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Weighing ingredients
Posted: 24 September 2009 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have a very silly question but I just want to confirm something.

When I am weighing my ingredients my scale can give me fluid oz’s and dry oz’s.  So if I weight say egg whites or egg yolks,  do I weigh them for fluid oz’s?  And for flour, do I weigh it for dry oz’s?  I have been doing this and I just want to confirm that this is correct.

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Posted: 24 September 2009 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve never seen a scale that measures in fluid ounces! hmmm Maybe someone else will have an answer but…

there’s a quick way to figure out the answer to your question. Measure out one fluid cup of water, i.e. 8 oz. or 250 ml on your measuring cup. Put it on your scale and measure it both ways. The one you want to use from hereon for following the weights column in Rose’s recipes (and others that use weight versus volume) is the one that says 8 1/3 ounces. Or 236 grams, if you prefer to work in metric.

If you have The Cake Bible and would like to check out some other common liquids and what they should weigh, see the list on page 440. Rose has meticulously weighed all manner of food substances on a highly accurate scale to give us what one cup of each weighs. I have blessed her for this countless times, especially when I needed to convert a recipe from volume to weights

My hunch is that you should be using the dry ounces function. I’ll be interested to hear what you discover. Have fun!

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Posted: 25 September 2009 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi Liza, you should be using dry ounces for everything.  Fluid ounces are a measure of volume, not weight, so like Carolita, I really don’t understand what your scale is doing when it says fluid ounces unless it has some electronic eye that can “see” volumes smile

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Posted: 25 September 2009 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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When you switch to fluid ounces, the scale starts to read: 16, 17, 18, etc rather than 1#1 oz; 1#2 oz with the dry read out; it’s useful when you are measuring an amount that you can’t instantly calculate.  I know that for my large batch of mousseline, I need 1#15 oz of whites; or 30 oz. if it’s on the fluid ounce category.  In school, the scale didn’t read in ounces, just increments of a pound (.25, .675) and that I could never do in my head!  Evidently I wasn’t alone because they ended up putting a chart above the scale with the conversions smile

Use the dry weight for everything when you measure; when you get beyond one pound increments, you can switch to the fluid just to make it easier on yourself if you want.  A lot of times when I am converting recipes from other sources to weights, I know 3 cups white granulated sugar is 21 oz - which I know is 1# 5 oz, but for some of the people that help me, 21 oz is easier for them to deal with.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for the info.  I am looking at my scale and one button says ML/FLOZ and the other says KG/LB.  It is confusing to me.  I guess I should be weighing everything in KG/LB.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jeanne—interesting, my scale has that function too, but it isn’t called fluid ounces—it is ounces vs. straight ounces.  I don’t understand the use of the term “fluid ounces” since it is a unit of volume, not weight.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Liza, what brand is your scale?

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Posted: 25 September 2009 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi Matthew,

My scale is called Salter Electronic.  I bought it a few years ago.  This is what is written on the back of it for the function keys:

ON/ZERO - switches on - resets display to zero ( for “add & weigh” )
OFF - switches off
KG/LB - switches to solid measures - converts between kg/g and lb/oz
ML/FLOZ - switches to liquid measures - converts between ml and floz

I always assumed that if I weigh something like say 1 cup of egg whites, since it is liquid, I should weigh it with the ML/OZ function.

Does that make any sense or am I doing this wrong?

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Posted: 25 September 2009 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Maybe someone with a Salter will “weigh” in. I think you should be using KG/LB for everything.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Wow! Fascinating and useful discussion. Glad you raised the question, Liza. Not a silly one at all.

If I understand Jeanne correctly, the ml/fl oz setting on such scales merely switches from saying, for example, 1 lb. with the dry weights function to 16 oz. when using the fluid weights function. In metric, the same example would be 454 grams to 500 ml. Being able to switch back and forth like that would be useful in some circumstances as Jeanne describes. It’s hard to calculate in your head if you need 0.875 of a pound! grin And not everybody bakes often enough to know right off the top of their heads that 1.5 lb is 1 lb. 8 oz is 24 ounces is 681 grams, is 0.681 kg etc.

I think the main source of confusion here is how the scale seems to say that you can use the ML/FLOZ setting for recipes that are given in volume. Not true. With either button, you’re working in weights. Liquids can be weighed just as easily as dry ingredients. Recipes written in volume (cups and teaspoons) that call for, say 250 ML/8 oz are actually asking you to use a measuring cup. If the ingredient were honey, for instance, they would want you to go by the lines on your measuring cup but, by weight, you’d need 11.75 ounces. The only reason I know that is from Rose’s chart that I mentioned in the earlier post. You’d be short by 3.75 ounces, if you weighed out 8 fl ounces on your scale.

Different ingredients vary tremendously in what they weigh per cup. My example above is honey, which is way heavier than water. They’re both liquids. Measure out one cup of each and you’ve got, according to the volume measures on the side of your cup, 8 fl. oz or 250 ml in each cup.  Put them on your scale, however, and you see the figures I gave above for honey (11.75oz/336 g) while the water weighs just over 8 ounces and 236 grams. That’s one of the reasons weights (dry or liquid) are so much more accurate than volume. But I wouldn’t be afraid of the ml/fl oz button on your scale. It’s useful in the way described.

Work with it for awhile. It will all become clear. Again, thanks for raising the question. I had no idea there were scales that weighed in ml/fl oz. Good to know.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Is it possible that your scale has the ability to measure the volume of the ingredient?  I have an Escali and it has a feature that allows me to measure 1 cup of eggs by plugging in a 2-digit code for the eggs.  Because different ingredients have different weights, you can only use the scale to measure in volume if you plug in the code, which is different for every ingredient (it comes with a table with codes for all the ingredient). 

Otherwise, I agree with Matthew the you should always use the KG/LB mode because that represents the weight.  I never use the volume feature on my scale because I feel that the actual weight is more accurate.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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So many people added to the thread while I was fussing over my last post. grin

Mathew’s right. ML are usually used only for volume measures. It adds a level of confusion that’s unnecessary for most purposes. You might feel more comfortable sticking with the KG/LB function for now. I have a Salter but it doesn’t have the conversion option.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks very much to everyone!!  I will follow your recommendations and use the dry ingredient weight function for everything that I weigh.  Which is what I did today to make Roses Dark Chocolate Ganache, Filling, Frosting and Sauce but instead of using the 1 ounce of Cognac (which I didn’t have) I substituted for another 1 ounce of cream.  I made a double batch, followed the recipe to a T.  It has been sitting on my countertop for about 3 hours now.  It is completely cooled now but still quite liquid.  (Liquid like chocolate sauce)  I am hoping that it just takes a while for it to thicken up.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Liza, can your scale weigh in grams?  much easier….

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Posted: 25 September 2009 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Hi Hector,

Yes it can weigh in grams.  I will use that when I am weighing my ingredients from now on.  Anything to keep the process as easy as possible.  By the way,  I took a look on your website and I have to say your creations are just beautiful!  I know that alot of time and effort goes into creating beautiful cakes and your cakes show off your talent.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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For what it’s worth, it doesn’t make any sense at all to me.  I’m sitting here scratching my head at the incomprehensibility of it!

Here they are though and inexpensive at that.
http://www.lakeland.co.uk/salter-aquatronic-kitchen-scales/F/keyword/kitchen+scales/product/13147

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