General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Is it true that today's cooks favor weight measures over volume measures?

Asked by Jeruba (55597points) March 14th, 2023
14 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

I’ve been told that conventional tools such as measuring cups and tablespoons are being phased out, with younger cooks preferring kitchen scales to measure their quantities.

Is this true? Do people really convert all the measures in a traditional recipe to grams on a kitchen scale?

What do you do?

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Tropical_Willie's avatar

True always of baking (bread, biscuits and cakes) not cooking like roasts or stews.

JLeslie's avatar

I haven’t heard this as a trend among young people in the US. I do know people who have lived in both the US and Europe, and many of them prefer using a scale to using measuring cups.

It’s not a matter of converting I don’t think, it is just a matter of how the recipe is written. Converting would not be worth the time. I would think most people have a measuring cup and the basic teaspoon, table spool, etc.

A bit of trivia: pound cake was called pound cake, because it was a pound of flour, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of butter. Modern recipes use other ingredients like oil, and some use buttermilk, and usually baking soda or powder is in there too.

gorillapaws's avatar

My wife only uses scales for baking. I’ll go with volume when it comes to regular cooking when precision isn’t critical.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I prefer weight since it is so precise. Recipes in Japan are usually listed by weight.
When I make rice in my rice cooker I use weight. I put the empty pot on the scale and add 230 grams of rice and 360 grams (ml) of water. The results are the same every time. Perfect!

Forever_Free's avatar

It varies. Baking requires more exacting measurements.
For other things it is merely a reference as an example of portions of ingredients.

New cooks need that definitive measurement until they master how to measure without devices. One also learns how to understand flavors and balance of ingredients. I can visualize the difference between 1 cup of chopped celery versus 1.5 cups. A little more or less won’t ruin the outcome. It does however matter on certain elements like spices.
I measure when I bake.
The big thing is that one should taste as they are cooking other dishes. What matters is what flavor they are wanting to achieve. Not ever person eating may like a certain flavor either. This is where the “Art of Cooking” comes into play.

canidmajor's avatar

I have heard of that only rarely in the US, because the conversion is such a pain in recipes, especially handwritten ones.
I don’t have any desire to switch over, myself, and most baking doesn’t depend on absolutes so sticking with what I know is best.

zenvelo's avatar

I never heard of measuring ingredients by weight. I have never seen a recipe written that way, even for baking.

The recipe for Nestle Toll House Cookies are all in volume measures.

The recipe I use for pumpkin pie is all in volumes.

Cooking based on weight seems silly to me, it is one more piece of metric nonsense, because there isn’t a metric teaspoon.

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo It’s more of a metric thing. It’s very rare to see an American recipe written out by weight measures. Most US kitchens don’t even have a good scale for a recipe like that.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@zenvelo my scale can read in Metric and ounces !

Up to 5 kilos or 11 pounds.

LadyMarissa's avatar

it’s true & it’s part of the converting us to the metric system process. I agree that it’s a lot more important in baking than cooking meals. As far as converting old recipes, the young people don’t treasure a good home cooked meal like we did. They run to a fast food place or pull up a recipe on the internet to cook when the time comes or they have their food delivered. I see a lot more recipes listed in grams than I used to. When I visit friends my age, I don’t see a scale available although it may well be put away. Mine’s not taking up counter space. When I visit the homes of any of my emotionally challenged kids, there is always a scale within a few inches of the stove. Personally, I’m still using my Mom’s & Grandma’s old recipes & I don’t need to convert them as part of their charm is that they’re NOT supposed to taste exactly the same everytime I cook them!!!

janbb's avatar

I’ve mainly seen it done in UK recipes where it is standard.

kritiper's avatar

None that I’ve seen.

kritiper's avatar

And a cook would need new cook books because liquid measures aren’t the same as dry weights.

RocketGuy's avatar

Volume is much more convenient than weight. Recipe books I have are set up for volume.

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