How to CookKitchen Hacks

The Easiest, Mess-Free Way to Measure Sticky Ingredients

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I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest pet peeves in the kitchen is measuring a 1/4 cup of tahini (or peanut butter or honey or molasses), and then trying to get it back out again. I’m never sure if I’ve actually added the correct amount of these sticky ingredients because a good portion refuses to leave the sides of my measuring cup. Sure, I could use my finger or a spoon to scrape everything out, but that just seems to spread the mess.

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To avoid these sticky situations, I’ve developed a simple hack: I pre-grease my measuring utensil with just a little bit of oil, and ingredients will slide out.

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Some recipes embrace the hack organically; vinaigrettes, quick breads, sauces, and marinades usually require oil, so I just make sure to measure it first, then follow with the sticky ingredients. But when a recipe with tacky or syrupy ingredients only calls for a little bit of oil (or even none at all) I splash and swirl a teeny-tiny bit of olive oil to grease the vessel. (You really don't need more than a drop or two.) Another way to achieve the same fuss-free extraction is to coat your measuring device with non-stick spray, although I find it a challenge to keep the spray from getting all over my counter.

If you’re greasing a measuring cup in a recipe that doesn’t call for oil, make sure to use a neutral-tasting variety, like canola oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil.

If you're curious to try out my trick, here are eight sticky recipes to experiment with:

Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale

Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale by Laura

Back Ribs with Roasted Tomato, Honey and Chipotle Glaze

Back Ribs with Roasted Tomato, Honey and Chipotle Glaze by Tuffy Stone

Oats and Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Oats and Quinoa Breakfast Bars by CravingSomethingHealthy

Healthy Breakfast Bread with Seeds, Almonds, and Figs

Healthy Breakfast Bread with Seeds, Almonds, and Figs by Mary Devinat

Roasted Root Vegetables with Cider Vinaigrette

Roasted Root Vegetables with Cider Vinaigrette by Alexa Arnold

Crispy, Cheesy, Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower

Crispy, Cheesy, Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower by EmilyC

Vegan Pad Thai

Vegan Pad Thai by Gena Hamshaw

Farro, Golden Beet, and Feta Salad with​ ​Pecans and Chive-Sage Dressing

Farro, Golden Beet, and Feta Salad with​ ​Pecans and Chiv... by em-i-lis

How do you measure sticky peanut butter, honey, or syrup? Share your tips in the comments!

Tags: Kitchen Hacks, Tips & Techniques, Advice, Honey, Peanut Butter