Cooking and Culinary Units Conversion Chart

Measuring cups
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Measuring out ingredients is usually an easy task, that is unless you need to convert your measurements! Every cook has probably encountered a situation where the measuring spoon they need seems to have disappeared. Remembering just how many tablespoons equal half a cup can be tricky, especially if you're in the middle of a complicated recipie. Here's a simple table showing equivalences between common units of culinary measurement to help you easily convert between them.

Unit:Equals:Also equals:
1 teaspoon1/3 tablespoon1/6 fluid ounce
1 tablespoon3 teaspoons1/2 fluid ounce
1/8 cup2 tablespoons1 fluid ounce
1/4 cup4 tablespoons2 fluid ounces
1/3 cup1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons2 3/4 fluid ounces
1/2 cup8 tablespoons4 fluid ounces
1 cup1/2 pint8 fluid ounces
1 pint2 cups16 fluid ounces
1 quart4 cups32 fluid ounces
1 liter1 quart plus 1/4 cup4 1/4 cups
1 gallon4 quarts16 cups

Note that the measurements above are volume measurements, not weight.

Using the metric system spares us the confusion between volume and weight. If you're really looking to be precisise, most digital scales let you set your units to be grams or ounces and easily switch between them. Here's the scale I use.

Helpful Conversion Tricks

Probably the most useful kitchen measurement to remember is that a tablespoon is equal to three teaspoons. You'll need to know this anytime you're halving a recipe and discover that you don't have a half-tablespoon on your measuring spoon set.

Couple of things you can do in that case. First is to know that half a tablespoon is 1 1/2 teaspoons. And second is to get yourself a set of measuring spoons, like this one, that does have a half-tablespoon on it.

Another good frame of reference is to keep in mind that (again, in the U.S.) a standard can or bottle of beer is 12 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups.

That's true for canned soda as well. The standard single serving soda bottle (the size you get when you buy a bottle of soda from a machine) is 20 ounces, or 2 1/2 cups.

As for pints, you usually only see something described in pints if it's a dairy product. Milk, cream, cottage cheese, ice cream, half and half and so on are typically packaged in pints. Certain deli salads, like macaroni salad, potato salad and so on, are also packaged in pints. And of course when ordering a beer, a pint is the standard unit.

Remembering how to convert your measurments is the first step to in learning how to scale a recipe.