{Tips & Tricks} Pioneering Measurement Terms

{Tips & Tricks} Cooking with Salt

Recently, I found a recipe in a cookbook that I absolutely had to try. I was working my way through the recipe quite smoothly when all of a sudden I came across the word “dash.” Being the anal retentive perfectionist that I am, I froze. “Dash.” Really?! I had no idea how much was in a dash and I knew that I had to get to the bottom of this nonsense.

I’m sure many of you have come across terms such as smidgen, dash, pinch, etc. as you’re flipping through cookbooks and if you’re anything like me, you might have been scratching your head at such fanciful terms. I know that when it comes to many ingredients such as spices, it depends on your taste. That’s what I love about cooking. It’s all about throwing in a little of this and a little of that. However, when it comes to baking, you really need to follow the measurements in order to achieve a successful and delicious result. Hence my little freak out moment when I came across the word “dash.”

Nowadays, when it comes to cooking and baking there are so many tools out there to help us obtain the most precise of measurements so that we can easily replicate our favorite dishes. However, long before the days of countless tools, pioneering measuring terms often consisted of tad, dash, pinch, smidgen, drop and hint.

Pioneering Measurement Terms Equivalents:

  • Tad = 1/8 teaspoon
  • Dash = 1/16 (or less than 1/8 teaspoon)
  • Pinch = 1/16 (or 1/24 teaspoon)
  • Smidgen (smidge for short) = 1/32 teaspoon (or 1/48 teaspoon)
  • Drop = 1/60 teaspoon (or 1/80 teaspoon or 1/120 teaspoon)
  • Hint = A trace

So the next time you come across a pioneering measurement term, you’ll know exactly what that term means and approximately how much of the ingredient to add while you’re preparing the dish!

Do you remember how I said that there are so many tools out there for measuring ingredients? You are not going to believe this. You can actually purchase measuring spoons that include tad, smidgen, dash, pinch and drop. How amazing is that?!

* Source OChef.com

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    1. Great post! As type "A" and precise as I am – I can be very forgiving in a lot of my recipes on FFC. Many of my baked goods I say "sweeten to taste" – I sweeten with stevia & many readers use others like honey, maple etc. The results I have had with varied ratios in my ratios have not affected outcomes. In more traditional baking I would stick to each pinch, tad and smidge recommended. xo

    2. Two years ago I was shopping at the outlets on Black Friday and was in Le Creuset where I found a set of measuring spoons labeled "pinch", "dash" and "smidge". I actually use them more than I ever thought I would when I come across recipes with those terms!

    3. I actually have a set of those measuring spoons and have never used them. I don't think recipes need to be *so* exactly that if you have an extra dash of something it'll spoil the recipe. I'm one of those people that sometimes wings it on measurements anyway.

    4. Great post. I've seen the "dash" measuring spoons and debated whether or not to buy them. I still haven't because like you, I prefer to taste as I go.

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