In many countries, recipes, particularly those that use the metric system, use weight to measure out ingredients like butter.
However, in areas where the imperial system is more common, volume measurements are used, so home food scales aren’t required.
This can sometimes make converting a recipe that uses weight difficult. Luckily, there are a few ways to easily measure out butter without a scale.
How To Measure Butter Without Using A Scale
Use the Marks On the Wrapper
Most butter that comes in a stick has marks on the wrapper. Each mark is a tablespoon, and almost all full sticks of butter have 8 tablespoons.
This also means that one full stick of butter is equal to half of a cup, while half of a stick is equal to a quarter of a cup.
You can use a sharp kitchen tool, such as a knife, to score the butter along the marks in order to ensure that you’re getting the correct amount.
You can also simply slice right through the wrapper.
Just be sure to remove all of the wrapper pieces before adding the butter to your recipe.
If the butter is in standard stick form but doesn’t have markings, you can make your own.
Take a ruler and measure out eight equal sections on the butter, marking each one. Each piece should be about 1 tablespoon.
If your butter came in a tub instead of sticks, check the outside of the package.
Most packages will have a weight printed on them, sometimes in both ounces and grams.
You can then either use the entire package or divide the package as evenly as possible until you reach the particular weight you need for your recipe.
One stick of butter, or 8 tablespoons of butter, weighs 4 ounces or 110 grams.
You can divide these numbers to find that one tablespoon of butter weighs 0.5 ounces or about 14 grams.
If your recipe calls for a particular butter weight, you can simply add tablespoons, or divide your total weight by either 0.5 ounces or 14 grams, to figure out how many tablespoons or cups you need to add.
Use Measuring Spoons or Cups
If your butter isn’t marked, you can also use measuring spoons or cups to figure out how much butter to add to a recipe.
Once you’ve divided the weight given in the recipe by either 0.5 ounces or 14 grams, you can figure out how many tablespoons or cups you need.
From there, simply use a knife to fill either the tablespoon or measuring cup to the desired amount.
Be sure to pack the butter firmly in so there are no gaps.
You can also use the knife to level off the top of the measuring spoon or cup to ensure that the measurement is as accurate as possible.
When using measuring spoons or measuring cups, it’s often easier to first melt the butter.
You can place the butter in a microwave-safe container and heat it for 10 to 15 seconds at a time until it has become a liquid.
This way, you can simply dip the measuring spoon or cup into the liquid butter, and you’ll get an exact amount every time.
Check your recipe to determine what temperature the butter should be when you add it.
If the butter needs to be cold, you can warm it, measure out the liquid butter into a separate container, and then place it in the refrigerator or freezer until it chills to the right consistency.
Use Water Displacement
Water displacement is an easy way to measure out cold butter. For this method, you’ll need a large measuring cup.
A cup that measures two or more cups is best, particularly if you need to measure out a large amount of butter.
Pour water into the cup. You’ll want to measure out water equal to however much butter you need.
For example, if you need half a cup of butter, put half a cup of water in the measuring cup.
If you need a whole cup of water, add a cup of water to the measuring cup. Make sure the water is cool or cold.
Then, add pieces of cold butter to the water until the volume has doubled.
If you need half a cup of butter, for example, add butter until your butter and water measures 1 full cup.
You can then scoop out the butter and add it to your recipe.
Because butter needs to be hot in order to melt, it won’t mix with the water, so you won’t need to worry about adding excess water to your recipe, and you should get an accurate measurement every time.
If the butter is damp when you remove it from the water, you can gently pat it dry with a tea towel or paper towel.
Water displacement method
Butter required – 1/2 cup
Using a 1 or 2 cup measuring cup, add cold water to the 1/2 cup mark
Add pieces of cold butter until the water rises to the 1 cup mark
You now have 1/2 cup of butter which can be scooped out
Use a Butter Twist
A butter twist is a kitchen tool that is specifically designed to make measuring butter simple.
The tool is cylindrical in shape, and it opens so that a stick of butter can be placed inside.
The end of the tool is then turned, and the butter twists cuts and deposits butter in 1 tablespoon increments.
Butter twists are popular because they can also be used to spread butter on a pan or a piece of toast.
These tools are also specifically designed to stay sharp and cut even very cold butter, which can be essential when it comes to some baking recipes, such as pie crusts or biscuits, which call for very cold or even frozen butter.