The best measuring spoon
While some cooks can get by with a dash of this and a pinch of that, many culinary delights require precise measurements. Measuring spoons offer the chance to really hone your craft in the kitchen when exact amounts of ingredients are required.
Before buying a measuring spoon set, you’ll want to consider its shape and what it’s made of, which measurements it offers and if it’s easy to use. For sheer versatility and performance, the Spring Chef Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set, Dual Sided is an excellent choice.
What to know before you buy measuring spoons
Measuring spoons come in a variety of materials. While wood is a more decorative or novelty material, the two predominant types of measuring spoons can be found in either stainless steel or plastic.
Stainless-steel measuring spoons are durable and can usually be tossed into the dishwasher after use.
Plastic-measuring spoons are less durable and can hold flavors when scratched. They do tend to be less expensive than stainless steel, though, and they come in a wide range of colors.
Materials matter most if you plan on using your measuring spoons with hot liquid. Even BPA-free plastic can add off flavors and unwanted chemicals in the face of scalding hot liquids. If you’ll be working with anything warmer than room temperature, choose stainless-steel spoons.
Not all measuring spoon sets include the same measurements. At a minimum, you might find a measuring spoon set with 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon, but there are other configurations, too. Some sets don’t offer a tablespoon but do offer an ⅛ teaspoon. Others also offer a 2-teaspoon measure.
Some novelty measuring spoons offer less precise measurements, like a pinch or a dash.
Most cooks can get by with just the four main measurements (one tablespoon, one teaspoon, a half teaspoon and a quarter teaspoon), but having other increments can be helpful.
While many measuring spoons are round, other shapes are available that can be more convenient for measuring certain ingredients. Skinny oval and rectangular measuring spoons fit conveniently into the narrow necks of spice jars and may be a better choice if you’re a dedicated baker.
To complete your kitchen measuring tools, make sure you have measuring cups.
Measuring spoons features
Ease of use
Ease of use means you don’t have to squint to read the numbers on the spoons. For new cooks who don't quite have the size of the spoons down, clear labels can be the difference between a pièce de résistance and a kitchen nightmare.
Look for labels that are not only clear but also durable. Some painted on labels quickly wash off in the dishwasher, while others that are laser-printed are far more durable.
For small kitchens with few drawers, measuring spoons that are connected with a ring and nestle neatly together are a real space-saver. If space is truly at a premium, consider buying an adjustable-measuring spoon that has many measurements in one spoon.
While you won’t be holding onto a measuring spoon for long, make sure the handle is easy to hold. Rubber grips keep the spoon steady even when your hands are wet, but they are not strictly necessary.
Measuring spoons cost
Measuring spoons can cost less than a fancy coffee. Plan to spend $6-$15 for a set of spoons.
Measuring spoons FAQ
What is the best measuring spoon shape?
A. Round and ova- measuring spoons are better at liquid measurements and rectangular spoons excel at measuring dry ingredients. Both will work fine no matter which you choose, but if you know that you measure spices more frequently, then choose a rectangular shape. This shape works well with skinny spice jars.
Do all measuring spoons measure accurately?
A. The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines the weight of liquid in a teaspoon as 5 milliliters (and a tablespoon at 15 milliliters). Each millimeter weighs approximately 1 gram. In theory, this guideline should be followed by every manufacturer of measuring spoons but in practice, some spoons can be off a gram or more.
Why does this matter? For most home cooks, this inaccuracy is not a matter of life and death, nor will it affect the end result too much. But for serious bakers, even the slightest difference in ingredients can cause a culinary catastrophe. It also explains why sometimes your recipes don’t turn out well, even if you followed the directions precisely.
It’s easy to test measuring spoon accuracy. Use a kitchen scale, a 1-teaspoon measuring spoon and a water-filled eye dropper. Place the measuring spoon on a kitchen scale and turn it on (make sure it starts on grams). Add water using the eyedropper and check the measurement. If it’s flickering and not quite 1 gram (or more than 1 gram), you might want to replace your measuring spoons.
Which measuring spoons should I get?
Best of the best measuring spoons
Spring Chef Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set, Dual Sided: available at Amazon
Our take: This set works in even the narrowest jars.
What we like: Dual-sided measuring spoons set features a slender end for spice jars and a round end for everything else. Made of sturdy stainless steel, these spoons come in eight measurements and include a leveler. The labels are available in eight colors and the spoons nest together with magnets for easy storage.
What we dislike: Some users did not like the magnetic storage.
Best bang for your buck measuring spoons
Our take: With a full range of measurements and color-coded labeling, this set is great for both novice and experienced cooks.
What we like: This sturdy plastic set comes with seven spoons ranging from one tablespoon to ⅛ teaspoon. Spoons snap together for storage but are easily separated when needed.
What we dislike: These need to be hand washed or the labels will come off.
Honorable mention measuring spoons
U-Taste Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Set of 7: available at Amazon
Our take: This is a simple, functional and modern set of measuring spoons.
What we like: These are made of sturdy stainless steel and connected by a ring. Seven spoons are in this set, but sets of eight and nine are available, too. It is dishwasher safe and durable.
What we dislike: The measurements on the spoons are etched and a little hard to read.
Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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