I’d like to go back in time and punch the guy who thought it’d be a good idea to force two different systems of measurement to share the same name. Exhibit A: the ounce, a measurement of weight. You know, how heavy something is. Exhibit B: the fluid ounce, a way of measuring volume; aka how much space something takes up. The confusion begins with water.
Water weighs one ounce per fluid ounce, leading many people to assume that the two terms are interchangeable, different ways of saying the same thing. Those people would be wrong (see Exhibits A & B). It’s no coincidence water has a volume equal to its weight. The fluid ounce came about for the express purpose of measuring how much space an ounce of water would occupy.
It didn’t matter if a jug was tall and skinny or short and squat; so long as it held ten pound of water, it was sold and taxed as a gallon (Imperial). Originally, fluid ounces only applied to beer, wine and other water-like substances the government wanted to regulate. But in the late 1800s, American cook Fanny Farmer popularized using an eight fluid ounce “cup” as the basic unit of measurement for all ingredients. This was a huge improvement over the previous system, where recipes called for subjective measurements like “a saucer of flour” or “a lump of butter.” Things got confusing somewhere between then and now when companies like Pyrex and Anchor began mislabeling their cup measures. Grab yours and take a look.
You’ll find little red markings to indicate liters, milliliters, cups and ounces. This, despite the fact that measuring cups are physically incapable of measuring ounces. If you ever buy a compass from Pyrex, expect it to be labeled North, South, East and Hot. I don’t have a problem with using cups to measure an ingredient if that’s what a recipe calls for. I have a major problem with manufacturers that systematically imply ounces are something you can measure in a cup. Some people may roll their eyes and chalk it up to semantics, but by equating ounces to fluid ounces, these companies lead people to believe that when a recipe calls for 8 ounces of honey, they can get 8 ounces of honey by filling their cup to the 8 ounce mark. Unfortunately, thanks to a little thing called density, they wind up with 12 ounces instead.
The difference between 8 ounces of honey and 8 fluid ounces of honey isn’t semantics, it’s a quarter of a pound. So whenever a recipe calls for cups, by all means grab your measuring cups!
Keep using them to measure fluid ounces too. But when recipes call for straight up ounces, you need to use a scale, even for the liquids. If you aren’t sure whether or not you should invest twenty five bucks in a scale, the first thing you should ask yourself is “how often do I have to convert recipes?” If it’s something you never do, you probably don’t need one. Inferno Dan Brown Ebooks Nl Download Indonesia Free.
But if you spend any time at all Googling things like, you may want to think about it. Especially considering the number one search result for that question is the wrong answer. If you’re curious, read more about why I choose to measure my recipes by weight here: Recipe.
Feb 18, 2013 12:22 AM Excellent essay Stella — my compliments! If I may contribute one suggestion/comment: go metric! Here’s why: 1) No confusing terminology — milliliters & grams versus fluid ounces and dry ounces. 2) All metric measurements are based on a “decimal” system — meaning factors of 10 — and are therefore much easier to remember and calculate. 1000 grams = 1 kilogram and 1000 milliliters = 1 liter; versus 16 dry oz in a pound and 32 fluid oz in a quart) 3) I, personally, find it MUCH easier to “measure” in metric units — no fractions!
Just flip the switch on your scale to metric readings and you can measure weights to the nearest gram — very precisely. 4) For what it’s worth, 96% of the world uses the metric system. (The USA is one of last holdouts.) I’ll get off my soapbox — and I realize that many (most?) will disagree with me. I’m not sure why there is so much “resistance” to the metric system in the USA, but for those that are willing to re-learn a couple of terms from grade school and give it a try, use of metric units while cooking can be very helpful. The hardest part will be finding recipes that specify ingredient lists in metric units. (I routinely “convert” my favorite recipes for future re-use.) Cheers!
Feb 18, 2013 8:49 AM I think part of the problem is that you rarely know if the writer of the recipe knows this, especially when you do like I often do and simply google a recipe 20 minutes before you want to get into the kitchen. Many home cooks have great recipes, but when they say “8 ounces of honey” but not one single other ingredient in the recipe was listed by weight, it’s probably fair to assume they are talking about one cup of honey. But I’m never quite sure, and it makes me hesitant to try out the recipe at that point. Feb 18, 2013 8:54 AM Baby steps, Uchujin, baby steps.
Sadly, I still see the problem with metric. More than ounce I’ve caught a Brit posting a recipe from my blog on their own, using mL for the liquids.
I even emailed one to let give ‘em a heads up of the mistake, but was told, “liquids are measured in mL not g.” Lol. The primary reason I’m not an advocate of grams (aside from my raging patriotism) is that the most commonly available scales in the US are not sensitive down to the gram, even if they can “convert” to grams. I don’t want to tell people they have to go buy very specific, pricey scale X to get the job done. I want them to go buy ANY scale, even the cheapest one Wal-Mart has to offer, because my goal is to encourage people to try a new way of baking. It’s a huge transition for people to leave cups behind and go to weight, asking them to jump to an entirely different system of measurement that is not commonly used in their home country is a bridge too far. @Joanne, thanks lady!
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@Sarah, you make an extremely excellent point. That cookbook authors (and bloggers) do this is pretty inexcusable, because they are supposed to be the “experts” and should not make their readers have to infer from context the meaning of a measurement. Feb 18, 2013 4:11 PM @stephmce, omg, Imperial solidarity!! Together forever! @Jason, I know, right?! I feel bad for people who go the extra mile and seek outside confirmation, only to have the wrong answer validated @Nan, agree agree! Education is the answer.
@Flower, oh man, dividing cups is a nightmare. The only thing more frustrating than half an egg is half of 1/3 cup. @Jackie, dude let’s banish Mr. “Fluid” Ounces and Daylight Savings guys to their own island of confusion. @Kathryn, oh!
That would explain a thing or too. Long lost mystery solved! @Melissa, xoxo. Feb 18, 2013 6:39 PM Weighing is king! While I am personally firmly on the metric side, I do believe the unit of measure used is secondary in the argument.
Being born in Hong Kong living in a Chinese community while raised in Australia, I am often exposed to Chinese units of measure, and I’ll tell you, it’s tough juggling metric, imperial and traditional Chinese measurements! In any case, I currently work part time as a kitchenhand in a Dim Sum kitchen in Melbourne, and everything is done by weight—with the exception of water. Small units are weighed on traditional Chinese scales (that look like this while larger units are measured on the 25kg mechanical scales. But certainly, Sarah’s comment raises the greatest issue. While we “enlightened” ones, no longer weighed down (I promise, no more puns) by incorrect measures may know how to get precise and repeatable results, recipies out there may or may not be listed correctly. And then you have to sit there and figure out what exactly they were trying to do. Feb 22, 2013 3:13 PM This is such a great post and something thats super important.
I remember when I just started baking oh lord. I had no idea about any of this stuff! Now I have a scale, its changed my baking so much. I just bought a mini scale that only measures up to 100 grams, but goes to.01 of a gram. I’m hoping it will make things ever more consistent/awesome in da kitchen. Also you’re writing a book! Can’t wait to read it.
You have such wonderful and interesting recipes here. May 13, 2013 11:44 AM Correction to something written above: you can measure liquids in grams. You can measure anything in grams, even gases (though that can be tricky owing to buoyancy, which also affects weighing very low-density things like meringue and marshmallows).
I actually prefer recipes to be all in grams or dry ounces so I can measure straight into the mixing bowl on the scale. The big advantage with pounds and ounces is that they’re easy to scale recipes up and down owing to how nicely the fractions work. Doing this in grams involves remembering more digits, and I can do without the extra steps of writing things down when baking. A hint: 1 ml water or milk weighs so close to 1 gram that you’ll never know the difference in cooking.
May 14, 2013 9:47 AM Hi Corky, do scales in the UK let you convert to ounces, by chance? Wondering if manufacturers have started to include it, given the transatlantic interest in baking and the internet bringing all recipes to all people. Hi Freddie, yes absolutely! Let me know where you see the error, I’m missing it.
As a unit of weight, grams can absolutely be used to measure the weight of anything. As converting between ounces and fluid ounces, it can be tricky converting between fluid ounces and grams, though. As you mention, things like milk are no problem at all, but things like honey change the game. May 30, 2013 6:30 PM Hi Stella!! I am new to your sight and I love it!!!
So insightful and easy to comprehend. It’s funny that I came across this blog because last night I was measuring out mini marshmallows for my raspberry chocolate crispy treats and it called for 10 oz. So I got my scale out but it didn’t seem like a lot. The bag itself was 16 oz.
And the 10 oz. I weighed out was less than half of the bag where I would think it would have been more closer to 3/4’s because of the weigh measurement on the bag. Although you really can’t mess up crispy treats, I wanted to know why the measurement was so much different than the weight. When I weighed the whole bag of marshmallows, it weighed almost twice the amount that it says on the bag. Needless to say, I was pretty confused. I have always “used” (past tense) measuring cups and have just recently purchased a scale, I am practicing making French Macaronslove ‘em!! Thank you for your awesome sitesee you here tomorrow!!
May 30, 2013 9:57 PM Hi kreative1! Oh wow, that’s a huge difference!
I’m not sure how to account for that. Just to be certain, you might try weighing out a stick of butter to make sure it clocks in at 4 ounces, or a cup of water (8oz). Sometimes a one pound box of brown sugar will weigh 18 ounces, but the marshmallow situation sounds so far off base I’d want to rule out some sort of mechanical error just to be safe. If things look accurate, then I guess you just got the lucky jumbo pack of marshmallows!! Jun 18, 2013 7:16 PM Thank you for making this distinction so beautifully.
I was just making chili and was bemused to discover that an 8 oz can of tomato sauce came out to only 3/4 cup sauce when measured. I forgot about the ounce/fluid ounce distinction. The cans were labeled by weight, not volume. I gather that the pyrex labeling is intended for water only or for liquids of a similar density. Since I am certain almost no one out there is aware of the distinction, the labels are very misleading. There are probably a lot of recipe failures attributable to it.
Jun 20, 2013 9:47 AM Hi Clare, I had something similar happen the other day. Bought a container of corn syrup and I thought it said “32 ounces” and I was thinking, boy this sucker is heavy! Then I looked closer and is said 32 fluid ounces (so it weighed 48 ounces plus the weight of the bottle).
Yeah, the Pyrex cups are just meant to measure out water and milk and really basic stuff like that, where it’s all close enough. But as recipes have evolved (we use way more interesting ingredients now than we did in the 50s!), people are using those measuring cups to measure a much broader range of ingredients that rarely coincide with 8 ounces a cup. But I’m really surprised there’s no legal issue with them genuinely mislabeling their product. Aug 30, 2013 6:53 PM I love using a scale but for recipes that deal in volume conversion can be tricky. It’s best to look at the nutritional label; the serving size usually contains volume and weight so use this to convert. The weight is often listed in metric grams even in the US so it might be a good idea to get comfortable with metric. I always use a kitchen scale but if you are trying to “scale down” a recipe written in volume you can convert to tablespoons or teaspoons.
1 cup is 16 tablespoons or 48 teaspoons. So cutting 1/3 cup in half to 1/6 cup would be 8 teaspoons or 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons.
Sep 04, 2013 9:57 PM Hi Justin! Oh, yeah, converting to weight from volume can be a real pain, so much can go wrong. But that’s a smart idea about looking at the package (of sugar/flour/etc) for details. Okay, so this is blowing my mind.
How does that work exactly? I mean, I get the density/weight/volume issue, obviously, but my understanding was that a fluid ounce was designed in every way to be the physical representation of an ounce of water by weight.
Clearly, it’s mega close, but still. Is this an issue of Imperial ounces versus avoirdupois or some such? Anyhow, yes, let’s have a punching adventure! Sep 06, 2013 10:50 AM The term fluid ounce was once used as a measurement of a certain weight of fluid (wine, water, ale, etc.); however, the US fluid ounce has been defined as 1/128th of a US gallon. The US gallon is based off of the old British wine gallon (a cylinder container measuring 7in diameter and 6 inches high, and later rounded up to 231 cubic inches).
I usually drive myself to near insanity trying to figure it all out!! When I first stumbled upon this blog, I was in the middle of calculating fill level for a customer of mine (I am a packaging engineer). They wanted to know where the fill level would be for 32oz of water in a specific package and so I started by assuming 32 fluid ounces. Later, I found out that they were weighing 32 weight ounces of water and filling the package that way. So I recalculated for weight ounces and it was a different fill level. Being the kind of guy I am, I couldn’t stop there. I HAD to fully understand it inside and out!!
Then when I stumbled upon your post, I was like, c’mon now K!! What the hang am I doing wrong here?
I spent the past 3 days recalculating and wrapping my brain around this whole mess and I finally understandkind of. I’m glad it’s Friday! So who else is on your “to be punched” list? Sep 27, 2013 6:37 PM this was very enlightning, funny, and all aroung fun. I being the one who thought nothing of what “Weigh” something meant. But if you think about how we humans weigh ourselveshas anyone tried to get a big enough measuring cup to weigh themselves?
They get out a scale and look at what they weigh. So if you read directions and it says eight ouncec of celery, get that scale out. Where as if you said get 12 ounces of whatever liquid, then by all means get that measuring cup out. Very cool article. Jun 28, 2016 11:06 AM Hi Stella, Having moved from an all metric country (South Africa) to the UK where they use both I was super confused.
Thanks so much for your article! You had asked about scales in the UK in an earlier comment? Indeed most scales do measure both here. But that’s because the UK were late in the game adopting metric as they were the origin of the Imperial system (Imperial meaning of the British Empire, haha!) But in the 70s when the UK joined the predecessor to the European Union they had to adopt metric to make measures standard across the bloc. So the dual labeling is a hangover from the past rather than a new adoption. In conversation with people here (especially older folks) they almost exclusively use Imperial. In writing it is almost exclusively metric though often both are used on packaging.
Hope that helps and thanks again for clearing this fluid/weight thing up. If you and K need backup on your mission to punch your way through history I got your backs Tk.
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1) Download the Windows 7 Ultimate 32 or 64Bit.ISO file. Note: The default download location to your computer is: C: Users User account name Downloads a) If you want to create a 32Bit universal installation DVD download this file: Windows 7 Ultimate 32Bit: SHA1 Hash value: 65fce0f445d9bf7e78e43f17e42657 b) If you want to create a 64Bit universal installation DVD download this file: Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit: SHA1 Hash value: 36ae90defbad9d9539e649b193ae573b77a71c83 2) Verify the.ISO file downloaded is not corrupt by validating the SHA1 hash value is correct. A utility named ‘HashCalc’ which checks the file and returns a SHA1 value that should match the value listed in step 1a or 1b if the download is not corrupt. A) Download and install HashCalc: b) Launch HashCalc and navigate to the location of the.iso file you downloaded. C) Remove all check marks from the list of HashCalc options except for SHA1. D) Click the ‘Calculate’ button and wait for the SHA1 string of numbers and letters to be displayed.
E) Compare the string of numbers and letters displayed in HashCalc with the SHA1 value listed in step #1 above. The entire string must match from beginning to end, if it does not match then the.ISO file you downloaded is corrupt and you must try the download link again. 3) Download, install and run the ‘ei.cfg’ utility.
I choose the default location for the download. A) Extract the contents of the eicfg_removal_utility.zip file to a destination of your choice. Start by double clicking on the.zip file and then double click on the eicfg_remover.exe file.
Click the ‘Extract all’ button and browse to a location where you want the zip file extracted to. Then click on the ‘Extract’ button. A standard folder with the name: eicfg_removal_utility will be created. B) Open the ‘eicfg_removal_utility’ folder and click on the ‘eicfg_remover.exe’ file and click the ‘Run’ button. C) Navigate to the folder where the Windows 7.ISO file is located and click on the.iso file to select it. D) Click the ‘Open’ button to disable ei.cfg located inside the.iso file. Finally click the ‘OK’ button to exit the eicfg utility.
What does eicfg do: From the eicfg ‘Readme.txt’ file: “This works by toggling the deletion bit in the UDF file table, which instructs the operating system to ignore the file and to treat it as if it does not exist. By not physically removing the file, this eliminates the need to rebuild the ISO, and makes this sort of fast, un-intrusive patching possible. This also makes it possible to reverse the patch and to restore the image to its original state, if so desired.” In short you do not need to manually edit the contents of the Windows 7.ISO file you downloaded.
Now that you have modified the.ISO file using the eicfg utility, the next step is to use the modified.ISO to create a universal Windows 7 installation DVD. 4) Create the universal Windows 7 installation DVD or USB Flash drive: To create a Windows 7 installation flash drive read the following: Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool How to create a bootable Windows 7 USB flash drive To create a Windows 7 installation DVD perform steps a through g: a) Download and install ImgBurn (current version 220.127.116.11) to create a bootable Windows 7 installation DVD.
Notes: a) If you created your own.ISO file using the instructions in the Wiki article titled ' then ImgBurn is already installed and need not be re-installed. B) Windows 7 does have built in software that allows you to create an installation DVD but it does not offer any control over the burn speed: Choose the “Custom Installation (advanced)” option and remove the check mark to eliminate unwanted options.
B) Next start ImgBurn, 2 windows will open. The lower window (ImgBurn Log) displays the status of your DVD creation. The top window is where you select what action you want to perform. Choose the “Write Image file to disc” option. C) Next navigate to the ‘Source’ (.ISO file) location.
D) Set the ‘Write Speed’ to either 2 or 4X (or the lowest speed your DVD supports, which may be 8X) to insure a good burn and then insert high quality DVD+R media into your DVD drive. The ‘Verify’ box should be checked by default. Wait for the status located in the lower left corner to display ‘Ready’. E) Click on the Blue ImgBurn arrow to start the creation of your DVD.
At a 4X write speed the creation of the DVD should take about 10 minutes. F) Check the ImgBurn log in the lower Window for the ‘Finalizing’ disk task to compete, the DVD tray will open and close quickly and the ‘Verification’ process begins. Time to complete verification is about 5 minutes.
G) Upon successfully completion remove the DVD and insert it into a labeled paper or plastic sleeve. Then close out / exit the ImgBurn utility. There is a guide published by NeoSmart which also shows the steps you need to perform and some trouble shooting tips: 5) Install Windows using your newly created installation DVD. A) Verify that the boot order in your BIOS is set to boot from the DVD first and then 2nd in the list should be your disk drive. B) Power up your computer and quickly insert Windows 7 installation DVD you created into your DVD drive. In a few seconds Windows 7 will start loading files.
C) Now select the ‘Language to install’, ‘Time and currency format’ and the ‘Keyboard or input method’ options. Then click the ‘Next’ button to continue. D) Choose / click on the ‘Install Now’ option to install Windows 7. E) Select the operating system you want to install: You will see the list of versions you have to choose from.
Move the mouse cursor or use the Up /Down arrow key to select the Windows 7 version that you want to install then click next. ( Note: Windows 7 Starter is only available when installing a 32Bit edition of Windows) As a reminder, if your product key is for Windows 7 Home Premium then you cannot select a higher (Professional) or lesser (Home Basic) version of Windows as your product key will only activate Home Premium. The version you install must be for the product key you have! F) Click ‘Next’ to proceed with the installation. Read and accept the license terms. G) Click ‘Next’ to continue with and complete the installation of Windows 7.
J W Stuart: Never be afraid to ask. This forum has some of the best people in the world available to help.