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Measurement and Conversion Charts

posted in Measuring, Reference Charts by Kathy Maister

Americans typically measure ingredients by volume, while just about everyone else measures them by weight. Here is a quick summery of some of the basic cooking conversions. At the end of this post there are links to food specific online conversion calculators.

This post contains ratios for
a) US Dry Volume Measurements
b) US Liquid Volume Measurements
c) Converting US Measurements to Metric
d) Converting Metric Measurements to US
e) Oven Temperature Conversions
f) Ratios for selected foods
g) Measures for pans and dishes

Measurements Conversion Chart

US Dry Volume Measurements
MEASURE EQUIVALENT
1/16 teaspoon dash
1/8 teaspoon a pinch
3 teaspoons 1 Tablespoon
1/8 cup 2 tablespoons (= 1 standard coffee scoop)
1/4 cup 4 Tablespoons
1/3 cup 5 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup 8 Tablespoons
3/4 cup 12 Tablespoons
1 cup 16 Tablespoons
1 Pound 16 ounces
US liquid volume measurements
8 Fluid ounces 1 Cup
1 Pint 2 Cups (= 16 fluid ounces)
1 Quart 2 Pints (= 4 cups)
1 Gallon 4 Quarts (= 16 cups)
US to Metric Conversions
1/5 teaspoon 1 ml (ml stands for milliliter, one thousandth of a liter)
1 teaspoon 5 ml
1 tablespoon 15 ml
1 fluid oz. 30 ml
1/5 cup 50 ml
1 cup 240 ml
2 cups (1 pint) 470 ml
4 cups (1 quart) .95 liter
4 quarts (1 gal.) 3.8 liters
1 oz. 28 grams
1 pound 454 grams
Metric to US Conversions
1 milliliter 1/5 teaspoon
5 ml 1 teaspoon
15 ml 1 tablespoon
30 ml 1 fluid oz.
100 ml 3.4 fluid oz.
240 ml 1 cup
1 liter 34 fluid oz.
1 liter 4.2 cups
1 liter 2.1 pints
1 liter 1.06 quarts
1 liter .26 gallon
1 gram .035 ounce
100 grams 3.5 ounces
500 grams 1.10 pounds
1 kilogram 2.205 pounds
1 kilogram 35 oz.
Pan Size Equivalents
9-by-13-inches baking dish 22-by-33-centimeter baking dish
8-by-8-inches baking dish 20-by-20-centimeter baking dish
9-by-5-inches loaf pan 23-by-12-centimeter loaf pan (=8 cups or 2 liters in capacity)
10-inch tart or cake pan 25-centimeter tart or cake pan
9-inch cake pan 22-centimeter cake pan

Oven Temperature Conversions

Farenheit Celsius Gas Mark
275º F 140º C gas mark 1-cool
300º F 150º C gas mark 2
325º F 165º C gas mark 3-very moderate
350º F 180º C gas mark 4-moderate
375º F 190º C gas mark 5
400º F 200º C gas mark 6-moderately hot
425º F 220º C gas mark 7- hot
450º F 230º C gas mark 9
475º F 240º C gas mark 10- very hot

Ratios for selected foods

Measure Equivalents
Butter
1 T.
1 stick
14 grams
4 ounces=113 grams
1 Tablespoon
8 tablespoons
½ cup
4 sticks 16 ounces=452 grams 32 tablespoons 2 cups
Lemon
1 lemon 1 to 3 tablespoons juice, 1 to 1½ teaspoons grated zest
4 large lemons 1 cup juice ¼ cup grated zest
Chocolate
1 ounce ¼ cup grated 40 grams
6 ounces chips 1 cup chips 160 grams
cocoa powder 1 cup 115 grams
Creams
Half and half ½ milk ½ cream 10.5 to 18 % butterfat
Light cream 18 % butterfat
Light whipping cream 26-30 % butterfat
Heavy cream whipping cream 36 % or more butterfat
Double cream extra-thick double cream,
Clotted or Devonshire
42 % butterfat

Measures for Pans and Dishes

Inches Centimeters
9-by-13-inches baking dish 22-by-33-centimeter baking dish
8-by-8-inches baking dish 20-by-20-centimeter baking dish
9-by-5-inches loaf pan (8 cups in capacity) 23-by-12-centimeter loaf pan (2 liters in capacity)
10-inch tart or cake pan 25-centimeter tart or cake pan
9-inch cake pan 22-centimeter cake pan


ONLINE METRIC CONVERSION CALCULATORS

BEST FOR COOKING:
Cooking Conversion Online -I use this one all the time. It is an excellent food specific metric converter (as long as you can look past the advertisements!)

Good Basic Calculator:
Worldwide Metric – General conversion chart (not food specific)

Everything Converter:
Ask Numbers – This is a fun one as it includes things like speed, power and shoe size! The cooking calculator is not food specific.

(Not Recommended: Many food sites have a widget on their sites called the Culiverter. This calculator is not food specific which is why I do not recommend using it.


Other Posts on Measuring:

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Measuring Foods around the World

posted in Measuring by Kathy Maister

I have just finished a video on How to Measure Food, the American way! Unfortunately there is no single standard way of measuring cooking ingredients that is used around the world.

Even though the three most common systems are Metric, US Standard and Imperial, it’s almost impossible to cover all the differences, since there are an almost infinite number of variations. I’m going to focus in this blogpost on comparing Metric and US Standard.

We’ll look at the Imperial system another time. (British cooks, or Americans trying to use British recipes, can become very confused because the British and American systems used many common measurement names, yet the measurements aren’t always the same!)

There are excellent conversion charts on-line which can help you translate recipes!

It’s important to remember that, in any system, there are measures of both solids (so-called “dry measures”) and liquids.

In the US, volume measurements are usually given for most ingredients, weights are sometimes used for others, and (just to make it even more awkward) amounts are sometimes expressed in both terms. For example, you’ll sometimes see a reference to “one pint (8 ounces) of milk” or “four tablespoons (two ounces) of butter.”

Beware! The liquid “ounces” in the first example (milk) and the solid “ounces” in the second example (butter) have the same name, but reflect two different measurement systems. A liquid ounce is a measurement of volume, and an ounce of butter refers to an ounce by weight. Yes, recipes should always say “liquid ounce” when they refer to a liquid, but it usually gets left out. You have to interpret it using common sense — is the item usually liquid (volume) or solid (weight)?

The Metric system

The most important difference between the US and European (Metric) systems, apart from the terms used, is that the US tends to rely predominantly on volume to measure ingredients, (i.e. when measuring flour Americans tend to use the “dip and sweep” method shown in my video while in Europe they usually measure dry ingredients by weight and only liquid ingredients by volume.

So, you can sometimes see dry ingredients measured by weight (e.g. ounces, pounds, grams, kilograms) or by volume (e.g. tablespoons, cups, milliliters, liters).

If you are using a recipe from one system (US, Metric or Imperial) that is not the one you normally use, I’d strongly recommend converting all of the ingredients into your familiar system before beginning to cook. Otherwise, you could end up with really confused proportions!

I know this all sounds really complicated!! Hopefully some of the other posts that I have written on measuring will help to clarify the topic:

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Measuring Liquids

posted in Measuring by Kathy Maister

The classic way to measure liquids is with a measuring cup that has a “pour spout” as well as space above the measuring lines. The pour spout and the added space make it easier to pick up the cup and pour without spilling any of the liquid.

This type of measuring cup is designed for you to look on the outside of the cup to determine the proper measurement. Don’t hold the cup in your hand and try to raise it to eye level — I guarantee it will be imprecise. Instead, leave the cup on a flat surface and bend down so your eye is level with the cup.

If you try to look down to the inside to judge the measurement with this style of cup, you will end up with more liquid than you should have. If you were making soups or stews that wouldn’t be a very big deal, but when making rice or salad dressing or doing any baking, like chocolate cake, you have to be very precise with your measurements.

OXO has designed special measuring cups (shown in the picture below) that do allow you to determine the proper measurement by looking down into the measuring cup.

The big cup shown on the right above measures ounces and 1/4, 1/3, ½, 2/3, ¾, and 1 cup. The small cupon the left measures Tablespoons and ounces.

The OXO measuring cup has a strange shape. Its slanted front and big chunky handle look odd but make it quite easy to use.

I find the Tablespoon measuring cup to be particularly efficient when I am preparing ingredients for things like Stir Fries. Pre-measuring small amount of liquids like soy sauce and oil, in advance of cooking, makes the stir-fry process go along much more smoothly. If you are using a set of measuring spoons, you then need a small cup to put the ingredients into. With small tablespoon measuring “cups” like the one shown below, there is one less dish to wash!

At my kitchen shop, I also discovered a drinking glass that has measurement lines on it. This one you measure from the outside. It was OK, but I prefer the ease of use of the traditional or OXO brand.

My kitchen shop also sold small shot glasses that had tablespoon and ounce measurements as well. A pour spout would make these a lot easier to use.

Other posts on measuring:

Cheers!

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