Weighing without scales: how to do it?

Other kitchen applicances
Updated on 25 Jul 2023

Whether you’re baking or cooking, it’s often necessary to weigh your ingredients beforehand so that all the proportions in the dish are correct. Is your scale broken or does the battery need to be replaced? Then you need to look for an alternative method of measuring!

1. Use a measuring cup

A good alternative to a kitchen scale is the measuring cup. Although a measuring cup is a little less precise than a scale, it is a quick way to weigh out the right amount of a lot of ingredients. Some measuring cups have dashes only for liquids, but there are also plenty that allow you to “weigh” a variety of other ingredients, such as rice, flour and sugar.

2. Measuring with tablespoons

No measuring cup on hand either? Then use an item that everyone has in the kitchen, namely the tablespoon. Weighing with a tablespoon is a little trickier because a full spoon has a different value with each ingredient. For example, a tablespoon with milk is about 15 grams, while with sugar it is 12 grams, with flour 10 grams and with honey 20 grams. For example, if you need 200 grams of flour for baking, calculate that this is 20 tablespoons. The disadvantage of weighing with tablespoons is that it is a little less accurate.

3. Measuring with teaspoons

For some ingredients, it is easier to weigh with a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon because you generally need smaller amounts. For example, a teaspoon of liquid is roughly equivalent to 5 milliliters, both for water and milk and oil. A teaspoon of butter or flour equals about 3 grams, while sugar is 4 grams and salt is 2 grams. Note here that this is a standard teaspoon; not every spoon is exactly the same size, which obviously changes the weight.

4. Baking using cups

In the United States, many people weigh with cups, a measure that is especially popular for baking. However, you can use cups not only for baking, but also, for example, to weigh out a quantity of rice. A classic coffee cup has a capacity of 125 milliliters. This fits exactly 120 grams of sugar or 80 grams of flour. Weighing with cups only works if you know the exact contents of the cup. In addition to a standard coffee cup, you can also purchase special cups intended for weighing.

5. Using your hands

Don’t have any of the above items on hand? Then you always have your hands! Of course, this is the least accurate way of weighing because a handful is a different amount for everyone. For example, a handful of rice averages 45 grams and a handful of flour is about 30 grams. We do not recommend this method unless you have no other options, because it is not really accurate.

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