Issues with handling and measuring spices, salt, sugar, granular material, etc

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by dillmon, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. dillmon

    dillmon

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    Hello Chefs, and other cooking people,

    I have a few questions to the cooking community regarding the usefulness of measuring spoons, and the containers that cooks and chefs use to measure granular material out of.

    Does it get messy measuring your spices?

    Do you use other methods to measure your granular materials besides spoons?

    If you use measuring spoons do you use the same one for different granular materials, and do you wash the spoon?

    How long does it take to measure your spices normally?

    Is it hard to keep your spices organized?

    Thank you for your time.

    The reason why I am asking these questions is to ascertain the viablity of a product that I am inventing called the twist it. Its essentially a device that preserves, stores, measures and dispenses granular material.

    - dillmon
     
     
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    If it is important enough to measure, then weigh it.

    On top of that, spices (and most ingredients) can be variable in efficacy. Maybe older batch is less fragrant. Maybe it was grown during a drought and is more concentrated. a tomato might be sweet or bland the next week etc. Chefs should taste at every step and adjust accordingly.

    Your market is the people who like the idea of cooking but dont really cook.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry Millions, but I totally disagree with most of what you said.  I have been in the business for decades and rarely have I weighed my spices when cooking, and almost none of my chefs, when I was coming up in the business, wrote recipes where they weighed out their spices.  It was all done in volume measurements, i. e. measuring cups and spoons.  Baking was a whole different story though and most of my best recipes for baking use weight measurements.

    I do agree that spices can and do vary in quality and potency, but this really strays from what the OP is asking.

    As to the OP's questions;

    -I don't find measuring out my spices to be particularly messy

    -for measuring I use measuring spoons, measuring cups, various other standard kitchen items, and often will just eyeball it (after years of cooking you become pretty good with eyeball measurements)

          -As MillionsKnives stated spices can and do vary, so I don't find precise measurements to be all that important (unlike in baking where wrong ratios can ruin a whole dish).  It a recipe calls for 3 Tbs. of pepper and you accidentally add an additional 1/4 tsp. its not really gonna matter

    -If the spices are dry then I will, usually use the same measuring cup, or spoon for everything in a recipe before cleaning it, although there are exceptions

    -measuring spices doesn't take long at all

    -no, I don't have a problem keeping my spices organized

    To be honest, without seeing your product, it sounds like it is trying to solve a problem that really doesn't exist. There are a million gimmick gadgets out there claiming to make life in the kitchen easier and/or more organized.  The vast majority of them aren't worth the plastic they are made out of and really don't solve any problem that a whole host of other items don't already solve.
     
  4. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Nope.  Not me or any of the places I've ever worked at, "bulk" spices like paprika, cinnamon, curry pwdr, gran. onion pwdr. etc were always weighed out.

    Even now, when I do small batches of Chai spice ganache, I weigh out my spices.  I've got a small "drug dealers's  scale that is accurate to 1/100 gram, so it's 10 grams of this, 14 grams of that.  When I do pate de fruit I need 7 grams of tartaric acid and 12 gams of pectin, I use a scale.
     
  5. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I do a lot of charcuterie and the spices don't need to be exact as salt.  I always weigh salt and pink salt.
     
  6. teamfat

    teamfat

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    When doing charcuterie I also weigh out the salt and cure, and usually weigh everything else, simply because the scale is sitting right there and handy.

    mjb.
     
  7. iridium12

    iridium12

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    Most reliant tool I have - experience ;)

    Agree with the rest of the comments - baking requires a scale, the rest can either be done with a scale, by eye or experience or simply with a spoon or cup.

    I am sure that your idea could be sell-able in the vast markets of consumerism but I would be surprised if a similar product does not exist already?

    Correct me if I am wrong...