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Different Types Of Kitchen Measuring Tools Explained

With so many gadgets and tools available for the kitchen, it can sometimes be a challenge to decide what you need or what will be the most useful.

Learning about a few common kitchen measuring tools can help you stock your kitchen and can make cooking or baking much simpler.

kitchen thermometer

Measuring Cups

Measuring cups are some of the most common kitchen measuring tools. These tools are often made of plastic, glass, or metal.

Smaller cups come in a set. They’re often shaped quite simply but have a handle, which makes scooping up dry ingredients, such as flour or sugar, easy.

These sets often have cups that measure 1 cup, 1/2 of a cup, 1/3 of a cup, and 1/4 of a cup.

red measuring cups

Larger clear measuring cups are also available. These cups, which are made of glass or plastic, are often relatively tall, and they usually have markings for several cups worth of ingredients.

They sometimes also have markings for milliliters or ounces, which makes them incredibly useful for measuring wet ingredients such as milk or water. These cups can also be purchased in various sizes.

When filling a measuring cup with dry ingredients, it’s a good idea to overfill the cup and then use another tool, such as a scoop or knife, to push away excess so that the ingredient is level to the top of the cup.

This makes for a very accurate measurement. Some ingredients, such as brown sugar, also need to be packed firmly into the cup to get a correct measurement.

glass measuring cups

Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are very similar to measuring cups, but they measure smaller units. Most measuring spoon sets contain spoons that measure 1 tablespoon, 1/2 of a tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1/2 of a teaspoon.

There might also be spoons for 1/3 or 1/4 of a tablespoon. Some sets also contain a spoon that’s labeled ‘just a pinch,’ which helps to keep recipes consistent, even when the given measurements aren’t exact.

Measuring spoons are usually made of plastic or metal. They can be used for both wet and dry ingredients.

measuring spoons

Scales

Scales are another important kitchen measuring tool. Scales can be used to weigh a portion in order to ensure that each portion is the same size and will bake at the same rate.

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They can also be used to weigh different foods in order to calculate calories. Bakers also sometimes use scales to weigh out dry ingredients instead of measuring by volume.

Some bakers find that this creates a more consistent product.

There are two main types of kitchen scales. The first is a small scale that sits on the counter. Some of these scales have a basket at the top, into which food or ingredients can be placed.

The scale is calibrated so as to ignore the weight of the basket, so you can be sure that you’re getting an accurate measurement of your ingredients.

food scale with basket

Digital kitchen scales are usually flat, and they don’t feature a basket.

Instead, a bowl or plate can be placed on the scale, and the scale can then be ‘zeroed out,’ meaning that the scale is told to ignore that weight. Ingredients can then be placed in the bowl or scale and measured accurately.

Many kitchen scales weigh items in both ounces and grams, so you can use either the imperial or metric system in the kitchen.

digital food scale

The other type of kitchen scale is called a hanging scale. These scales are commonly seen in more commercial settings, such as grocery stores, restaurants, or butcher shops.

These scales feature a hanging basket into which food can be placed and the weight can be measured.

hanging scale at market

Thermometers

There are a few types of kitchen thermometers, and they can all be very handy. The simplest is a standard kitchen thermometer, which usually features a bulb with a temperature readout and a long metal spike, which can be inserted into foods.

This can help you determine the internal temperature of meats or different baked goods, which can help you tell if the dish has finished cooking.

kitchen meat thermometer

Infrared thermometers are quite similar to standard thermometers, but they use infrared light to measure the surface temperature of a food or even of a hot pan.

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Oven thermometers have a metal spike, which can be inserted into the food, and a long cord attached to a readout. The spike goes into the oven with the food, and the readout stays outside the oven.

This can help you monitor how your food is cooking without opening the oven door and losing heat. Many of these thermometers will also alert you when your food reaches a certain temperature.

Candy thermometers are designed to go into a tall pot. They clip onto the edge of the pot so that they stay in place and can be read easily. These thermometers are very helpful when it comes to making candies such as caramel, but they can also help you heat up soups, stews, or sauces.

Spaghetti Measuring Tools

Making spaghetti or any other type of long pasta, such as angel hair or fettuccine, is one of the simplest yet most delicious meals.

However, pasta expands as it cooks, so it can be difficult to tell how much to make. There are spaghetti measuring tools available, however. These tools are usually made of metal and are small and flat, much like a ruler.

The metal has holes or shapes cut into it, and the holes are labeled for one person, two people, or several people. To measure your pasta, simply stick the dry pasta through the hole corresponding to how many people you’re serving.

However much pasta fits is roughly how much you need to cook.

spaghetti measuring tool

Timers

Many recipes, especially baked goods, need to be cooked for a very specific amount of time. This is where a kitchen timer comes in handy. Instead of telling time, these little clocks can be set for a certain amount of time, down to the minute.

They make a noise when the time is up, letting you know that your food needs to be checked.

kitchen timer

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