How to Measure Liquid Ingredients

Make sure you have a plastic or glass measuring cup.
Make sure you have a plastic or glass measuring cup. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

To make a recipe correctly, you need to measure liquid ingredients properly. A simple step like measuring oil can cause cakes to overly harden or turn into mush from one mistake. Make sure you have the right kitchen tools for this task, including a cup that specifically measures liquids.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons

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Use the correct tool for the job. Make sure you start with a liquid measuring cup -- a glass or plastic cup with graduated markings on the side. They usually range from a quarter cup to 1 cup in size, though some are much larger.

Place the cup on a flat, level surface. Hold the cup firmly and pour the desired amount or liquid into the cup.

Lean over and view the liquid at eye level to make sure it is the proper amount. Alternatively, place the cup on a different level surface (like the microwave shelf) so you can see at eye level the correct amount is in the cup. Make absolutely sure you are looking from eye level instead of down because this can skew the measurement.

Understand the relationship between measuring spoons and the measuring cup. For example, a cup equals 16 tablespoons, and 2 tablespoons make up a liquid ounce. In addition, 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon. Place a bowl under the spoons when pouring liquids into them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Liquid measuring can get sticky; grease the inside lightly so oil and honey will completely leave when you pour the measured ingredient into the rest of recipe.
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