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What's going on with my measuring spoons?

One tablespoon holds 14.79 grams of water.
I bought a new set of measuring spoons. The top one holds 14 grams of water. I added water to the point where the spoon would spill over if I added any more. It's the new one. The bottom one is the old tablespoon. It would only hold 12 grams from the same water source. I've used the bottom spoon for many years and all this time I have been using a tablespoon which, in fact, has been out by almost three grams. That doesn't sound like much but if you are measuring out say ten tablespoons that amounts to about 30 grams. No wonder sometimes things don't turn out as expected.

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  1. That does seem like too large an error, but if you actually need ten tablespoons, you should measure half a cup plus two tablespoons.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GH1618

      I know it seems like a large error but we have done the comparison twice with the same results.

    2. The bottom one looks like the ones my mom has. I might take my scale over there this weekend and see what numbers I come up with.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kontxesi

        Those old shallow stamped steel spoons never were accurate. Ekco doesn't even make that style anymore. I prefer spoons with a deep rounded bowl.

      2. Here's an interesting article on measuring spoons:


        1. For baking especially, I always weigh my ingredients and this site makes the conversion simple: http://onlineconversion.com/weight_vo...

          1. Cups and spoons are known for quick measurement, not accurate measurement. Kitchen scales are needed when accuracy is needed.

            1. Hi, Puffin:

              Three lessons:

              (1) For most recipes (except some baking), the 'spoons absolute accuracy doesn't matter. Repeatability does. I'm sure your preparations have been delicious.

              (2) This is your license to goose your ingredients *to taste, texture or color*, and not be bound to the T/t of the printed recipe.

              (3) Even your old spoons are more exact than a skosh, bloop, pat, glug, shake, 3 pinches, etc.

              Bonus: I have two sets that look like both of yours. I prefer the rounded ones for solid ingredients (except shortening; the smaller round ones can fit in spice bottles) and the shallower ones for more easily catching liquids. Enjoy them both.


              1. According to Cook's Illustrated, these are the most accurate measuring spoons and cups they have tested (from 3 reviews in 2008, 2011 and 2012).

                Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Set - Model Number 74-7002
                OXO Good Grips Measuring Spoons - Model Number 76081
                Wilton Scoop-It Measuring Spoons - Model Number 2103-325

                Amco Houseworks Professional Performance 4-Piece (dry) Measuring Cup Set - Model Number 864

                Pyrex 2-Cup (liquid) Measuring Cup - Model Number 6001075

                1. Could have something to do with the design, might have something to do with difference in meniscus with shallow vs deeper spoons.

                  1 Reply
                  1. What, besides, butter would be measured as '10 tbls'? Even with butter, you should use the markings on the wrapper, or weight, not a tablespoon.

                    1. To test a digital scale if you don't have a special calibration weight you can use coins: (Make sure to use new, shiny coins. Worn coins will weigh less).

                      A U.S. nickel (5-cent coin for non-Americans) weighs exactly 5.00 grams and a U.S. cent (since 1983) weighs exactly 2.50 grams.

                      U.S. Cents 1981 and before weigh 3.11 grams. (In 1982 solid bronze U.S. cents were replaced with copper plated zinc U.S. cents. In 1982 both metal types of U.S. cents were made.)

                      Canadian coins are lighter. A Canadian 5-cent coin weighs 3.95 grams since 2000. A Canadian 1-cent coin weights 2.35 grams since 2000. Before 2000 coin weights changed several times due to changes in metal content.

                      If you live in another country, check out your government mint web site or coin collectors web sites for gram weights of your local coins.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Antilope

                        Totally not about food but did you know that the 'new' Canadian Loony weights less that the original one? There are tens of thousands of coin operated machines now in Canada that will not work with the new loonies. There are about 400 million new 'plastic' Canadian twenty dollar bills now in circulation. If you leave one in your pants and the twenty goes through a hot dryer the heat can warp the bill. The other day a lady near here went to the bank to get a twenty out of the bank machine. The machine spit out FOUR HUNDRED dollars instead. The new plastic bills are too slippery for the machine to deal with. Incidentally the Canadian maple leaf on the twenty is actually not a Canadian maple leaf it's a 'Norway' maple leaf considered an 'invasive species here in Canada. 'Neat eh?'

                      2. I have about 5 sets of measuring spoons accumulated over the years. Four out of five tested ok. The 5th one, purchased from QVC, made from heavy gauge stainless steel was way off. The measuring spoons in that set all have square bowls, so it's hard to eyeball them against the other round bowl sets. The "Tablespoon" only would hold about 11 gm of water. That's a little over 2 teaspoons. Wow, way off.

                        1. How are you measuring the grams of water? While my digital scales display grams they clearly aren't that sensitive.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: paulj

                            Amazon sells smaller digital scales, for around $ 20, that weight to the 1/10 or 1/100 of a gram.

                            A U.S. Cent made after 1982 is 2.50 gm and a U.S. Nickel made after 1945 is 5.00 gm. So you can test the accuracy of the scale with pennies and nickels.

                          2. curious whether any of your spoons were sold as calibrated?