Measuring Spoons & Measuring Cups
When buying measuring spoons and measuring cups, quality makes a difference. You are going to own these tools for a very long time and may even hand them down to your kids. They are especially important when you are baking.
Spend the extra bucks and purchase stainless steel rather than plastic or those cheap tin ones that bend in your kitchen drawer.
In the past, a measuring cup or spoon would have likely been whatever the home cook used to drink their coffee or stir their tea. It wasn't until the Fannie Farmer cookbook was published in 1896 that measuring cups and spoons were standardized to avoid confusion and/or recipe disaster.
Dry Versus Liquid Measures
Dry Measuring Tools:
- Made of plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel
- Measurement is made by leveling dry ingredients off
- Most common larger dry measurement sizes : ¼ cup - ⅓ cup - ½ cup - ⅔ cup - ¾ cup - 1 cup
- Most common smaller dry measurement sizes: ¼ teaspoon - ½ teaspoon - 1 teaspoon - 1 Tablespoon (3 teaspoons)
- Made of clear plastic or glass
- Spout for pouring
- Measurements are generally in ¼ cup increments up the side of a large measuring cup
- Measurement is made by pouring liquid to the desired level
- Most common sizes are 2-cup and 4 cup
- Many show ounces/ml as well as cup measurements
- Can I use a dry measure for liquid ingredients or vice versa?
- When measuring small amounts of liquids, as for extracts, you can use a teaspoon dry measure. Otherwise, these measures are not interchangeable.
- You cannot level dry ingredients in a liquid measure without risking compacting the ingredients (for example, flour).
- You will get a much more exact measurement using a dry measure and sweeping off the excess ingredient. However, measuring liquid ingredients in a dry measure is also challenging.
- Not only can it get messy, having to fill a measuring cup right to the top, but you can also get false readings.
- Because of the surface tension of liquids, it is possible to overfill a dry measure and get an inaccurate reading.
Measuring Cup Recommendations
You should own at least one set of dry cup measures, one set of spoon measures, and one microwavable liquid measure. Look for:
- Sturdy construction
- Handles either riveted or integrated, not spot welded on
- A sturdy ring to hold spoons together
- Enameled measurements on liquid measures so the measurements won't wear off over time
- Long, narrow measuring spoons to fit into small spice jars
- Choose stainless steel measures over aluminum or plastic. They are much sturdier, and a good set will last a lifetime.
There are lots of sources for purchasing quality Kitchen Gadgets and Housewares, including whisks, spoons, measuring devices, and all the fun gadgets we home cooks have come to love.
I suggest you check out your local department stores and kitchen supply shops, but if you're looking for a wide selection of products and prices, you may want to check out Amazon.com, where I buy many of my favorite cookware pieces.
All good information but I have ONE MORE NEED not mentioned: Accurate measurement of semi liquid ingredients such as shortening or peanut butter. IF you put those kinds of ingredients in a dry measure cup you can not tell whether you have a huge bubble of air down at the bottom. IF you use a liquid measure cup you can not easily level at the amount you want.
What I would like is a clear plastic OR glass SET of "dry" measure cups so I can see the air bubbles that need brought out to give an accurate measurement. Here I think a good quality plastic would suffice.
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