the actual size of a teaspoon

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by thebeloved, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. thebeloved

    thebeloved

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    Using a teaspoon, the size of which are common in my country - measuring baking soda, I got 2 grams for a flat teaspoon, not 7 what it's supposed to be according to the internet.

    I also used a small tablespoon - 75% the size of a normal tablespoon - and got 6 grams.

    In both cases, a big heaping tblsp/tsp is 3x the size

    So when they say teaspoon in recipes, they mean heaping teaspoon? This is the opposite of what I've known and read.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Where do you live?

    The thing about a teaspoon in considering it as grams is you're comparing a volume to a weight. Unless you weigh the same thing they did, your measurement will likely differ somewhat. Usually the standard for weight is water which will be in the 5-7 gram conversion. There are 28 grams to an ounce and an ounce is two tablespoons of water which rounds down to somewhere in the 5 to 7 gram range depending how you want to round.
    It doesn't surprise me that baking soda is less dense than water. It will be easiest to just measure how the recipe is written. But if you want to convert to all weight then you'll want too keep notes as you go so you know how many grams work best for you.
     
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  3. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Are you using measuring spoons or teaspoons and tablespoons that you eat with? There is a difference.
     
  4. thebeloved

    thebeloved

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    No no, it is not. The same tablesoon got 5.5 grams of water and a very big (almost huge) tablespoon got 9.5 grams. Still nowhere near the 14 grams you mention.

    I live in Europe, teaspoon is from Asia though.
    Yeah there is a difference, the difference is that a measuring spoon is NOT a teaspoon, doh. That's why they call it a teaspoon if you pardon my arrogance.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    Measuring spoons. notice they are abbreviated tablespoon, teaspoon, and have a milliliter volume which you can convert to grams of water directly. Not reliable conversion otherwise.

    There is also variation between Imperial and US units so you need to know the source material for your recipe to know which one was intended. The above image is for US measurements.

    See where arrogance gets you.
     
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  6. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Yep.
     
  7. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    The spoons you eat with are not standardized. The spoons in the above picture is what they (internet, books, etc.) mean when it comes to cooking/baking.

    U.S. and UK. standard are also different. Heck, different manufacturers make slightly different sizes under the same standard.
     
  8. thebeloved

    thebeloved

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    Okay

    If they said "10 grams baking soda" or "60ml vinegar" it would be EASIER. So why do they say tbsp/tsp? Sounds stupid. Then I made the assumption that it was to make it as easy as possible, because these spoons everyone has around their house either way so you can get by without really measuring, etc..


    Turns out, I was totally wrong on that assumption. And not because they vary a little bit so the measured quantity is too inaccurate, but because you basically can't use it at all, unless you stretch your interpretation by going from level tsp to (a really big) heaping tsp.
     
  9. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    You're absolutely right it's a silly method in a technological society.

    It's just a holdover from a time when such simple weighing was not trivial. And the tools to hand were your eating and drinking implements. I'm not sure when it was standardized on the size of a teaspoon and tablespoon or why it's even given a metric units at this point that a teaspoon should be 5 milliliters. I'm thankful the conversion had been standardized.

    Professional baking is all done by weight and that makes a lot of sense especially where you're working at large scales. If you're not afraid to write in your cookbooks--my opinion is you should be willing to write in your cookbooks--spend the first time you cook a recipe you taking the physical volume measurements and weigh them out as you go along and write down the conversion so the next time you can do it all at once on your scale very simply and easily.