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.