There is no way to successfully incorporate baking to your every day life without a way to accurately measure your ingredients. Your best bet in doing so, barring investing in a scale, is to get a high quality measuring cup set. In this article we will go through everything you need to know about measuring cups.
We promise we will keep it real – there are limits to measuring by volume, as you will soon discover. That being said, a high quality measuring cup set will get the job done for most people. We will see what types of measuring cups are available, and we will take you through all the factors you need to consider when picking up such a product – giving you the exact method we used to create our own list of recommended, proposed measuring cups.
The Limits of Measuring Cups
In short, what gets measured can get managed. Failing to accurately measure and fine tune will lead to all sorts of inconsistencies in your baked goods. There are two main ways you can approach measuring your cooking ingredients – by volume, with cups and spoons and by weight, via scales. When compared to scales, measuring cups are fairly limited – this because they fail to take density into account.
For example, assuming you were to weight measure floor, depending on how tightly you packed it in the cup, you would get very large measurement variations. Therefore, for maximum consistency, you should probably invest in getting a scale as well – particularly due to how there are recipes written with both weight measures as well as recipes written with cup measures.
Types of Measuring Cups
Not all measuring cups are of the same type. We can identify two different, main types of cups: Those made for dry ingredients and those made for liquid ingredients. Picking the right type of cup gets extremely important whenever a recipe emphasizes precision.
The the two types differ both in their materials and design as well as their size. Whereas measuring cups for dry ingredients are usually made of metal and sport a handle, cups made for liquids are usually made of clear glass or plastic – to enable the cook or baker see the contents inside – and they have a spout to pour the liquid.
Dry ingredient measuring cups are usually available in sets that comprise 1/8, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup. Meanwhile, liquid ingredient measuring cups are usually available in one-cup, two-cup, four-cup or even eight-cup capacities.
Depending on the recipe you are interested in, you might find one type more useful than the other. Practically, however, you are likely to need both types.
How we Made our List
Without proper knowledge and filtering, it is extremely hard to make a solid list as there are literally thousands of available sets. In our search to bring you the top 5 best measuring cups on the market, we zoned in a few specific factors. Feel free to make them your own, on your own, individual research. We firmly encourage you to consider them when deciding which product is best for you. The factors in question are the following:
- Materials: According to experts, when it comes to dry ingredients, your best bet is going for stainless steel, as it is highly durable to the regular stress you will likely inflict on them while cooking. For liquid ingredients, we much prefer glass to plastic, as we don’t like putting plastic on our microwaves.
- Storage Capability: A great measuring cup set should be able to save you space efficiently – in other words, the cups have to be stackable. This is particularly useful for those who have crowded kitchens, with limited storage space.
- Versatility: One trick ponies are a no-go for measuring cup sets. They should offer as much versatility as possible and include as many different sizes and options as possible.
- Accuracy: This is probably the most important factor. A measuring cup can pass all other criteria with flying colors, but if it messes up in accuracy, you should not use it. All our listed products have been widely tested and proved to be as accurate as a volume measuring method can be.
Brightspring: Measuring Cup Set – Stainless Steel Set with Engraved Measurements – Plus Baking eBook
What we really enjoyed about this measuring cup set is that it has engraved standard and metric measurements engraved on the cups. This will swiftly eliminate any stress you might have otherwise experienced when having to convert units and will allow you maximum freedom of movement, enabling you to try any recipe imaginable. Unlike printed measurements, these will not wash off or fade out with time. Couple that with the dishwater safe, stainless steel material used for the cups themselves, and you have a recipe for great durability. This set is no short term solution. These will last you a lifetime.
The set includes five different pieces that are stackable for easy storage: 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup – or 250 ml, 125 ml, 80 ml, 60 ml and 30 ml respectively. And then there is comfort: The cups feature soft, non slip handles to ensure you grip them securely, easy and comfortably.
By purchasing this set from Amazon, you are also getting a free “I Love to Bake” recipe e-book, to spark your creativity and imagination and give you baking ideas for days – which is quite the bargain, if you ask us. If not for a few reviews left by previous customers that claim there is a slight difference – roughly 10 ml – in the cups actual capacity compared to their metric labels, we would give this product a shining 5 out of 5 star rating.
Pyrex Prepware: 2 cup Glass Measuring Cup
This is probably our personal favorite set when it comes to liquid ingredient measuring. It has very easy to read markings, and is made of ultra sturdy, heatproof glass that does not retain odors or stains and is really simple to clean and dishwasher safe. It features a comfortable, ergonomically designed handle to facilitate use and allow it to stacked inside other cups.
What we really liked is how easy it was to read the markings – it might sound like a small detail, but it really makes a difference. Clear, bright and red these contrast nicely with the cups themselves – you will never have to worry about misinterpreting them. This 2 piece cup set will make all your cooking endeavors much easier, much safe and much more consistent – from their beginning all the way to their end. A word of caution, however: You should avoid sudden temperature changes with this set, as they are vulnerable to them according to the manufacturer.
For 90 years, customers favor Pyrex’s measuring cups for measuring liquid ingredients. Not convinced yet? The product has a 4.6 out of 5 star review on Amazon, even after having been reviewed by 5.353 customers as of the writing of this article. It only costs $6.83, with shipping being completely free. What are you waiting for?
KitchenMade: 6 Piece, Stackable Set, Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
KitchenMade’s stainless steel measuring cups are among the most durable cups available today. Extremely easy to clean, and capable of stacking with each other for easy storage, not only will they be comfortable but they will also take any guesswork and throw it out of the equation due to their multiple, elegant, etched markings.
All 6 pieces of this set are made of stainless steel, the expert baker’s favorite material for dry ingredient measuring cups. Each piece is of a different size: 1, 3/4/ 2/3, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 cups respectively. These are all as accurate as a measuring cup can get. And the greatest thing is how KitchenMade has also added alternate measure markings to the cups to make them as convenient as possible – for example, the 1 cup measure has the 1/2 and 3/4 marks as well. Thus, you will often be able to get away with using only a single measuring cup for multiple purposes.
What we really liked about this set is how balanced their handles are. KitchenMade’s cups are fully capable of standing upright on their own – which will really come in handy when you work with small containers to pour ingredients into the cups. Also, since each cup is a single-piece construction, there no seams or nooks to trap any leftover ingredients – a godsent feature, apt for all the times you will have to clean them up post usage.
If all that has not yet piqued your interest, we encourage you to take a look at the product’s Amazon ratings. As of now, KitchenMade’s measuring cup set has a 4.9 out of 5 stars review – after 1,995 customer reviews. Wow.
OXO Good Grips: Stainless Steel Measuring Cups with Magnetic Snaps
A great alternative to our aforementioned excellent products, OXO Good Grip’s measuring cups far exceed the vast majority of available measuring cups in both their effectiveness as well as their design. The only reason we would not recommend them is due to their lack of metric measurements – but first things first.
The set is made of sturdy stainless steel, with easy to grip, non slip handles and permanent, etched measurement markings. It includes four different pieces: 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/3 cup and 1 cup respectively. What is really special about this set is how the handles are magnetic. This allows them to stick together when stacked, holding the cups securely in place in your cupboard. Oh, and do not worry, you will have no problems removing one cup at a time.
As we mentioned, however, the set has a problem. It lacks metric measurements. For most people, this will not be a big deal, as they will not need to measure in milliliters. However, we are obligated to point it out as a disadvantage. You should decide for yourself whether this matters for you or not.
OXO Good Grip’s set has so far received praise from hundreds of customers – it comfortably stands on a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. At just $19.99, we think you should definitely consider giving these cups a try.
OXO Good Grips: Plastic Measuring Cups, 6 Piece Set
We mentioned earlier how our preferred material for measuring cups is stainless steel for dry ingredients and glass for liquid ingredients. We believe, however, that our list would not be complete without offering you an alternative, budget option – let us introduce you to OXO Good Grips plastic measuring 6 piece cup set. Don’t let the budget price fool. We hand picked this set because it comfortably stands out from the rest of plastic sets.
The set includes a scraper, a 1/4 cup, a 1/3 cup, a 1/2 cup, a 2/3 cup and a 1 cup. Everything is completely dishwater safe and BPA-free. What we really like is that OXO went out of their way to make the cups as convenient as possible. Beside the standard engraved measurement in their handles, each cap has a different color code on the side to make picking the right one really easy. Moreover, due to their unique snapping feature, all pieces can be nested neatly together to save some extra storage space.
Now, having all that said, we want to make something clear. No matter how great its design is, a plastic measuring cup will not hold up next to a stainless steel one. If you want to to use your set regularly, we would encourage you to lean towards stainless steel. We would recommend these plastic cups mostly for people who only plan to make use of them occasionally and those who are looking for an affordable, budget solution.
You can get this whole set for less than $8. And judging from the customer reviews left on Amazon, you are very likely to find them well worth your money. The set currently has a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating.
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