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Working in a restaurant? Then these articles are probably perfect for you! From server issues to recipes for the cook, these are some of our favorite In The Restaurant finds.

What’s in the Water?

Leaky faucet

We are lucky here in the United States: our drinking water is some of the cleanest and safest in the world.

However, water quality isn’t something that should be graded on a curve. Despite having better tap water than most, our water supply isn’t perfect. Far from it.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which sets drinking water standards, regulators are constantly on the lookout for the following contaminants:

  • Microorganisms: e.g. human and animal fecal matter
  • Disinfectants: e.g. chlorine
  • Inorganic chemicals: e.g. lead, nitrates, arsenic
  • Organic chemicals: e.g. benzene, dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Radionuclides: e.g. uranium

Most of the time, concentrations of these contaminants are small enough to be harmless, and regulatory compliance among utilities and municipalities is quite high. Which is encouraging. But …

Research from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group nonetheless paints an unflattering portrait—that’s putting it mildly—of our nation’s water supply. The most unsettling aspect of their analysis? Most of the 300+ chemicals detected in our drinking water are unregulated, which means that public health officials have not set safety standards for them.

Some of these unregulated chemicals include:

  • Perchlorate, a rocket fuel ingredient known to be harmful to the thyroid gland
  • MTBE, a gasoline additive associated with liver and kidney damage and nervous system
  • Di-n-butylphthalate, a chemical from a group of industrial plasticizers linked to birth defects

Yikes.

A study commissioned by Everpure, a maker of water filtration systems for the food service industry, found that U.S. consumers care deeply about water quality.

Over 65 percent of consumers said that restaurants that filter their water are likely to have better quality food and beverages, and 74 percent said it is somewhat to extremely important for restaurants to filter their drinking water.

A Gallup poll had similar results, reporting that Americans rank water pollution as the number one environmental concern facing the country, with 84 percent saying they worried a “great deal” or a “fair amount” about pollution of drinking water.

Despite these widespread worries, progress still seems slow. For whatever reason, legislators don’t seem as interested in water quality as the rest of us, their constituents. But no one can argue that we’ve come a long way since the summer of 1969, when the Cuyahoga River caught fire and spurred the passage of the Clean Water Act.

Today, we don’t have the image of a burning river to get our attention. Our challenges are, in some ways, more difficult because they’re harder to see and easier to ignore.

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Spotlight: Tundra Restaurant Design Services

Tundra Design Services

Did you know Tundra provides a full menu of restaurant design and renovation services?

It’s true! Led by seasoned designers Jeff B. Katz and Bob E. McLaren, our team has over 70 years of combined experience and a gorgeous and diverse portfolio to show for it. (As a matter of fact, Jeff literally wrote the book on restaurant design.)

Working with your architect and interior designer, Tundra can design your restaurant—front and back of the house—with a perfect blend of form and function.

Our Restaurant Design Process

Whether you are planning a quaint neighborhood bistro or an expansive hotel dining room, every design project rests on the principles of clear communication, close attention to detail, and a spirit of collaboration.

In the initial discovery process, we work with our clients to assemble a clearly written document outlining demographic data, key objectives they want to deliver, the menu they want to showcase, and the facility they want to bring it altogether in. This document guides the design process and ensures that key concepts are integrated and goals met.

Next, in the development stage, our designers complete their comprehensive design program based on your operational plan. This can be used by all members of your design team and helps to define the required spaces, relationships, and design elements for the successful construction and operation of your restaurant.

Lastly, in the delivery stage, we address any unexpected conditions or challenges that might arise throughout the construction process. This is where our experience in construction and our understanding of operational constraints comes in handy. We are able to resolve issues quickly and maintain forward momentum to keep the project on time and on budget.

Looking for a Restaurant Design Quote?

Tell us about your design needs and overall objectives and we’ll get right to work! Our proposals are known for being detailed, accurate and thorough, accounting for taxes and freight.

And since our design team has direct access to the Tundra inventory, as well as long-standing relationships in the industry, we are able to prepare very competitive bids—without sacrificing quality.

To get started, call 888-388-6372, then press 3, or submit a design-quote request online. We’re excited to learn more about your restaurant’s objectives, and offer you a custom quote that matches your goals, concepts and operational needs.

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Fryer Safety Checklist

fryer-hero

Fortunately, most modern fryers are simple and easy to use. But whenever you add 400°F oil to the mix, extreme caution is essential. What follows is a list of things to consider (please see our disclaimer at the end) if your commercial kitchen prepares deep-fried food.

Non-Slip Footwear

Slip- and Grease-Resistant Floor Mats

Personal Safety Equipment

Ladders and Footstools

Kitchen Layout and Storage

  • Set up work areas to reduce the need for reaching and climbing near exposed oil. Store frequently used items on accessible shelves away from fryers.
  • Keep fryer area free of clutter, electrical cords, etc.
  • Lay out kitchen without tight or blind corners to avoid collisions; provide enough work space to avoid collisions near fryer.

Education and Training

  • Fryer training: develop strict staff training/mentoring procedures to ensure safe operation and maintenance of your fryers.
  • First aid training: first aid is the best way to minimize the damage caused by a fryer-related burns and carbon monoxide exposure. Ensure there is at least one first-aid trained staff member on duty at all times.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning awareness: educate staff about the specific procedures needed to prevent and respond to the symptoms of CO poisoning.

Quality Equipment and Oil

Safe Cleaning and Grease Transport

  • Clean fryers in the morning, when fryer oils have cooled.
  • Establish clear safety procedures for the transport of used fryer oil.

Note: this fryer safety checklist is NOT exhaustive. Be sure to understand and comply with all relevant occupational safety regulations, and read our Terms of Use before acting on any of the recommendations listed here.

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A Lesson in Cooking Oil

Science of Cooking Oil

Ancient artifacts from Babylonia, 5,000 years old, suggest that “frying” was used as a cooking method in those times. In addition, artifacts from ancient Egypt suggest “deep frying” was popular 4,000 years ago. Considering how long frying has been part of our history, it’s surprising how little people in the cooking industry (and the public at large) actually know about how frying works, and how to extend the life of cooking oil in their fryer.

Cooking Oil

While cooking in oil is nothing new per se, it’s only in the last hundred or so years that major changes have been made. Traditionally, cooking was done in animal fat, tallow or “lard”. Near the turn of the twentieth century, people recognized that animal fat had a short shelf life and was becoming expensive. In 1903, hydrogenation was introduced as a way to improve vegetable oils. By hydrogenating the vegetable oil, the cooking temperature, melt point and shelf life were increased. However, the hydrogenation process created trans fats, which over the last several decades has been shown to pose a health risk. Today’s oil selections include “High Oleic Acid” oils (derived from canola, sunflower, or soybean), which offer many benefits, including:

  1. A healthier choice
  2. Easier to clean
  3. A pleasing flavor profile
  4. A more desired appearance and texture

Breaking Down & Extending Cooking Oil Life

To better understand methods to extend cooking oil life, let’s take a look at the chemical and physical changes that occur during the cooking process.

  • First, heat is applied to the oil to bring it to the proper frying temperature. Whether the oil is being used for cooking or not, it’s also certain that the oil will be exposed to air and light, and heat, air, and light are three of the many components that break down oil.
  • After reaching the desired temperature, a food product (protein, starch or vegetable) is added to the oil where almost immediately a “crust” begins to form on the food product via the excellent heat conduction properties of cooking oil.
  • As the heat penetrates the product, the water inside the product converts to steam and expands approximately 1,600 times in volume, creating a pressurized “steam envelope” around the product, pushing the oil away from the product.

To the operator, it appears the product is “boiling in the oil,” however, the temperature inside the product never exceeds 212⁰F  at normal atmospheric pressure.

The steam released from the product reacts with the oil in a process called hydrolysis, further breaking down the oil. If the product is over cooked, the steam envelope will collapse (no more water) and the oil will directly contact the food, overcooking the surface, and penetrating deeply into the product, leaving it both dry and greasy to the palate. Any “cracklings” that fall off the food during this process, fall to the bottom of the fryer, and further degrade the oil as those bits overcook. Also, if the fryer temperature is set to low, the oil begins to penetrate the product before the steam envelope forms, resulting in a greasy texture.

During oil’s cooking life, there are several stages from fresh (new) to fully oxidized:

  1. When new oil is nearly clear to white, it has a higher viscosity (or “thickness”) and surface tension so it resists penetrating the food. Typically, the final product is not browned enough and lacks the fried flavor profile.
  2. During “breaking in”, the viscosity and surface temperature reduce and the oil starts to become a brown color, imparting slight coloring of the food and some flavor profile.
  3. At the “optimum” stage, the product gets a good browning and optimal flavor profile from oil penetration (or absorption).
  4. The final stages to full oxidation, include degradation and runaway; the viscosity and surface tension are very low (thin versus thick) and too much oil is absorbed in the food, food color is generally too brown, and the flavor and odor are undesirable.

Optimum Cooking Stage of Oil Life

So, from the cooking process, we know that heat, water, light, air, and debris all contribute to reducing oil life. Knowing that, operators should take the following steps to stay in the optimum cooking stage of oil life:

  1. Turn the temperature down to a “ready” state (below 300⁰F) when the fryer won’t be used for long periods.
  2. Shake excess water (or ice) and debris off the product away from the fryer before frying.
  3. Keep the cover over the frying kettle when not in use to minimize exposure to air, light, water and debris.
  4. Filter frequently to remove debris (or cracklings). “Active” filtration with a powdered reagent (or impregnated pad) is far more effective. The reagent neutralizes undesirable, free fatty acids and other polar compounds that oxidize oil. With or without active filtration, filtering improves the color of the oil.
  5. Use a filtering method that minimizes exposure to air.
  6. Oil exposed to soft metals (bronze, brass, sodium, etc.) or detergents will breakdown extremely rapidly. It’s, therefore, important to insure the fryer, filtering mechanism, and accessories do not use brass or bronze.
  7. Avoid exposure to sodium (or salt) by seasoning fried products away from the fryer, never over the oil.
  8. If soap must be used to clean the frying kettle, ensure the fryer is properly neutralized, rinsed, and dried before refilling with oil.

While extending the life of cooking oil saves money and time, more importantly, it also makes the finished product look and taste better.

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Why Restaurants (and Diners) Hate Kids Dining Out

Diners and restaurants are over your kid screaming while they try to enjoy their dining experience and do business.

Last year, we started to see an influx in restaurants starting to ban children from dining at their restaurants.  There were people on either side of the fence on this issue, and we spoke to why catering to the yougins’ could help boost revenue, but we also understand that sometimes little ones just aren’t welcome in restaurants, and here’s why.

In a long awaited closing to this 3 part blog post, here are a few reasons why restaurants hate to see kids in their establishment.

1. Kids are messy.  Yes, a spaghetti smeared face may be cute to you, but to others around you that are trying to enjoy their meal (without losing their appetite), well, it’s just gross.  Oh, and not to mention that spaghetti being flung around the room and left for the server to pick up is just rude.

2. Kids are loud. Trying to get away from an exhaustive day, just to be met by a neighboring table with a screaming, shouting child is one of the last things any diner wants to be met with.

3. Parents don’t tip enough.  This, like a few more on this list, could be seen as stereotyped, but if you’ve ever been a server, you know that the likelihood of getting a decent tip with tables that have kids is slim to none.  The servers are likely in the back of the house throwing rock-paper-scissors to see who gets stuck with your table.

4. Kids can’t stay seated.  Well, they can, but you let them run amok.  It’s already busy in a restaurant, and to have to step over rowdy children makes it even harder to get the job done.  Besides, the patrons trying to enjoy their meal as little Johnny runs around screaming, aren’t going to enjoy their experience either.

5. Kids don’t like fine dining.  To be honest, some of them do, but why would you pay for a filet mignon, when the kid would be completely happy with chicken nuggets?  And to that point, bringing your child to a fine dining restaurant and asking for grilled cheese is rude too, especially when it’s not on the menu.

6. Kids like snacks.  Servers understand that you brought in snacks to keep your little one calm until the food arrives, but if you’re going to be okay with smashed crackers and Cheerios winding up everywhere, you should at least offer to help clean it up.

7. Kids don’t like clothes.  Not sure what it is about keeping pants and shoes on, but when dining out, the “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” applies to children as well.

8. Kids love to be social.  Again, it may be cute to you that your child has learned to explore his/her boundaries and likes to make friends with everyone, but other patrons are trying to enjoy their meal, not make friends with a tot.

9. Kids need babysitters.  And your server is not a babysitter.

10. Kids like to let everyone else know what’s going on.  Which includes when it’s potty time… food and an abrupt announcement of potty time never mixes well. Never.

Need some more (anti) kid love in the restaurant?  Here are a few of our favorite sites that share the passion of what it’s like to work in a restaurant around kids…

If you need help learning what you should do when your child misbehaves in a restaurant, take a hint from this dad:

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Grease Traps: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (and More!)

Remember the London fatberg story?

Sorry if you were trying to put it out of your mind.

As you might recall, in August 2013 sewer workers in London discovered a double-decker-bus-sized mass of grease and wet naps, which was immortalized in the tabloids as “fatberg.” The berg had nearly blocked the entire 7-foot diameter pipe. Had it fully blocked the pipe, residents of the London borough of Kingston would’ve been in for a MOST UNPLEASANT surprise.

“The sewer was almost completely clogged,” sewer worker Gordon Hailwood told the Guardian. “If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston.”

The 15-ton London fatberg incident is a great illustration of the unheralded importance—to our infrastructure and to our public health—of grease traps: those toolbox-sized containers that commercial kitchens put below their sinks. The purpose of grease traps, also known as grease interceptors, is to reduce the amount of fats, oils and greases (FOGs) that enter our sewer systems.

As anyone who has cooked bacon knows, grease congeals when it cools, and can cling to and eventually clog your pipes if you pour it down the drain. The London fatberg incident shows what happens, on a macro level, when too much grease oozes into the public sewer system. Because when too much grease accumulates in the sewer, raw sewage has nowhere else to go but … everywhere.

According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, sewers back up an estimated 400,000 times each year due to pipe blockages, and and grease is the primary culprit, resulting in over 10 billion gallons of raw sewage spills each year.

So, the moral of the story? Grease traps are a VERY good thing that EVERYONE benefits from, and that’s why virtually every municipality requires their use in commercial kitchens to prevent FOGs from clogging public sewer lines.

That said, not all grease traps are created equal! To ensure that your device not only does the job but proves durable over the long run, head over to eTundra.com and shop of wide selection of top-of-the-line grease traps!

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Why Flatware Matters to the Success of Your Restaurant

At first blush, choosing forks, spoons and knives for your new restaurant might seem like a relatively insignificant task, just one among many decisions you have to make before opening day.

But make no mistake, flatware is incredibly important to get right.

Ask any restaurant designer worth her salt, and she’ll readily affirm the importance of flatware and how it can help—or hurt—the overall aesthetics of a restaurant’s design.

As a recent New York Times article notes, the three restaurateurs behind the re-opening of the historic Tavern on the Green spent hours debating and testing—with food—over 300 kinds of flatware for their new establishment.

“Flatware is the hardest thing to choose, because people have such strong visceral reactions to it,” Katy Sparks, Tavern on the Green’s executive chef, told the Times. “I want something that speaks to being part of a tavern, but updated.”

Flatware, as Sparks indicates, wields enormous power: it can complement your restaurant’s decor or distract from it. It can help you tell your story or be a glaring contradiction to everything you’re trying to communicate to your patrons. For example, a fork might say “bistro” when you’re trying to say “diner.” It might say “prim” when you’re trying to say “down-home.” Or “old-fashioned” instead of “elegant.”

Your choice of tableware can even alter the taste or your food!

Don’t believe me? Get this: Researchers from the University of Oxford found that a utensil’s color, kind and material can all impact how food tastes or feels in our mouths.

“Subtly changing eating implements and tableware can affect how pleasurable, or filling, food appears,” said study researcher Dr. Vanessa Harrar.

If you don’t believe me, take it from Science: flatware is important.

There’s more to consider than aesthetics, of course. For restaurateurs, durability is another important piece of the puzzle. Lower-grade steel might seem like a bargain in the beginning, but if it can’t stand up to the daily abuse of restaurant life, “cheap” can end up costing more money in the long haul.

With a long tradition of melding durability, precise workmanship and aesthetic appeal, Walco flatware, based in Utica, New York, has become a popular choice for restaurant designers and food service professionals. Walco is a perennial favorite at Etundra.com, offering a wide variety of flatware to complement your decor and earn compliments from your patrons.

So if you need new utensils for your restaurant or hotel, be picky! It’s an important decision! And be sure to check out or selection of Walco flatware.

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How Much Should Restaurant Workers Be Paid?

Pay for restaurant workers. It’s an issue that manages to unite us and divide us at the same time.

According to the National Restaurant Association, half of all American adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives, and a third got their first job in a restaurant.

Most of us, in other words, can sympathize with the plight of low-paid restaurant workers because we’ve been there ourselves at some point, or have a friend or relative who struggles to cover basic needs while working full-time in a food-service position.

Divisions emerge when we stop to consider what, if anything, to do about it. Should we raise the minimum wage? Should we abolish tipping altogether? Should we pressure owners to pay their employees a living wage? Or should we let “the market” sort itself out and avoid potentially messy policy intervention?

Traditionally, many restaurateurs at our country’s 980,000 food-service establishments argue that forcing proprietors to pay their workers more will simply result in either less hiring or worse: layoffs. Further, they say that paying workers more would result in higher prices for patrons, who might decide to stay home and cook.

The counter-argument, one that I agree with, is that modestly raising pay standards to keep pace with inflation and other cost of living metrics is not only the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint, but will have the added benefit of stimulating more economic activity overall, because compensation isn’t’t a zero-sum game.

After all, folks who work in restaurants like to eat out as much as everyone else! If they’re paid a decent wage, they’ll have the means to patronize local restaurants once in a while.

What’s more, there’s the issue of fairness. Consider the situation in New York City, where nearly two-thirds of restaurant servers live at or below the poverty line. How is this situation OK? This strikes me as a classic example of a market failure ripe for correction.

In the meantime, whether you support change or the status quo, we as patrons can make sure our servers are tipped well, because tips aren’t simply bonuses paid on top of good wages. Without tips—heck, even with them—the far majority of restaurant workers wouldn’t be able to make ends meet.

And if you’re not convinced that your tip makes a difference, check out this powerful video.

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Top 10 List of Gifts for Chefs

Gift giving for chefs can sometimes be hard, because the majority of them get the things they need, when they need them, but don’t walk away just yet.  We asked a few of our chef friends what types of gifts they’d love to receive (even if they already had it), and we were able to narrow down the list to a few top contenders.  From the foodie in your life to top chefs, here are our favorite food lover gifts.

 1. Pocket Thermometers

Comark Digital Pocket Test ThermometerEvery chef needs a pocket thermometer, and extra on-hand at that.  Why you ask?  Temperatures of food are everything for a chef – it keeps their patrons safe and the health inspector happy.  Thermometers that are small enough to fit in a side chef jacket pocket and can give fast digital readings are preferred, especially when they have accuracy within 1⁰F.

Our Favorite: Comark Waterproof Digital Pocket Test Thermometer – $24.90

 2. Wine Keys

 L'Atelier du Vin - 95096-0 - Black Chic Lady Corkscrew

Whether it’s for the chef in your life or a bartender, for some reason or other, wine keys always seem to disappear.  Corkscrew sets are helpful for wine aficionados; in fact, any of the Front of House team would find a new wine key useful!

 3. German Knives

Wusthof 10 Inch Cook's KnifeA knife is at the top of the list for best gifts to give food lovers, but there’s a catch.  Most chefs would prefer to hold their knives before making an investment.  They fall in love with the feel of the knife before they do the actual make of it.  That is, until it comes to German and Japanese knives.  German knives are the most widely used and favored of chefs.  You can basically get any type of German steel knife (boning, paring, slicing, etc.) and your foodie will be happy.

Our Favorite: Wusthof 10” Cook’s Knife – $32.00

 4. Stocking Stuffers

San Jamar Dome 3-Quart Garnish CenterStocking stuffers are always great, inexpensive items that any chef would adore.  A few that were on our list of favorites included: apple corers, peelers, needle nose pliers, micro-plane graters, cherry/olive pitter, fish spatula, garlic press, offset spatulas, bar mats, bar caddies, 1-9 pans, and squeeze bottles.

Our Favorite: San Jamar Dome 3 Quart Garnish Center – $36.49 (may have to get a bigger stocking for this one though)

5. Mandolins

Jaccard Safe Hands Mandoline Mandolins are often an overlooked accessories that (as one of our chefs put it), “You don’t realize how much you need it until you look over and there it is, and you think, “Geez, I’m glad I have that.””  It may not be the center piece of kitchen must-haves, but they’re definitely helpful for getting precise, consistent cuts.  They’re also great for any budget, because they range from $6 to $150.

Our Favorite: Jaccard Safe Hands ABS Mandoline – $36.95

 6. Knife Bags

Mercer Cutlery 10-Pocket Knife Roll What’s a better gift for knife enthusiasts than knife accessories?  Our next items on the list are knife bags.  If they’re spending the money on nice knives, they also know that it’s worth it to protect their investment, and that’s where knife bags come in.  There are different sizes, depending on how many knives your foodie needs to tote around, but a simply knife roll that holds at least 5 knives will do just fine.

Our Favorite: Mercer Cutlery 10-Pocket Knife Roll – $43.20

 7. Chef Apparel and Clothing

Monte Carlo Chef Works Coat

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know how yucky clothes can get for those working with the food, which is why you can never go wrong with a set of new chef coats, beanies or pants.  Make sure you know the color and fit they prefer, because some restaurants are strict on color and some chefs have preference different sleeve length, other than that, prices vary from $5 to $100, so there are a lot of options to fit any budget.  Our chefs noted that they could never have enough pants and coats on hand, so this is definitely a winner!

Our Favorite: Chef Works Monte Carlo Chef Coat – $82.92

 8. Japanese Knives

Deba Japanese Sushi KnifeJapanese knives are a different story.   These knives are handmade and are fit for the best of the best cook out there.  The caveat is that these are the type of knives that most chefs want to hold and get a feel for before making a purchase. But, your chef can always exchange the knife, and if they’re a Japanese knife newbie, they’ll love you for being able to experience the beauty of these handcrafted knives.

Our Favorite: World Cuisine 6 ½” Deba Japanese Sushi Knife – $58.05

 9. Dutch Ovens

Lodge Red Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven 6 Quart If you haven’t ever invested in a Dutch oven, you’ll be surprised at how pricey they can be, and also why they’re a great gift idea for food lovers.  Investing in a great Dutch oven, is like investing in a great set of knives – you collect them overtime, but they last forever.  Any cook that has cooked with a Dutch oven will tell you that the way they cook and keep their heat is unlike any deep bottom pot you’ll ever cook with.  Prices range from $50 to $360, and there are tons of difference sizes and colors to choose from.

Our Favorite: Lodge Red Enameled 6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven – $69.86

 10. Knife Sharpeners, Steels, and Stones

 Mercer Sharpening Stone 3 SidesDon’t worry, if you don’t know the difference between knife sharpeners, steels, and stones getting any of these will make your chef happy.  The difference between getting a countertop, handheld, or manual version is completely up to what your chef is interested in, but you definitely can’t go wrong with a sharpening stone with coarse, medium and fine stones.

Our Favorite: Mundial Course/Medium/Fine Sharpening Stone – $145.59

Click to for a video on how knife sharpening works.

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Weight & Volume Conversions for Dry & Liquid Ingredients

Cup of Grated Cheese

A lot of what comes down to creating the perfect recipe is knowing the difference between weighing, measuring, and the right conversions.  Simply said; however, these are often overlooked, because a lot of us were raised on the notion that 8 ounces is 1 cup, right?  Unfortunately, that’s not always true, especially when it comes to dry ingredients.

For most liquids, 8 ounces does indeed equal 1 cup; except for heavy liquids, like molasses and honey, where 1 cup is more around 11-12 ounces.  That small adjustment in ounces can make or break a once amazing recipe, especially when it comes to dry ingredients.  When there’s so many other factors that could ruin a recipe (the pan you use, the altitude, the humidity, etc.), it’s important that you know the difference in weights of your ingredients.

Before diving into the conversion table, we’d also like to note that there’s a difference between weight ounces and volume ounces.  Weight ounces are used for measuring dry ingredients (whereas 16 ounces is equivalent to 1 pound); however, volume ounces are used for measuring liquid ingredients (whereas 8 ounces equals a pound).  In this case, if you were to look at the difference between 8 weight ounces of honey and 8 volume ounces of honey, the difference would be ¼ of a pound, which is a lot when looking to be precise with your recipes.  Another example, if you take a dry ingredient (which typically has much more air around it) and try to measure it in a measuring cup, rather than weighing it, odds are you’ll get very different numbers: 4 ounces of grated cheese in a measuring cup can equal 8 ounces of grated cheese on a scale (which one do you think is the right measurement of ounces we’re looking for here?).

Dry Ingredients Cup(s) Weight Ounce(s) Gram(s)
All-Purpose Flour 1 4 1/2 128
Bread Flour 1 4 1/2 128
Cake Flour 1 4 113
Pastry Flour 1 4 113
Whole Wheat Flour 1 4 1/2 128
Brown Sugar 1 7 1/2 213
Powdered Sugar 1 4 113
White Granulated Sugar 1 7 198
Chopped Nuts 1 4 113
Cocoa Powder 1 3 1/4 91
Cornstarch  1 4 113
Liquid Ingredients (for most: 1 cup = 8 oz) Cup(s) Volume Ounce(s) Gram(s)
Butter 1 8 228
Cream 1 8 228
Honey 1 12 340
Milk 1 8 228
Molasses 1 11 312
Oil 1 7 1/2 213
Sour Cream 1 8 228
Water 1 8 228
Yogurt 1 8 228
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