Our Best Tips for How to Measure Ingredients

We know that you know how to measure ingredients. The basics of it, anyways. Here are some indispensable tips and tricks your mom or YouTube may not have taught you.

A set of measuring cups.
: homydesign

Most things in life are figure-out-able. Including measuring ingredients when you’re making a recipe. While we’re pretty certain you’ve managed to figure it out, every once in a while a nifty tip or trick appears in a recipe or one of our recipe testers shares a comment that’s too brilliant to keep to ourselves. Here they are.—LC Editors

How to liberate your measuring spoons

A set of measuring spoons.
: PixelsAway

Separate your measuring spoons. Yes, free them from the little ring that holds them together. There’s no law saying they must live together! No need to wash a group of four because they’re all attached. I keep a small glass on my countertop with probably a total of three sets of measuring spoons so that I always have a clean tablespoon or teaspoon to use when measuring spices, etc.—Linda McElroy

How to not lose your place in a recipe

An illustration of ingredients and cooking utensils above a cookbook.
: Matriyoshka

Ever get distracted while measuring and forget if you’ve added something? (Hello, 40s!) Start each recipe with all of your ingredient packages and containers lined up on one side of the bowl. As you measure and add, move each ingredient to the other side. It’ll be obvious what you’ve already added.—LC Editors

How to stop guessing when you reduce a sauce by half

Put a rubber band around a chopstick and use it as a measuring stick when you’re reducing something. Just slide the rubber band down to the top of the liquid as your starting point.  As the liquid decreases, you’ll be able to see how much has been cooked off.—Terry S.

How to measure sticky things

Honey being drizzled onto a spoon.
: magone

Whenever I have to measure something sticky—like peanut butter, honey, or syrup—I spray the measuring cup with nonstick spray and it makes the sticky stuff come right out of the measuring cup. [Editor’s Note: A little oil will also do the trick.]—Ellen F.

How to not get frustrated each time you measure something

Consider decanting any item you use on a frequent basis into a jar or container with an opening that’s wide enough for you to slip in a measuring cup or spoon. No more maddeningly turning and twisting your measuring device at all angles to make it fit into the jar or plastic resealable container.—LC Editors

How to avoid a disaster

Pretty simple. Resist the temptation to scoop and measure directly over the bowl or pan. Instead, do it over a sheet of parchment paper so you can lift and funnel any spillage back to its original container.—LC Editors



  1. To me, it’s all about one phrase: mise en place. Before I even click on the burner for cooking, I gather up all the ingredients, cut them up, measure them out, and place any together in a bowl where the recipe says to add “x,y, &, p, and whatnot”. Also, with re-reading, and more, the meat is usually cut up last to avoid too much contamination.

    After that, it is “ready, aim, fire!”

  2. To avoid errors in measurement I always look for recipes that use the weight of the ingredient necessary. There is then no reason for error. It is particularly good for bread recipes. I just wish that more recipe providers supplied the weight along with the cup and spoon measurements and that way everyone should be happy.

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