I acquired a Nuscüp (pronounced: noo-skoop) adjustable measuring cup last year out of curiosity rather than need. I already had an adjustable measuring cup—the Metric Wonder Cup—with which I was perfectly content, but thinking it might make for a worthwhile write-up here on Serious Eats, I scarfed up the last Nuscüp in stock at the local Sur La Table—a boxless floor model.
My first experience with it was one of utter disappointment. As soon as I got home, I ran to the sink to measure out some tap water; the water slipped right past the rubber gasket (around the edge of the cup’s adjustable bottom) and into the body of the cup. I took the Nuscüp apart (it is constructed of two interlocking pieces for easy cleaning), washed it, reassembled it, tried to measure water again, and failed. I wasn’t sure if it was just a useless, poorly designed gadget or if the cup had been damaged during its life as a floor model. Mildly disgusted either way, I threw the cup in my gadget drawer where it stayed until recently, when I was packing up for our kitchen renovation.
After a Tune-Up, Success!
Unable to toss the Nuscüp into the donation pile without another go, I took the cup apart and snapped it back together. Giving the assembly one more good squeeze, I heard a little snap, and was sure I’d busted it. Upon further inspection though, I found that I’d actually “fixed it,” forcing the joint of the cup’s adjustable insert firmly in place below a little notch on the clear-plastic cup body (shown in the center of the image at right). I ran water into the cup, and this time, it stayed put.
Not Bad, but Could Be Better
I decided to keep it and have been testing it in earnest over the last few weeks. Aside from being easy to clean, the cup is also fairly versatile, marked accurately in tablespoon, cup, ounce and milliliter increments. It has so far withstood the rigors of regular use and dishwashing (on the top rack, as the manufacturer, Dalla Piazza Switzerland, suggests), pretty well, maintaining a tight seal and exhibiting little etching. The cup’s magnet makes it easy to store on the side of the refrigerator or other appliances at the ready, but tends to cause a little bit of a jumble if the cup is stored in a drawer with other tools. In accordance with its producer’s claims and the product’s name, the cup makes for a decent scoop. However, since directly scooping certain dry ingredients (e.g. flour, cocoa, confectioners’ sugar) can yield significant inaccuracies in measurement, and directly scooping multiple recipe components in succession can lead to the cross-contamination of ingredients, the Nuscüp’s validity as a scoop seems moot.
In terms of adjustability, the Nuscüp has my trusty Wonder Cup handily beat, requiring little more than a sweep of the thumb to move from one measurement to the next, compared to the two-handed finessing generally required with the Wonder Cup. That said, I have never valued the Wonder Cup so much for its adjustability as for its tidiness—its inner plunger cleanly pushes sticky and messy ingredients (like peanut butter and honey) out of the cup with no need for additional scraping. On that level, the Nuscüp, with the sweep of its adjustable bottom ending at the 1/8-cup mark (shown at right), literally falls short.
In the new kitchen, I believe there’ll be room for only one adjustable measuring cup. Goodwill, allow me to introduce you to the Nuscüp.
About the author: Amanda Clarke is a recovering restaurant pastry chef with a background in architecture. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes, tests, and develops recipes and works on freelance food-styling gigs between walkings and feedings of her two dogs and husband.