The classic way to measure liquids is with a measuring cup that has a “pour spout” as well as space above the measuring lines. The pour spout and the added space make it easier to pick up the cup and pour without spilling any of the liquid.
This type of measuring cup is designed for you to look on the outside of the cup to determine the proper measurement. Don’t hold the cup in your hand and try to raise it to eye level — I guarantee it will be imprecise. Instead, leave the cup on a flat surface and bend down so your eye is level with the cup.
If you try to look down to the inside to judge the measurement with this style of cup, you will end up with more liquid than you should have. If you were making soups or stews that wouldn’t be a very big deal, but when making rice or salad dressing or doing any baking, like chocolate cake, you have to be very precise with your measurements.
OXO has designed special measuring cups (shown in the picture below) that do allow you to determine the proper measurement by looking down into the measuring cup.
The big cup shown on the right above measures ounces and 1/4, 1/3, ½, 2/3, ¾, and 1 cup. The small cupon the left measures Tablespoons and ounces.
The OXO measuring cup has a strange shape. Its slanted front and big chunky handle look odd but make it quite easy to use.
I find the Tablespoon measuring cup to be particularly efficient when I am preparing ingredients for things like Stir Fries. Pre-measuring small amount of liquids like soy sauce and oil, in advance of cooking, makes the stir-fry process go along much more smoothly. If you are using a set of measuring spoons, you then need a small cup to put the ingredients into. With small tablespoon measuring “cups” like the one shown below, there is one less dish to wash!
At my kitchen shop, I also discovered a drinking glass that has measurement lines on it. This one you measure from the outside. It was OK, but I prefer the ease of use of the traditional or OXO brand.
My kitchen shop also sold small shot glasses that had tablespoon and ounce measurements as well. A pour spout would make these a lot easier to use.
Other posts on measuring:
- How to Measure Food ( Video)
- Food Measuring and Equivalents and Conversions (Charts)
- Measuring Food around the World
- Measuring by Weight
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