Grams versus Ounces
The other day I answered a readers question about tomato soup baked with pastry on top. In the recipe, Chef Jenni uses grams rather than ounces and I wondered why. She is a professional baker who attended a the Orlando Culinary Academy's Le Cordon Bleu cooking program so why was she using the metric system for measuring out ingredients? So I asked her if she always used this system and if so why. Here is how she replied,
"No, I don't always work in the metric system, although it is really the most exacting measuring system around as far as baking is concerned. I do try to convert standard recipes as much as possible. This is easy with our Detecto Scale. You can change the unit from grams to ounces to pounds and ounces to pounds and 1/10ths of pounds. Very convenient.
One ounce equals roughly 28 grams. I think it's much more accurate to call for 14 grams of an ingredient than ½ ounce, mainly because your margin for error is greater--your scale might only measure ounces to the nearest ¼ ounce, leaving about a + or - 3.5 grams error in measuring.
It's mainly a personal preference, but it does help with standardization and consistency in the final product. Honestly, I prefer weights (either metric or standard) over cups any day.
In culinary school, we always weighed, mostly using a balance scale and then getting digital scales later in the program. Most of the recipes were written in pounds and ounces. The metric conversions were woefully inaccurate, and when I was there, they were talking about updating all the metric measurements.
We also learned that there are three liquids you can measure or weigh (a pint is a pound the world around) accurately: water, whole milk and whole eggs. Most other liquids will vary by a few grams or fractions of ounces either side of that pint=pound standard depending on the density."
By the way, I have a page on my web site called Cooking Conversions that has two easy to use converters. You can change ounces to cups, teaspoon to tablespoon and more with the first one and just about any conversion with the second. Give it a try.
Cooking Apron for Those Senior Moments
And don't forget to check out my recently revised Senior Moments Cooking Apron for those times when you can't remember how many teaspoons in an ounce or cups in a quart. It also has RG's suggested internal temperatures for cooking beef, pork, lamb, veal & chicken. No more running to your cookbook to look up what the temperature should be for rare, medium rare, medium and medium well done.
You can purchase one for yourself or friends at Zazzle. They make great gifts too!
great tips. I enjoyed reading this
Sorry, but a pint is a pound and a quarter [20 ounces] the world over. Perhaps that Senior Moment apron is the appropriate item to follow that gaffe? 😉
The Reluctant Gourmet
Hi RWB, I should have said an “American pint” is a pound around the world but if you are in the British empire and talking about an “Imperial pint”, you are correct. It takes 20 fluid ounces to make an Imperial pint thus making an an “Imperial gallon” 25% bigger than an “American gallon”.