I found a recipe in English that mentions a "pinch" of something. English is not my first language, and Google shows that "pinch" has many meanings. Do I have to pinch it with my fingers, or can i find a suitable amount of milliliters to use?

  • 1
    This is why all recipes should be written by weight. – Computerish Feb 15 '11 at 2:32
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    True in general, but do you have a digital scale that's accurate enough to measure one pinch of salt? I tried it on mine, and could add several pinches before its measurement just jumped from 0 g to 2 g. – Rinzwind Feb 15 '11 at 7:24
  • thank you all for helps and thanks to aronut for increasing my question. community has fewer anger than stackoverflow – PRASHANT P Feb 16 '11 at 16:28

A 'pinch' is the amount of powder/whatever that can be trapped between one's thumb and fore finger.

  • 6
    Right, yeah, it just means an amount that is too small to be worth measuring precisely. – Michael Natkin Feb 14 '11 at 21:46
  • so amount is not matter,, it has very small amount. thank – PRASHANT P Feb 16 '11 at 16:25

Usually if amounts are indicated in pinches it means that exactictude is not required, and you can follow, at least in part, individual taste. If measurements are critical, like in the amount of gelatin you need for a certain texture, or certain amounts in patisserie, you will find indications in grams or ounces.

I wouldn't go crazy about finding a metric or imperial equivalent of the "pinch", also because the original recipe writer very likely did not mean it that way - you would just be obsessive, not precise.


if you want to be technical about it, a pinch is 1/32 of a teaspoon, if that helps. shrug

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    ...which is .15 mL, but as is frequently the case when you find yourself using the word "technical", it doesn't mean much - in this case, you'll find different values for pinches, from different people trying to bring rigor to a casual measurement. – Cascabel Feb 15 '11 at 1:50

I found this table of conversions:

                        Tad — 1/8th teaspoon
                       Dash — 1/16th teaspoon (or less than 1/8th teaspoon)
                      Pinch — 1/16th teaspoon (or 1/24th teaspoon)
Smidgen (smidge, for short) — 1/32nd teaspoon (or 1/48th teaspoon)
                       Drop — 1/60th teaspoon (or 1/80th teaspoon or 1/120th teaspoon)
                       Hint — a trace

at http://www.ochef.com/74.htm

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