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Common Cooking Measurement Conversions and Tips

Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

Use these cooking measurement conversion charts to make your life easier.

Use these cooking measurement conversion charts to make your life easier.

Can't find your measuring spoons? Did you break your measuring cup? Every once in a while, we all need a little help converting a measurement. Using the wrong equivalents can lead to a ruined dinner or a flat birthday cake. Here are some easy to follow cooking conversion measurement charts to help you when you are in a bind.

Cooking Measurement Conversion Chart (Liquid)

Use these equivalents for both liquid and dry ingredients. Make sure to use correct measuring tools. Dry ingredient measurements are not always used in the U.S. and differ slightly from liquid measurements. Data from the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook.

MeasurementEquivalent

60 drops

1 teaspoon

pinch

1/8 teaspoon or less

1 teaspoon

1/3 tablespoon

1 tablespoon

3 teaspoons

2 tablespoons

1 fluid ounce

4 tablespoons

1/4 cup

5 1/3 tablespoons

1/3 cup

8 tablespoons

1/2 cup

16 tablespoons

1 cup

3/8 cup

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons

5/8 cup

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons

7/8 cup

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons

1 cup

1/2 pint or 8 fluid ounces

1 quart, liquid

2 pints or 4 cups

1 gallon, liquid

4 quarts

1 gill, liquid

1/2 cup or 4 fluid ounces

Chart Notes

  • Note that while the first chart is labeled "liquid", it should be used for both liquid and standard dry ingredient conversions. The second chart is solely for measuring larger quantities of dry ingredients, like raw fruits and vegetables.
  • While not commonly used in recipes these days, a gill is a measurement approximately equal to 1/2 cup. The measurement is still used when making alcoholic beverages.

Cooking Measurement Conversion Chart (Dry)

This chart should be used when measuring larger quantities of dry ingredients. The other chart should be your primary reference for measurement conversions. Data taken from "Joy of Cooking" cookbook.

MeasurementEquivalent

1 dry pint

1/2 dry quart

1 dry quart

2 dry pints

1 peck

8 dry quarts

1 bushel

32 dry quarts

Measuring cups and spoons

Measuring cups and spoons

How to Measure

While many recipes work perfectly well with a pinch of this or that, most recipes, especially in baking, require precise measurements. Here are a few simples measuring tips to always keep in mind.

Tips for Accurate Measuring

  • Use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients.
  • Use liquid measuring cups for liquids.
  • Measuring spoons can be used for both dry and liquid ingredients.
  • Don't measure ingredients in spoons over the mixing bowl. They could flow over and spill into the bowl.
  • Ingredients like shortening and peanut butter should be measured in dry measuring cups. Pack ingredients into cup and level off with a knife or spatula. Use care to fill the entire cup.
  • Never pack down, tap or shake flour when measuring. Just fill the cup and level off, using a knife or spatula.
  • Always level off sugar when measuring.
  • Unless otherwise noted, brown sugar should be lightly packed in the measuring cup.
  • Note exactly what the recipe says. A good example of this, found in The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, is "1 pound shelled, deveined shrimp is a different measurement from 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined; there are more shrimp to the pound when they are weighed after the shells are removed than before..."

How to Use Measuring Cups and Spoons

Many people are tempted to purchase beautiful handmade measuring cups and spoons. They can be made out of ceramic, silver, or other things, and make lovely decorative additions to a kitchen. Be careful when using these collectibles. Sometimes their measurements are not correct. Before using them, just double check to make sure. You can do this by measuring sugar in the decorative measuring cup and then pouring it into a regular measuring cup. If the sugar fills up to the top of the regular measuring cup, then it is ok. Never use regular teaspoons and tablespoons from your dinnerware to measure. They are not the same size and will throw off the measurements.

Sources

  • Rombauer, Irma S., and Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker, The Joy of Cooking, New York: Scribner, 1997.
  • Ying, Mildred (editor), The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, New York: Hearst Books, 1986.

© 2013 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 05, 2013:

Thanks so much rajan! I hope it is too. Have a great day!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 05, 2013:

rumanasaiyed - I'm glad you found the hub useful. Thank you for reading and sharing.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 05, 2013:

Thanks teaches! I just needed to know one of these the other day and was glad to have the chart taped on the inside of one of my cabinets. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 05, 2013:

A very handy reference guide. This will be much used.

Voted up/useful.

Rumana from Sharjah, UAE on February 05, 2013:

I was searching for this type of article and here I got it!! It will be very useful to me .

Voted up Useful and Shared

Dianna Mendez on February 04, 2013:

This is very useful information to keep handy. Very well done and detailed. It is amazing at how much you need this information when cooking!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 04, 2013:

Hi Mama Kim - I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks for all of the support!

Sasha Kim on February 03, 2013:

I'm always having to make conversions ^_^ this will come in super handy, thank you!! Voting a bunch and bookmarking!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 03, 2013:

Thanks so much GiblinGirl! I'm glad you liked the hub.

GiblinGirl from New Jersey on February 03, 2013:

Great hub - I'm going to Pin this.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 03, 2013:

Thanks Martin!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 03, 2013:

Hi Jackie - When I was writing this I found a bunch I did not know about either. I'm glad you found the hub helpful. Thanks for your comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 03, 2013:

Thanks so much Bill! It was interesting to write. There are a couple of them I will probably never use, but some I have used many times.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 03, 2013:

Many thanks for all of your support Janine. It means so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 03, 2013:

Thanks so much Bill! Hopefully lots of people will read it! :-)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 03, 2013:

I really appreciate the support Alecia! It always surprises me how often I have to switch up a measurement. Hope this helps lots of people.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on February 02, 2013:

Thank you for this.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 02, 2013:

This is great, I thought I knew them all but I see I didn't. A book marker for sure!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on February 02, 2013:

Yep, this is a winner. Can't tell you how useful this is going to be. Great job for coming up with the idea and putting this together. Voting up, sharing, etc. Excellent job

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on February 02, 2013:

I have to agree this is so useful, because I am always forgetting what equals what when I am cooking and baking. Have totally pinned this to be able to refer back to. Thanks a ton!!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 02, 2013:

Now this might be one of the most useful hubs that I have read in a very long time. This is something that many, many people can use daily. Well done my friend.

Alecia Murphy from Wilmington, North Carolina on February 02, 2013:

These are great tips! I'm so used to following what's on there instead of trying to convert. But it makes sense if you don't have a certain type of measuring instrument. Voted up and shared!