Whether you are a cooking and baking enthusiast or a person who tries a new recipe once a month, you must know what an absolute necessity it is to have the right kind of measuring tools in your kitchen. Every recipe calls for specific measurements of ingredients, which, if you don’t get right, can drastically change the end result and make all your effort go to waste.
So, it is essential to have the right kinds of measuring tools in the kitchen, which make the process of cooking and baking smoother and last long. Measuring tools are of different types and are made from different kinds of material. Let us first look at some types of measuring tools.
Types of Measuring Tools
Measuring tools include kitchen scales, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and syringes.
Digital scales are all too common in kitchens and can be used to measure dry and wet ingredients. They give you the gram, pound, millimeter, or ounce reading of whatever you may wish to measure. The advantage of digital scales is that they are exact and give you the correct weight reading, as opposed to analog scales, which are not as precise. They are also small, lightweight, and little space on the kitchen counter.
The disadvantage with kitchen scales is that they won’t give you the one cup or one teaspoon readings most recipes require. You will have to do a lot of math to figure out what measurement constitutes a tablespoon or half a cup. Also, if you measure something like condensed milk, you are going to have to use a cup or some container. This container’s weight needs to be calculated when empty and has to be subtracted from your final reading.
Thus, it might be more convenient to use measuring cups, spoons, or syringes.
For most recipes that call for ingredients in terms of cups, you need measuring cups. Measuring cups are of different types. Some are used to measure dry ingredients (usually plastic or metal cups), while others are used to measure wet ingredients (usually glass cups). They can be collapsible or adjustable. Collapsible and adjustable measuring cups are suitable for when you want to save space, while the usual kind of measuring cups come in the form of a set of cups that can take up a lot of drawer space or require special storage arrangement.
Measuring spoons, made from plastic or metal, are also needed for adding the right amount of ingredients to whatever you are cooking or baking. Available in various sizes, from half a teaspoon to a three-quarters tablespoon and more, measuring spoons come in a set that can meet all your measuring needs. Adjustable spoons are also popular these days since they save space and are less likely to get lost in the kitchen drawer.
Another tool used for measuring wet ingredients is syringes. They are usually made of plastic and are reusable. With accurate readings etched on the side, they are a convenient way of taking a measured amount of ingredients. They get the job done, just as measuring spoons or cups for measuring wet ingredients do.
Which Measuring Tools Are Better, Plastic, or Metal?
If you find that your kitchen needs new measuring tools or that you want to gift a set of measuring tools to your friend, an excellent question to ask yourself is whether you should opt for plastic measuring tools or metal ones. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let us look into that in detail.
Plastic Measuring Tools
Plastic measuring tools are the best bet when you think in terms of economic considerations. Sets of plastic cups and spoons, as well as individual cup or spoon, are relatively cheaper than metal ones. Also, they are durable because everyday rough handling or falling to the floor or being washed repeatedly has virtually no effect on them.
This doesn’t mean they are entirely foolproof. Plastic measuring tools can break or crack when under extreme pressure and melt quickly when the temperature rises above 300-degree F, meaning that you should be careful in handling plastic cups and spoons around the stove.
The general drawback of using anything made of plastic in the kitchen is that plastic can stain and absorb odors. Also, measurements written on plastic tools can fade with time and use. It may come to a point when they are ineligible so that a perfect cup, spoon, or needle will be of no use to you.
Metal Measuring Tools
If there is something more durable than plastic, it is metal. And metal measuring tools live up to that reputation. A significant benefit with metal cups is that measurements are etched onto them, which means they won’t fade away with time. Metal measuring tools are also heavier than plastic ones, meaning they provide a balanced and stable feel. Due to this weight, metal measuring tools, especially cups, can sit up independently, allowing for ingredients to be directly poured into them.
Plastic cups’ handles might bend from the weight of dense ingredients, for example, sugar. This does not happen with metal cups. They do have a downside, though; like other kitchen tools made of metal, they can get scratches that are an ideal spot for bacteria to harbor and lead to rust formation. To avoid this, one has to routinely make sure the tools are free from the telltale signs of wear.
If you decide to go with metal measuring tools, make sure they are made of one metal piece and don’t have welded, riveted, or soldered handles. When tools are made from multiple pieces, they form nooks and crannies that are difficult to clean and create a home for bacteria.
Some Measuring Tools
Let us look at some measuring tools that are of good quality and reliable for long-term usage.
This set of five black plastic measuring cups by OXO is classy because of its sleek appearance and because it offers a unique snapping feature that keeps the cups together and makes it easy to store them. Stacked on top of each other, they take little space and won’t ever get lost in your drawers. They also come with a scraper which lets you level dry ingredients and which can be used to hang the cups.
The cups are permanently marked with measurements on the handles and have a secondary colored measurement on the side to make it easy to find the desired cup. The cups also have a half-measurement line, thus providing you with increased measurement options. The cups are dishwasher safe.
This is a set of six stainless steel measuring cups. These cups can be stacked on top of each other to save you storage space and make organizing your kitchen drawers easy. The cups are made from high-quality stainless steel polished to give them a shiny, elegant look. They have no sharp edges and are easy to clean as their handles are not welded or soldered. Their weighted handle makes it easy to scoop out dense, dry ingredients.
Further, the heavy handles and the cups’ flat bases give them a perfect balance, which makes it easy to pour ingredients into them. Accurate measurement markings are etched into them, along with further subdivision measurement markings.
Made of heavy-duty premium stainless steel, this is a set of six measuring spoons that comes with a leveler. The spoons were made with endurance in mind, and so, have no danger of rusting or bending. Their single metal construction makes them easy to clean and leaves zero chances for bacteria to settle in, unlike other spoons with soldered or welded handles.
US and metric measurement markings are engraved on the stainless steel and are easily readable and will not fade or come off. The spoons nest together to give compact storage and are further held together by a ring that can open to let you use one spoon at a time. The spoons’ narrow design allows you to take out spices directly from most jars, instead of having to shake the spices onto the spoons. The spoons are dishwasher safe and also come with a lifetime warranty.
This six-piece plastic spoon set comes with a scrapper and has a unique snapping feature that lets you easily store the spoons and eliminates all chances of disorganization or losing spoons. The spoon handles feature easy-to-read, color-coded measurement markings. Plus, the spoons come with a scraper that can be used to level the ingredients in the spoon and hook the spoon set.
The spoons have comfortable and soft handles with a non-slip grip. They can also rest on the kitchen counter flatly, preventing spilling and tipping. With the snapping feature, you can take out the spoon you need while leaving the rest snapped together. The spoons are dishwasher safe.
Plastic and metal measuring tools both have their advantages and drawbacks. While metal measuring tools last longer and are more durable, plastic measuring tools are more affordable. Whichever you may choose, it will drastically improve your cooking and baking experience and help you achieve a consistent result from your recipes.