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Displacement Method Measurement

Roadtrek Chapter Member.
The water displacement method is commonly used in science to measure irregularly shaped things. This is done by filling a container with a known quantity of water and then measuring how much the water rises when the irregular object is submerged.

This is a little bit of practical science magic we can use in our RV kitchen to make a few basic measuring cups work to accurately measure almost any quantity, even things that are traditionally hard or messy to measure - like sticky ingredients. It also has the nice side benefit of making the measuring cups easier to clean.

For example, if a recipe calls for half a cup of shortening you can use a one cup measure filled half way with water. Drop the shortening one spoon full at a time into the cup until the water reaches the one cup line. Drain off the water and you are left with exactly half a cup of shortening that is not all stuck to the sides of the measuring cup. This also helps avoid the possibility of air pockets causing false measurement.

This method works equally well for almost anything that is sticky and won't melt in cold water. Shortening and peanut butter are commonly measured with this method, but if the water is very cold or you can put the ingredient into your refrigerator for a while it is possible to measure things that turn solid when cold.

A little water always remains behind when using this method, so take that into consideration when measuring liquid ingredients for the rest of the recipe.

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