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Mar 25, 2005 07:08 AM


  • c

I found a recipe for fetuccine alfredo that calls for 1/2 pound grated parmesan cheese...I don't have a kitchen scale, how can I figure out how much this is??

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  1. For a recipe like that the exact amount of cheese isn't critical, so I think you can assume that the cheese is roughly the same density as water and 1/2 lb will be a piece of approximately one cup in volume (prior to grating).

    1. Or look at the weight on the chunk of parmesan you buy, 1/2 a pound in a block will still be 1/2 a pound when grated.

      1. A pint's a pound, the world around.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Kitchenette

          For water, and not in countries that use Imperial measurements. An Imperial pint of water weighs 20 ounces, a US pint weighs 16.

          I'm inclined to agree with Jess, just buy 1/2 lb of cheese, I've never seen it sold any way other than by weight, so it shouldn't be a problem.

          The problem with figuring out volume equivalents is that how much grated parm weighs depends on how it's grated. If it's powder-fine and fluffy when you measure it, you can probably get around 4 cups out of a pound. If it's coarser or packed at all, the volume will be smaller. This is the big reason weight is so much better a measuring system for non-liquids...

          1. re: MikeG

            the problem is I already have cheese in the fridge...

            1. re: ctmom

              You could make a balance beam, using a known weight, a 6oz can of tomato paste is probably about 7oz. Maybe you are a fisherman or have a fisherman in the family. I fish and have a lot of various weights.

              If you have whole cheese, figure a piece the size of a deck of playing cards is ~3-4 oz.

              If the cheese is grated; I buy grated cheese from the deli, comes in a plastic container that would hold 16 oz of liquid. I think the container, filled to ~1/2" from the top is ~$5, I think the cheese is ~$9-10/lb, thus a 16 oz container holds about 1/2 lb.

              I googled the info below:
              1/4 lb grated = 1 cup
              1 lb = 2-2/3 cup

              1. re: ctmom

                Well, if you can't get an "eyeball" weight with your hand, then I would go with about 2 cups of very finely grated cheese as a starting point.

                Alfredo "sauce" always needs adjusting anyway - depends on the age and moisture content of the particular piece of cheese, etc., and then minor variations in consistency aren't really an issue as long as it tastes good. And for a sauce made only with cheese, butter and a little cream, it's pretty hard for it not to taste good no matter what exact proportion of ingredients you end up with. :)

          2. Just grate enough cheese to make a pile that looks sufficient. If it isn't enough, grate more. Not so hard.

            1. For regular cheese, it's about 1 cup = 1/4 pound. For parmesan, I usually grate it on my microplane so it ends up pretty fluffy and light. I might guess closer to 1 cup = 2 oz = 1/8 pound. So I think you want about 4 cups of fluffy, grated parmesan.