you can’t always trust measuring cups, but here’s what you can do about it - stainless steel wine cups
Just as you expect it to fall to the ground when you drop something, or the sun will rise in the morning, you tend to assume that when you pull out a measuring cup, it will actually measure the correct number.
It turns out that this is not always the case.
Since I'm a bit nerdy and like to be as close to 100% accurate as possible as I can say to bake, I recently decided to compare two sets of metal measuring cups in our food lab.
Just look at them and I know it's impossible for them to hold the same amount.
I was right.
I fill each cup with "1 cup" flour and pop up on our scale.
The difference is about an ounce, which is very important considering that I and others think a cup is 5 ounces. (
Please see Food 52 and some other examples of bad measuring cups in King Arthur's flour. )
If you use a few cups in the recipe, the difference is magnified, and all of a sudden, you will find that the difference starts to affect the results.
But the change is not limited to the dry cup.
Starting to compare the capacity of the liquid measuring cup and the measuring spoon, you will certainly get the same frustrating inconsistency.
"We are as surprised as anyone to find out that these are inaccurate," said Lisa mcmanas, editor of administrative tasting and testing --a. k.
Test Kitchen in USA
As part of a rigorous equipment testing program, ATK has evaluated the dry measuring cups, liquid measuring cups and measuring spoons and tested their accuracy in the laboratoryquality, high-Precision scale.
They calculate accuracy by comparing the weight of each container with the known component weight.
The difference may be amazing.
Some spoons are more than 30%, some dry cups are more than 6%, and a glass of water is more than 2 tablespoons (
At least in a liquid measuring cup.
What is that deal?
"My theory is simple quality control," McManus said . ".
"If you print numbers and lines on a cup, that's a machine.
"If the situation is inconsistent, the line will appear in the wrong place, so that the Cup is no longer a cup.
When it comes to dry measuring cups, "manufacturers tend to think it's a whimsical time," says McManus, so you start to get weird, and the boom in decoration and alternative materials make it harder to get a general size.
Oxo, the manufacturer of ATK's award-winning dry Cup, believes that there are similar reasons for the huge difference between brands.
SaysFrancoise Vielot said: "because the dry measuring cup does not occupy too much space, it is quite simple and is regarded as an essential household tool, so there is an opportunity to design the category director of the company's baking and measuring products based on the user's preferences.
"Some people like stainless steel or copper, others like more fun, more colorful options, or cheaper plastic options.
Nevertheless, some people may want unique materials to provide additional functional advantages, such as silicone, which may crash due to storage or have traditional appeal like ceramics.
"A few years ago Joshua Redstone, a math enthusiast and former software engineer, began thinking about the size change of the measuring cup.
In the end, his exploration allowed him to design and manufacture a liquid in the rabbit hole, which he said maintained high precision.
"I 've never seen the measuring cups claim accuracy on their website," Redstone said, at least in any type of number (
Like polls or scientific research, there is an error).
"You're a little surprised why.
"Redstone is determined to know how close the size of his own measuring cup Euclid is to perfection.
This means going to the third one.
Party Lab, an effort that cost thousands of dollars. (
Stone stone has almost set its accuracy to less than 1%, but eventually decides that he will want more data before it is officially released on his website. )
It is understatement to say that laboratory testers have done work for them.
Although most calibration labs are straight-oriented-
The edge beaker and cylinder, as the size increases, the Euclid begins to narrow and emits a flare to the top.
The idea is that with the increase in quantity, by increasing the surface area of the liquid, you can control that we are human and tend to be over-
Or below target.
Think this: the same amount of excessor under-
Filling becomes more important when you measure the Cup, as it will account for a larger proportion of the total liquid you measure.
Hair above or below 1 cup of thread will not make any difference.
Of course, Redstone's product is a more extreme example, but we really can't know if the manufacturer is pursuing the same accuracy, especially when money is a factor.
Redstone said of his pet program: "The cost is not my most concern (
Funded by a Kickstarter donation)
But mcmanas says ATK has heard from other engineers that sometimes they are under pressure to cut production costs.
Oxo says its quality --
The control process is in place to ensure accurate measurement and several rounds of testing are carried out on all its measuring tools.
The company passed the weight test, and in addition to not using water, it also used ball beads that were easier to check the capacity.
But is the company bragging about this quality control? Hardly.
Unless you are a particularly stubborn consumer, or a journalist, you are unlikely to find out.
So this leaves the question of what a home chef can do to ensure they get the most accurate measurements.
You can try to get the equipment that has been thoroughly tested by companies like ATK, because not many of us have the resources or equipment to do this kind of review.
Also, look for tools that at least look simple and reliable.
Both McManus and Oxo' svielot at ATK suggest looking for dry measuring cups that are easy to smooth at the top and do not lose marks over time.
Durable markers that are easy to read are also key to the liquid measuring cup.
If you have a scale, you can even do your own weight verification at home.
Or you can skip the volume completely and decide to rely entirely on the weight, especially when it comes to baking.
Also help yourself with proper measurements.
For dry ingredients, this means that ATK calls it a "dip sweep", scoops the ingredients, and then uses a flat appliance (such as a non-
Blade end of table knife.
For liquid, place the measuring cup on the counter and bend down so you can see it (
ATK found that some tags designed to be read from above are inaccurate or difficult to read).
Use the meniscus of the liquid, the underside of the surface curve, as a reference point to know that you have reached the correct level.
McManus wants to see standardized cups become the norm.
"It will definitely make our work easier," she said . ".
It's just a daydream, so doubt will never disappear completely, especially if you 've been burned before.
"How do you trust any of them after you find a bad one? ” McManus says.
She said: "It's good to know it's a possibility, so" buy something that will support your cooking and don't mess you up in a way you can't imagine.
"Clarification: This version has been updated to include the results of the third version
A party lab test was conducted on the Euclid measuring cup.
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