When you’re baking or cooking, measuring out ingredients is one of the most important steps. Everyday cooking might allow you to get away with eyeballing ingredients, but it’s still better to measure if you want professional and uniform results.
As for baking, it’s a must to get those precise measurements right if you want a proper result. No matter how experienced you get, it’s essential to have the right measuring tools on hand. Measuring cups will help you with the larger amount, such as when you’re handling flour, cocoa powder, sugar, etc. However, measuring spoons are perhaps even more important; they help to give you accurate measurements for the small amounts.
You’ll probably be using measuring spoons for adding in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and similar items. Even a novice baker should know that it’s good to have a tiny bit of these ingredients in a recipe, but a little too much could ruin everything. This is why having a decent set of measuring spoons is so important. If you’re on the lookout for these spoons, here are the different types to consider:
General Knowledge About Measuring Spoons
Before we dive into the various types of measuring spoons, let’s talk a bit about the sizes and what to expect from this tool.
First off, you’d usually find your measuring spoons in the form of a set. This means that they’d better be durable; even one broken or dented spoon probably means you’d have to buy a whole new set. Look for one with a wide range; this could be anywhere from one-eighth of a teaspoon to one full tablespoon.
Measuring Spoon Materials
When you use a measuring spoon with your ingredients on a regular basis, you naturally want it to be safe for handling food. As long as you’re getting your kitchen tools from a trusted source, you can depend on any measuring spoons material to be food-grade. If you’re in doubt, double-check with the manufacturer. Here are some of the most common materials that these spoons are made of:
- Stainless steel: Whether you’re scooping out peanut butter or carefully pouring some oil into them, stainless steel measuring spoons are among the best of the lot. They look professional, last for a long time, and don’t get dirty or stained easily. If you get a high-quality set with a good shine, they would even look nice hanging in your kitchen. However, keep in mind that such material might also make for a relatively more expensive set. Plus, stainless steel might also bend if you’re using it to scoop out a hardened ingredient such as brown sugar.
- Plastic: If you do decide to go for plastic measuring spoons, make sure that they’re the BPA-free kind. While they won’t usually come into contact with heat when you measure out raw ingredients, it’s always best to be safe when dealing with edible items. Plus, measuring scoops might sometimes be used for scooping cooked ingredients like tahini, melted chocolate, etc., so you need to be sure. On the upside, plastic measuring spoons usually come in several bright colors and are quite easy to maintain. You can probably pop any plastic set in the dishwasher and not worry about any scratches or dents.
- Wooden: Wooden measuring spoon sets aren’t very common, as they might be prone to warping, cracking, or staining. They probably won’t last as long as other options. Still, some people might prefer such options for the natural materials. If the wood is bamboo, the spoons might last longer than usual. Such materials are still a bit difficult to clean, so we won’t recommend them for this kitchen tool.
- Ceramic: Another unique and safe option for measuring spoons is ceramic. Of course, ceramic spoons need to be handled with a lot of care. One wrong move, and your spoon could shatter on the kitchen floor. It might be best to keep this particular option for decorative measuring spoons instead of practical ones.
- Copper Plating: You might have seen some gorgeous sets of copper measuring spoons, but these are actually just copper-plated models. Most of these sets are made of durable stainless steel, with the copper plating being more for show than anything else. These will have the same pros and cons as stainless steel spoons, though you might have to be more careful with the copper-colored ones. Putting them in the dishwasher might not be an option, as it could scratch the surface and ruin their look.
- Jadeite glass: This is a material that resembles jade in appearance and color. It’s another uncommon choice for measuring spoons and cups, but it does provide a nice aesthetic. Again, though, you’d have to take good care of these spoons, or they could break easily.
Measuring Spoon Designs
Measuring spoons are usually rounded and are joined to each other with a ring. You might want to separate the spoons, but the risk of losing them will increase after that. It’s best to store your measuring spoons nestled one inside the other after they dry properly.
Certain measuring spoons might be dual-sided or have bent handles, which helps to make them stable on flat surfaces. Other models might come in a trowel shape, which has a flat bottom.
Most measuring spoons will also have the amount they can hold printed on their handle. This makes it easier for us to know how much we’re scooping out. However, there’s no industry standard of the sizes or amounts included. You’d probably just have to scout around and find a set that uses the most common amounts you require.
The usual sizes for measuring spoons include one-eighth of a teaspoon, a quart teaspoon, a half teaspoon, one teaspoon, and one tablespoon. Other sets might do away with the smallest size of even label it as being ‘just a pinch.’ They might also include the measurements of two tablespoons, two teaspoons, half a tablespoon, or 1.5 tablespoons.
Incidentally, it’s quite hard to find a set with a spoon measuring one third of a teaspoon. This is a frustrating omission, as several recipes do call for this odd amount. If you find yourself in such a predicament and don’t have the right spoon, heap up a quarter-teaspoon measurement instead.
At the end of the day, it might be nice to get two sets of measuring spoons if possible. Since many recipes call for several spoonfuls of ingredients, you might have to use the same spoon for two or more items. Mixing the ingredients could change the recipe, especially if you’ve previously measured something thick like syrup or honey. Instead of risking a failed result or pausing your preparation to wash a spoon, having another set is a logical idea.
When you know the types and uses of measuring spoons, they will fast become an indispensable tool in your kitchen. You can even use them for helping out with your diet and workout routine. Consider your needs and requirements before placing any orders; each type of measuring spoons has its own pros and cons.