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The Glass Measuring Cup: Standing the Test of Time

Updated on June 30, 2018
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I've enjoyed caring for my own lawn and garden for 30 years and have taken formal horticultural courses. I like to share what I've learned.


The Glass Measuring Cup: A Kitchen Necessity

I've always had at least a handful of glass measuring cups on hand. They are my most reliable and versatile tools in the kitchen. Glass offers a number of advantages over plastic and ceramic measuring cups. I even prefer them over stainless steel.

Learn more about why a glass measuring cup is so handy and get some tips about choosing them and using them.

Advantages and Disadvantages

When it comes to measuring ingredients while cooking, there are certainly many options. Plastic measuring cups are extremely affordable, ceramic can be pretty, and stainless is sturdy. However, if you want something long-lasting, a glass measuring cup is one of the best options.

Glass is ideal for a number of reasons:

  • A glass measuring cup offers a non-porous surface. This means that it won't absorb stains, flavors, or odors.
  • Glass is easy to clean. Oil washes off more easily on glass and few things will stick to it. It's dishwasher safe as well, so handwashing isn't necessary.
  • They're safe. You don't have to worry about glazes, paints, metals, or plastics contaminating or leeching into your food. Because most of these measuring cups are a bit heavier than plastic and many other materials, they tend not to tip over as easily either, preventing spills.
  • Glass measuring cups are durable. A quality glass measuring cup may well last a lifetime. In fact, many people have some that have been passed down to them. They can tolerate extreme temperatures without deforming or breaking. You can pour boiling water in them, heat contents in the microwave with them, and refrigerate them. It is recommended however that users not go from one extreme immediately to the next.
  • They can cut down on meal preparation time and clean up. With larger measuring cups, you can sometimes do all of your mixing in it. This allows you to work more quickly and certainly helps reduce clean up time.
  • Glass is easy to use/read. Glass can make measuring ingredients accurately a bit easier. Because you can see through it, you're able to pour in your ingredient and then get down on eye level to check to be sure it's measured as precisely. This isn't possible with stainless steel, ceramic, or plastic.

Probably the primary drawbacks to using glass measuring cups are:

  • They are heavier. For kids or the elderly, they may be difficult to use in the larger sizes for this reason.
  • Although they are safe in the microwave and in the refrigerator, you should avoid using them under a broiler, on the stovetop, and should not take them from one extreme temperature to the next due to the risk of breaking. Of course, if you drop one, you are more likely to break it or break your flooring if it is tile than if the measuring cup were plastic or metal.


Buying Tips

  1. Choosing a glass measuring cup is a simple task. However, you first need to determine which size is right for you. If you will be using it to mix up a cake, then a 2-quart size might be perfect. However, if you'll be measuring ingredients for a bit of salad dressing a one cup size might be sufficient.
  2. Aside from size, it's also important to know the measurements you will want it to provide. For instance, if you're measuring for medicines or salad dressings you'll need milliliters and/or teaspoons/tablespoons indicated.
  3. Lids and pour spouts may also be preferred features. Lids can allow you to store contents safely in the cup and some even offer a variety of pouring options such as sifting, pouring, straining, and sprinkling. These features make glass measuring cups even more flexible cooking utensils that can reduce the number of dirty dishes after meal preparation.
  4. You might also consider how easy it is to read the measurement indicators. Many have bold red or black lettering that is generally easy to read. Some offer raised letters which don't offer as much visual contrast but on the other hand, can't wash away over time.
  5. Finally, double check that the measuring cup you choose is dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. You want a somewhat heavier cup that will truly stand the test of time (and heat).


Just A Couple Of Tips For Using A Glass Measuring Cup

Very little explanation is needed of course, but there are a few critical things to assure accurate measurements.

  1. Take a moment before using the measuring cup to be sure you understand the scale printed on it. For instance, it may indicate 1/2, 1, 1 1/2, and 2 cups, but you need to be sure where the 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup marks are even though they may not be labeled. For example, the 3/4 cup mark would be the one exactly in the middle, between 1/2 cup and 1 cup.
  2. When using the cup to measure, be sure it is sitting level. Once you've filled it to the desired level, lean down and look at it at eye level, to be sure it's filled exactly to the point you want.

Care of Glass Measuring Cups

Again, there is not a great deal of complexity here. Glass is a breeze to maintain. Just wash by hand or in the dishwasher along with other dishes and glassware.

If, over a period of time, your measuring cup begins to look cloudy it's likely a result of the dishwasher. In this case, you can clean it with vinegar and it should look like new.

© 2010 Christine Mulberry


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