These little measuring beakers from OXO ($9.99) appeal to the science-geek side of me and to the side that says, "Oh em gee! Cute little things that are normally big! Squeee!"
Mostly the science-geeky side wins because not only are these little and cute, but they make sense. Think about it. Measuring spoons are the small version of dry measuring cups. These are the small version of a wet measuring cup. It's more convenient—and less messy—to measure liquids into a container with graduated measurements. It's also more accurate. And if you have a recipe that uses a lot of different liquids in small amount, you don't need to use different spoons for a teaspoon, half-teaspoon, and quarter teaspoon.
The smallest of the set measures up to 1 teaspoon, the next size is up to one tablespoon, next is up to 1 ounce, and last is up to 2 ounces. Milliliter measures are also included.
My only quibble is that I wish these had markings on the tablespoon measure for teaspoons as well as the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 tablespoons measures. And it would be nice if the 1- and 2-ounce measures also listed tablespoons. It's easy enough to do the math since there are 2 tablespoons to an ounce, but it would be more convenient have that written on the beakers.
On the other hand, these little guys nest, so they take very little storage space.
Does anyone need another set of measures? Um, yeah, it seems like I've always got measuring spoons in the dishwasher, and it's not unusual for me to grumble that I just measured vanilla with my last clean teaspoon, and now I need a teaspoon of baking soda. I really do like the idea of having several sets of measures, and these make perfect sense in my kitchen.
About the author: Resident yeast whisperer and bread baking columnist Donna Currie also has a serious gadget habit. When her father-in-law heard about this column, he upgraded the nickname for her kitchen from "gadget world" to "gadget heaven." You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.