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How accurate is too accurate and using laboratory glassware in the kitchen

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How accurate is too accurate and using laboratory glassware in the kitchen

ElPsyCongroo | Mar 21, 2014 08:17 AM

With all of the controversy over soda-lime glass in Pyrex glassware, I am making the choice of searching for suitable borosilicate glass replacements. This includes liquid measuring cups. Rather than getting old, used pre-90s Pyrex, Im thinking laboratory glassware would be great and cool looking in my kitchen. Yes, they use mL but fortunately, 1/4 cup is approximately 60 mL, 1/3 cup is approximately 80 mL and so on and so forth so that is easily remedied. For baking applications, we all know about how significant accuracy is. Yet many baking books still do not include weights in their recipes so it can be hard to avoid measuring cups. Unfortunately, even in laboratory glassware, even beakers aren't completely accurate with Schott Duran (arguably the highest quality laboratory glassware) indicating an accuracy of +/-10%.

The ideal measuring tool would be a volumetric flask followed by a measuring cylinder. These two, however, would necessitate the use of a funnel due to their narrow openings. It seems that what you gain in accuracy, you lose in practicality. How accurate is too accurate? Would a volumetric flask/cylinder lead have a noticeable difference on the final product? Granted, most cookbook authors probably never wrote down their recipes to such a degree of accuracy but that still leaves the notion of replicating the same results consistently. I realize this is completely unnecessary but if im likely to be stuck with it for years and years, might as well put some thought into it.

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