How reverse taring makes baking easier and more fun

Professional bakers and amateurs alike know just how important it is to follow recipes, down to the very last measurement. After all, it’s the best way to ensure your dessert tastes delicious every time you make it. But measuring ingredients can be a tedious process. And it can add more than a few dishes to your dirty dish pile.

Thanks to TikTok, we now know there’s an easier way to get precise measurements while baking: reverse taring. What is reverse taring? Keep reading to learn about measuring baking ingredients and this trending bake hack that many pros don’t even know about.

Baker weighing dry ingredient on a scale

Why is measuring so important in baking?

Baking is essentially chemistry; it relies on the interactions of different substances to create something new. Because these reactions are so precise, it’s crucial to follow your recipes as closely as possible. This also means measuring your ingredients as accurately as possible. Otherwise, you could wind up making something completely inedible. If you include a little bit more sugar than the recipe calls for, you risk altering the flavor of your dessert. So, to bake the most delicious treats possible, it’s crucial to measure your ingredients accurately.

Baking ingredients and tools on table

Measuring by volume vs. measuring by weight

There are two main ways you can measure your baking ingredients: by volume or by weight. Portioning food by volume involves using measuring cups and spoons. When you measure by weight, you place each component on a food scale before adding it to your mixture. Baking pros find weighing ingredients gives a more precise measurement than using the volume method. And because it’s more accurate, it makes it simpler to reproduce desserts and get the same great tasting result every time.

Weighing ingredients the traditional way is simple. Place an empty container on the scale and tare it. Taring a scale zeroes out the weight of the container, so you are just measuring the weight of food, not the food and the bowl. Then scoop the ingredient into the container until you reach the required mass. When baking, you would repeat this process with every element using a clean, empty bowl every time. While this is easy enough, TikTok has found a technique to make weighing food even simpler.

Bowl of flour on kitchen scale

What is reverse taring?

Reverse taring, also called negative weighing, has long been a well-kept secret in the baking world, but thanks to TikTok, home bakers and professionals alike are learning and loving this unique trick. So, how do you learn it? Perhaps the best explanation comes from the TikTok video posted by @ana_calderone. As Ana Calderone mentions, this wasn’t the first time someone posted about this baking hack on TikTok, but it may be the most popular. The video has amassed one million views and has more than 139,000 likes.

In the video, Ana explains that she first saw the trick while scrolling through TikTok before giving it a try. This method is a little different from regular weighing. Instead of placing an empty bowl on the scale and taring, you put the ingredient on the scale in its original packaging and tare it. As you remove the ingredient from its packaging, the scale will read a negative number. Scoop or pour the food directly into your mixing bowl until you hit the negative of your required weight. For example, if you needed 50 grams of sugar for a recipe, you would place the bag of sugar on the scale and tare it, then scoop until the screen says -50 g. This technique is very efficient, so you can bake sweets faster and with less effort. Plus, you won’t need to dirty up multiple bowls just for measuring, so you’ll have a quicker cleanup too.

Weighing out each ingredient in individual bowls may look nice for your Instagram pics, but it’s not a practical way to bake. Reverse taring is the measuring hack you’ve been waiting for. Not only is it easier and less time-consuming, but it’s also less messy. You’ll spend less time making your batter or dough and less time cleaning up afterward — which means you’ll have more time to enjoy the tasty treat with friends and family, or indulge in it all by yourself. So try out this genius baking tip and discover firsthand how much simpler it really is.

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