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Pinch, Dash and Smidgen Measurements

As any cook knows, improperly measuring ingredients is one of the quickest ways to ruin a recipe. Below you'll find the cooking equivalents for the terms pinch, dash, and smidgen. Anyone who's spent much time in the kitchen has likely run across these vague terms while baking.

A pinch, a dash and a smidgen, have all historically been a small, indefinite amount. In recent years however, several companies have begun selling tiny measuring spoons with the atypical cooking designations smidgen, pinch and dash. Using these as a guide, the precise measurements for those terms follows.


SMIDGEN - A smidgen holds 1/2 pinch or 1/32 teaspoon. 2 smidgens = 1 pinch

PINCH - A pinch holds 1/2 dash or 1/16 teaspoon. 2 pinches = 1 dash
A pinch has historically been defined as "an amount that can be taken between the thumb and forefinger" but without any definite equivalent in other units of measurement.

DASH - A dash holds 1/8 teaspoon. 8 dashes = 1 teaspoon
A dash was originally considered a liquid measure, a small but indefinite amount. More recently the term has been used as both a liquid and dry measurement.


NOTE: There is some contention as to just how much a pinch or dash is. Some contend that they are both equal to 1/16 teaspoon, while others claim a pinch equals 1/16 teaspoon, but a dash equals 1/8 teaspoon.


Be sure and visit our more extensive page of other cooking equivalents and measurements.

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