# Funny About Sugar And The Web

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
This is strange.
Try to calculate the cubic inch volume that 4 US pounds of white granulated sugar takes up. Depending on what reference you find on the web the answer is widely different.
I know i can measure this myself and i will probably end up doing that with a graduated cylinder, but i thought this should be an easy calculation finding the density of granulated sugar on the web and calculating from there.

Anybody want to try this? If you do, compare it with findings on at least one other site.

#### Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,161
Are you accounting for crystal size?

#### BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
7,540
Well, what is the grain size and shape? Is that uniform across all brands and types?

Oops, Yaakov got there first!

Bob

xox

#### LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
3,452
This is precisely why many substances are referred to by Weight, and not by Volume.
If You go into a store to buy Sugar, (a very bad idea),
You purchase 1-Kg, or 2.5-lbs, not a Liter, or a Quart.
.
.
.

#### AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
12,268
"Contents may settle after packing"

#### atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,699
Refined sugar in bulk (not a frequent cargo) seems to have a stow factor of 1,2 MT/m3.

/Edit - My bad: Units should be: m3/MT - IOW how much cubic I need to accommodate a ton into the hold)
Sorry.

Edit /

Last edited:

#### Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
8,386
This is precisely why many substances are referred to by Weight, and not by Volume.
If You go into a store to buy Sugar, (a very bad idea),
You purchase 1-Kg, or 2.5-lbs, not a Liter, or a Quart.
But when you've bought it, if you're American, you measure it for cooking in cups, whereas if you're British, you weigh it.

#### LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
3,452
""......... and i will probably end up doing that with a graduated cylinder, ..........""

The trick is to remove all the Air.
Boil the Sugar in Water so that it makes a syrup,
continue to apply low Heat to evaporate all the Water,
you will then have a single Sugar "Crystal"
which You can then calculate the Volume of.
It may still have a certain small percentage of Air, but not much.

Be careful, Sugar is a very powerful "Rocket-Fuel".
.
.
.

#### BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
7,540
But when you've bought it, if you're American, you measure it for cooking in cups, whereas if you're British, you weigh it.
I’m an American and I weigh my ingredients when possible.

One of my pet peeves is the lack of precision in recipes. A good example is “one clove of garlic”. A typical clove of garlic today is 10 times the size that they were when I started cooking. Perhaps that is why I never see any vampires.

Another one I’ve seen on multiple recipes for stews is “cut the meat in 2 inch cubes”. Seriously? That would be about a half a pound of meat. Try stuffing that in your mouth.

Bob

xox

#### djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,079
I cheat. Ultra-precise is often not critical in cooking. You’d think so because cooking is a chemical experiment, but due to variations in ingredients, it’s not as precise. So I cook by ratios. Ignoring units if the recipe called for 2 lbs of meat and 2 tbsps of sugar, I might cook with 2/3rds lbs of meat and 4 tsp of sugar.

#### Delta Prime

Joined Nov 15, 2019
1,311
precision measurement for granulated sugar I always use a beaker, for powdered sugar I use a flask, for brown sugar I use a combination of both I call it my
fleeker-beaker!
For all other measurements of cooking ingredients I use smidgens, pinches, dash's, splashes & hints.
Comes out perfect every time on time anytime.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
Are you accounting for crystal size?
Hi and thanks for the reply.

Well it's a good point, but i have never seen any other type of crystal size when i buy "granulated" sugar. it's always the same size or very close at least no matter what brand i get.
Also, when i looked up the spec's on the web i specified "granulated" and i dont expect to see 1/4 inch long "grans" i expect to see them the same size as usual. Rock candy on the other hand can have very big crystals.
Also, i dont expect to have to calculate the amount of air taken up by the volume because i cant see anyone else doing that either. Granulated sugar i think is granulated sugar and it's expected to have air spaces.
Now if i looked up sugar as a solid, i would expect the density to be greater than granulated.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
Well, what is the grain size and shape? Is that uniform across all brands and types?

Oops, Yaakov got there first!

Bob
I think it is because i've never seen any variation in all the years i have purchased granulated sugar. Now confectionery sugar i could see would be more dense, but i dont buy that. I also do not buy one big cube of solid sugar

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
This is precisely why many substances are referred to by Weight, and not by Volume.
If You go into a store to buy Sugar, (a very bad idea),
You purchase 1-Kg, or 2.5-lbs, not a Liter, or a Quart.
Well this all started when i purchased a 'bag' of granulated sugar and i had a container at home that i wanted to see if the entire bag would fit into the jar. I could easily calculate the volume inside the jar so i wanted to calculate the volume of 4 pounds of granulated sugar and if the volume of the sugar was less than or equal to the volume inside the jar i would know it would all fit in that one jar.
As it turned out, the 1.59 grams per cubic centimeter found on one site told me that it would all just fit into the jar, but some other sites info led to the conclusion that only 2 or so pounds would fit into the jar, so that is quite a difference.
There are some sites that quote sugar by the cup or quart or even gallon. I know by weight is better but as you can see if we have a container that we know holds a given amount of fluid we could figure out how much sugar can fit in there if we knew the exact density of granulated sugar.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
"Contents may settle after packing"
I think because the particles are so fine there is little settling of the contents but i have never looked into this with granulated sugar.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
But when you've bought it, if you're American, you measure it for cooking in cups, whereas if you're British, you weigh it.
Yes so true, and if you want to place it into a container it helps to know the density so you know if it will fit or not.
Another case is when buying containers on line for granulated sugar. How do we know if a 2 cup container will hold our given weight of sugar, or a quart container, or a gallon container, etc. We have to know something about the density even if it is somewhat approximate as long as it is not too far off.
It looks like i will have to measure this myself to be sure.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
""......... and i will probably end up doing that with a graduated cylinder, ..........""

The trick is to remove all the Air.
Boil the Sugar in Water so that it makes a syrup,
continue to apply low Heat to evaporate all the Water,
you will then have a single Sugar "Crystal"
which You can then calculate the Volume of.
It may still have a certain small percentage of Air, but not much.

Be careful, Sugar is a very powerful "Rocket-Fuel".
.
.
.
Well i need to know the density of "granulated" sugar which includes the air spaces. I dont need to know the density of a solid block of sugar as i dont intend to store it that way.
I also wanted to possibly purchase a container on the web but they usually specify containers in terms of cups, quarts, gallons, etc. To buy a new container i have to know the density. I dont want a container too small obviously, but i also dont want one too big.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
I’m an American and I weigh my ingredients when possible.

One of my pet peeves is the lack of precision in recipes. A good example is “one clove of garlic”. A typical clove of garlic today is 10 times the size that they were when I started cooking. Perhaps that is why I never see any vampires.

Another one I’ve seen on multiple recipes for stews is “cut the meat in 2 inch cubes”. Seriously? That would be about a half a pound of meat. Try stuffing that in your mouth.

Bob
Oh yeah another good point. There are some very shady measurements used in cooking.
"2 inch cubes" that's kind of nuts for another reason too. Most steaks are not 2 inches thick so you can not truly cut a 2 inch cube you'd have to stack two or more up.
Could they have meant 2 inch squares?

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
I cheat. Ultra-precise is often not critical in cooking. You’d think so because cooking is a chemical experiment, but due to variations in ingredients, it’s not as precise. So I cook by ratios. Ignoring units if the recipe called for 2 lbs of meat and 2 tbsps of sugar, I might cook with 2/3rds lbs of meat and 4 tsp of sugar.
Well maybe they expect everyone to be some sort of French chef
Yeah sometimes you do go by taste. Same with cooking time, i cant go by any label recommendations for anything i cook myself.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
10,599
precision measurement for granulated sugar I always use a beaker, for powdered sugar I use a flask, for brown sugar I use a combination of both I call it my
fleeker-beaker!
For all other measurements of cooking ingredients I use smidgens, pinches, dash's, splashes & hints.
Comes out perfect every time on time anytime.
Yeah i will have to measure this myself. There is no way to know what size container to buy if we dont know the storing factor.