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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Kitchen Information Reference Forum / How much EXACTLY is a "heaping teason"
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    How much EXACTLY is a "heaping teason"

    Michael Weston
    Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:54 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    icon_question.gif How much exactly is a "heaping teaspoon" as ml (milliliters)? I need some accuracy and precision.

    Or, how much exactly is a "heaping teaspoon" as an accurate fractional or decimal expression of some other standardized unit (like "2 3/4 teaspoon" or "5.7 tablespoon")?

    I already checked the Measurement Converter and it was not helpful in this case.[/url]
    ---
    Thanks,
    Michael
    Molly53
    Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:29 pm
    Forum Host
    Michael Weston wrote:
    icon_question.gif How much exactly is a "heaping teaspoon" as ml (milliliters)? I need some accuracy and precision.

    Or, how much exactly is a "heaping teaspoon" as an accurate fractional or decimal expression of some other standardized unit (like "2 3/4 teaspoon" or "5.7 tablespoon")?

    I already checked the Measurement Converter and it was not helpful in this case.[/url]
    ---
    Thanks,
    Michael
    Great question.

    There shouldn't be many recipes in our db calling for heaping anything. Which recipe number are you referring to?
    duonyte
    Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:15 pm
    Forum Host
    "Heaping" by its nature is an inexact measure - if it were exact than "heaping" would not be used. Wikipedia had this explanation:
    A heaping (American English) or heaped (British English) teaspoonful is a larger inexact measure, equal to the most that can be obtained by scooping the dry ingredient up without levelling it off. For some ingredients, e.g. flour, this quantity can vary considerably.

    I think it would also vary depending on the shape of the teaspoon - I think that perhaps different amounts could be heaped on an oval teaspoon in comparison to a round teaspoon. And, of course a lot of older recipes would have been based on mom's silverware - even more variable than standard spoon measures.
    Wheres_the_Beef?
    Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:12 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Sorry I wasted my time.


    Last edited by Wheres_the_Beef? on Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 3 times in total
    Michael Weston
    Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:20 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Wheres_the_Beef? wrote:
    If you have an old recipe that calls for a heaping teaspoon, I would find similar recipes and compare the amounts. After viewing several similar recipes you should get an idea of how much of an ingredient to use.

    While that is a good suggestion, my intent with my question was to standardize that ridiculous "measurement" of a "heaping ______" to something more precise specifically so I do not need to do any additional work when I encounter a recipe that calls for a "heaping" pile of inaccuracy.

    I thought there would be someone somewhere with more cooking experience and more exposure to a large variety of recipes than I have who could give me at least a half-decent generalization that would get me closer to a legitimate, accurate measurement standard. Something like:
    1 heaping teaspoon = 1.75 teaspoons

    Before I posted my question I did a thorough image search at Google for visual examples of a "heaping _________", and the volumes demonstrated in the images had so much variability as to be totally useless.

    I just can not understand why anyone would go through the effort to write down a recipe, and wreck the possibility of using the recipe producing at least a reasonably consistent, repeatable result.

    By the way, most of the recipes I am encountering that contain the blunder inspired "measurement" of a "heaping _____" were all written within the last few years; so I do not understand why you would suggest the recipes would be old.

    i am rather frustrated about this problem, so if my writing tone seems rude, please know I am not unhappy with you.
    ---
    Thanks,
    Max
    duonyte
    Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:40 pm
    Forum Host
    I think the recipes are older even if they were just posted. Remember that many many recipes are taken from other sources, and are not original to the posting chef. This is also true of cookbooks, blogs, etc.

    The problem is that heaping is going to differ depending on what the ingredient is. Flour is a bit more stable, so more fits into a heaping spoon. Sugar is not, so less fits in.

    It's not unusual for amounts to be this imprecise. Cookbooks for experienced chefs will say things like take some flour, add 4 eggs, add salt, knead until it is smooth and firm but not hard. I read blogs and cookbooks from Lithuania - family connection - and material for housewives is often listed that way.

    I can understand that it's frustrating, but I am sure that this has never been standardized simply because you would have to set a standard based on the ingredient and the shape of spoon that is used.
    Michael Weston
    Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:56 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    duonyte wrote:
    I can understand that it's frustrating, but I am sure that this has never been standardized simply because you would have to set a standard based on the ingredient and the shape of spoon that is used.

    OR, one could use milliliters or grams; which is how the recipe should have been written in the first place.

    I understand there will still be some variability in the flavor produced because the materials used are organic in nature, yet the results would be reasonably consistent and reproducible.

    I do not seem to be getting any closer to the answers I need.
    ---
    Max
    Ronnie_A
    Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:50 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hello Max,

    I understand your frustration! Dietary restrictions and retirement have meant looking for new recipes. However, like you, I get very frustrated with imprecise measurements. In addition to "heaping", I have run into "scant", "dash", "handful", "medium", "generous" and likely more inaccurate, and in my opinion, useless measurements.

    The solution would be so easy: use metric weight for all measurements, even liquids. I would, however, tolerate volume measurement for water and other homogeneous, free-flowing and transparent liquids.

    Now that kitchen scales are readily available and affordable, I cannot understand why recipes are not given by weight as is done in some European countries,

    Ronnie A
    threeovens
    Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:46 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    My best suggestion would be to not use recipes that you find inaccurate. Just keep looking for one that you like. I know, for myself, I have in mind what I would determine to be "heaping" or "scant." But that cannot possibly help you unless I knew what you were trying to make and your particular tastes.

    Personally, for sugar, a heaping teaspoon is 1 1/4 teaspoon because I prefer most foods less sweet and that should be enough for the desired outcome. For flour, it would probably be the same, but consistency would come into play. I would think if the author meant a heaping teaspoon to be double in size, they would have said 2 level teaspoons. Or a level tablespoon.

    I do not think the instruction "heaping" is meant to try to gather as much of an ingredient as possible upon a teaspoon, but rather that the ingredient is "to taste" and not needed to be precise.

    Good thought provoking question!
    Dee514
    Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:43 pm
    Forum Host
    Although neither the Heirloom Weights & Measures Chart or the Heirloom Calculator Converter contain an equivalent for a "heaping" whatever, these charts may be helpful for other "non standard" measurements. icon_smile.gif

    The following chart (link) does have equivalents for "heaping spoonfuls" by ingredient, but again it is not a complete listing of all possible ingredients. I would also take these conversions "with a grain of salt" icon_wink.gif

    German Recipes Conversion
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Pinch, Dash, Smidgen Measuring Spoons

    Dash, Drop, Smidgen, Pinch, Tad Measuring Spoon Set

    Odd Size Measuring Spoons

    Measure........Equivalent

    Drop...............1/64 teaspoon
    Smidgen........1/32 teaspoon
    Pinch..............1/16 teaspoon
    Dash...............1/8 teaspoon
    Tad..................1/4 teaspoon
    1 tablespoon.....3 teaspoons or 1/2 liquid ounce
    1/4 cup...............4 tablespoons or 2 liquid ounces
    1/3 cup...............5 tablespoon + 1 tsp or 3 liquid ounces
    1/2 cup...............8 tablespoons or 4 liquid ounces


    I hope this is helpful icon_smile.gif
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