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I found a recipe that's using one or more measurements that I don't recognize. How can I convert it to a unit that I use locally?

Alternative question template: (to improve searchability):
How can I convert an Imperial weight or volume measurement (tsp, tbsp, cups, ounces, pints, quarts, gallons, pounds) to an equivalent Metric measurement (g, kg, mL, L)?

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Common U.S. Volume Measurements:

  • 1 tbsp = 3 tsp
  • 1 fl oz = 2 tbsp
  • 1 cup = 8 oz
  • 1 pint = 2 cups
  • 1 quart = 4 cups
  • 1 gallon = 4 quarts

Common U.S. to Metric Conversions:

  • 1 oz ~ 30 mL
  • 1 cup ~ 237 mL
  • 1 quart ~ 1 L
  • 1 oz = 28.4 g
  • 1 lbs = 0.45 kg

Common Metric to U.S. Conversions:

  • 1 kg = 2.2 lbs

Online Converters:

  • Google: Type a conversion such as "1 tbsp in mL" and it will automatically convert it for you. This is generally the fastest option.

  • Wolfram Alpha: Same idea, gives you a little more information and lets you disambiguate between similar measurements (e.g. US tablespoons vs. UK tablespoons).

  • Convert-Me - Cooking Ingredients: Converts to every well-known measurement at the same time. Can convert (approximate) volume to weight and vice versa, for many ingredients.

  • Measurement Converter: Same thing, a little easier to use, but slower.



Printable Conversion Charts

(Note: Use your browser's "print selection" feature to print just the conversion chart)

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In the UK a cup is 10 fluid ounces, rather than 8, i.e. it is half a pint (20 fluid ounces in the UK). Some older UK cookbooks use the measurement and a lot of cups that one can buy are also this size, so its a useful one. It also means that 1 quart = 4 cups on both systems. – Francis Davey Jul 29 '12 at 19:23

Found this to be very helpful:

enter image description here

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You might find it helpful, but it's not helpful to anyone else unless you state which of the various measurement systems calling themselves Imperial it covers. – Peter Taylor Jun 17 '14 at 15:43

From wikipedia:

  • teaspoon (tsp): 1/6 ounce
  • tablespoon (tbsp): 3 tsp, 1/2 oz
  • fluid ounce (fl oz): 2 Tbsp, 1 oz
  • jigger (jig): 3 tbsp, 1.5 oz
  • cup (c): 16 tbsp, 8 oz
  • pint (pt): 2 c, 16 oz ("A pint's a pound the world around" - both have 16 ounces.)
  • quart (qt): 2 pt, 32 oz
  • gallon (gal): 4 qt, 128 oz
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Wait what? I always thought "a pint's a pound..." was referring to H20. – Preston Fitzgerald Dec 30 '13 at 3:55
I just spent way too much time and brainpower reading about the differences between US and UK volume measurements. I hate my life. We really do need to step up our metric system game. This is ridiculous. – Preston Fitzgerald Dec 30 '13 at 3:56

If you are serious about cooking, buy some of the measuring cups with multiple different scales, similar to this one:

measuring cup

Not only you will not have to convert the units, because many of the cups have both US and metric scales, but you avoid weighting flour, sugar etc. Real time saver.

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I cannot agree here. Weighing sugar and flour is far faster and more accurate than volumetric measurement. – SAJ14SAJ Mar 12 '14 at 0:09
The accuracy of weight is undisputable, the speed is up for discussion. But my idea here was, looking at the talbes above, this can provide you with a nice conversion table without the need to have some extra paper pinned on fridge or something. – Petr Mar 12 '14 at 0:33
Nice idea, although in my experience, this does not work well. It's very hard to match the line (harder than working with cups). I usually use a cup, weigh it and use that for future reference. – Mien Mar 12 '14 at 10:36

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