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Weighing vs. measuring

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by lonestarsmoker, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Has anyone converted their recipe measurements to weights for scaling recipes? Would this be a good practice or should I stay with measurements?

  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I use mesurements when a recipe calls for it.

     And weigh out ingrediants when the recipe calls for it.

     Not going to mess w/ someone elses success.
  3. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you're scaling recipe's it's better to go with weights. It's more accurate. Depending on the ingredient small errors with volume measure can have quite a large impact on the final result.
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have always been told to weigh flour when baking.  Apparently flour settles and unless properly sifted it is difficult to get an accurate amount using volume measurements.

    For most other things volume measurements seem to be pretty good but with the new, inexpensive, digital scales weighing is fast and easy.  Weigh your first ingredient and tare the scale, add the proper weight of the second ingredient and tare the scale.  Real fast and less mess. 

    I use weight for cure recipes when practical but other then that I'm a bit of this and bunch of that kind of cook.
  5. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i would only scale for baking large amounts and production of other items like in manufacturing. at home i don't scale my baked goods..........
  6. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use weight almost exclusively. I feel that if you want a sausage with a consistent flavor then you need a consistent blend of spices. also when you weigh them you can break all the ingredients down to a percent of the total mix and then multiply by the amount you want to make this time. whether it is 1.378934 lb batch or a 100 lb's, it will always have the same flavor.

    Here's an example of one of my saved recipes. In this case,  the first batch that I made was a 6 lb batch and everyone loved it. So the next batch was 10 Lb's and at the same time I ran the numbers for a 20 lb that I got to do before the Christmas parties start..

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Maybe I'm a lazy cook, because I use TBS, tsp, cups, etc for all ingredients, except for cure.

    I always weigh my pieces of meat for curing, and the cure itself.

  8. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do pretty much like Bear said, it has worked for me so far...
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm like Bear and I only measure when I'm making sausage and curing things.
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use mostly weighed items like Dan McG.  I too convert to grams as it is a smaller unit of measurement and more precise.  See my thread on reproportioning for Sausage Prep: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forum/thread/69518/sausage-prep

    On the other hand, I dole out my curing pickle in volume vs. weight - 1 cup salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp cure, 1 gal. of water (I substitute Splenda® or equiv.).
  11. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Less than a year ago I ordered a DigiWeigh brand pocket scale from Amazon that was manufactured in China. It could measure up to 600 grams and  displayed in grams, and ounces.    I think I paid $20.00 for it.  It just rolled over and died on me this weekend as I was weighing out my ingrdients.

    Can anyone here recommend a more reliable pocket scale?  I've been eyeing  the digital scales that Cabelas carries that are used to weigh arrow tips.  Are they any good/reliable. 

    Moderators: if this is in the wrong place please post this where it is more appropriate. 
  12. dalton

    dalton Smoke Blower

    as a general rule I am more of a little bit of this and bunch of that type cook.  generally this is ok since recipies are really a guidline not a hard and fast rule to follow!  the major execption to this is cure, it must be specifically porportioned to the meat.  when you scale up a recipie, volume is much less accurate.  the other thing that i found recently when I made jerky was that salt is much better measured by weight.  I normally use caning and pickling salt when I make jerky but had run out right at the end of a big batch that I was marinating in gallon ziplocks.  the last two bags I ran out of the canning salt and resorted to table salt.  these two bags were much more salty than the rest.  shortly after that I read "smoking meat and smokehouse design" by marianski.  (great book by the way) and he explained that different brands and types salt vary widely in the shape and size of the crystals.  so much so that the weight can be as much as twice as much for the same volume.  now this would never been an issue if I had just ran to the store and got the right item but later I went back and measured the two and the table salt was 35% more weight by volume than the canning salt.  I was amazed.

    when you are using the exact same ingredients and the same recipe all the time it isn't really an issue (except for cure) but when you scale up or down or try different type or brands of a particular spice or ingredient then mesureing by weight has real benifit!! 

    just my humble opinion!
  13. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I use this site and have been very satisfied with the scales:


    I use the Ultra Ship 55 scale (click on Ultraship 35, then on that page are all the Ultraship models, the 35, 55 and 75).

    The face is detachable so you can weigh large items (like meat buckets!), a real handy feature!
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  14. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Very good points Dalton !

    Poi Dog,

    I like my scale fine, but if I was going to get another one, I would get that one Pops is showing, because you can remove the readout face from the scale.

    Every time I have to balance a plate of belly on the back half of my scale, so I can read the scale, I wish I could do that!!!

  15. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    just tossed my digital and went back to a 22# old school dial for around $25............

  16. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for the recommedations Pops and all.  RightOnScales seem like a good place to shop. 

    Pops, is the scale you have an American product? 

    Pops, have you or  anyone had any experience with their Warranty policies?

    Thanks once more friends.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  17. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks to Pops recommendation last year about this time, I bought the Ultra35.  Excellent price compared to other similar scales .  I couldn't find a data sticker on the -35 as to country of origin, but it's probably Made in China.  The Ultra is nice and compact, runs on C cell batteries or 110v adapter.  It's a great tool and I highly recommend it.  Warranty service?  Wouldn't know, haven't had any problems with it.
  18. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How do you find it? Is it accurate enough? Personally I like dial scales just because of esthetics.
  19. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    as far as accuracy it is just fine...........i test them with sticks of butter. also as i get older i value the big ass dial! as for esthetics  ............ i  .........a '68 camero will always be in style! this thing has a big plate to hold just about anything and if it won't fit i can just get a 1/2 sheet pan and put it on and still see the dial. i'm sure when i get into other cures (high mountain is in Tbsp) i will want to get a small digital.
  20. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As for aesthetics, I'm more a Charger or Challenger guy, but I see where you're coming from. As long as my old eyes can read it, I'm good.