The Oil Hack That Makes It Easier To Measure Sticky Ingredients

The art of cooking lies at the intersection of creativity and science; and while there is certainly room for experimentation, most recipes require a great deal of precision. Even the smallest mistake while measuring ingredients can turn a decadent dish into an inedible mess, especially when baking. Ordinarily, you can use one of the essential baking tools — the measuring spoon — to ensure that you're scooping up the exact amount of sugar, vinegar, or whatever ingredient you need. But if your recipe calls for sticky ingredients like honey or syrup, things can get a bit more complicated.


Gooey ingredients can stick to the inside of a measuring spoon or cup. This can make it hard to pour out precise amounts, since a percentage of what you originally put into your measuring device won't transfer to your recipe. You can try to scrape out the stubborn sticky goo with a spatula, but it will still be a struggle to dole out the exact measurement you need. To avoid this hassle, use a bit of olive oil to slick up your measuring cup or spoon before dipping it into anything sticky.

Olive oil makes the whole process smoother

Anyone who has handled olive oil knows just how slippery the substance makes everything it's applied to. The lubricating properties of olive oil have been utilized for thousands of years, to do everything from greasing machinery to making one's skin smoother. Just a few drops of this miracle oil is all you need to make measuring ooey-gooey liquids a breeze. Simply pour a small amount of olive oil onto a paper towel, and use the towel to cover every part of the measuring cup or spoon that will come into contact with something sticky.


The coat of olive oil should allow any syrup, honey, molasses, or other sticky substance to easily slide off or out of your measuring tool. Make sure you apply a very light amount, or you may end up with extra olive oil in your recipe. If you're trying to scoop some sticky stuff out of a jar, give the underside of the spoon a layer of oil as well, so you can use it with ease. You can also use some nonstick cooking spray if you're running low on olive oil. This hack has a number of applications, like pouring out a cup of corn syrup to make pecan pie, or using a spoonful of molasses to turn white sugar into brown sugar.

More measuring hacks

There are a few other techniques you can employ to make your experience with your measuring implements as seamless as possible. When measuring out a large number of ingredients, start with the dry stuff (like herbs and spices) first. Otherwise, liquids may cause solids to stick to your spoon or cup. If you are a frequent baker, you may even consider investing in a second set of measuring spoons, so that you can dedicate one set to dry ingredients and the other to wet ingredients. After you're done with a dry ingredient, rather than rinsing out your measuring spoon with water, give it a few solid taps against your sink or mixing bowl to knock any excess away and leave the spoon clean. Then, move on to wet ingredients before coating your tools in oil for any sticky ingredients.


Any type of extra virgin olive oil will help make sticky ingredients easier to scoop, though you may want to stick to less expensive brands like Costco's certified EVOO. The tiniest dab of olive oil is all it takes to cut out some of the dishes, effort, and frustration that comes with cooking, so you can get to your meal that much faster.