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Liquid Measuring Cup (glass) inaccurate - recommendations?

I have a pyrex 1 cup size liquid measuring cup (not the old formulation, but purchased within the last couple years) that must be inaccurately marked. (This is for US standard recipes using cups; not metric measurements).

Obviously all glass measuring cups must have some tolerance of accuracy but I've noticed problems when I use this cup. I make bread in a bread machine and had to throw away several loaves that either sogged into the middle or didn't rise at all; per the instruction manual something must have been wrong with my liquid measurements.
Before I had this measuring cup, I didn't have any issues with the same recipes in this bread machine.

Some accuracy in measurement must count; as there is some importance to ingredient volumes when baking, but I noticed that for this cup, one side's printed markings don't even match the other side (they're not level).

I prefer glass liquid measuring cups to plastic (for heating, but not cooking in it). I also would like a measuring cup that has more detailed markings: the pyrex seems to have down to the 1/4 cup, but some of my bread machine recipes are asking for liquid measure accuracy to the 1/16th cup (as in "1 and 3/16 cup water").

Anyone have any recommendations for any other glass measuring cups/manufacturers that have a higher "granularity" (more marks?) that have been reasonably accurate??

I also have a metric measuring cup (plastic) but I'm not too sure about accuracy with it either. Would I be better off converting to milliLiters, to get that 1/16 cup?

I don't need labware accuracy. I just want the bread recipes to reliably work.

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  1. Do you have a kitchen scale? That's the easiest way of assuring accuracy. A mL of water = 1gm by weight. Work out the conversions you use most and keep it with the scale.
    I find weighing all my ingredients is the only way I can get the same results every time. And it's much faster (once I learned the weights per volume of my most-used ingredients, anyway!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: tacosandbeer

      This. I use a scale exclusively. It's far more accurate than measuring cups and spoons.

    2. Hi, kwidproquo:

      I use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Emsa-Perfect-Be... My sense is it's pretty accurate.

      It's not glass. If anyone knows of the same style made in glass, I'd love to buy one.


      3 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        Hey, Kaleo,

        You should check yours. Cook's Illustrated found the one they had to be off by 1 tablespoon at the 1 cup mark.

        1. re: DuffyH

          Hi, Duffy:

          OK, I'll check.

          One of the virtues of this shape beaker is its versatility for, among other things, both wet and dry measures. The V-shape means that the higher you fill it, the more the scale shrinks--it's certainly not linear. Heck, the meniscus of water at the very top or the line itself may be >1T. I've just never had an issue with it yielding off results.

          I do have a small (150ml/10T) vintage Anchor beaker that is straight-wall and my graduated cylinders for finer granularity in measuring liquids when spoons won't get the job done, but I rarely use them. I'm sure I have a pipette out in the winery, too...


          1. re: kaleokahu

            Good morning, K,

            I do like that beaker. But then, I'm a big fan of lab beakers and graduated cylinders. They bring out the lab geek in me.

            And of course, accuracy can and does vary even in the same line of cups. I hear you about the scale and meniscus variation. When measuring 1 cup, I get more accurate results using my 2 cup measure for just those reasons. Maybe that's the OP's solution - a larger cup.

      2. If you've got a scale, first, measure out a cup of water and then weigh it to make sure your cup is mis-marked. Pyrex normally gets very high marks for accuracy, even the new stuff. Be sure to read it at eye level.

        If your cup is wrong, but you want to keep using it, you can always weigh out your common liquid ingredients and mark the correct level with a Sharpie.

        1. I break things.
          Reidel crystal, plates, bowls, soup tureens, the lot.

          I use three stainless steel graded cans, and a digital scale. I either use the marked scale measurements on each can, or enter the Tass weight of each can, and then deduct to measure or weigh the actual liquid or flour, etc. in the can.

          Can >minus< Tass weight = measured amount. Simple.
          I used 2 this morning to make and bake Sunday bread.
          If they drop, they don't break.

          1. Not glass but I have these along with a set of glass Pyrex and I turn to the oxo ones more often than not. You don't have to get down at eye level when really accuracy matters, you just look down into them. Just now tested them with my kitchen scale and they are right on.


            2 Replies
            1. re: foodieX2

              You should really measure at eye level at the center of the meniscus. Water domes downward as it gets attracted to the sides of the cup. Generally, reading from above will lead to a reading that is too high. This is known as parallax error. While Oxo provides readings on an angled surface, the tendency of liquids to curve leads me to not totally invest my trust in these readings.

              1. re: GOJIRA

                Well, like I said, I tested the measurement on my kitchen scale and they are spot in. I recommend doing so for any new measuring cups to be confident in the results.

            2. 1/16 cup is one tablespoon.

              Just measure it with a measuring spoon.

              Remember that humidity will affect the outcome -- if you make the exact same recipe on a sticky, humid day, you'll have very different results than if you make the recipe on a dry day.

              No, bread isn't that fussy and doesn't require that much accuracy.

              It would be better for you to look carefully at how the dough behaves and adjust the recipe on a batch-by-batch basis -- some days you'll need that extra tablespoon, some days you won't.

              1. I have 2 older Pyrex measuring cups. I bought them because its made of borosilicate glass (the type used in laboratory glassware) which is more durable and heat resistant than soda lime glass. I dont heat it much but I do like to heat it in the microwave at times. I also love the added benefit of it having embossed markings. These markings wont fade unlike the red lettering on newer cups. Pyrex started using red printed lettering in 1940 and 1941.

                One of the cups which I know to come from the late 1930s is extremely accurate. I placed it on my calibrated My Weigh i5500 scale and poured in 236.59 grams of room temperature water and the meniscus fell right at the 1 cup line. Repeated it for the other points and at eye level, the line was right where the meniscus was. While I prefer using a scale, there are times when I dont need to be precise to the .1 gram and its great to know that I can trust my cup. I would even go as far as to compare it to Class A Volumetric laboratory glassware.

                I have another embossed Pyrex measuring Cup but it isn't as accurate. The markings are a little too low and it doesn't meet the preciseness I want. I have no idea when it was made but it should be the 30s. It is lighter, wider, and shorter than my other cup. Im thinking it was made during the transition to red markings as the glass isn't as yellowed. The only thing that I dont like about my cups is its a little small but I dont think Pyrex manufactured a 2 cup version back then. Though that may be a benefit as when cups increase in capacity, their accuracy tends to suffer.

                1/16th cup is approximately 1 tablespoon btw. Kitchen measuring cups generally dont need anything other than the standard 1/3,1/4,1/2, ect. measurements. We have tablespoons and teaspoons for that. Never seen a recipe that asked for 3/16 cup. But I have to ask, have you changed ingredient brands? Different brands of flour measured by volume may differ in weight. There is also the protein content difference. Honestly, I would convert your recipes to weight and see if that fixes the problem.

                1. Whatever you do, avoid the Marinex 2 cup measuring cup at all costs. It's one purchase I absolutely regret. It's made of borosilicate glass. That's the one good thing. The milliliter fractions are well marked and easy to read. But the rest are just plain silly.

                  It lacks ¼ cup marks and has no markings for thirds. Seriously.

                  It has marks for ¼, ½, ¾ and 1 POUND. Huh???

                  Plus, the square design makes for sometimes sloppy pouring.

                  Run away. Run far away.

                  1. thanks for all the comments! I really enjoy reading your suggestions (and warnings).

                    1. I have an Anchor two-cup that I've had for less than two years and don't use frequently. I just took it out of the dishwasher and voila! No more red lettering or markings . . . just some faint etching where they used to be.

                      Guess it's not a measuring cup any more.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Yup. Mom's old PYREX one-cup measure bit the dust a while back. She complained loudly, blaming me, saying I must have done something to it.

                        I tried to explain about newer, more aggressive DW tabs, etc... but she would have none of it. Until I invited her to examine my dishes and see how much nicer than hers they looked.

                        I think in her heart she still thinks I scrubbed the paint off to get back at her for something. ;-)