaspoons to grams
  •  
     
    A TIP ABOUT NUTS

    If you took high school chemistry lab, you know that the order in which ingredients are mixed is crucial.

    It’s the same in cooking: Pay careful attention to how ingredients are listed in a recipe.

     
    Take this simple example with chopped nuts:

  • “1 cup chopped nuts” means: first chop the nuts, then measure out a cup.
  • “1 cup nuts, chopped” means: first measure a cup of nuts, then chop them.
  •  
    You’ll get different measurements depending which sequence you use.

    While a bit more or fewer nuts won’t really impact your recipe, discipline yourself so that when it counts, your count will be correct.

      


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