This plunger-style measuring cup is especially nice for measuring things like shortening and peanut butter, and reduces the number of dirty measuring cups used when baking.
This is a 2-cup measuring device marketed in the Pampered Chef line. I like it a lot, but I used to have a similar one that I liked even better, so I can’t give it a perfect score.
This consists of a clear plastic cylinder and a softer, hollow plastic core, or plunger. The cylinder has graduated markings on it. You insert the core and then use it as a cup for liquids by setting it on the counter with the open end up. However, if you turn it over you have a wonderful way to measure dry and semi-solid materials such as shortening. Pull the plunger back to the correct measurement, fill the top, and then push the plunger back out to dispense the material.
The real advantage of this gadget is for sticky things like shortening or peanut butter, because you simply push the plunger out and scrape the measured amount off the top. Much easier than digging it out of a cup, and much neater than floating it in water and then draining the water.
You can use it to measure several things in any recipe so you aren’t getting as many utensils dirty.
The liquid side is marked in cups, fluid ounces and mL. The dry/solid side has cups, Tbsp, tsp, and mL. Overall, it is almost three inches in diameter, and six inches tall.
There are two things I do not like about it. It is just a little bit too large in my opinion. My old one was 1 ½ cups, and that seemed just about perfect to me. This one has a 2 cup maximum, and it’s unwieldy at that level of extension. I’d rather have it smaller.
The thing I REALLY do not like about it is that the lettering is printed on the clear cylinder. I am certain that the markings would come off with repeated runs through a dishwasher. So I wash it by hand— always a messy job with shortening. My old one had the markings stamped into the plastic so they never wore off. Alas, the plastic cylinder on that one eventually cracked, and it is no longer made. It was used almost daily for all the years we had boys at home.
So this one is nearly as good, and it is currently available, in the Kitchenware category of the Pampered Chef web site.