If you’re new to cooking or baking, it can be difficult to know what kitchen tools to use for measuring dry ingredients.
Some recipes call for measurements in cups, while others ask for dry ingredients measured by weight, making things even more confusing.
Becoming familiar with different measuring aids for dry ingredients can help you cook or bake with much more success.
Measuring cups are the most common kitchen tool for measuring dry ingredients. These cups are usually sold as a nested set, and the largest cup most commonly measures 1 cup.
Other common sizes include half a cup, 1/4 of a cup, and 1/3 of a cup.
Measuring cups are specifically designed for measuring dry ingredients, so they’re ideal for measuring things like flour, rice, and sugar.
However, it’s important to note that different ingredients need to be packed into these cups differently. For example, most recipes requiring brown sugar ask that the sugar is packed firmly into the cup.
Flour can be tricky to measure correctly with a measuring cup. If you use the measuring cup to scoop up the flour, you will pack it into the cup, and this can lead to adding much more flour to a recipe than is required.
Instead, use a spoon to gently spoon the flour into the measuring cup. This will fluff the flour, adding air, which will give you a much more accurate measurement.
After you add an ingredient to your measuring cup, make sure to take a knife or another flat object and run it across the top of the cup to level it, so the ingredient creates a flat surface at the top of the cup.
This ensures that you’re getting an exact amount of the ingredients.
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Glass measuring containers are more commonly used for wet ingredients, but they can also help you measure dry ingredients.
These glasses are often a bit larger than measuring cups as well, with large glasses holding as much as 4 cups, so they’re perfect for measuring larger amounts of an ingredient.
Glass measuring cups are usually a bit taller than the largest volume they hold, which helps to reduce spills when measuring liquids.
However, this means that you won’t be able to level the top of your dry ingredients when using a measuring glass, so you may not be measuring as accurately.
For this reason, measuring glasses can be used for dry ingredients in a pinch, but it’s best not to use them if you have other measuring tools available.
If you absolutely have to use a measuring glass to measure dry ingredients, you can add the dry ingredients until they reach the line.
Then, rapidly move the glass back and forth on a flat surface to level the ingredient a bit. This will give a slightly more accurate measurement.
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Measuring spoons are similar to measuring cups in that they are usually sold as a nested set with graduated sizes.
Measuring spoons are designed for measuring much smaller amounts of dry ingredients, so they are ideal for spices, salt, baking soda, or baking powder.
Most measuring spoon sets include a tablespoon, half tablespoon, teaspoon, half teaspoon, 1/4 of a teaspoon, and 1/8 of a teaspoon.
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Adjustable Measuring Cups
Adjustable measuring cups measure the same way as regular measuring cups. However, instead of a set that includes several cup sizes, an adjustable measuring cup is just one measuring cup.
The cup is usually cylindrical and has different measurements printed along the side. A piece at the bottom moves up and down, and you can move this piece to the desired measurement.
These measuring cups are specifically designed for use with dry ingredients, so they have a flat top that’s level with the last measurement.
Many adjustable measuring cups also have markings for tablespoons, half tablespoons, or even teaspoons, so they can sometimes replace both sets.
Some adjustable measuring cups work in a slightly different way. These cups collapse, so they lie flat in a drawer. When measuring, you can push the cup open to the correct size.
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Instead of measuring dry ingredients out in cups, many people measure their ingredients using scales instead. This is particularly common in areas that use the metric system instead of the imperial system.
Measuring dry ingredients using a scale is also quite popular with bakers because it is much more accurate.
Measuring by weight ensures that whatever you make will rise and bake in the exact way you want because the ingredients will be measured exactly by weight instead of by volume.
To measure out dry ingredients using a scale, turn the scale on and put the bowl you want to combine the ingredients in on the scale.
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Almost all scales have a function that allows you to erase or zero out weight, and you can press this button to erase the weight of the bowl.
Then, you can simply add your dry ingredients one at a time to the bowl until they equal the correct weight. For example, if you need 100 grams of flour and 50 grams of sugar, add flour until the scale reads 100.
Then, zero out the scale again before adding your 50 grams of sugar.
Scales are an excellent option for larger portions of ingredients, and sensitive scales can also be used to measure small amounts of ingredients.
However, most people who measure their flour, sugar, or other dry ingredients by weight still rely on teaspoons and tablespoons to measure out smaller amounts of baking soda, baking powder, salt, and other spices.
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Dry Yeast Measuring Cup
Unlike other dry ingredients, dry yeast is sometimes measured separately. Even if everything else in a recipe is measured by volume, dry yeast is generally only measured in grams.
If you use measuring cups and don’t have a scale, this can make measuring yeast a challenge. A dry yeast measuring cup measures yeast in grams but looks like a volume-style measuring cup.
These cups are often quite small and only hold about 5 or 6 grams.
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