Published September 1, 2008.
Have sticky ingredients like honey and peanut butter finally met their match?
Once we found adjustable measuring cups, they became a standard in the Test Kitchen. These cups, composed of nothing more than a clear acrylic tube and a plunger-type insert, make quick and clean work of measuring sticky ingredients (such as honey, shortening, and peanut butter) that cling to other measuring cups. The clear tube is marked with measurement increments in teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, fluid ounces, and even milliliters. Just pull the insert top down to the desired measurement, fill the container, then turn the cup upside down over a bowl and plunge out the ingredients. Every bit of the ingredient is removed from the cup with ease.
However, as we passed ours through the dishwasher nearly every day in the test kitchen, the measurement delineations started to fade. We suspected overzealous scrubbing rubbed off the numbers. Then we called the maker of the cup we were using and learned that the numbers are applied with food-grade ink and a unique cylindrical silk-screening process that can withstand gentle hand washing but not the extremes of a dishwasher. Whoops.
Fortunately, there are now many copycats. Our new favorite is marked with an epoxy-type ink that is safe for the dishwasher and withstands moderate scrubbing. Available in 1- and 2-cup capacities and in an array of materials, from plastic to stainless steel, these cups are ruggedly constructed with a very tight seal between plunger and tube.