Measuring Equipment

Proper measuring of ingredients is important to successful cooking and baking. Some foods can be greatly affect 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. The following information will assist in ensuring that your ingredients are measured proper.

Measuring Equipment

There are several different types of measuring utensils used for proper measuring of ingredients. The most common types of measuring equipment are listed below with a brief description for each.

Measuring Spoons - Generally consists of at least 4 spoons, which are made of plastic or metal. Measuring spoons are used to measure small quantities of both dry and liquid ingredients. It is helpful to have two sets so that one can be used for dry ingredients and one can be used for liquid ingredients. This eliminates having to wash and dry the spoons after using for liquid ingredients and before using with the next dry ingredient.


A set of 4 will include basic measures of ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon. Sets are also available that include 1/8 teaspoon, ¾ teaspoon and ½ tablespoon.

There is also an adjustable type measuring spoon produced that does not resemble the typical measuring spoons. It is an elongated slotted container that has a slide bar with a "stopper" to control the specific amount of measure desired.


Dry Measuring Cups - Plastic or metal individual cups of various sizes used for single measures. There are also adjustable measuring cups available. The cup has a slide bar that can be adjusted so the cup can measure different amounts. Graduated and adjustable measuring cups are used to measure dry ingredients, such as flour, sugar, oats, rice and solid ingredients, such as shortening and peanut butter.

The single measure cups are generally found nested in a graduated set of ¼ cup, 1/3 cup, ½ cup, and 1 cup measures. You may also find some sets that will include 1/8 cup, 2/3 cup, and/or ¾ cup. They are used to measure dry ingredients, such as flour, sugar, oats, rice and solid ingredients, such as shortening and peanut butter.



There are also adjustable measuring cups available. One type of adjustable cup has a slide bar that can be adjusted so the cup can measure different amounts. Adjustable measuring cups are used to measure dry and solid ingredients.


The cylinder type measuring cup shown here is another adjustable cup that is handy for measuring solids, such as shortening and peanut butter. The tube is adjusted to the appropriate location for the amount desired and then filled with the ingredient. The ingredient is then extracted easily by pushing the tube to force the ingredients out of the cup.


Liquid Measuring Cups - Glass or clear plastic containers with a pour spout and handle. They are generally available in 1 cup, 2 cup, 4 cup and 8 cup sizes, which have graduated measures on the side.


The full measure on the liquid measuring cup is marked down from the rim of the cup to help prevent spilling the cup's content when it is at its full measure. The spout on the cup assists in pouring the content when adding to other ingredients.


Angled measuring cups are also available, which are designed to provide easily viewable levels so that measured amounts can be readily viewed looking either down into the cup or by viewing the measured levels at the side of the cup.

Scales - Balance or spring scales are used to measure the weight of ingredients. Balance scales will be more accurate than spring scales.

Using a scale will result in a more accurate measurement of the ingredients than by measuring it by volume. Scales are available in manual and digital models.


Portioning Scoops - Scoops, available in mechanical and non-mechanical types, that are used for measuring, portioning, and forming. The measuring scoops are a popular utensil used by professional chefs. They are available in several sizes, which are numbered according to their volume. The higher the number, the smaller the volume.

Portioning Scoop Sizes Available
Scoop Size Tbsp. Fluid oz.
#30 2 1
#24 2-3/4 1-1/2
#20 3 1-3/4
#16 4 2
#12 5 2 1/2
#10 6 3
#8 8 4
#6 10 5

The scoops are handy for measuring even portions when making foods such as cookies, muffins and meatballs. A #16 may be used for a medium size cookie where as a #30 or #24 would be used for a small cookie. A #16 may be used for making meatballs and a #6 for portioning meat for a patty. Using a scoop for measuring is not necessary, but if you have a size that works for a food that you make frequently, it can be a handy time saver.

Mixing Bowl - Plastic, glass, or metal containers of varying shapes into which ingredients can be placed, measured, and mixed.

There are glass and plastic measuring cups also available that are large enough to be used as mixing bowls. They range from an 8 to 12 cup capacity and are similar to liquid measuring cups in that they have a spout, handle, and measure markings down the side. They work well for large jobs and can be used for mixing and pouring batters, such as pancake or waffle batter.