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Appropriate Metric Units of Mass or Capacity

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Weighing In

Credit: Veronica Miramontes
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vmiramontes/4073518788/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

How do mass and capacity figure into in the culinary world? Where can you encounter grams or liters in the kitchen? Do you recognize these metric units? Well, if you are cooking with a recipe from another country, you will need to be familiar with these units of measurement.

Why It Matters

In the metric system, mass is measured in grams and kilograms, while capacity is measured in milliliters and liters. Understanding these units of measurement is key when you are working in the kitchen. If you are measuring flour for a recipe, you don’t want to use units of capacity, but units of mass. If you are measuring water or oil, you don’t want to use mass, but capacity.

Credit: Dinner Series
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/8632047226
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

You then also have to take size into consideration. If you're measuring something smaller than a bag of flour, you should work in grams. You can think of a soda bottle as being one liter, so anything smaller than that should be measured in milliliters. Thinking in this way can help keep you accurate as you're creating culinary magic in the kitchen!

See for yourself: http://thinkmetric.org.uk/

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Test your skills at choosing appropriate units of measurement with the following quiz.


Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Veronica Miramontes; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vmiramontes/4073518788/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Dinner Series; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/8632047226; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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