What is the Difference Between Liquid and Dry Measures?

Most people probably take measuring cups for granted, especially if they have been cooking or baking for almost all their life. For those who are already experts, measuring ingredients using the proper tool is probably a no brainer. On the other hand, measuring ingredients is not something that everyone learns easily, especially in baking because cooking can be forgiving if you use too little or too much ingredients.

Baking gives you no room for mistakes, using the right ingredients and measuring them properly is very important. Along with this, one should also be aware of the difference between measuring cups, beakers, and spoons. That is why, in this article, we are going to differentiate dry and liquid measures and when to use them.

Measuring cup with liquid inside

Dry Measuring Cup VS. Wet Measuring Cups

You’re probably thinking that they are both measuring cups, right? But there is a difference between these kinds of measuring cups, and they should only be used for the respective ingredients. Both dry and wet measuring cups have the same volume, but they are made to accurately measure wet and dry ingredients.

A wet measuring cup has a measurement that is placed below the top of the cup so that you can fill it to the correct measure without having to spill the ingredients. Wet measuring cups are often sold in cup augmentations like 1-cup or 2-cup measures all in one, or sometimes, they are sold as beakers.

On the other hand, dry measuring cups are often sold in sets or 4 cups or more. This type of measuring cup is designed to be filled to the brim. You do not need to worry about spilling the ingredients over to the side whenever you’re measuring sugar or flour.

How To Measure Using a Wet Measuring Cup

In order to measure your wet ingredients in a wet measuring cup, you need to place the cup on a flat surface then add the liquid to your desired measure. See if it’s accurate by squatting down to eye level with the measuring cup. Wait for the liquid to stay still and make sure that it is at the level you need. Remember not to hold the measuring cup to check its level, because you won’t be able to tell the exact measurement if the liquid inside the measuring cup is moving.

How to Use a Dry Measuring Cup

To measure your dry ingredients using a dry measuring cup, you need to scoop or spoon your ingredients into the cup and use a spatula or the back of a kitchen knife to level of the top. Remember not to pack your flour and only pack the ingredients if they say it can be packed. Keep in mind that brown sugar is always measured as packed unless stated otherwise.

What About Measuring Spoons?

Measuring spoons are typically used to measure both wet and dry ingredients. Measuring spoons are often made of plastic or metal and it come in sets of five or six spoons which includes: 1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, and even 1/8 teaspoon.

What If You Need to Measure Thick Ingredients?

If you’re going to measure ingredients such as applesauce, peanut butter, or yogurt, a dry measuring cup is the tool that you should use. This is because it is easier to measure these ingredients straight up to the brim of the measuring cup. These type of ingredients are quite hard to measure perfectly using a liquid measuring cup. However, it is quite hard to clean a dry measuring cup that’s covered with peanut butter, right?

That is why there is a measuring tool called the sticky measuring cup. It is specifically made to measure thick ingredients such as honey or peanut butter. A sticky measuring cup has an adjustable bottom where you can measure ingredients from 1 tablespoon up to two cups. One great thing about this tool is it is also super easy to clean, you just need to take it apart into two pieces and wash away those left over ingredients.

Remember, choosing and using the right measuring cup is one of the most crucial step when it comes to baking.