Most recipes call for precise measurements of ingredients. Accurately measuring components is especially important in making baked goods — like breads, cakes, brownies, and cookies — because using too much or too little of an ingredient can ruin the taste and texture of the dish. Measuring spoons are the most accurate kitchen tool for determining smaller amounts while cooking. These utensils usually come in sets and generally range in size from 1/8 teaspoon to a full tablespoon. There are several types of measuring spoons, including those that are practical, decorative, and specialty tools.
Practical measuring spoons are typically used on a regularly when cooking or baking. These can be made of several different materials, such as stainless steel, plastic, or wood. Stainless steel spoons are usually preferred due to their durability. Many of spoons of this type also enhance the look of a kitchen, and some stainless steel models are in fact professional-grade.
Some people prefer plastic spoons because they come in a wide range of colors and are usually easy to clean. Most can safely be cleaned in the dishwasher. Wooden measuring spoons are not as common, but some people purchase them because they are unique. This type is more challenging to clean, however, and over time it is possible for the wood to crack and warp, rendering them useless.
Decorative measuring spoons are often not used for measuring or cooking at all. While these spoons come in the usual sizes, like teaspoon or tablespoon, they are usually meant to be hung in a kitchen as part of the room's decor rather than used for food preparation. These spoons usually have a hook, and many sets come with a matching rack to hang the spoons on. This type can be found in a wide range of styles and designs. Decorative measuring spoons are usually made of a metal, like stainless steel or pewter, but some expensive, limited edition sets may be made of sterling silver or gold.
Another type of kitchen measuring utensil is a specialty spoon. These kinds of spoons are not used for baking or cooking either, but may be used to measure out the perfect amount of coffee needed to brew one cup. They typically are not designated in standard sizes, such as teaspoon or tablespoon, but for a specific purpose. Like the other practical measuring spoons, these spoons can come in a variety of materials and designs.