Important Weights, Measures, Conversion Tables, And Rules Of Thumb
"Correct measurements are absolutely necessary to insure the best results." Fannie Farmer, The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook (1896)
Below are some useful weights, measures, and equivalents that come in handy in the kitchen. Print it and tape it to your pantry door. On the right, you can type in amounts and they will be converted for you.
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Beware! Ounces can be used for measuring both volume and weigh and they are very different. An ounce of water by volume will weigh MUCH more than an ounce of flour by volume.
It is OK to measure wet ingredients by volume, but dry ingredients are better measured by weight. When measured by volume, dry ingredients can be way off because they contain a lot of air. Some flours are ground into larger bits than others, and they will have more air between grains than finely ground flour. The same is true for salt. Morton's kosher salt has almost twice as much air than the same volume of table salt because Morton's kosher salt grains are shaped like flakes while table salt is shaped like cubes, and cubes can pack together more tightly. That's why professional bakers always weigh flour and why I measure salt for brines by weight.
When ounces are called for in a recipe for liquids it means by volume as in a measuring cup, but when ounces are called for in solids it should, in a professionally written recipe, be measured by weight. So a recipe that calls for 4 ounces of grated cheese means by weight. If you grate cheese and pour it into a measuring cup to the 4 ounce mark, it will weigh only about 2 ounces.
If you can't find a conversion you need on this page, you might try OnlineConversion.com.
World Wide Metric is a website I use often for simple and complex quick conversions.
A lot of these equivalents are approximate and that's what this symbol means ≈. When you see it, read it as "about".
Remember these are all leveled at the top which means that a tablespoon has a level top, not a big round hill in the center and valleys along the edges.
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
1 ounce = 28 grams
1 pound = 16 ounces = 454 grams
1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
8 quarts = 1 peck
4 pecks = 1 bushel
1 pinch ≈ about 1/16 teaspoon ≈ the amount you can hold between your thumb and two fingers
1 can of beans = is usually 15 ounces undrained ≈ about 10 ounces drained ≈ 1/4 pound dried beans
1 pound dried beans ≈ about 2 cups dried beans ≈ makes about 5 cups soaked beans ≈ makes about 7 cups cooked
1 pound dried beans ≈ 4 cans drained
1 pound cheese ≈ 4.5 cups shredded
1 cup shredded cheese ≈ a little more than 4 ounces by weight
1 cup cottage cheese ≈ 1/2 pound
1 cup cocoa ≈ 1/4 pound
1 ounce chocolate ≈ 1/4 cup grated
1 cup chocolate chips ≈ 6 ounces by weight
Small clove of garlic ≈ 1/2 teaspoon
Medium clove ≈ 1 teaspoon ≈ 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Large clove ≈ 1.5 teaspoons
Extra-large clove ≈ 2 teaspoons
1 cup flour ≈ 5 ounces by weight ≈150 grams
1 tablespoon flour for thickening ≈ 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound white flour ≈ 4 cups sifted flour
1 pound cake flour ≈ 4.5 cups sifted flour
1 pound whole wheat flour ≈ 3.5 cups
1 pound trimmed fresh mushrooms
≈ 5 cups chopped
≈ 1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
≈ 3 ounces dried mushrooms, rehydrated
≈ 2 cups sautéed
Pasta and rice
1 pound dried pasta serves 4 people
4 ounces dry macaroni ≈ 1 cup ≈ 3 cups cooked and drained
4 ounces dry spaghetti or other noodles ≈ 1.75 cups ≈ 4 to 5 cups cooked and drained
1 cup uncooked white rice ≈ 1/2 pound
1 cup uncooked white rice + 2 cups boiling water ≈ 3 cups cooked rice
1 cup brown whole grain rice ≈ 1/2 pound 2.25 cups boiling water = 4 cups of cooked rice
1 gram of saffron ≈ about 450 threads (a.k.a. stigmas, strings, strands, or pieces)
≈ 2 teaspoons of whole saffron threads
≈ 1/2 teaspoon crumbled
≈ 1/4 teaspoon powdered