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For measuring I usually use my red plastic Betty Crocker cups.
While rearranging some dishes, I noticed the 1 cup line on the 2 cup Anchor H one looked off - greater than one cup. I poured one cup from the plastic one into the 2cup Anchor Hocking one and there was a discrepancy. See photo. Also true of the glass 1 cup AH one.
This seems enough to make a difference in some recipes and general measuring. I appreciate any thoughts.

  • Agree you should weight it. But... American Cup vs Metric cup? – talon8 Jun 21 at 17:45
  • There's no such thing as a metric 'cup', it only applies to US measures. It was never even a valid measure when the UK used Imperial. As a non-American I always thought it the most confusing measure... It's half a pint, but as a US pint isn't even the same as an Imperial pint, it's half of something I can't even measure anyway ;-) - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pint – Tetsujin Jun 21 at 17:48
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    !@#$%^&* Now you have me checking all my measuring cups! :-) – MaxW Jun 21 at 17:58
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    This looks a good 1/8 cup too little though, more than the miniscus error! – Erica Jun 21 at 19:07
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    Counter doesn't look to be level. – Optionparty Jun 21 at 21:25

I'd get a third measuring tool to see which one is wrong.

One way to test this is to measure by weight (and IMO, all recipes should list ingredients by weight instead of volume)

1 cup of water is about 236ml which is 236g.

Get 1 cup from your red cup and weight it. Get 1 cup from your glass cup and weight it.

It should tell you which one is right.

And to answer your question, yes, for some recipes, if you add too much or too liltle liquid it will not result in different results (either too dry or too wet).

  • Thank you @ Max. Will do! It's just puzzling as these cups are from two major brands. – zoobird Jun 21 at 17:40
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    2 out of 3 of my most used measuring cups have the scale printed at an angle... that's how much care & attention they take with these things ;) I'm with Max on anything needing critical amounts - I use my scales, which will amongst other things do fl oz/ml & tare. Problem solved. – Tetsujin Jun 21 at 18:48
  • @Tetsujin It sounds like your measuring cups are the kind designed to separate oil from broth... (maybe?) – elbrant Jun 22 at 16:34
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    @elbrant - No, they're simply carelessly made, the prints are askew... by a mile. I'm assuming by the Moscow Rules that it's merely coincidence... I really don't suspect 'enemy action' ;) – Tetsujin Jun 22 at 16:55

Pyrex glass measuring cups are for liquids.
Plastic and metal "cups" are for dry ingredients.

It's an old rule of thumb that no one seems to remember...

The issue is a difference in volume.

One half gallon of milk weighs 4#s, contains 8 cups (8x8oz = 64oz/8 = 4#s).
Four pounds (#s) of sugar also contains 64oz.
Weights can be equal, but the mass (or volume) of objects can be different. A pound of feathers still weighs a pound, but it takes more space to hold them (than it does to hold a pound of sugar).

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    And what does that mean considering volumetric measurements? Shouldn’t a cup be a cup? – Stephie Jun 22 at 15:42
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    Erm, but that’s all volumes in this list? – Stephie Jun 22 at 16:51
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    Sorry, but please re-read your answer (which triggered this discussion): your first sentence implies that there are two different units for cups (that’s what the asker is talking about) - which I think is wrong. – Stephie Jun 22 at 17:55
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    @elbrant - As a chemist I'm not accepting your argument. "Measuring cups" are for measuring volume, not mass. Yes there is some old correlation to ounces of water and fluid volume but that is long out of use. If you try to measure mass by measuring volume you need a unique cup for everything you're measuring. The "measuring cup" for water won't work for oil. Also sugar is available in a number of different particle sizes. So you'd need one cup for table (granulated) sugar and another for confectioner's sugar. So using volume to measure mass is just useless in the kitchen. – MaxW Jun 22 at 20:38
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    I upvoted this answer because, in the US, this is exactly how measuring cups are sold and meant to be used for (American) recipes. The liquid measuring cups are for liquids and measure fluid ounces. Dry measuring cups are for measuring dry ingredients, and roughly standardize amounts of different ingredients. E.g. 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, etc. While I agree that using scales to weigh ingredients is much more precise, it doesn't make this answer wrong. – Cindy Jun 23 at 11:22

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