What is the point in the order you put ingredients in for cooking, or why use other clean measuring cups if they all go to the same thing?


i dont even know

In: 2

Depends on the reaction you need. For example sauté onions first then add garlic. Go the other way and the garlic will burn. Making something like custard you need to combine milk, sugar first then egg yolks so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs.

As for measuring cups going from a liquid to something like flour causes the measuring cup to retain some flour.

Cooking times vary, some ingredients burn more easily, and sometimes you use ingredients with lots of moisture to bring down the temperature of a frying pan for example, and sometimes you do the exact opposite if you want a higher temperature.

If you’re browning beef for example, you don’t want any garlic in the same pan because it would burn, and you don’t want any tomatoes in there because the high moisture content of the tomatoes would bring down the temperature enough so that the meat wouldn’t brown.

If you’re making lentil soup and you want the lentils to disintegrate, you don’t put in salt until the very end because the salt makes the outer layer tougher and more flexible. But if you want the lentils to stay intact, you do salt them early.

Cooking isn’t coloring. Some things need time to react with each other. Some things become different things when mixed together, and then react differently when later things arrive.

Much of complicated cooking instructions involve getting air to the right places at the right times as well as just plain mixing (fluff, whip…)

As for the measuring implements… using clean ones is more about keeping the portion of an ingredient you are NOT using clean for later use. Stick a wet measuring cup into your flour, and that bag is going to get stinky fast. Use a cup for vegetable oil and then milk, but have to pour back some milk because you measured too much… cereal tomorrow will not bring joy to your mouth.

I don’t necessarily use multiple measuring cups, the more you cook the more “shortcuts” you discover, the more you realize the order you can do things in or mix ingredients in to save time and reduce the amount of pots/pans etc.

Which type of cooking are you doing?

Doing something like a stir fry, the order matters mainly because different things take different lengths of time to cook properly – launch everything into the pan at the same time and half of the components burnt, while the other half were raw. So you add them in at appropriate intervals to ensure they are all cooked through at about the same time.

There can also be some consideration to things like which elements impart flavour to each other, so you can purposely combine certain items and keep others separate to flavour as you wish.

With baking the order is often influenced by how ingredients react to each other and to being handled, and this affects the order you will want to make something. For example if you make something utilising whipped, mixing that will cause the whipped cream to deflate again – so you will mix the other elements together first, and then add the delicate cream right at the end to minimise how much you have to mix it. You will also see similar effects with things like a bread rising, and kneading a dough causing it to deflate.

With a lot of recipes it also won’t matter which order things go in, so you are free to do it however you wish – the art is learning where you can take shortcuts and where you need to be careful.

With regards to measuring cups, it depends on what you are measuring and how you are doing it. The main issue will be ensuring you are not contaminating one ingredient with another one, and that everything is able to be measured correctly.
So if you use your measuring cup as a scoop, you will want it clean so you are not adding flour into your bag of sugar, or traces of a wet ingredient into your flour.

Again, a lot of the time it won’t necessarily matter – if you are pouring ingredients into the cup rather than scooping them with it for example, then you won’t be contaminating anything and there is no problem. So when you want to add a cup of milk to the flour you just put into a bowl, there isn’t much point in washing the measuring cup inbetween.

All the comments here are good. As you learn to cook, you may find that measuring will become less and less important. (unless you are baking). Enjoy garlic? add a little more! Wonder how cumin might change the taste? Go ahead and sprinkle some in! A cook follows a recipe. A chef sees a recipe and says, “I can make it better!” Experiment, trial and error is ok when you are cooking. And the Internet is here to help you.