Cooking Measurements, cooking equivalents, and cooking conversions can be REALLY confusing. I know they were for me sometimes, but cooking should be easy! I’m explaining all the basics when it comes to measuring and converting in the kitchen, including how to convert metric to standard. Plus I’ve got a free printable Kitchen Conversion Chart for you to make it all simple!
Cooking Measurements & Cooking Conversions
Cooking measurements and cooking conversions are a point of confusion for many people. Whether you’re a newbie cook or even quite seasoned, sometimes measurements just don’t seem to make sense!
You’ve got tablespoons and cups and then there’s fluid ounces…and on top of that, there’s recipes that use metric cooking measurements but you only understand U.S. standard measurements…it’s a lot. Cooking measurements and equivalents should be the first step in your kitchen journey, but it’s easy to get by still not quite understanding it all.
I’m going to explain (as much as I can) about basic cooking measurements, converting metric to imperial in the kitchen, understanding kitchen measurement equivalents, AND give you a free printable kitchen conversion chart to help you figure it all out. Cooking should be fun and easy, not some kind of science.
So if cooking conversions and measurements cause you pain on a regular basis, this post if for you! I’m here to help so that you can follow recipes without hassle and feel CONFIDENT in the kitchen.
Make sense of cooking measurements and get a free printable Kitchen Conversion Chart (CLICK for Free Chart)!
Kitchen Measurement Tools
Most of your cooking measurements can be done with these basic kitchen measurement tools.
Remember that liquid ingredients and dry ingredients should always be measured with the proper tools (i.e. measure liquids in a liquid measuring cup, measure dry ingredients in dry measuring cups).
A kitchen scale can be used when ingredients need to be weighed instead of measured by cups, etc. This is ideal for more exact recipes, or when using recipes that measure in grams.
Cooking Measurements Abbreviations
When you’re following a recipe, it’s pretty important to understand those cooking abbreviations. Many recipes (including mine) will use shorthand when writing out recipes, and if you don’t know what they mean, you could end up making a few mistakes.
Standard/Imperial Measurement Abbreviations
Tbsp = Tablespoon (also TB, Tbl)
tsp = Teaspoon
Oz = Ounce
fl. Oz = Fluid ounce
c = Cup
qt = Quart
pt = Pint
gal = Gallon
lb = Pound
Metric Measurement Abbreviations
mL = Milliliter
g = grams
kg = kilogram
l = liter
Measuring Liquid Ingredients vs. Dry Ingredients
Dry ingredients and liquid ingredients should be treated differently when measuring. Measuring cups and spoon sets are generally intended for dry ingredients, while liquid measuring cups are (obviously) intended for liquid ingredients. Using the right measuring tools will ensure exact measurements.
- When measuring dry ingredients, you should fill the cup to the brim, and then scrape the excess off the top to get the most accurate amount. This cannot be done with a liquid measuring cup, which is why it should not be used.
- While you will get a more exact liquid measurement with the liquid measuring cup, when a recipe calls for small amounts of liquid, sometimes you will need to use measuring spoons instead.
- These tips are most important when making recipes that truly require exact measurements.
Ounces vs Fluid Ounces
Using ounces vs fluid ounces comes back to the liquid ingredients vs dry ingredients. Ounces measure weight, while fluid ounces measures volume. Dry ingredients are measured in ounces (by weight), while liquid ingredients are measured in fluid ounces (by volume). So if a recipe calls for 8 ounces of flour, that doesn’t mean you need 1 cup.
Rest assured, most U.S. recipes (using standard/imperial system) will list dry ingredients by cups/tablespoons/etc rather than by ounces. Just keep this in mind when measuring your ingredients!
Basic Kitchen Conversions & Equivalents
Understanding basic cooking measurements and cooking conversions is important knowledge to have in the kitchen. When you’re following a recipe, you need to know what it all means. And sometimes you just can’t find that darn tablespoon to measure out your ingredients, so you have to wing it…But if you know that 1 tablespoon also equals 3 teaspoons, then you can measure away without worry!
Just follow these kitchen conversion charts, and soon enough you’ll memorize them just like those multiplication charts from school. Check our How to Cut Recipes in Half post if you need help with that too.
Dry Measurements Conversion Chart
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 1/16 cup
6 teaspoons = 2 tablespoons = ⅛ cup
12 teaspoons = 4 tablespoons = ¼ cup
24 teaspoons = 8 tablespoons = ½ cup
36 teaspoons = 12 tablespoons = ¾ cup
48 teaspoons = 16 tablespoons = 1 cup
Liquid Measurements Conversion Chart
8 fluid ounces = 1 cup = ½ pint = ¼ quart
16 fluid ounces = 2 cups = 1 pint = ½ quart
32 fluid ounces = 4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart = ¼ gallon
128 fluid ounces = 16 cups = 8 pints = 4 quarts = 1 gallon
1 cup butter = 2 sticks = 8 ounces = 230 grams = 8 tablespoons
Metric Cooking Measurement vs Standard/Imperial Cooking Measurements
Here in the U.S., we use the Imperial, or “Standard”, measurement system. So our recipes are measured in teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, pounds, etc. We’re in a bit of a bubble on that though, because the rest of the world (for the most part) uses the metric system. Recipes are generally measured in grams and milliliters.
So what happens when you want to use a recipe that uses metric cooking measurements, but you only know (and only have tools for) imperial cooking measurements? Well that’s where cooking conversions charts come in handy!
Whether you’re trying to measure for volume or weight, or need to convert oven temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit (or vice versa), these charts will help you get it right.
Metric to US Cooking Conversions
- 120 c = 250 F
- 160 c = 320 F
- 180 c = 350 F
- 205 c = 400 F
- 220 c = 425 F
Baking in grams
- 1 cup Flour = 140 grams
- 1 cup sugar = 150 grams
- 1 cup powdered sugar = 160 grams
- 1 cup heavy cream = 235 grams
- 1 milliliter = ⅕ teaspoon
- 5 ml = 1 teaspoon
- 15 ml = 1 tablespoon
- 240 ml = 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces
- 1 liter = 34 fl. ounces
- 1 gram = .035 ounces
- 100 grams = 3.5 ounces
- 500 grams = 1.1 pounds
- 1 kilogram = 35 ounces
US to Metric Cooking Conversions
- ⅕ tsp = 1 ml
- 1 tsp = 5 ml
- 1 tbsp = 15 ml
- 1 fl ounce = 30 ml
- 1 cup = 237 ml
- 1 pint (2 cups) = 473 ml
- 1 quart (4 cups) = .95 liter
- 1 gallon (16 cups) = 3.8 liters
- 1 oz = 28 grams
- 1 pound = 454 grams
What Does 1 Cup Equal?
I think it’s helpful to know what 1 cup equals, because even when you’re short on kitchen measuring tools, most people will have a 1 cup measurement. If you have that, you an go far! Plus it can be useful for making cooking conversions when trying to halve or double recipes. Just remember that 1 cup equals these various measurements….which means that everything in this chart is equivalent!
- 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
- 1 cup = 16 tablespoons
- 1 cup = 48 teaspoons
- 1 cup = ½ pint
- 1 cup = ¼ quart
- 1 cup = 1/16 gallon
- 1 cup = 240 ml
Baking Pan Conversions
Sometimes you come across an awesome cake recipe that’s made for a specific type of baking pan…but you don’t have that type or size, or you just prefer to make a different style of cake. No worries! By figuring out how much cake batter goes into each cake pan, you can change up the recipe to fit in another type of baking pan. (The cups refer to how much batter fits into the pan)
- 9-inch round cake pan = 12 cups
- 10-inch tube pan =16 cups
- 10-inch bundt pan = 12 cups
- 9-inch springform pan = 10 cups
- 9 x 5 inch loaf pan = 8 cups
- 9-inch square pan = 8 cups
Common Baking Measurements Converted to Ounces
Remember earlier when I told you about the difference between ounces and fluid ounces? Here are some numbers to back up the importance of that tip. 8 fluid ounces of liquid will often equal 1 cup, but 8 ounces (weight) of a dry ingredient will rarely equal 1 cup.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour = 4.5 oz
- 1 cup rolled oats = 3 oz
- 1 large egg = 1.7 oz
- 1 cup butter = 8 oz
- 1 cup milk = 8 oz
- 1 cup heavy cream = 8.4 oz
- 1 cup granulated sugar = 7.1 oz
- 1 cup packed brown sugar = 7.75 oz
- 1 cup vegetable oil = 7.7 oz
- 1 cup unsifted powdered sugar = 4.4 oz
I hope these basic cooking measurements and cooking conversions help clear things up a bit! I know cooking and baking measurements have caused me a lot of confusion in the past, and I want cooking and following recipes to be EASY. I want it to make sense so that you guys can enjoy cooking and feel confident in the kitchen.