Cookbook:Measuring Cup

Cookbook | Ingredients | Cookbook equipment | Kitchen tools

Measuring Cups

A measuring cup is a handled cup used for measuring ingredients. They usually come in sets of 1 cup (240 mL), 1/2 cup (120 mL), 1/3 cup (80 mL) and 1/4 cup (60 mL). Metric measuring cups also exist based on a cup of 250 mL and divisions thereof.

Those designed for dry ingredients contain the measured amount of an ingredient when full up to the top edge of the cup, and can be levelled with a straight edge (such as a spatula or knife) to get the precise amount.

Cups designed for liquids often contain markings (graduations) for various levels along the sides, and contain the full amount slightly below the top, often having a pouring spout as well.

Note the difference in the measuring cup in the pictures to the right.  The top one is for dry ingredients and the second is for liquid measurements.  

Dry measurements are usually made by scooping the ingredient so it is rounded above the spoon or cup then scrapped flat with the back side of a knife.  Most dry ingredients are not packed to be measured. Brown sugar is typically packed tightly to remove any air pockets.  Shredded cheese should be lightly packed.

Fluid measurements should be made with a transparent cup.  While the actual volume is the same for both dry and wet measurements, filling a dry measuring cup to the brim with liquid would be quite messy. Likewise it would be difficult to get top dry ingredients flat enough in a wet measuring cup to be accurate.

(For a culinary lesson in measuring check out the YouTube video "New Orleans Cajun, Justin Wilson - Gumbo" and all the rest of his videos if you have time.)