A measuring cup and a sack of gluten free flour – how hard can it be to measure out, right?
You’d be surprised how the amount you measure out can vary depending on factors like temperature, humidity, how you scoop the flour, and even how you level it.
Setting aside the environmental factors which are hard to control, flour should always be measured after it has been aerated – be it with a sifter, or by simply using a whisk to fluff the flour(s) up.
The scoop & sweep method – in which you pull the measuring cup down and up through the flour can lead to over-packing and can add and additional 2 ounces! Too much flour can cause your baked goods to be dense, crumbly and very dry. So you really want to be precise when measuring flour for baking.
When using measuring cups, the best way is to gently spoon the aerated flour into your measuring cup until it’s overflowing, then gently sweep off the excess with a knife. Taking care not to shake the measuring cup, as this can cause the flour to settle and compact.
But by far the best method is to use a digital kitchen scale when measuring flour (or any other dry ingredients). You will get consistent and accurate results every time – even if there are environmental factors at work.
Aside from flours, if you buy butter by the pound (not the sticks) using a scale is the best way to measure butter. It’s quick, and there is no greasy measuring cup to clean out afterwards. 1 cup of butter = 1/2 lb (8 oz) / 227 g
What to look for when buying
- Digital is the only way to go. They are compact in size, easy to read, and provide accurate results even at very low weights.
- Weight – its button should easily toggle between grams & ounces (this switch should not be on the bottom), and should be precise to 1 gram increments for metric and decimal increments for imperial.
- Tare – allows you to reset the scale to zero after you’ve placed the bowl on the scale, and/or after adding ingredients. This way you can add and weigh as many ingredients as needed that the recipe calls for all in one bowl.
- Automatic Shut off – this is a great energy-saving feature that will save your battery life. I’ve had my scale for over 3 years and have yet to change the battery.
- 10lb capacity is plenty for most kitchen uses.
- Be sure the readout is easy to read and located in such a way that even if you have a large bowl on the scale you can still clearly see the readout (and toggle with the buttons).
While they are called ‘instant read’ thermometers, it does take 3-10 seconds (depending on brand) for the reading to settle – unless you choose the laser/infra-red varieties.
However those varieties are only able to take a surface reading, and not the inner temperature of your food which is what you’ll want for almost all of most of your cooking needs.
Types of Thermometers
- Oven Probe with Cord – Designed to remain in the food while it is cooking in oven or in covered pot. An oven safe metal cord extends to the base unit which sits on stove top or counter. Although the cord can be cumbersome, and bulky to store.
- Digital Instant-Read (Thermistor) Thermometer – Reads within 10 seconds. As they are not designed to remain in the food while it cooks, check the foods internal temperature near the end of the cooking time. Because of their compact size and accurate readings, these are by far the best type of thermometer to use in the kitchen (with the exception of candy making).
- Candy Thermometer – When boiling a sugar mixture, I like to use the old style glass thermometers as I can clip it onto the slide of the pot and can easily see at a glance how fast the temperature is climbing. These thermometers have the candy temperature ranges clearly marked so you’re not having to remember what stage happens at what temperature. When you’re boiling a sugar syrup, it can very quickly go from the the soft ball stage to hard crack if you’re not watching it closely – and you don’t want to be having to hold an instant read thermometer over a scolding hot pot of boiling sugar while you’re waiting for the temperature reading (10 seconds will seem like 100!) .
To test if your thermometer is accurate take a reading from a pot of boiling water. At sea level, the thermometer should read 212ºF/100ºC. With each 500-feet increase in elevation, the boiling point of water is lowered by just under 1 °F/0.5ºC.
When checking the accuracy of candy thermometers, clip the thermometer to the side of the pan taking care the bulb is not resting on the bottom of the pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Do not plunge a glass thermometer into any boiling liquid, as the extreme temperature shock can cause it to shatter.
- The more expensive thermometers will read temperatures within 3 seconds, while the lower-mid range ones average 5-10 seconds.
- Easy to read digital LCD display
- Durable stainless steel probe
- Change display from °F to °C
- Min/Max & Hold features are not necessary
All the products that we have recommended have been tried and tested in our Gluten Free Club Test Kitchen, and have been chosen as our top picks based on their:
- Quality of the task they are designed to do
- Quality of manufacturing/Longevity
- Best value for your money
If you decide to purchase any of the items we recommend, Amazon will send a small percentage of the purchase price to the Gluten Free Club (at no extra cost to you!). We appreciate and value your support, thank you!