The 10 Best Measuring Cup Sets
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in April of 2016. Get your bake on while ensuring you follow all your recipes precisely using one of these measuring cup sets. They come in a variety of styles and designs for both wet and dry ingredients and at prices to meet just about any budget, meaning there's an option here that will work perfectly for everyone, from occasional home cooks to professional chefs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best measuring cup set on Amazon.
Wet Cups Vs. Dry Cups
There are several reasons you wouldn't want to use a wet cup to measure dry ingredients or vice versa.
This leftover space between the top of the cup and the measuring line is to prevent spills, since liquid ingredients can slosh around.
Not all measuring tools in the kitchen are created equal. If you just bought one set of measuring cups that you've been using to measure absolutely every ingredient, then there is a good chance most of your recipes have turned out a little off. Fortunately for you, your guests were too polite to say anything, but don't you want to remedy the issue? Each measuring tool has a very specific purpose, and you shouldn't try to double dip these items. You can differentiate wet measuring cups from dry ones by how many cups each one holds, and where on the cup the top measuring line sits.
We'll first talk about wet cups. These can hold up to eight cups of liquid because, typically, recipes call for multiple cups of liquid ingredients (like chicken stock or milk). Wet measuring cups also always have the top measuring line slightly below the lip of the cup. This leftover space between the top of the cup and the measuring line is to prevent spills, since liquid ingredients can slosh around.
Dry cups take a different form than wet measuring cups. Recipes rarely call for more than a couple cups of dry ingredients, like flour or sugar (unless you're baking for 100 people). As such, it's uncommon to find a dry cup that can hold more than one cup. You'll also notice that the top measuring line on dry cups sits at the actual top of the cup. This is so that you can wipe off the excess of the dry ingredient.
There are several reasons you wouldn't want to use a wet cup to measure dry ingredients or vice versa. If you are measuring liquid in a dry cup, you'll have to fill the cup to the very rim to get the accurate measurement, but this runs you the risk of spilling. Furthermore, you'll likely have to refill the cup several times since, as mentioned before, dry cups can usually only hold one cup of ingredients.
You don't want to use a wet cup to measure dry ingredients, either. Since the line on a wet cup sits slightly below the rim, you'd have to pat down the ingredients to get the right measurement, and even then it can be hard to know for sure that you're using the right amount. For the best results, it's important to be able to pour your dry ingredients right to the top of the cup. Using just a little too much or too little dry ingredients could mean you find an unpleasant surprise of dry or dense products when opening your cupcake maker, or taking that bread out of the oven.
What Makes Great Measuring Cups
Now that you know you need both dry and wet measuring cups, there are still some other features to consider when purchasing this important kitchen tool. Unless you're a wiz in the kitchen who can identify the size of a measuring tool by looking at it, you'd probably appreciate measuring cups that have their quantities etched or printed somewhere on each unit. When it comes to pouring liquid ingredients, cups with little spouts are quite useful in making sure your broth or juice goes into your pot and doesn't splatter onto your counter.
Some are even collapsible, so they'll take up very little space when not in use.
For those of you who already have a kitchen packed with fun accessories and overflowing cabinet organizers, you need a way to keep track of your cups. Look for measuring cups that either easily stack inside one another, or come with a ring to which you can attach them all. Some are even collapsible, so they'll take up very little space when not in use. Since you're buying measuring cups to make life in the kitchen a little easier, you may as well pick up a set that is dishwasher friendly.
If you work with a lot of hot liquids, make sure your measuring cups have long handles so you can prevent burns. Hot liquids are the top cause of scalds in childhood kitchen injuries, so long handles are especially important when cooking with kids. Depending on what you like to cook, you may need to find measuring cups that can withstand high temperatures. Some can survive exposure to 500 degrees Fahrenheit without warping. As for the fun side of these tools, they come in a variety of designs to match any kitchen decor.
Plastic, Metal, Or Glass?
When looking into measuring cups, you'll likely come across plastic, metal, and glass sets. No one is inherently superior to the other; it just depends on how you'll be using them. If you work in a very busy kitchen, where there is a good chance somebody will drop the measuring cups, you can't go wrong with plastic. Just keep in mind that, unless you're using polycarbonate cups, plastic can absorb odors and stains. Plastic also has a much lower melting point than glass or metal, so you can't pour anything really hot into it.
It's also very easy to clean because ingredients like oil and butter don't stick to it.
Metal cups are the best when it comes to durability. Furthermore, their measurement lines are typically etched, rather than printed, meaning they won't fade with use. But metal is susceptible to scratching, forming rust, and leaking iron into your food. Extensive research shows the link between certain metals and Alzheimer's. While the jury is still out on some materials, it is known that those with Alzheimer's tend to have abnormally high iron levels. If you are going to use metal cups, you need to take extra care to avoid scratching them.
Glass measuring cups are, naturally, more prone to breaking than their plastic or metal competitors. Glass can also crack when exposed to extreme and rapid temperature changes. That being said, this material has its perks. Glass won't get stained or absorb odors. It's also very easy to clean because ingredients like oil and butter don't stick to it. Plus, you can get a very clear view of the measuring lines from outside of the cup to make sure you're using the perfect amount of an ingredient.
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