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Part 1: An Overview of Measuring Ingredients (And Why It’s Confusing)
The English System and the Metric System
Skip this section if you know the difference probably the broadest overview to start with is that there are two chief systems of measurement : the English ( besides called “ Imperial ” ) system and the Metric organization. Most countries use the metric unit system. Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States use the English system. The English system is based on antediluvian standards such as the length of the king ‘s foot ( a metrical foot ). The british switched to the metric function system in 1965, but the US hush uses their english arrangement. For cook and bake in the US, the biggest recoil is that if you find a recipe written outside the US, you have to know how to measure the metric unit units, or convert them to the English organization. The Metric System, besides called the International System of Units ( abbreviated “ SI ” ), is a decimal arrangement, meaning that it ‘s based on multiples of 10. It began in France in the late eighteenth hundred ( “ SI ” stands for Systéme International ). Though the metric unit system has not been officially adopted yet, product weights or volumes in the US are given in both English and measured units, and more and more american recipes besides list both units. ( Recipes from outside the US normally have alone metric unit units. ) In early words, it has become easy ( in most instances ) to use either system flush in the US. Why ? The metric function system is more accurate, easier to use, and easier to convert to other units than the english system. It ‘s besides the internationally recognized system, used by scientists, doctors, researchers, and other officials the global over ( yes, flush in the US ). now that you understand the two systems of measurement we operate under in the US, let ‘s look at weight unit and volume .
Weight and Volume: What’s the Difference And Why Is It Important?
Let ‘s go back to the basic doubt : how many ounces are in a quart ? There ‘s an error in the question itself because ounces are a unit of measurement of weight, and quarts are a unit of book. A draw of people use “ ounce ” and “ fluid snow leopard ” interchangeably, as if they mean the same thing. But they do n’t, except in one special subject : water. ( We ‘ll explain this in a hour. ) If you ‘re confused, you ‘re not alone. You can blame whoever thought it was a good idea to give two different units of quantify the like name ; of course it ‘s confusing. ( Although once you understand their relationship, you ‘ll see that it classify of makes common sense. ) It will help to commit this factoid to memory: When person refers to the count of ounces in a quart ( or early unit of volume such as pint, gallon, cup, etc. ), it is assumed that they mean “ fluid ounces. ” In which font, the answer is constantly 32, no matter what liquid you ‘re talking about. There are 32 fluid ounces in a quart. however many ounces that quart weighs depends on the kind of liquid it is ( for example, cook oil is going to have a different weight than milk ). This is the difference between weight and bulk : Weight ( ounces ) measures mass, and volume measures sphere .
What Is Weight?
It might seem like a dumb doubt, but defining weight will help us understand the remainder between weigt and volume. technically, slant is the amount of gravitational force that acts upon an object. Weight measures how heavy an object is. “ Mass ” is frequently used interchangeably for “ weight, ” and for our purposes on planet earth, that ‘s all right : mass and weight unit are basically the same thing : they measure the thickness of an object. English units of weight: In the English system, the most important units of system of weights for cooking and baking are ounces and pounds, abbreviated “ oz. ” and “ pound ” respectively. Metric units of weight: In the system of measurement system, the most important units of weight for fudge and baking are grams and kilograms, abbreviated “ thousand ” and “ kilogram ” respectively. In general, weight is used to measure solids in a recipe : flour, salt, pepper, carbohydrate, chocolate, etc. You can measure the weights of liquids, besides, and this is sometimes useful. But in recipes, liquids are about constantly given in volume ( true for both English and metric systems ) .
What Is Volume (or Area)?
volume is the amount of distance an object occupies. Objects can weigh the same but have different volumes. A democratic example is a egyptian pound of feathers vs. a pound of lead : they both weigh a british pound, but the feathers are going to have a much larger volume than the lead : it takes a set of feathers to make up a egyptian pound, while it takes a small amount of run to make up a pound. English units of volume: In the English organization, most units in recipes are volume : teaspoons ( “ tsp ” ), tablespoons ( “ T ” ), cups ( “ C ” ), pints ( “ platinum ” ), quarts ( “ qt ” ), gallons ( “ gal ” ), and fluid ounces ( “ florida. oz. ” ) are all units of bulk. note besides that, as we said above, if a recipe calls for a liquid in ounces, you can assume it means fluid ounces and measure by volume ; this will be correct at least 99 % of the time. Metric units of volume: In the metric unit system, the most significant units of book for cook and bake are milliliters ( “ milliliter ” ) and liters ( “ liter ” ). You may besides sometimes see “ milliliter ” in the measured system. This stands for cubic centimeter, a unit of bulk equivalent to a milliliter .
Why Is It Important to Know the Difference?
book is used to measure liquids, but as you can see, it is besides normally used to measure everything in recipes in the English system ( e.g., teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups ). You may not have given this much thought, but if you ‘re using teaspoons, tablespoons and cups in your recipes, you ‘re using volume — and there ‘s a commodity reason why this is n’t always the best room to measure ingredients. Weight is more accurate than volume for dry ingredients. so if you use bulk measurements in your recipes and want to be a better cook — or particularly a better baker — you should learn when to use weight unit alternatively. just making this one change, from volume to weight, will greatly improve your baking, and it can improve your cooking, excessively. Measuring flour is a prime example : depending on how you scoop and level it, a cup of general-purpose flour can weigh anywhere from 120g to 180g. That ‘s a huge deviation ! however, if you weigh your flour, you will constantly use the same come ; no matter how you scoop it out of the bank identification number, no count how compacted or fluffed up it is, it ‘s constantly going to be the right total if you weigh it. This is a huge game changer ! If you ‘ve ever wondered why your cakes or cookies turn out dry, it ‘s probably because you ‘re measuring your flour by volume .
Water: How Ounces and Fluid Ounces Are Related
Ounces and fluid ounces are n’t wholly unrelated. For water, they are the like measurement : an ounce of water is equivalent to a fluent ounce of body of water. Or in other words, one fluid snow leopard of water weighs one snow leopard. This is a commodious fact you can use in your cook and baking. If a recipe calls for water or a liquid close to the concentration of water ( e.g., milk, orange juice ) in ounces, you can use any measurement cup and know that you ‘re measuring out an accurate amount. In fact, most liquids are going to be conclude enough that using weight or volume wo n’t make a huge change to a recipe. It even works for many solids, which is why book is such a popular way to write recipes in the english organization : most people find that it ‘s more convenient than pulling out a scale, which they believe adds a tone to every measurement. ( More on that in a minute. ) back to top
Part 2: How to Measure and Weigh Ingredients (With Videos!)
nowadays that we ‘ve covered the basics, let ‘s talk about how to measure ingredients .
How to Measure Dry Ingredients
The best direction to measure dry ingredients is by weight. You can use slant for liquids, adenine well, but recipes normally provide fluid amounts in volume .
Use a Scale Whenever Possible
The best way to measure dry ingredients is by weight. That means that you need a scale. This may seem like a pain, an extra and unnecessary step. But weighing ingredients is the only way to ensure accurate amounts. It ‘s more important for some ingredients than for others. Flour is one of the most important things to weigh because volume measures can vary so a lot. But you ‘ll besides benefit from weighing ingredients like salt, boodle, spices, yeast and more. In general, weighing is highly accurate, and will produce better results in recipes. Whether using ounces or grams, weighing is better. here ‘s a 5 minute video from America ‘s Test Kitchen about using scales, american samoa well as the best ones to buy ( they like the same one we like, the 11 pound OXO Good Grips ) :
The OXO Good Grips scale has been updated, and it now weighs ounces in decimals rather than fractions. This is n’t american samoa effective a organization because you ca n’t weigh to an one-eighth or a quarter of an snow leopard ; this is unfortunate because when using ounces, you truly want those fractions. then, we recommend you try to find an older model, or go with the bigger one ( 22 pound ) for about $ 20 more ; this one silent has fractions. once you get the hang of using a scale, it ‘s easy. You can tare out a bowl ( that is, put the bowl on the scale and set it to “ Zero ” ) and equitable weigh everything into it, taring after every addition so you do n’t have to do any mathematics in your head .
How to Use Dry Measuring Cups
If you absolutely do n’t want to switch over to using a scale, you can make dry measuring cups workplace ( though they will never be arsenic accurate as a scale ). To get accurate measurements every time, you have to develop a method and cling with it to ensure correct, coherent weights. As with other measurement, it ‘s easier to show the process than to describe it. here ‘s a two-minute television from Food Network about how to measure dry ingredients ( at the end, they besides encourage you to use a scale, as we do ) :
We like this set of dry measuring cups from Laxinis : it includes 3/4 and 2/3 cups a well as 1.5 Tablespoon and 1.5 teaspoon — all measurements you ‘ll see often — and the square supreme headquarters allied powers europe of the spoons are easier ( than circle ) to fit into spice bottles. The cups have flat handles for easy level ( very crucial ! ) and they are fleshy adequate to stand up tied when empty. here ‘s another stainless steel set that includes a leveler, pasta measures, and a coffee bean smooch. If you need all that, it ‘s a great hand .
What If the Recipe Doesn’t Provide Weights?
Most recipes nowadays provide both volume and slant measurements. For exemplar, a recipe will call for one cup of flour and then in parentheses give the slant, like this : 1 C general-purpose flour ( 4.25 oz. ). Or, it will give the weight in grams : 1 C general-purpose flour ( 125g ). many recipes list both English and metric weights : 1 C general-purpose flour ( 4.25 ounce, 125g ). If a broil recipe does n’t provide system of weights measurements, just follow the volume measurements angstrom cautiously as possible. Watch the television above for guidance on how to measure dry ingredients by volume. We ‘ll add that if you ‘re not tied to the recipe — if it ‘s new to you or not a front-runner — you may want to consider finding a unlike recipe. We ‘re dangerous about this, particularly for Internet recipes : if a web site does n’t provide weights adenine well as volumes, it ‘s an indication that the recipe writer may not be identical conscientious. Of course, this does n’t apply to old syndicate recipes passed down for generations, or recipes out of older cookbooks ( such as your ma ‘s hand-me-down version of Joy of Cooking ). In this subject, fair use the measurements as given ( using the proper volume-measuring techniques ), or convert the volumes to weights so you can use your scale. ( We promise, once you get the attend of it, you ‘re going to love using a plate. ) To convert volume to weight, you can use one of our handy conversion charts at the bottom of the foliate — it ‘s a lot easier than you probably think it is .
How to Measure Liquids
closely all recipes have liquid amounts in volume. And if the unit is ounces, you can assume it means fluid ounces. If a fluid is listed in grams or pounds, then you know you should weigh it alternatively of using a measure cup. For best results, you need to have the correct measuring cups for liquids and you have to know how to read them. here ‘s another short ( one moment ) video from Food Network that shows you how to measure liquids ; it ‘s not hard, but there is a right way to do it :
The most important point in the video is to view the cup at eye level : looking down at it from above will give you the incorrectly reading. Note also that measuring spoons are used for both dry and liquid ingredients (e.g., salt and vanilla extract). Measuring spoons work fine for tiny amounts–but for best results, measure over a bowl or the sink. If a recipe has liquids listed by weight unit ( fluid ounces or grams ), you just use the same routine as you would for measuring dry ingredients : put a bowl on the scale, darnel it, and pour in the liquid. Or, assume that ounces are near enough to fluid ounces that the recipe will be fine ( true for liquids which have about the same density as water ) .
How to Use Liquid Measuring Cups
You can see right away that liquid measuring cups have a very different design than dry measuring cups :
- They have a spout (for pouring)
- They’re clear (or have a clear panel) so you can level the liquid to the fill line easily (and read it at eye level)
- They are marked so you can use them for several amounts (dry measuring cups are meant to be filled and leveled)
- The measurements don’t go up to the top (so you won’t spill)
- They’re marked in multiple units: cups, ounces (fluid ounces, remember), and milliliters/liters.
You do not want to fill a liquid measuring cup to the clear because it can slosh out and cause both a fix and an inaccurate total. We prefer glass for liquid quantify because it holds up well and does n’t scratch like credit card can, so it stays easy to read. The set from Amazon Basics shown above has everything you need. If you do n’t think you ‘ll use a 64 oz. measuring cup ( that ‘s 8 cup, or half a gallon ), the set below is a better option ( or you can click over to Amazon to shop — there are a set of options ). We recommend that you buy a set with at least a 4-cup, a 2-cup, and a 1-cup measure. You might be tempted to good get the big one and use it for everything, but your measurements will be more accurate if you use a measure cup close to the sum you ‘re measuring. plastic has advantages, besides : it wo n’t break, it ‘s easier to store, and it ‘s less expensive than glass. If you prefer fictile, these ellipse shaped cups are a good choice :
What About Eggs and Butter?
Most recipes give the testis total in number of eggs or whites and yolks. This can be inaccurate because egg vary so a lot in size, even among eggs of the same grade ( for example, medium, large, supernumerary bombastic, etc. ). If a recipe fair asks for a total of eggs, the presumption is that you ‘re using large eggs. If you do n’t have bombastic eggs, you ‘ll merely have to guess at how much of the larger or smaller eggs to use. More and more, recipes visit for eggs by burden. This is helpful because you can use an exact sum of egg. If a recipe calls for more than equitable a number of eggs, it could be written in Tablespoons, ounces, milliliters, or grams. From Wikipedia : One large egg (without shell) = 3.25T = 2 oz = 57g = 46ml. Keep in mind these are approximate because the sizes of eggs will vary slightly — and, that these measurements will be different for eggs of different sizes. One medium egg (without shell) = 3 T = 1.75 oz = 49.6g = 43ml. If you want more data, here ‘s a commodity article about large eggs in baking. Butter is actually identical easy to use. Most butter wrappers have measurements so you can just cut off the total of butter that you need. One standard stick of butter = 0.5 C = 4 oz = 0.25 pound = 110g .
Why Is the Metric System Better?
just as measure by slant will improve your cook and broil, switching to the system of measurement system — using grams alternatively of ounces — will besides improve it. Metric units are smaller. so your measurements will be more accurate. For example, there are about 28 grams in an ounce, so grams are much more accurate than ounces, or flush one-fourth and half ounces. besides, because the metric organization is based on multiples of 10, it ‘s easier to do conversions ( just move the decimal fraction compass point ). This is dependable for both volume and weight measurements in the metric system. Weight and volume are closely related in the system of measurement organization. just as a fluid ounce of water weighs an ounce, a milliliter of water system weighs a gram — so you have the lapp basic relationship, except the units are much smaller and consequently more accurate. once you memorize these key points, the metric function system is ace easy to use. Whether it ‘s burden ( grams ) or volume ( milliliters ), it ‘s constantly multiples of 10 .
Why Using a Scale Is Easier
If you ‘re used to using teaspoons, tablespoons and cups, it may seem like a huge harass to pull out a scale. It ‘s an extra footfall. only it is n’t ; not actually. here ‘s why. Put your bowl on a scale and tare ( zero ) it. Add an ingredient and tare it again. Repeat until you ‘ve add all of your ingredients. If you remember that fluent ounces are equivalent to ounces for most liquids, you can use the lapp method acting. so, one bowl, and no quantify cup ( though you may want to measure out small amounts like teaspoons ). That ‘s pretty comfortable !
What About Small Amounts?
For baking in particular, once you ‘re in the habit of weighing, you will want to weigh everything. You ‘ll credibly want to start weighing your salt and spices alternatively of using teaspoons and tablespoons. This means that you ‘ll need a gram scale. You may besides want some weighing boats, which make it easy to work with bantam amounts of ingredients. As with book measuring cups, using the scale entail for the size you ‘re weighing will produce more accurate results. Teaspoons and tablespoons work for many recipes, but for others, you ‘ll want to use a gram scale. besides, weighing eradicates any issues with, for exercise, the size of the salt crystals : while a teaspoon of powdered salt wo n’t work in a recipe calling for farinaceous salt ( it will be way besides salty ! ), 5g works for any type of salt. You ‘ll constantly use the right come if you go by slant. You may think you ‘ll hate having to use two scales when you bake, but you ‘ll appreciate the accuracy it provides and the huge improvement in your baking. back to top
Part 3: Printable Conversion Charts and Converter Tool
You can click the link below each chart to open a printable PDF document .
Liquid/Volume Conversion Chart (English and Metric)
Tsp | Tblspn | Cup | Pint | Quart | Fl oz | mL | Liters | |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
1 tsp = | 1 | 0.33 | — | — | — | 0.17 | 5 | — |
1 T = | 3 | 1 | — | — | — | 0.5 | 15 | — |
1 C = | 48 | 16 | 1 | 1/2 | 1/4 | 8 | 237 | 0.24 |
1 pt = | 96 | 32 | 2 | 1 | 1/2 | 16 | 473 | 0.47 |
1 Qt = | 192 | 64 | 4 | 2 | 1 | 32 | 950 | 0.95 |
1 Fl oz = | 6 | 2 | 1/8 | —
Read more: 3.2 Grading System | Grades | Fordham |
— | 1 | 30 | — |
1 ml = | 0.2 | — | — | — | — | — | 1 | 0.001 |
1 Liter = | 202 | — | 4.2 | 0.94 | 0.94 | — | 1000 | 1 |
Common Liquid/Volume Conversions 1 thymine = 5 milliliter 1 T = 3 tsp = 1/2 florida oz =15 milliliter 1 florida oz = 2 T = ⅛ C = 30 milliliter ¼ C = 4 T = 2 florida oz = 60 milliliter ⅓ C = 5 T = 80 milliliter ½ C = 8 T = 4 florida oz = 120 milliliter ⅔ C = 10 T = 160 milliliter ¾ C = 12 T = 6 florida oz =180 milliliter 1 C = 16 T = 8 florida oz = ½ platinum = 240 milliliter 2 C = 1 platinum = 16 florida oz = 475 milliliter 4 C = 2 platinum = 1 qt = 950 milliliter 4 qt = 1 gal = 3.8 fifty | Conversion factors: To convert tsp to ml : Multiply tsp by 4.93 To convert ml to tsp : Multiply ml by 0.20 To convert fl oz to ml : Multiply fl oz by 29.57 To convert ml to fl oz : Multiply ml by 0.034 To convert T to ml : Multiply T by 14.79 To convert ml to T : Multiply ml by 0.068 To convert Cups to ml : Multiply Cups by 236.6 To convert ml to Cups : Multiply ml by 0.004 To convert quarts to liters : multiply by 0.95 To convert liters to quarts : multiply by 1.06 |
Print out Liquid/Volume Conversion Chart: Click link to open a PDF, then click the Print clitoris.
Weight Conversion Chart (English and Metric)
heading | Oz | Lb | Gram | Kg |
---|---|---|---|---|
1 oz = | 1 | 0.06 or 1/16 | 28.3 | 0.03 |
1 lb = | 16 | 1 | 453.6 | 0.45 |
1 g = | 0.035 | 0.002 | 1 | 0.001 |
1 kg = | 35.2 | 2.2 | 1000 | 1 |
Common Weight Conversions ½ oz = 14 gram 1 oz = 28 gigabyte 1 ½ oz = 42 g 2 oz = 56 thousand 4 oz = 113 gravitational constant 5.3 oz = 150 guanine 8 oz = ½ lb = 225 g 12 oz = ¾ lb = 340 guanine 16 oz = 1 pound = 450 g | Weight Conversion Factors To convert ounces to grams : Multiply ounces by 28.35. To convert grams to ounces : Multiply grams by 0.035. To convert pounds to kilograms : Multiply pounds by 0.45. To convert kilograms to pounds : Multiply kilograms by 2.2. |
Print out Weight Conversion Chart: Click connection to open a PDF, then click the Print release.
Conversion Chart: Weights of Standard Ingredients
If you check other sources, you will credibly find some differences in these conversion factors. ( For example, we ‘ve seen a cup of AP flour listed at several different weights, from 120g to 150g. ) But we think these are the most accurate conversion numbers. For a more dispatch number of ingredient conversion, check out the King Arthur Ingredient Weight Chart — it ‘s amazing .
Ingredient | Volume | Weight |
---|---|---|
Almond flour | 1 C | 90g/3.2 oz |
butter | 1 metric ton 1/2 C ( 1 adhere ) | 14g 113g/4 oz |
cheese, grated | 1 C | 113g/4 oz |
Chocolate chips | 1 C | 170g |
Cocoa gunpowder | 1 thyroxine 1 C | 6g 100g/3.5 oz |
Corn meal | 1 C | 120g/4.2 oz |
Corn starch ( corn flour ) | 1 thyroxine | 10g |
Eggs ( 1 big ) | app. 3 1/4 deoxythymidine monophosphate | 57g/2 oz |
Flour ( AP, bread ) | 1 C | 130g/4.6 oz |
Flour ( patty ) | 1 C | 120g/4.2 oz |
Flour ( unharmed pale yellow ) | 1 C | 130g/4.6 oz |
olive anoint ( most cook oils ) | 1/4 C | 50g/1 3/4 oz |
Rolled oats | 1 C | 95g/3.4 oz |
Salt, coarse grate | 1 tsp | 4.58g |
Salt, fine land | 1 tsp | 6g |
Sugar, white, granulated | 1 thyroxine 1 C | 12g 200g/7 oz |
Sugar, brown, packed | 1 metric ton 1 C | 13g 180g/6.4 oz |
Sugar, confectioner ‘s | 1 thymine 1 C | 6g 120g/4.2 oz |
water | 1 deoxythymidine monophosphate 1 C | 14g 227g/8 oz |
Print out Common Ingredient Weight/Volume Conversion Chart: Click yoke to open a PDF, then click the Print push button.
Converter Tool
If you need to convert something we have n’t mentioned here, you can use an on-line converter cock. There are thousands of detached tools to choose from. We like this one at mathisfun.com because it ‘s agile and simpleton to use. If you ‘re doing a set of conversions, bookmark the site ( or one of your choose ) so you can access it easily and make agile work of your kitchen conversions .
Final Thoughts
We hope this conversion information is helpful. If you ‘re just learning to bake by weights or still raw to metric function numbers, we suggest you print out these charts and tape them inside your cabinet for easy reference.
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