Measuring Basics

Measuring Basics

Proper measuring of ingredients is important to successful cooking and baking. Some foods can be greatly affected by too much or too little of certain ingredients, such as salt, baking soda, baking powder and hot or spicy ingredients, such as cayenne pepper.

In addition, measuring your ingredients is crucial for your health, especially if you need to watch what you eat. Healthy eating is a product of healthy cooking, and measuring skills are an important part of ensuring your meals are healthily prepared.

There are several different types of measuring utensils used for proper measuring of ingredients, and this post will cover the three most basic, yet essential, types of measuring utensils. Every kitchen needs a set of these equipment so that your food is prepared with certainty that it contains the proper amount of each ingredient.

Liquid Measuring

Typically, clear containers are used for liquid measuring, such as glass or plastic containers that have a pour spout as well as a handle.

These liquid measuring cups are typically available in 1 cup, 2 cup, 4 cup, and 8 cup sizes, which have notations on the side that mark how much liquid is held at that marking.

Dry Measuring Cups

Plastic or metal cups of varying sizes are used for measuring single measures, like a half cup of flour.

The single measure cups generally come in a set of four, with a graduated set of 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2, 1 cup measures. You might also find some sets that include 1/8, 2/3, and 3/4 cup.

These measuring cups are used to measure dry ingredients, like flour, sugar, oats, rice, and solid ingredients, like peanut butter.

Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are made for measuring small amounts, and come with a set of usually four, made of plastic or metal. A set of four will include basic measures of 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon. Some sets may also come with a 1/8 teaspoon, 3/4 teaspoon, and 1/2 tablespoon.

They are used to measure dry or liquid ingredients, so it can be useful to have two sets of them. If you do only have one set, measure your dry ingredients first and follow them up with the liquid ingredients.


Refer to the chart below to be aware of basic conversions you may need to complete in your baking and cooking.

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