They are often taken for granted, but measuring cups play a bit part when it comes to baking and cooking. One thing is consistent when it comes to following a recipe. Ingredients and the amount of those ingredients will determine whether your dish is a success or a failure. That’s a key reason for making sure that you have the proper measuring cups for the type of ingredients that you will be working with.
Liquid Measuring Cups And Dry Measuring Cups
Measuring cups will be divided into two specific types. One is meant for liquid measuring only, like the classic cup pictured above. This type of cup will be made from glass or plastic, will be clear (see-through) and will have measurement lines that allow you to fill the cup to a defined level. The other type of measuring cup is meant for dry ingredients. This cup can be made from plastic, aluminum, silicone or any other sturdy material. It won’t be see-through and it won’t have measurement lines on the outside. They will come in a variety of sizes with each size representing a specific measurement.
Why two different kinds of measuring cups? Because you are measuring two different types of ingredients, you need to use two different techniques to make sure you get accurate amounts. If your recipe calls for 2 cups of milk, it needs 2 cups. By using a glass measuring cup for liquids, you are able to pour milk into the cup and end up with exactly 2 cups. If you tried this with a cup meant for dry ingredients, you could get almost all of the milk into the measuring cup, but once it reached the rim it would start to spill. Even if you can amazingly stop pouring into the cup when the liquid reached the rim, you still have to add that liquid to the mixing bowl. That’s not the right way to cook or bake.
Measuring dry ingredients also requires precision and that is what dry ingredient measuring cups were made for. Each cup represents a specific measurement (by volume) and you can simply fill the cup, swipe the top clean with a straight edge and know that you have the right amount. You can’t do this with a glass measuring cup meant for liquids.
Glass measuring cups have some real advantages over plastic. Glass won’t scratch or discolor, plastic will do so after repeated uses and washings. Glass also won’t react with certain foods that way the plastic can. Foods with high acid levels have been known to react with plastic and affecting the taste of the food being prepared. Clean up of glass measuring cups is also easy, just put them in the dishwasher when you are done.
You probably have a dozen measuring cups in your kitchen in assorted sizes. Make sure you have a good set for dry ingredients and spend the money to invest in a really good glass measuring cup for liquids. You’ll be glad you made the investment, it is a truly important kitchen tool.