A pinch of salt, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, or a pinch of sugar. Our recipes frequently ask you to add a pinch of something to make sweet treats, salads, and even cocktails taste better. You use a pinch when you want to make sure each bite is salted just so.
What does a pinch mean to you? It turns out, a pinch is a specific amount that can be measured using a measuring spoon.
A pinch of an ingredient—usually a powdery or finely ground substance like salt, spices, and dried herbs—is the tiny bit your pick up between the tip of your index finger and thumb. That’s the perfect amount for strongly-flavored or spicy ingredients like cayenne pepper or nutmeg. If you were to measure that pinch, it would be 1/16 teaspoon.
To be honest, for ingredients like salt that’s not what we do because it’s not enough to make a difference in whatever we’re trying to season. Instead, we use a healthy three-finger pinch—thumb plus index, middle, and ring fingers. If you were to measure that pinch, it would be 1/8 teaspoon.