Question of the Week: What’s the Difference Between Measuring “Cups”?

I am often asked “What’s the difference between measuring cups and why does it make a difference which type I use?”

To answer this I’ll give you a very basic way to remember which is which:

LIQUID measuring “cups” are typically clear/see-through and most have a spout for pouring. These are clear because liquids should be measured at eye level.  They are marked with ounces and cups on the side (usually metric on the other side). An example of LIQUID is any  ingredient which is “pourable” such as milk, melted butter, honey and oil.

DRY/SOLID measuring “cups” are typically solid, not see-through.  There is a different “cup” for each measurement: 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 “cups”.  Some sets come with even more increments.  These “cups” are used to measure  DRY/SOLID ingredients such as flour, sugar, oatmeal, chips and fruit.  To measure dry ingredients, simply scoop into the ingredient container and level the “cup” off with the back of a knife or a spatula.  (DRY measuring “cups” are also used to measure semi-solids such as sour cream or yogurt.)

MEASURING SPOONS – These are incremental spoon shaped vessels used to measure small amounts of ingredients, such as baking powder and baking soda and salt (the chemical ingredients).

Since baking is a science involving chemical reactions, it is important to use the proper measuring tools for accuracy.


About bakingway

Baker/Pastry Chef for over 25 years.

Posted on March 18, 2011, in Equipment, Question of the Week: Tools. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Do you have any suggestions for a good candy thermometer? What do you think about the insta read thermometers? Thank you!

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