Cooking & baking: why weighing your ingredients now is so important for the end result

Other kitchen applicances
Updated on 24 Jul 2023
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Do you weigh all ingredients to the gram while cooking or baking, or do you prefer to estimate quantities by eye? Some people work with great precision in the kitchen, while others prefer to cook by feel. Nevertheless, it can be wise to weigh ingredients precisely. In this article, we explain why weighing is so important, how best to do it and for which ingredients it is especially important.

Does weight really matter?

The short answer to this question is: yes, weight is really important. If you don’t weigh your ingredients accurately, you won’t be sure you’re using the right amount either. When cooking rice, a gram more or less is not a big deal, but with other dishes and especially with baking, it does matter. Some ingredients have a strong flavour and the slightest deviation can then make a big difference. Or two ingredients need to be used in a certain proportion for the right effect and then estimating is not good enough.

How do I weigh as accurately as possible?

The best way to weigh your ingredients is with a precision scale. These scales very accurately indicate the weight of your ingredient. One advantage is that you can set the weight to zero after you put a bowl or cup on the scale, so you only measure the weight of the ingredient. In addition, many precision scales can weigh in multiple units. Ideal, for example, if you want to try an American recipe and don’t feel like converting all the quantities!

Alternative ways to weigh

No precision scale at hand? Then a measuring cup is a good alternative, which allows you to measure relatively accurately. The downside is that a measuring cup has a limited number of measurements for ingredients and your ingredient might not be among them. It can also be difficult to use a measuring cup for small quantities. In such a case, use tablespoons or teaspoons, where one spoon equals a certain weight of an ingredient. Note that this varies from ingredient to ingredient.

With these ingredients, weighing is especially important

A good example of an ingredient where weighing is very important is with coffee. Many people estimate the quantity and don’t realise how much difference a few grams too much or a few millilitres of water too little makes. The flavour quickly becomes bitter or weak, for example. Weighing is also extremely important during baking. For instance, you want the right ratio of yeast to flour, too much salt can ruin a dish and the amount of spices used does make a difference.

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