Containers that come in graduated sizes, used to measure amounts of food. Dry measuring cups come in nested sets that can include 2-cup, 1-cup, ½-cup, 1/3-cup, ¼-cup and 1/8-cup (2 tablespoon) sizes. The dry ingredient can either be stirred first (as with flour and powdered sugar) or simply spooned lightly into the cup, then leveled off with the straight edge of a knife. Brown sugar and shortening should be packed tightly into the cup before being leveled off. For foods such as coconut, nuts and chocolate chips, the cups should be filled, then leveled off with your fingers. Liquid measuring cups range in size from 1 to 4 cups. To use, simply pour in liquid and read measurement at eye level.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.