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)?

  • The answers to this question are already quite difficult to read through, and there are other resources better suited to the problem (some of them are linked in the accepted answer). If it had been asked today, it would have been deleted. I protected it now since we certainly don't need any more charts, and will leave it to the community if they also want to close it.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 10, 2017 at 14:39
  • To convert measurements, you need to know the source of the recipe, as countries have different standards (a US cup is 8 fluid ounces, while a UK cup is 10 fluid ounces), but older recipes might be referring to ‘teacups’ (5 or 6 fluid ounces). And US and UK fluid ounces are different (~29.57mL vs ~28.41mL). See cooking.stackexchange.com/a/69023/67
    – Joe
    Nov 7, 2023 at 14:29

6 Answers 6


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.

  • Food.com 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)

  • 3
    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. Jul 29, 2012 at 19:23

Found this to be very helpful:

enter image description here

  • 1
    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. Jun 17, 2014 at 15:43

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.

  • 5
    I cannot agree here. Weighing sugar and flour is far faster and more accurate than volumetric measurement.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 12, 2014 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, 2014 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, 2014 at 10:36

So, this is my first answer on stackexchange and I'm new here. Hello to the community :D The answers above are very good, but I want to add one more app where the cooking units can be converted very quickly. For example for cups, quarts or liter:

For more conversions you can see the latest conversions of the volumes category directly on the website.

Disclaimer: I'm a programmer and developer, and work on my project CalculatePlus in my spare time. This free tool allows you to do quick online calculations and conversions.

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. You should be very careful, and very open, when you promote your own products and websites. Nov 19, 2016 at 19:12
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    Nov 21, 2016 at 0:03
  • Thank you for the suggestions guys! I'm new here, and I will learn... :) Nov 21, 2016 at 10:05

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
  • 2
    Wait what? I always thought "a pint's a pound..." was referring to H20.
    – Preston
    Dec 30, 2013 at 3:55
  • 2
    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
    Dec 30, 2013 at 3:56
  • These only work for American measurements. British tablespoons, cups, pints and quarts are not the same as the US. (and I suspect gallons, too)
    – Joe
    Nov 21, 2016 at 1:54

If you're trying to convert to metric, and you're getting your recipes from the web, you can also use a browser plugin I wrote which I believe is more convenient than the other suggested solutions, since it displays the conversion result directly in the recipe when you press a button: enter image description here Everything in […] was added by this plugin. It also converts from volume to weight for many common ingredients (e.g. "10 tablespoons sugar" is converted to "125g").

The plugin is available for Firefox and for Chrome (free software with no ads. I wrote it as a birthday gift :-).

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