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Marlene

Measuring Cups and Spoons

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Too many changed to not enough. I ordered a set of odd-sized metal ones to match my SS set. (they were on sale.) I have also decided that my sets of plastic ones are looking funky and need to be replaced by the Oxo ones. Just because.

eGullet is good for the economy. :raz:

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Yes, "need" is relative, isn't it? :hmmm:

Speaking of which, I don't know how anyone can function with less than two 1-cup Pyrex measures.

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Speaking of which, I don't know how anyone can function with less than two 1-cup Pyrex measures.

I have been following this thread hoping to find the reason anyone needs more than one (Kosher kitchens excepted) of any of these things. What's wrong with a wipe, a rinse or a wash? Or are you people using these things as storage containers?

My inventory

plastic two liter

1 each pyrex liter, 500 ml and 250 ml

1 set imperial dry measures -- 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1 and 2 cup

I do have two sets of measuring spoons, but one was a gift and I saw no reason to throw away the old set.

Now, I do have 3 scales

the plastic srping loaded imperial only -- good for quick approximations and portion sizing

the electronic scale switchable between imperial and metric (1/4 ounce and 5 gram increments) -- used for all baking and general kitchen use up to 5 kg max

deli type electronic scale I picked up at auction, imperial only, hundredth pound increments up to 50 pounds.

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What's wrong with a wipe, a rinse or a wash?  Or are you people using these things as storage containers?

I use them for mise en place, I mix salad dressing in them, I thaw frozen stock or butter in the microwave in them. I have two 1-cup, one 2-cup, and one 4-cup, and I often find that I've used several in the course of preparing a meal.

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I bought one of these after seeing Alton Brown use a similar device. It works great on gooey or hard-to-get-out-of-the-measuring-cup ingredients.

I wanted to buy a set of these Nigella Lawson measuring cups because they look cool, but when I saw the fill line inside the cup, I passed. What was she thinking? How do you do the leveling-off-a-cup-of-flour-with-a-knife-trick when the line equalling a cup is down about a quarter-inch from the lip of the cup? Talk about poor design! The cups are also available in an odd blue color, too.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Way too many.

We used to have two homes, and they had duplicate kitchens. When we sold our beach house, I gave away lots of the good things to friends who cook (a set of Le Creuset, lots of All Clad, and misc. tools) but brought home some of the others. Including several sets of measuring cups and spoons. I have a lifetime supply, and then some, but I find myself lusting after the black Oxo set w/ the colored dots. I think it even has  3/8 & 7/8 cups. Mine never run away from home, but if they do, then there will be room for these!

Black ones with colored dots? Where? When?

Who carries them?


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Way too many.

We used to have two homes, and they had duplicate kitchens. When we sold our beach house, I gave away lots of the good things to friends who cook (a set of Le Creuset, lots of All Clad, and misc. tools) but brought home some of the others. Including several sets of measuring cups and spoons. I have a lifetime supply, and then some, but I find myself lusting after the black Oxo set w/ the colored dots. I think it even has  3/8 & 7/8 cups. Mine never run away from home, but if they do, then there will be room for these!

Black ones with colored dots? Where? When?

Who carries them?

Andie, if you don't find a store out there nearby you might want to check cooking.com for those.

They carry a lot of Oxo. Thinking about that set myself -- and the Oxo mandoline.


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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What's wrong with a wipe, a rinse or a wash?  Or are you people using these things as storage containers?

I use them for mise en place, I mix salad dressing in them, I thaw frozen stock or butter in the microwave in them. I have two 1-cup, one 2-cup, and one 4-cup, and I often find that I've used several in the course of preparing a meal.

Yeah, what marie-louise said. :biggrin:

Which is exactly why I have those designated canning jars. Not as much fun as buying more measures but . . . Aside from rough measure, which is quite useful, they are perfect to hold either hot or cold liquids. And the little measure markers on the side let me confirm that I'm grabbbing the right one. :wink:

I don't always cook is a manner that would allow me to have only one measuring cup or utensil in use at a time. :laugh: I believe in washing them, but they have to be emptied first! :rolleyes:


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Since I've started actually doing mise-en-place, I'm finding that I use fewer measuring devices. I made a trip to Goodwill, and picked up a bunch of old coffee cups and small bowls to make my life easier. i found several of the smaller bowls to equal a specific measure. So those became multitaskers, with the measurements on the bottom written with a big Sharpie. At least this way, I don't have to measure and dump into another container.

And I have 2 of the plunger measuring cups. They are a wonderful addition, and are vying with the Pyrex as most used. Pyrex wins because it can be nuked or hold hot ingredients with no problems.


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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I'm not a collector of measuring cups and now that I have inexplicably lost my 1/4 cup, I've got to buy a new set of measuring cups.

Would anyone like to make the case for the best brand? Metal v. plastic? Solid v. collapsible?

Many thanks!! :cool:

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I can only use the old fashioned solid metal (aluminum or such), straight walled cups. Glass is too terribly inaccurate. Angled pouring fronts make it hard to eyeball your halves when you're being lazy. Plastic doesn't give a good lip to pour off. Not that I have an opinion or anything :biggrin:

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I'm not a collector of measuring cups and now that I have inexplicably lost my 1/4 cup, I've got to buy a new set of measuring cups.

Would anyone like to make the case for the best brand? Metal v. plastic? Solid v. collapsible?

Many thanks!!  :cool:

And just to clarify, I'm talking about dry measures. Thanks!

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I can only use the old fashioned solid metal (aluminum or such), straight walled cups.  Glass is too terribly inaccurate.  Angled pouring fronts make it hard to eyeball your halves when you're being lazy.  Plastic doesn't give a good lip to pour off.  Not that I have an opinion or anything  :biggrin:

I think I'm looking for old-fashioned measures myself but I recall reading an article sometime in the last few years that there can be big differences in "tablespoons" and "1/2 cups" depending on which measuring set you buy. :unsure: That's got me worried so I thought I'd throw out the question and learn from others about what's accurate.

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I remember we looked at that here in eG and found our measures varying wildly. The end result was that we all agreed to never do that again (it causes nightmares and panic attacks) and just adjust recipes as you have to do anyway and stick to what you have.

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... so I thought I'd throw out the question and learn from others about what's accurate.

Weighing. :raz:

Really. Much more accurate.


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I used to have multiple sets of volume measures. When I got a scale, I de-accessioned all but one set of stainless dry measuring cups, and my single set of cuisipro measuring spoons (these rock ... in addition to being a cool design, they're actually pretty accurate, which couldn't be said for any of my others).

I still find use for a few liquid measuring cups ... small and large pyrex, and 16oz and 64oz stainless. These get used for lots of things besides just measuring.

For mise, an assortment of stainless mixing bowls from 10oz up to a few quarts, a pile of 16 oz deli cups, and what might be the most useful: 32oz and 64oz square-sided cheap plastic containers by ziplock and gladware.


Notes from the underbelly

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... so I thought I'd throw out the question and learn from others about what's accurate.

Weighing. :raz:

Really. Much more accurate.

I agree that this is the most accurate. Unfortunately, my recipes aren't set up that way and I have neither the patience nor the brain power to convert every recipe I have or want to try. :sad:

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...

I agree that this is the most accurate. Unfortunately, my recipes aren't set up that way and I have neither the patience nor the brain power to convert every recipe I have or want to try.  :sad:

If you have an investment in "cups only" recipes, it makes sense to have some measuring cups.

Weighing is more accurate -- but only if you are following a specification in the form of weights.

'Converting' cups to weights will do nothing for accuracy. All the reasons that cups are "wrong, just wrong" are the exact same reasons that its not possible to do an accurate conversion from volume to weight. If the density were a constant, it'd just be arithmetic -- but with loose solids, the packing density can be highly variable.

However, 'converting' and then weighing out quantities should make for much greater consistency when repeating a recipe. {And weighing your own cup measurements, while you cook, is an easy way to make conversions.}

All that said, I'd suggest that no kitchen is 'well equipped' if it lacks a scale.

Digital kitchen scales should be widely available under $20. There's quite a choice in the UK in the £10 region. And they work, rather well. :smile: And not only in the kitchen!


Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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'Converting' cups to weights will do nothing for accuracy.

Unless you can contact the cookbook author, and find out what conversion they used. Most cookbook authors (and virtually all chefs) developed the recipes using weights, so this simple step will let you reverse engineer all the recipe weights. The only conversion you really need is for flour ... that's the wildcard.

Sometimes if you dig into the book's appendix, the information will be right there.

Ocasionally, the author will have developed and tested the recipes using volume measures. If this is the case, you should at least be able to find out how they measured their flour (sifted first or not, dipped, scooped, spooned into the measure, etc. etc.). This will get you much closer. And in this case the scale won't improve accuracy, but will work wonders for consistency. And sanity.


Notes from the underbelly

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Part of the value of the gram scale is that if you have a volumetric recipe that works for you, you can convert as previously suggested, but a larger value is that once you have converted, you can make very fine adjustments to really perfect a recipe; say from 350 grams of such and such to 345. Far more precise than cups and whatever, and at whatever number, far faster than volumetric.

It's win - win - win. Faster, more accurate and more finely adjustable.


Edited by cbread (log)

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Love this topic! :biggrin:

My DH and I have his and her digital scales. Of course. And his and her pots and pans and knives.

As for measuring cups and spoons, I thought I could get away with only one set of this and that while in Moab, but soon was off to the local stores to buy seconds. And then still needed to borrow second 4 and 8 cup pyrex measures for candying stuff and making lollies for the kids.

Miss all the endless small stainless steel bowls I have at home. Am using ugly green plastic things. :angry:


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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It's win - win - win.  Faster, more accurate and more finely adjustable.

And easier to scale. Quick: what's half of 1-3/4 cups flour? A third of 1-1/4 cup sugar?


Notes from the underbelly

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A fascinating discussion! Fortunately for me I have found my 1/4 cup measure, hence making my question personally redundant.

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Recently I stumbled across a set of measuring cups and spoons that have magnets imbedded in the handles. When you nest them they cling together neatly for storage but as they aren't encumbered by a metal or plastic ring they are very easy to pull apart when cooking/baking. I'd never thought much about these simple things but am now convinced that this magnet feature is genius!

Yes, using a weight scale is best but most recipes don't provide weight measurements.



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