How Much Is A Pinch: A Guide for Cooking and Baking

Apr 4, 2023

How much is a pinch?

As much as we love pulling recipes out of Grandma’s cookbook, adding a “pinch of salt” to your banana bread batter can feel a little unnerving. How much is “a pinch” anyways?

While the exact amount of a pinch can vary depending on who you ask and what you’re making, there seems to be a method to the measurement.  

In this post, we’ll explore the different interpretations of a pinch and how our resident chefs use it today.


Hungry for more? Explore our cooking classes for tips and tricks from our chefs!

Explore Cooking Classes


A pinch is a very small amount of an ingredient that you can hold between your thumb and forefinger. It’s generally between 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon, depending on the size of your fingers, and is typically used to add subtle flavor to a dish.

There’s also the “three-fingered chef’s pinch” that tends to be between 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon.

There are so many ways a pinch can vary, based on your fingers alone. Do you use your thumb and pointer finger, or thumb and two fingers? How big are your fingers?

The best way to get a feel for how much “a pinch” means is to use a set of measuring spoons. If you have 1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon, fill them up to get a good visual of what you want your pinch to look like.


When it comes to cooking, a pinch is typically used to add a small amount of seasoning to a dish or to enhance the taste of other ingredients.

A two-finger pinch of salt might be sufficient for a batch of cookies, but you might want a three-finger pinch for salting a chicken thigh, steak or pot of soup. 

Some common ingredients you might need a pinch of include:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Dried Herbs

A pinch is normally used in dry measurements, whereas a dash typically refers to wet ingredients.


We know small-batch baking is incredibly precise, so if you’re told to use a pinch of salt, our resident chefs recommend starting with 1/16 teaspoon.

For our perfectionists—the bakers who can’t stand the thought of imprecise measurements—we have measuring spoons that go as low as 1/16 of a teaspoon and even say “a pinch.”


If a recipe calls for a pinch, it’s probably safe to assume that precision isn’t critical, like saying “add salt to taste.” Our advice? Add a pinch of salt, taste it, and see if you think it needs two pinches.

You may also find that a pinch of table salt isn’t the same as a pinch of sea salt, so start small and taste frequently. You can always add more salt to a dish, but you can’t take it away.


Hungry for more? Explore our cooking classes for tips and tricks from our chefs!

Explore Cooking Classes

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
how much is a dash?

How Much Is A Dash: A Guide for Cooking and Mixology

Udon Noodle Soup in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven

10 Delicious Things You Can Make in Cast Iron, feat. Le Creuset

how to cook eggs

How to Cook Eggs: 8 Methods You Should Know

how to organize your fridge

How to Organize Your Fridge