Measuring Basics

Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About
For a recipe to work correctly, you need to measure ingredients accurately.
  • Measure flour, sugar, and other dry ingredients or solid ingredients in graduated metal or plastic measuring cups that can be filled right up to the top, then leveled with the dull straight edge of a table knife.
  • To measure flour, spoon lightly into a measuring cup for dry ingredients, piling slightly above the rim. With the blunt edge of a table knife, a chopstick, or other straight flat edge, lightly sweep the excess flour away so the top is level. You don’t want to compact the flour, so work with a light hand. If you dip the measuring cup into the flour canister, you can increase the amount of flour by almost 50 percent. Work over wax paper and you’ll be able to return any spills to the canister easily. If a recipe calls for a sifted measurement, first sift the flour onto a sheet of wax paper and then lightly spoon into the measuring cup.
  • To measure granulated white and brown sugars, spoon into the measuring cup and level with a straight edge. Usually brown sugar is firmly packed into the measuring cup.
  • Measure liquid ingredients in a spouted clear glass or plastic measuring cup that allows extra room on top to prevent spillage. Place the measuring cup on the counter so it’s level and pour in the liquid to the desired level, reading the measure at eye level.
  • For small amounts of liquid and dry ingredients, use graduated measuring spoons, making sure the measured amount is level. A precaution: Measure away from the bowl to avoid spilling in extra ingredients.