Measuring things when cooking

3
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Joined May 26, 2004
Hello All,

I am noob to this forum and still a noob to cooking. I'm not much of a math guy so I have tons and tons of problems measuring how much of a certain ingredient to put in. Do they have like measuring tools to use in cooking? Like to measure teaspoon, tablespoon, 1/4, and 1/3 etc. Also measuring cups as well. Cuz your cup could be different from the size of my cup. Can I get these tools at wal-mart or what not? Well I hope to hear from the cooking gurus in this forum.

Thanks,
DR
 
3,853
12
Joined May 26, 2001
Ah, yes, I was new to cooking once. We all were. :D You've come to a great place to start learning!

Wal-mart, K-mart, Target -- all those places sure do have what you need to measure! When you get to the store, ask where the Housewares department is. And when you get there, you will be in what many of us consider a real playground :bounce: You will find sets of "measuring spoons" in metal and in plastic, usually together on a ring or a chain, in different sizes that you'll need: 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon.

You'll also find sets of "measuring cups," maybe on a ring, maybe not, in sizes 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup. These are all standardized sizes, and what recipes mean when they say "cup." This kind of measuring cup is mostly used to measure dry stuff, like flour and sugar, but you can also use them for wet stuff, like milk.

However, for wet stuff you might want to get glass or Pyrex measuring cups, which look kind of like a pitcher, with a handle on one side and a spout on the other. They have markings painted on them, usually for ounces (there are 8 in a cup), and for fractions. They come in 1-cup, 2-cup, 4-cup (that's the same as a quart), and even bigger. (You could use them to measure dry stuff, too, but it's really much easier to do that with the other kind of measuring cup.) One of the neat things about these glass measuring cups is that you can put them in the microwave.

Hope this helps you get started! Welcome to ChefTalk, and to the wonderful world of cooking! :bounce:
 
330
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Joined Dec 23, 2003
An electronic scale is nice to have as well. It's never too early in your cooking career to start measuring dry ingredients by weight rather than volume.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Scott -- that's quite true: provided your recipes give weights, AND you realize that the metric system is your friend, not your enemy. ;)
 
3
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Joined May 26, 2004
Hello,

Thankyou Suzanne and Scott123 for your advice. I'm sorry for replying so late. I am quite greatful for your advice and I am going to wal-mart to get the cooking equipments that I need to become a better cook. : ) Its great to be welcomed into a cooking forum *this is my very first one*

Thanks,
DR
 
846
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
Once you get measuring implements (spoons, cups and the like) you need to use them properly to get accurate measurements. When you dip a measuring spoon into a can of baking powder or baking soda, make sure you level it off. It's not a rounded teaspoon, usually it's a level teaspoon.

Same for cups - level them off for accurate measurements and be sure to read the recipe. If the recipe says "sift then measure" you sift the dry ingredients first, then measure them. If it's measure then sift, you measure first, then dump the ingredients into a sifter.

Baking is a lot more precise than regular cooking. If you throw another cup of mushrooms into a stew, nothing happens to it. Baking is an exact science where chemical reactions depend on accurate measuring.
 
3
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Joined May 26, 2004
Hello Everybody,

Thankyou everyone for your help. ^_^ I feel so special right now. I am now on the road to be a cooking champ. lol *though not baking champ* Baking seems complicated to me so I will just focus more on cooking. Again thankyou everybody in the wonderful and friendly cooking forum. :)

Thanks,
DR
 
330
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Joined Dec 23, 2003
One thing I thought of that you might want to get that's not at Walmart. My dash/pinch/smidgeon measuring spoons give me countless hours of joy. They are exactly, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32 of a teaspoon. I don't know where you're located, but I got mine from Crate and Barrel.

And yes, I am pretty anal when it comes measuring. But no, I don't have my measuring spoons on a retractable wire on my belt like Alton Brown. There I draw the line :)
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Does Alton really do that? How cool (in a geeky sort of way). :D

I find that baking is a lot LESS stressful than cooking, just because you've got to follow the recipe. No inventing, no improvising, no thinking: just do what the recipe says. Of course, you have to be comfortable measuring precisely -- but that's easy, once you have the equipment! And people are sooooooooooo impressed, especially when you're just starting out.

Darkrainer, I have a book to suggest to you: The New Cook, by Mary Berry and Marlena Spieler. It tells AND SHOWS you all about the basics -- equipment, ingredients, techniques -- and it doesn't talk down to you. You can probably order it from Amazon. Try it, I think you'll like it.
 
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