Is It Better to Give Plastic or Metal Measuring Tools?

Whether you are a cooking and baking enthusiast or a person who tries a new recipe once a month, you must know its absolute necessity 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

Herbs and spices for cooking on dark
Colourful various herbs and spices for cooking on dark background

Measuring tools include kitchen scales, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and syringes.

1. Kitchen Scales

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 have little space on the kitchen counter.

The disadvantage with kitchen scales is that they won’t give you the one cup or 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.

2. Measuring Cups

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 a special storage arrangement.

3. Measuring Spoons

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.

4. Syringes

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?

Happy Smiling African family in Aprons Cooking and kneading dough on wooden table
Happy Smiling African family in Aprons Cooking and kneading dough on wooden table. Black Father with son in yellow shirt baking cake together and looking at Each Other in white home kitchen interior.

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 cups or spoons, are relatively cheaper than metal ones. Also, they are durable because every day, 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 of 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 use 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:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Cups
Kitchen Made Measuring Cups Stainless Steel
Spring Chef Heavy-Duty Stainless-Steel Metal Measuring Spoons
OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Spoons


1. OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Cups


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 that 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.

 

Pros



  • Easy to store, thanks to its snapping feature.

  • The measuring cups are permanently marked and come with a scraper.

  • Dishwasher safe

  • The cups have a half-measurement line.


Cons



  • No ¾ cup measure, which makes measurements difficult.

  • Due to wear and tear, secondary colored measurement markings may get erased over time.



2. Kitchen Made Measuring Cups Stainless Steel


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.

 

Pros



  • The measuring cups are made of steel, giving them a great shine and look.

  • The measuring cups are not welded or soldered, making them easy to clean. 

  • Easy to grip

  • Since the measuring cups are made of steel, they are sturdy.

  • Dishwasher-safe


Cons



  • The etched measurements may become hard to clean.

  • The measuring cups will acquire scratches and marks with wear and tear over time.



3. Spring Chef Heavy-Duty Stainless-Steel Metal Measuring Spoons


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, 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.

 

Pros



  • The measuring spoons are sturdy and robust.

  • The measurement markings are engraved so they will not fade easily over time.

  • Thanks to its ergonomic design, the product is easy and comfortable to use.


Cons



  • The engraved measurement marking may harbor bacteria since it is hard to clean.

  • The metal of the measuring spoons may rust over time. 

  • It may be a hassle to take the measuring spoon you need out of the ring every time you want to use it.



4. OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Spoons


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.

 

Pros



  • Easy to store and use. Moreover, taking out the measuring spoon you want from the kit is easy.

  • Comes with a scraper.

  • Brightly colored measurement marking make it easy to identify which measuring spoon you are using.

  • The spoons feature an excellent grip.


Cons



  • The colored measurement markings may wear off over time.

  • Since the measuring spoons are made of plastic, they may break or melt.



Comparison Table

To help you better determine which option is best for you, below is a comparison of these products:

  OXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring CupsKitchen Made Measuring Cups Stainless SteelSpring Chef Heavy-Duty Stainless-Steel Metal Measuring SpoonsOXO Good Grips Plastic Measuring Spoons
Measurement MarkingsPermanent measurement markings and secondary color-coded measurement markingsEngraved MarkingsEngraved MarkingsColored measurement markings only
Dishwasher-SafeYesYesYesYes
All measurements includedMissing ¾ measurement cupAll measurement cups includedAll measurement spoons includedAll measurement spoons included
Accessories IncludedScraper IncludedNoneNoneScraper Included
 

Conclusion

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 choose, it will drastically improve your cooking and baking experience and help you achieve consistency in your recipes.