You Do Have The Right Measuring Cups, Don’t You?
What You Need To Know About Measuring Cups
A cup is a cup, right? Ask an experienced baker that and they will probably look at you like you are too dumb to be in a kitchen. Yes, I cup of milk has the same volume of 1 cup of flour and that is what the recipe calls for. In baking, however, how you measured that one cup of milk or one cup of flour can make a lot of difference in how your dessert will actually turn out. Baking is a science and there just isn’t a lot of room for improvising or getting “sorta close” to the right amount of certain ingredients. Some of your most important kitchen tools will involve measuring items and you need to have the right measuring tool for the right ingredients.
One cup of one ingredient makes up the same volume as one cup of another ingredient. Where good bakers pay attention is how that cup was measured. If you use a liquid measuring cup to come up with one cup of flour you will not be able to get an accurate amount. The same goes for a reverse scenario where you try to get one cup of milk measured properly with a dry ingredient measuring vessel. Yes, both can measure one cup but you won’t be as accurate as you need to be. That’s why it is very important to have two separate sets of measuring cups in your kitchen. One set needs to be designed to measure only wet ingredients while the other set needs to be made for only dry ingredients. These sets aren’t expensive, you won’t break the bank by buying both kinds. They also aren’t large and bulky so you won’t need a lot of space in your kitchen to store them. Just remember that you want all of your recipes to work and that means using the right amount of each ingredient.
Liquid Measuring Cups
Measuring liquids of any type requires using either measuring spoons or a liquid measuring cup. Cups that are meant to be used for liquids are either glass or plastic and are always clear. The sides will have measuring lines for both cups or milliliters. The idea behind these cups is that you pour liquids into the cup until they reach the line that designates the amount that you want. The cups will have pour spouts that make it very easy to pour the liquid into the mixing bowl or pan without spilling. If you use a dry ingredient measuring cup for liquids you have to carefully fill the cup, then pour without spilling into your mixing bowl. This is where incorrect amounts happen, it’s almost impossible to fill the cup perfectly to the rim and then pour without spilling.
Glass measuring cups last longer, the measurement lines don’t fade and they can go right into the dishwasher. Plastic cups can also go right into your dishwasher and are lighter, but the lines can fade over time and plastic can easily crack. There usually isn’t much difference in price between the two materials. It’s just important that you have the proper utensils to do the job at hand.
Dry Ingredient Measuring Cups
You probably have a few sets of dry ingredient cups in your junk drawer. These cups are almost always made of plastic and are very basic and easy to use. A set usually comes in the four basic measurement unit sizes; ¼ cup, 1/3 cup, ½ cup and 1 cup. Some of the sets will have more elaborate handles and some have rounded bottoms for easier storage. Using one of these cups is very easy. You simply scoop out the dry ingredients, scrape the top of the cup with a straight edge like a knife and dump into your bowl or pan. Almost every recipe uses the four sizes for volume measuring and you don’t have to try and eyeball the line in a liquid measuring cup. These are accurate every time.
Measuring ingredients for any recipe is a basic chore that needs to be accurate but you don’t have to get fancy to have the right tools. One glass measuring cup and one set of liquid measuring cups will handle any baking or cooking task and shouldn’t set you back more than $20 in total. That’s a small investment for an important set of kitchen tools that will last for years.