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Jun 25, 2009 09:03 AM

odd size measuring spoons why no 1/3 tsp

hello all- any idea why there's never a 1/3 tsp included in sets? I ordered an odd sized set (which obviously i don't NEED but thought the 1/8 tsp and 2 tablespoon measure would be handy) but noticed there's no 1/3

any ideas? and is this normal or just the set i have? i guess i haven't had an issue with a recipe yet though...

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  1. I have never in my life seen a recipe that calls for 1/3 of a tsp (and I'm not a spring chicken). I think for most purposes either a 1/2 or 1/4 suffices. And I have never in my life seen a measuring spoon of size 1/3 tsp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DGresh

      I know this is an old thread but . . .

      There are DOZENS of recipes in Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking that call for 1/3 tsp of something (usually turmeric). I've often wondered why - I don't remember such measurements in her first cookbook, "Classic Indian Cooking".

      1. re: DGresh

        My 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook, which is the best cookbook ever made!, has a ton of recipes that call for 1/3 of a tsp. This includes entrees and desserts. But I too abhor plastic measuring devices, they just feel and look so cheap compared to metal.

      2. I just bought a set of odd-size spoons from The 2-Tbsp one is perfect for filling large madeleine molds! The set is a great, odd gift.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mnosyne

          I have a set I got on - dry measuring cups and measuring spoons in different sizes. Love 'em.


          Personally, I would err with a rounded 1/4 tsp measure for when I do properly measure ingredients. I have too many measuring spoons.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Caralien

            I had a gift certificate and love kitchen stuff (and I had only one set each of measuring spoons, dry and wet measuring cups). They're just so cute, and they fit into herb bottles so well....

              1. re: bayoucook

                the last set I purchased was the odd-size All Clad set (I really wanted the largest cup as a butter warmer, and considered the rest bonus pieces); the benefit of this set has been their sturdiness--I haven't bent the pieces even when scooping out dough:

                I have another standard steel set of spoons (15 years old?) which haven't failed me.

                Then there are the odd pieces acquired at various times, origin unknown.

                  1. re: bayoucook

                    at $30, a relative bargain considering the cost of the butter warmer ($50)

                    We keep ours on a hanging rack (pressed for space), and last minute grabs when one is covered in flour or other cooking detrius makes it far more convenient than having to grab a towel to open a drawer to fiddle between implements!

                1. re: bayoucook

                  Looking a little further down that page it appears there are three different types that you can buy together at the bargain price of $53. Strange thing is that the individual totals for the three items is $43.

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    I've noticed that on amazon before; who do they think they're foolin'?

                    1. re: bayoucook

                      anybody who just sees "set" and thinks "oh, way easier than ordering individually!"

              2. This is normal. The only time I can think one would want a 1/3 teaspoon measure would be when a recipe calls for a teaspoon of something and you're making a third of the recipe. Even then, unless I was baking I'd probably just do either a heaping 1/4 teaspoon or a scant 1/2 teaspoon.

                There is a set of measuring spoons that has everything from 1/64 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons, and in the middle of it is a 1/3 teaspoon. Go to to check it out. I'm not the biggest fan of the set, but this is likely because I've found I just prefer metal measuring spoons.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  That's the only time I have seen 1/3 tsp in a recipe...when I have adjusted it to make a third. I am often dividing and multiplying cake recipes to adjust from pan size to pan size. And I have never encountered a recipe either at work or home that the measuring had to be so precise that a 1/4 tsp mounded or a tsp eyeballed to be a third of the measure didn't work. People get so caught up in the 'baking has to be precise idea' and IMHO it's not so true.

                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                    I have been searching for a long time for a 1/3teaspoon measure. ]Until now I thought they didn'
                    t make anything of that size, Thank you for telling me about I intend to contact them to purchase a set, Again, a million thanks, Lucy

                  2. Well on the other hand, pretty much every basic set of
                    measuring spoons contains a 1/3 Tbsp.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                      If that were so, I doubt the original poster would have asked the question.

                      In my experience, the basic sizes in just about every set of measuring spoon are 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, and 1 tablespoon. Bigger sets add 1/8 tsp, 3/4 tsp, and/or 2 tablespoons. Only the most comprehensive sets contain a 1/3 tsp measure.

                      1. re: ellabee

                        Chuckles said 1/3 Tbsp(tablespoon) which is 1 teaspoon.

                      2. re: Chuckles the Clone

                        Good one, Chuckles. You got 'em!

                        It took a few years, but you got someone.