These Cups Measure Up
10/Mon/11 - 19:35 Filed in: Prep Tools
This past Sunday I was making Paella and I had 4 different tasks to do which I used the same tool to them with. I had to measure out some liquids, I had to measure out some rice, I had to heat a small amount of liquid to a boil and I had to melt a small amount of butter. For all of these I used my metal measuring cups. It occurred to me it might be worth a short blog entry on this most useful prep tool, whose benefits you might not be aware of unless you’ve actually used them. Behold the metal measuring cup.
My metal measuring cups are made by OXO. They consist of a 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup sizes (59, 79, 118, 236 mL). The cup part is round with a flat bottom. They are made of brushed stainless steel and the stainless steel handles are wrapped with an easy to clean rubber like food-safe material. Now why does the handle need to be rubber clad? Because one of the advantages to these measuring cups is with their flat bottoms and metal construction you can place them on the stove to heat or melt small amounts of liquid. You could use them out at the grill for that matter. I use these measuring cups on the stove all the time to melt small amounts of butter or bring liquids to a boil. I think the ability to use them on the stove will prove valuable to you. The reverse is true too. You can scoop out some already hot liquid into the cups without worrying about melting a plastic cup. Being made of stainless steel these measuring cups are safe anywhere you want to put them in the dishwasher. The same isn’t true of plastic measuring cups. I have some off-white plastic measuring cups that stained over time. This is something that should never happen with stainless steel.
I use mine metal measuring cups so frequently that I bought two sets. This covers me if I have some of one set in the dishwasher and it is time to make another meal. Another tip I have involves bringing liquids to a boil in these cups. I always measure the liquid out in the proper sized cup and then pour it into the next size up to bring to a boil. For example if I need to bring 1/3 cup (79 mL) of a liquid to a boil. I will measure it out into the 1/3 cup (79 mL) sized measuring cup and then pour it into the 1/2 cup (118 mL) size to bring to a boil. This way the liquid can become turbulent and not overflow the cup. The only complaint I have about these measuring cups, and it is a minor one, is the when empty the 1/4 cup (59 mL) size won’t stand flat on the counter. The other sizes work fine, but the weight of the handle tips the 1/4 cup measuring cup so it is resting on the end of the handle. With something in the cup, the 1/4 cup (59 mL) stands flat on the counter too. The new models OXO has out now have a shorter handle which probably eliminates this minor (and I do mean minor complaint).
So if you are in the market for some measuring cups, I’d suggest you try a set of metal measuring cups. I’ve had one of my two sets of OXO model cups for 10 years now and the other for 7 years and they have held up well. No signs or rust or wear and I can’t tell the two sets apart. I’ve noticed the new OXO metal measuring cups are redesigned with sloped sides, shorter handles and a slotted hole on the handles so they can be held together on a ring. Me, I stack mine in a nested pile, but the new design can still do that too. If you like the looks of the ones I have, vs. the redesigned OXO models there are sets by other manufacturers that still look like my old set, which are seen in the photo above. Try ‘em, I think you like ‘em!
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