"On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee is another great book about the chemistry of cooking, and I especially like it since it doesn't try hard to be hip or cool as opposed to some other books about cooking chemistry I could name.
When something calls for three cups of flour, and it's a humid day, or a dry day, does that affect the quantity? Yes it does. Significantly enough to affect bread.
Both of the above reasons are why bread bakers weigh all their ingredients, including water.
I don't see how weighing the flour will help. A given volume of moist flour will weigh more than dry flour because of the water in it, so you'd still have a problem on humid days.
But yes, measure by weight.
pounds vs kilograms isn't particularly important (as long as you keep them straight!)
I own a lot of Grilling/BBQ books and normal recipe books, almost everyone says to never use table salt somewhere in the book.
My Himalayan salt is quite good for seasoning and was deposited millions of years ago. Compare that to Morton's table salt with iodine my grandmother used to use.
There are many people that dont cook at home and I doubt their Iodine levels are low.
Also I never said it was some sinister corporation spreading false info.
Given that you have enough iodine in your diet though, avoiding it in seasoning is sensible.
Its fun to play with cool, colorful salts. By the time the cooking is done, I'd bet cash money no one can tell the difference.
By the time the cooking is done, I'd bet cash money no one can tell the difference.
Besides that, one of the main reasons to use different salts is crystal size which can have significant effect (depends on what you are doing, obviously). For example, koshering salt is called that because of its use in koshering meats, where the large crystal structure helps control absorption. Likewise in "finishing" applications.
Serious Eats has an article and it really validates a part of both of our points:
>"So long as your salt is going to be dissolved and distributed evenly into the final dish...there's no reason to use kosher salt...Just remember, check your recipes and make sure to compensate for table salt's density when adding it."
If you have access to Good Eats, Alton Brown explains it pretty well.
Real cooks use table salt all the time. Other salts are mostly useful as finishing salts (where the subtle distinctions in flavor and texture between different salts, or different sized grinds of the same salt, come out, and where color distinctions can impact presentation) rather than in cooking itself (where they don't.)
> My Himalayan salt is quite good for seasoning and was deposited millions of years ago. Compare that to Morton's table salt with iodine my grandmother used to use.
...and, what? Both are good for seasoning, the table salt with iodine is better for avoiding the (otherwise fairly common) iodine deficiency (conversely, its a good thing to avoid if you are iodine sensitive). I'd rather use the Himalayan salt as a finishing salt for some things.
Also, table salt vs. other salt and iodized salt vs. non-iodized salt are orthogonal distinctions (and table vs. other salt is a different distinction than "made in nature" vs. "made in a chemical process in a plant".)
Kosher, Sea, and some other salts are available iodized, and table salt is available non-iodized.
At the same time, if you're just gonna boil water and dissolve some salt in it, it doesn't really matter so much as the actual amount of salt.
I do not say that one cannot work scientifically using non-metric units, I'm just saying that it has a non-scientific appeal since even in the US scientific publications normally use SI units (kg, m, s) since they are well defined and easy to calculate with.
Imperial units, on the contrary, are based on the length of body parts and sticks or the volume of some arbitrary measurement cup. Granted, the meter is a bit arbitrary as well (but at least based on the geometry of the planet), but the nice thing about metric units is that they can be converted easily: 100 cm = 1 m, 1000 m = 1 km. 1000 g = 1 kg. Try that with inches, feet, yards and miles.
So I really stay with my assessment that working in non-metric/SI units is contradictory to professional scientific work.
Let's not forget the weight of a stone!
It uses "imperial" units, though I assume they're actually "English" units (i.e. American rather than British). This matters for volumes, a British pint is larger ("a pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter", as my grandma taught me).
It has a few conversions in the introduction, but with false precision -- an oven temperature of 300F is converted to 149C.
It argues against using volume measures for dry or sticky ingredients, but the only example I see in the preview asks for "2 tablespoons of butter".
> They're just units...
The fact that the imperial units aren't even common amongst the two remaining countries that use some number of them is just 12oz of icing on the cake. It's frustrating to find an otherwise fine cooking or science book ruined by the prose pandering to some elderly subset of 5% of the population.
Sure, I could go out of my way to buy utensils and look up measurements in metric. On one hand, it would be a bit more forward thinking, especially since I want to try living in Japan at some point and there would be one less change to worry about. On the other, here and now, it would make it harder to talk about recipes with other people.
But mostly I just don't care. They're just units. If units "ruin" a book for you then you should reconsider your standards of evaluation.
He's writing a book for a US audience. The US audience uses US customary units for measurement and has done so since 'forever' basically. The subset of US citizens that knows metric well enough to be comfortable using it for things like cooking is small enough to be irrelevant for his book.
Would it be better to use the metric system for everything in the US? Of course. Will it happen in the next 100 years? Nope.
And I'm really confused about the elderly part of your statement. Do you correlate being young in the US with knowing the metric system? If so you are unfortunately wrong. Actually you are more likely to find metric knowledge in the general populous in the older crowed due to an attempt in the 70's to convert to the metric system. So, outside of areas that use metric internally, the older population is more likely to know metric than the younger ones.
That's a lot better than the complete clusterfuck that is working on most mechanical equipment - you'll all too often find a bizarre amalgamation of metric & standard hex head, allen, torx and other fasteners, all mixed together - wrenches are nowhere near as inexpensive.
Wouldn't that largely be fixed by the USA moving to metric.