Recipe ingredients must be measured precisely, especially in baking, and foods should be measured when served to control portion size and cost.
Measurements may be used upon weight or volume. Examples of weight would be grams, ounces, or pounds. Examples of volume would be teaspoons, cups, or gallons. It is important to have both liquid and dry measuring cups and a variety of scales. Thermometers and timers are also measuring devices.
Scales are used to determine the weight of an ingredient or a portion of food.
Portion scales use a spring, round dial and single flat tray. They are available in grams, ounces, or pounds. Electronic scales also use a spring, but provide digital readouts.
Balance or Baker’s Scale use a two-tray, free-weight counterbalance system. This scale allows more weight to be measured at one time because it is not limited by spring capacity.
Ingredients may be measured by volume using measuring spoons and measuring cups.
Measuring spoons usually include 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon.
Liquid measuring cups are available from 1 cup to 1 gallon.
Measuring cups for dry ingredients include 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup units. They do not have a pour spout as do liquid measuring cups.
Glass measuring cups are not recommended because they can break.
Ladles are useful for portioning liquids such as sauces, soups, and stocks. Ounces or milliliters, is stamped on the handle.
Portion scoops are also known as dishers. They resemble ice cream scoops. Scoops are useful for portioning vegetables, salads, muffin batters or other soft foods. The number of level scoopfuls per quart is stamped on either the handle or the release mechanism. The higher the scoop number, the smaller the scoop’s capacity.
Stem-type thermometers, including instant-read models, are inserted into foods. Instant-read thermometers provide quick temperature readings and should not be left in foods that are cooking because it may cause damage to the thermometer.
Candy and fat thermometers measure temperatures up to 400 degrees using mercury in a column of glass. Be careful not to subject glass thermometers to quick temperature changes as the glass may shatter.
Electronic probe thermometers are useful inside and oven and for deep-frying and grilling. They provide immediate, clear, digital readouts from a handheld unit attached to a metal probe.
Infrared thermometers can instantly monitor the surface temperature of foods during cooking or holding, and the temperature of goods at receiving and in storage.
Portable kitchen timers are useful for any busy cook. Select a timer with a loud alarm signal and long timing capability.