Cook Better: How to Use Measuring Cups Correctly

Because every dish should be greater than the sum of its parts.

Ingredients with measuring cups.
You’ve all your ingredients ready to go—now it’s time to measure them out!Christian Bowen, Unsplash

Too much or too little of an ingredient can result in a range of outcomes, from an unappetizing inconvenience to a complete kitchen disaster. If you’re going to cook or bake, do yourself a favor and start with measuring cups you can trust. Consider these tips before buying a set for your kitchen.

Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set (4-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe ),Clear
Nonporous, high-quality prepware that can stand the heat.Pyrex

Ingredients are generally thought of as either liquid (milk, olive oil, vanilla extract, etc.) or dry (sugar, flour, salt)—and they’re easier to measure in their respective measuring cups. Liquid measuring cups are typically sold as one single cup, made of clear glass or plastic, and have a larger handle and spout for easy pouring. They’re more likely to be microwave-safe. Scoop-like dry measuring cups come in a set and are typically made of plastic or stainless steel.

Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons Set, Stainless Steel Magnetic Measuring Cups and Spoons Set (15 PCS Measuring Cups and Spoons -new)
Engraved markings allow for a lifetime of use.Umite Chef

Measuring cups come in a variety of materials, so consider your options before you shop. Plastic measuring cups are inexpensive and lightweight, but they can absorb stains and odors over time and can melt or warp from heat. Seasoned cooks tend to use glass liquid measuring cups and stainless steel dry measuring cups, because they’re durable and easy to clean.

OXO Good Grips 2-Cup Angled Measuring Cup,Clear,2 Cup
Innovative design for easy measurement reading.OXO

You’ve got all your ingredients ready to go in the proper measuring cups, but wait, you’re not finished yet! To determine the accuracy of your measurement, place your liquid or dry measuring cup on a level surface, like your countertop. If you’re using a traditional liquid measuring cup, get eye-level with the cup’s markings to determine accuracy (unless you have a speciality liquid measuring cup, looking from above can lead to inaccuracy, which can throw off the entire recipe). If you’re using a dry measuring cup, you want to fill it to the top with your ingredient and then level off the surface with a flat-edge utensil, like a knife.

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