or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Measuring?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I'm watching this cooking video and the chef is going to sweat some onion.  He very carefully measures exactly two tablespoons of oil into his skillet.

 

And it occurred to me I have no idea when I last measured oil into a pan like that.  Do you measure, or guess?

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #2 of 25

That's enough to turn me off from watching.  I like Ina Garten but measuring out pepper?  weird 

 

I suppose some people need that but it's a paint by numbers type of cooking.  I go freestyle!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #3 of 25

Me too. With the exception of baked goods and candy, I can't think of anything I make that I measure. Even when I make jam, I don't use pectin so I can just sweeten to taste.

 

I can see the need for it in restaurants for quality and cost control. But for me its just extra work and dirty dishes.

 

Oh I do measure when cooking rice.

post #4 of 25

It depends on your goals as a cook or a video producer.

 

Overall,  I think it's highly reasonable for a video oriented guide to measure, or at least pre-measure. For a casual cook, eyeballing is likely to lead to waste and consuming more oil than they should. Experienced cooks really aren't the target market. 

 

Most of the people producing videos really aren't as experienced as the common poster here at cheftalk in my opinion. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #5 of 25

This is done for the novice housewives that never cook, and whose idea of dinner is reservations out .!

CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #6 of 25

Measure? What is t hat? Outside of baking no need.

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post
 

This is done for the novice housewives that never cook, and whose idea of dinner is reservations out .!

 

Or for husbands like mine, who's wife never gives up reign of the kitchen except on nights I'm out.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

For the bean challenge I did a batch of red beans.  A key ingredient in the way I make it is pickle meat.  The original recipe I started with called for 12 black peppercorns.  Really?  Will 13, or 11, or 15 ruin the dish?

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #9 of 25
I do measure somewhat when making spice mixes (like cajun spice or shawarma spice), just to keep the proportions right.
And for baking.

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

Reply
post #10 of 25

I always measure scrupulously when baking something --especially the first time I make it. And when I'm doing spice rubs or marinades, I like guidelines for proportions although I almost always double the garlic! Rice and grains I always measure--and still often end up with sticky or undercooked rice. I think I need a rice cooker but have no room for one. Coffee--I always measure my coffee, A disappointing cup of coffee is so, well...disappointing. I don't think I've ever measured the amount of oil I put in a pan to sweat or saute aromatics.

post #11 of 25

"...I almost always double the garlic!"

 

Isn't that the way everybody cooks?

 

Well, except for the "almost" part...:smiles:

 

Mike

travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #12 of 25

I usually double garlic, double ginger, double fish sauce, double everything pretty much. :lol:

post #13 of 25

I tend to drive a lot of my friends nuts when they ask me for a recipe. "Man, that was tasty, got a recipe" - "Yeah, well you take this, this and this..." - "How much of it?" - "Hm, well, enough that it tastes right": 

 

Outside of baking or certain desserts, I do everything to taste and measure nothing.

post #14 of 25

I have found that many people can not cook without a recipe in front of them.

They can not conceive cooking without measuring ingredients just as written. 

post #15 of 25

I double the garlic even if the recipe calls for no garlic.  

 

When I look for new recipes I read only the ingredient list and skim through the instructions.  I figure that if I'm familiar with the technique I know which order the ingredients need to go in.

 

It goes without saying that in a recipe where the chemistry needs to work out there needs to be measuring, like baking and grains sometimes.  I don't even measure with rice, just cook it like pasta most of the time.  Sometimes however you can get away with ratios like bechamel, spice mixes etc.

 

There is also nothing wrong with measuring or with following recipes.  It's great when people start out cooking and shouldn't feel discouraged to do so.  I prefer when watching a cooking program though to see a chef cooking without strict measurements like Jamie Oliver.  I can imagine though that someone else that's never made a pasta dish for example would feel overwhelmed by his movements and be made to feel like they can't do it themselves.  Luckily his printed recipes do include measurements.

 

I also find it annoying when recipes or tv cookies measure certain ingredients such as one cup full of onion, one tbsp of minced garlic, 3/4 cup of diced celery...  what?  I measure by whole produce not tbsp and cups of grated portions of produce.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

 

I also find it annoying when recipes or tv cookies measure certain ingredients such as one cup full of onion, one tbsp of minced garlic, 3/4 cup of diced celery...  what?  I measure by whole produce not tbsp and cups of grated portions of produce.

 

If the recipe calls for one tablespoon of minced garlic and the cloves I used generate one and a quarter tablespoons, of course I throw the excess into the dumpster.  Honest, trust me, would I lie to you?

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #17 of 25

Only double the garlic? I tripl eit or more if it is for just myself. I am a serious garlic freak, I will sprinkle a little salt on a slice and eat it raw.

post #18 of 25

MaryB-

You and I should get together, nibble a little garlic and breathe on each other :smoking:

 

Mike

 

Well, as long as our spouses don't find out

travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #19 of 25

As a home cook, I have developed a system that is a sort of hybrid of the approaches mentioned so far in this thread.  Whenever I'm making a dish for the very first time, I research several recipes for the same dish to get a feel for what is going on in the dish.  Then I pick just one recipe from a trusted source.  Then I do follow it to the letter, but just the very first time.  I find that doing so gives me a baseline of what at least one person thinks the "standard" is for this dish.  After that, whenever I'm repeating the dish or coming up with my own variations on it, that's when I double the chiles, triple the garlic, etc.  

 

Aside from that most of the time I'm just eyeballing things to what feels or tastes right.  A few exceptions as mentioned previously in the thread are spice rubs, marinades, pickling spice, and things like that where I've come up with what I think is the "perfect" balance after repeated tries.  Then it's just easier to go down the list.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

So I'm watching this cooking video and the chef is going to sweat some onion.  He very carefully measures exactly two tablespoons of oil into his skillet.

 

And it occurred to me I have no idea when I last measured oil into a pan like that.  Do you measure, or guess?

 

mjb.


It depends.  If one is a novice, a video or following a specific recipe is important/helpful.  When I try a new dish, I read through the ingredients & method, & may or may not make my own changes.  I look at a recipe as a formula, in achieving the proper result - what the recipe is trying to achieve/the desired outcome.  Baking, for me, is a different ball game - very precise. I do make my own adjustments when it comes to adding salt & pepper.  I have noticed, now, that more & more "recipes" say "to taste."  Re the sweating onions - how much onion, what kind of cookware, what kind of oil, heat temp, & on & on.  Once, one has the basics down, one can change it up however one likes, IMO.

post #21 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeLM View Post
 

MaryB-

You and I should get together, nibble a little garlic and breathe on each other :smoking:

 

Mike

 

Well, as long as our spouses don't find out

 

 

ROFL - find out about the garlic or the nibble or the breathing!

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #22 of 25

Made some garlic slaw last night, coleslaw with chopped garlic is great stuff. Will have more tonight.

post #23 of 25

Well, Mary, if we can't get together for a little nibble, I guess I'll try your garlic coleslaw suggestion.

 

Is that a routine slaw recipe, or are there other unusual ingredients besides the garlic?

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

travelling gourmand
Reply
travelling gourmand
Reply
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

There's a woman I know from a while back, we play games and chat on Facebook.  Mostly about food.  She and her husband have been thinking about moving closer to the center of the city.  I teased her that if she moved into our neighborhood our spouses would get suspicious - tipped off by each of us suddenly gaining 25 pounds.

 

So I guess @MikeLM will be hosting the May Cheftalk dinner.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #25 of 25

Most of the time I really don't measure at all I tend to also not really pay all that much attention to exactly what ingredients I put into things. I work in a 5 star boutique hotel so I often get asked to cook something that's off menu, then a week later the guest will ask if the chef can make the same dish again.................. I almost never remember what I put into the dish but people keep coming back. My cooks hate me for it. On the other hand when I'm actively developing new menu items I write every step and the smallest amount down for future reference. So I guess it depends on the situation. Sometimes I just cook and see where it takes me (my personal favorite) and other times I'll count how many thyme leaves I'm using.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking