The specific heats of metals can be determined by calorimetry. Calorimetry involves heating the metal to a known temperature, placing it into a measured amount of cold water in an insulated container called a calorimeter and measuring the resultant rise in temperature of the water in the calorimeter. The temperature of the water in the calorimeter will rise rapidly as heat is transferred from the hot metal to the cold water. After the water reaches a maximum temperature, it will slowly decrease.
While there are very expensive calorimeters that will absorb no heat from the reaction inside, the heat absorbed by the "coffee-cup" calorimeter shown here is negligible within the range of our measuring instruments.
An equation used in calorimetry calculations: