Measuring Correctly

It's important to use the right measuring techniques and utensils to ensure delicious, consistent results for your recipes. There are specific cups designed for liquid and dry measuring and most of the time they're not interchangeable.

Measuring spoons are used for both liquid and dry ingredients and come in ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon.

Never measure the ingredients over the main bowl as some may spill into the mix and ruin the finished product

Dry Measuring

Dry measures are graduated cups, usually metal or plastic. They come in 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup and 1 cup. Some sets also have 1/8 cup, 2/3 cup, 3/4 cup and 1 1/2 cups. Dry measuring cups are used to measure dry ingredients such as flour, granulated sugar, cornmeal, chocolate chips, raisins and nuts. Dry measuring cups are also used to measure sour cream, yogurt and apple sauce as they are thicker and mound up, unlike a liquid.

To Measure Dry Ingredients Correctly:

Spoon the ingredient into the appropriate size cup or measuring spoon then level off the excess with the straight edge of a knife or spatula. When measuring flour, stir the flour gently in the bag or canister to incorporate air, adding volume, then spoon the flour into the cup and level. Never pack the flour into the cup. It is only necessary to sift cake flour.

Brown sugar is an exception. When measuring brown sugar, pack it into the cup or measuring spoon, by pressing it firmly with your fingers. Press enough to make it level with the top of the cup. When measured correctly the brown sugar will hold its shape when it is dumped out of the cup.

Liquid Measuring

Liquid measuring cups are usually made of transparent glass or plastic with a handle and lip for pouring. They come in 1 Cup, 2 Cup, 4 Cup or 6 Cup sizes with incremental markings printed on the outside. They are usually used to measure, water, milk, honey, juice, molasses, corn syrup and oil.

To Measure Liquids Correctly:

Place the cup on a level surface, bending over so that the markings are level with your eyes. Fill the cup to the appropriate level. When measuring honey, molasses or corn syrup, stop a bit before it reaches the mark, as it will continue to rise as it settles. Add more as needed to reach the appropriate mark.

When measuring liquid in a measuring spoon, fill the spoon to the top without letting the ingredient spill over.

Measuring Shortening and Solid Fats:

Shortening, butter and margarine all come packaged with marks already on the sticks. Use a sharp knife to slice through the package and stick, at the appropriate amount for your recipe.

Some people measure shortening by packing it into a dry measuring cup. This method is not accurate as air bubbles prevent the appropriate amount of shortening from being packed into the cup. I use the Water Displacement Method, as it is the most accurate and easy to clean up after.