Measuring sticky, goopy ingredients surely is one of the least appealing parts of cooking. Because trying to portion out peanut butter, honey or even shortening by volume tends to create a gunky mess that more often than not either leaves too much behind or forces us to scrape impossible-to-clean corners of measuring cups.
We know we can first coat the cups with cooking spray, which usually (though not always) works. It also leaves an oily slick on your ingredients—and the counter. All of which is why we prefer to take a lesson from baking and measure by weight, not volume.
In baking—where precision matters so much more—we’ve long favored measuring flour, sugar and other common ingredients by weight. It’s an easy way to solve the problem of inconsistent amounts based on how firmly the ingredients are packed in the cup.
This works equally well with messy, sticky ingredients. Simply set your bowl or pan on a digital scale, then hit tare (the function that zeros out the current weight) and add the correct weight of the desired ingredient. No mess, no fuss.
Of course, for this to work, you need to know these ingredients’ weights, some of which can be hard to find. So we tested a slew of sticky options to determine the weight of ¼ cup of each.
|Grams per ¼ cup