Carpenters are fond of saying, “Measure twice, cut once” and I say the same holds true in the kitchen where careful measurement can mean the difference between culinary conquest and catastrophe. Here are some of the tools I use to insure against the latter.
This is pretty much the only liquid measuring cup I use. Wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, the perfect beaker is equally easy to read when full or very nearly not. And the indexing around the outside includes pretty much every form of volumetric measurement you could ever need.
Stainless Steel Ruler
There are plenty of baked good recipes out there that call for careful measurement of length, but I use this stainless steel ruler for a lot of other jobs. For instance, if I’m supposed to reduce a pot of a liquid by a third, what better way to calculate than to stick a ruler right down into the pot for a baseline measurement. After all it’s way easier to reduce from four to two inches than to simply guess “by half.”
I have long been a proponent of plunger style measuring vessels because there is simply no device better for volumetrically finagling or dispensing goopy stuff like mayo, shortening and peanut butter.
I have a rule in the kitchen: If you can weigh it … weigh it. This is especially true of compressible powders like flour. Not only is this OXO model accurate and precise, (there is a difference, but that’s a discussion for another time) the digital display pops out for easy positioning and reading.
Although it’s more commonly known as a “turkey baster,” this is not the tool I would reach for if I was actually going to baste a turkey, which of course I wouldn’t because basting is evil. What I like this device for is measuring liquid ingredients, especially those I’m attempting to extract from narrow bottles containing bits and pieces I want to leave behind, (think pickle brine or chili oil). What makes this model special is that the tube is indexed in both U.S. and metric volumes.