Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Smart measuring cup

Here's something I discovered the other day. For a completely uninteresting reason I was wondering how much water weighed. Well guess what? An ounce of water by volume (the so-called fluid ounce) actually weighs an ounce. Duh. I had not made that connection before. My grandmother's mantra in the kitchen (I mean she didn't make it up, but I learned it from her) was "a pint's a pound the world around." So 1 pint of water = 2 cups = 16 fluid ounces = 16 ounces by weight = 1 pound.

Of course the rule only works with ingredients with a density similar to water. Once you get into ingredients that don't pack into a volume measure the way water does, all bets are off. Though to be honest, the mantra will get you within shooting distance with a lot of ingredients.

Anyway, Taylor (the company that makes instant-read thermometers among other things) is coming out with a gadget that will take the guesswork away. It's a measuring cup that is also a digital scale. An LCD display in the handle tells you how much an ingredient weighs (in ounces or grams) and will also translate the weight into volume for a certain number of common ingredients (like sugar). Of course you can also just use the standard volume markings on the side of the cup if you want.

The scale weighs amounts up to 4.4 pounds and the cup holds up to 1 liter (with markings in fluid ounces and milliliters). Not even on the shelves yet, the cup has to be preordered from Amazon. It costs $30.

P.S. I love the idea of this, and it would be of incredible use to anyone who writes recipes, but it's a pretty easy guess to say it can't go in the dishwasher.

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