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Plastic measuring cups versus glass

My sister and I recently had a conversation regarding the correct measuring cups to be used for dry versus wet. On cooking shows they are using more plastic cups, even for liquid. We are of the 'old' school that dry are measured in the individual plastic cups, wet in the glass. Does this still hold true? Or, are we out-of-date with our methods?

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

asked 4 months ago
10 answers 410 views
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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 4 months ago

Do you mean you are seeing people measure their liquids in a dry measure cup? I have stainless cups for dry that hang on my fridge. Love them. I don't remember a time that I didn't have them. Curiously, they each have a little pour spout. I do sometimes use them for liquid when it's not for a sensitive baking recipe.

My somewhat new liquid measuring cups are plastic and I don't like them at all. I keep meaning to grab glass 2 & 4 cup measures at Freddie's.

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added 4 months ago

The biggest advantage I know of glass over plastic for liquids is that after awhile plastic can get misshapen and scratched, not to mention liquids are more likely to be acidic which will eat away plastic long before glass. So keeping the true measure over some time can be difficult.
But for a TV show, especially if they are "on location" in any way, getting new plastic measures every few episodes is probably worth the waste in return for less weight to carry around.

And not to widen the disagreement, but I actually prefer my aluminum dry measures to plastic...anyone else?

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 4 months ago

Yup. I think mine are stainless, but not sure. Love mine.

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23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 4 months ago

I'm not sure about the question (perhaps because I gave up cooking shows some time back)- dry measure cups are meant to be filled to the top and leveled, wet measure cups are meant to be filled to a line- I don't know of any difference in the actual measure, just how they're designed to be filled. Most of the dry cups I know of are metal- things stick to plastic.

23d08e08 3b57 4e81 adcd 91701fc50809  fb avatar
added 4 months ago

Moisture content will affect weight, too. I don't own a plastic measuring cup to try, but I'd guess you get a negative meniscus with plastic, whereas with glass it's positive- the difference would be pretty minute, but it would be there.

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Nancy

Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

I agree with Smaug...it's not the material that makes the difference, but the way the cups are meant to be used (levelled to top for dry, to visual line for wet).
That said, two variations:
1) came across some liquid measuring cups made of silicone, which are great in use. you can measure, add, pour & mix (as for cake or pancake batters), or heat ingredients (like butter or honey) in microwave.
2) this brings up the perennial question of weighing by kitchen scale vs cup measures. For dry elements, where people pack them so differently and where moisture can affect volume, weighing is more accurate & consistent.

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added 4 months ago

For liquid measures I use clear glass or plastic liquid measuring cups (where you fill to the line). I have an Oxo plastic one and some glass Pyrex ones (including a large 8-cup measure for volume). The value of the Oxo is that you don't have to squat to see the lines. The value of the Pyrex is that you can pour in hot liquids without it cracking (which has happened to me).

For dry ingredients I have stainless individual measures (including some odd sizes like 2 cup, 1-1/2 cup, 2/3 and 3/4 which I find very useful because I don't have to keep measuring larger amounts). I like the stainless, because like Smaug says, flour will stick to plastic.

On days when I can't find my liquid measure I have sometimes used the stainless to measure out liquids, but for cooking where precision is less important.

4caa0af8 566e 43ab 992b 57e8725a8b1a  joey
added 4 months ago

I also have both pyrex and the oxo plastic one that has the measuring marks on the indented side for measuring liquids. Being left handed, it always was much less convenient to have the markings for the glass ones where they would be convenient only for a right handed person. Sadly, yesterday the handle on my oxo snapped off while my husband was washing it. I give them credit for the idea, so either left or right handed people can use it, but the quality of plastic needs an upgrade or they need to make it in a glass version like the pyrex.

4caa0af8 566e 43ab 992b 57e8725a8b1a  joey
added 4 months ago

I also have both pyrex and the oxo plastic one that has the measuring marks on the indented side for measuring liquids. Being left handed, it always was much less convenient to have the markings for the glass ones where they would be convenient only for a right handed person. Sadly, yesterday the handle on my oxo snapped off while my husband was washing it. I give them credit for the idea, so either left or right handed people can use it, but the quality of plastic needs an upgrade or they need to make it in a glass version like the pyrex.

50e6ebd3 b4c9 4d51 bd5e 1163afa4ba06  2013wreath
BerryBaby

BerryBaby is trusted source on General Cooking

added 4 months ago

I still have the dry(Tupperware plastic) measuring cups from 1973! I use a glass, Pyrex, for liquid. I was taught in Home Ec back in the 60's the reason for the two different measuring cups was for accuracy. But now, from what I'm reading it makes more sense to weigh the dry ingredients. I do weigh the flour for pizza dough and will now do it for other recipes. Thanks, everyone!