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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.

Beware! Ounces can be used for measuring both volume and weight and they are very different. An ounce of water by volume will weight 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 more and more bakers are weighing 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.

World Wide Metric is a website I use often for simple and complex quick conversions.

Dry measurements

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.

Cups Decimal Tablespoons Teaspoons
1 1.00 16 48
3/4 0.75 12 36
2/3 0.67 11 32
1/2 0.50 8 24
1/3 0.33 5 16
1/4 0.25 4 12
1/8 0.13 2 6
1/16 0.063 1 3

3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
1 coffee scoop = 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

Beans

1 can of beans = 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

Cheese

1 pound cheese = about 4.5 cups shredded
1 cup shredded cheese = a little more than 4 ounces by weight
1 cup cottage cheese = about 1/2 pound

Chocolate

1 cup cocoa = 1/4 pound
1 ounce chocolate = 1/4 cup grated
1 cup chocolate chips = 6 ounces by weight

Garlic

Small clove of garlic = about 1/2 teaspoon
Medium clove = about 1 teaspoon = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Large clove = about 1.5 teaspoons
Extra-large clove = about 2 teaspoons

Flour

1 cup flour = 5 ounces by weight = 250 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

Mushrooms

1 pound trimmed fresh mushrooms
= about 5 cups chopped
= 1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
= 3 ounces dried mushrooms, rehydrated
= about 2 cups sautéd

Pasta and rice

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
1 cup brown whole grain rice = 1/2 pound 2.25 cups boiling water = 4 cups of cooked rice

Saffron

1 gram of saffron = about 450 stigmas (a.k.a. threads, strings, strands, or pieces)
= 2 teaspoons of whole saffron threads
= 1/2 teaspoon crumbled
= 1/4 teaspoon powdered

Salt

1 teaspoon Morton's table salt
= 1.8 teaspoons Morton's Kosher Salt

Here's the inverse:

1 teaspoons Morton's Kosher Salt
= 0.6 teaspoon of table salt

1 cup table salt = 8 ounces (1/2 pound) by weight
Salt is 2.16 x density of water

Dry brine

Sprinkle the meat with about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per trimmed pound, wrap in plastic wrap to keep other foods from contacting meat juices, and refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours depending on thickness.

Basic wet brine

Add one cup of hot water to a two cup measuring cup. Then pour in salt, any salt, until the water line reaches 1.5 cups. Produces a 6.3% brine.

1/2" thick meat should be brined for about 1/2 hour in the refrigerator
1" thick meat should be brined for about 1 hour in the refrigerator
2" thick meat should be brined for about 4 hours in the refrigerator
3" thick meat should be brined for about 12 hours in the refrigerator

Sugars

1 cup granulated white sugar = 8 ounces by weight
1 cup packed dark brown sugar = 6 ounces by weight = 250 grams by weight
1 cup packed dark brown sugar = 1 cup granulated white sugar + 2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup packed dark brown sugar = 1 cup of granulated white sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses
1 cup honey = 3/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup water
1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup water
Simple syrup is 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water thoroughly dissolved

Fats

1 stick butter = 8 tablespoons = 4 ounces = 1/4 pound = 1/2 cup by volume = 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pound solid fat (lard or shortening) = 2 cups

Nuts

The info below is estimated and can vary depending on the size of the nuts and their freshness.
Fresh nuts have a higher water content.

Almonds. 1 pound unshelled = 1.5 cups nut meats
Almonds. 1 cup = 5.5 ounces

Pecans. 1 pound unshelled = 2.25 cups nut meats
Pecans. 1 cup = 3.8 ounces

Walnuts. 1 pound unshelled = 2 cups nut meats
Walnuts. 1 cup = 3.6 ounces

Cashews. 1 cup = 5.0 ounces
Peanuts. 1 cup = 6.0 ounces

Ground Beef

Ground chuck usually is 15% fat
Ground round usually is about 10% fat
Ground sirloin usually is about 5% fat
1 pound boneless meat = 3 cups cubed meat

Other

Apple. 1 medium apple = about 1/2 cup slices or chopped
Bread Crumbs.
1 slice bread = 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Gelatin. 1 tablespoon = 1 envelope = 4 sheets leaf gelatin
Herbs. 2 to 3 parts fresh herbs = 1 part dried (most of the time)
Mustard. 1 tablespoon mustard = 1 teaspoon dry mustard
Onion. 1 large onion = about 4" diameter = about 1 1/4 cup chopped
Pasta. 1 pound serves 4 people
Popcorn. 1/4 cup popcorn = 5 cups cooked
Tomatoes. 1 pound tomatoes = 1.5 cups chopped
Yeast. 1 packet active dry yeast = 2.25 teaspoons

Wet measurements

Wet volumetric measurements like tablespoons, teaspoons, allow for a little bubble in the center but the edges of the liquid should meet the edges of the spoon. In cups it is the center of the meniscus that you measure too. The meniscus is the upward slope where the liquid contacts the sides.

Cups Decimal Ounces Tablespoons Teaspoons Milliliters Grams
1 1.00 8 16 48 237 236.56
3/4 0.75 6 12 36 177 177.42
2/3 0.67 5 11 32 158 157.71
1/2 0.50 4 8 24 118 118.28
1/3 0.33 3 5 16 79 78.85
1/4 0.25 2 4 12 59 59.14
1/8 0.13 1 2 6 30 29.57
1/16 0.063 0.5 1 3 15 14.785

 

1 dash = about 3 drops = about 1/16 teaspoon
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
1 pint = 2 cups = 1 pound ("a pint's a pound the world around")
1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups = 32 fluid ounces = 0.95 liters
1 gallon = 4 quarts = 128 fluid ounces = 3.785 liters = 3785 cubic centimeters
1 liter = 100 centiliters = 1000 milliliters = 34 fluid ounces = 1.0 quarts

Water
1 fluid ounce of water weighs 1.043 dry ounces = 0.0652 pounds = 29.574 grams
1 gram of water = 0.0022 pounds = 0.1408 ounces
1 mg of water = 0.0014 ounces

Cream

Light cream = 18% butterfat
Light whipping cream = 26-30% butterfat
Heavy cream = whipping cream = 36% or more butterfat
Double cream = extra-thick double cream = clotted or Devonshire cream = 42% butterfat
1 cup cream = 3/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup unsalted butter (use only in cooking)
1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yogurt = 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup half and half = 1/2 cup cream + 1/2 cup milk

Juices

Tomato Juice. 1 cup tomato juice = 1/2 cup tomato sauce + 1/2 cup water
Lemon or Lime Juice. 1 medium lemon, lime = about 2 tablespoons of juice = about 1 ounce
Orange Juice. 1 medium orange = about 4 tablespoons juice = about 2 ounces

Eggs

1 large egg = 2 ounces by volume = 3 tablespoons
1 large egg's white = 2 tablespoons
1 large egg yolk = 1 tablespoon
1 cup = 4 to 6 whole eggs without shells

Other

Mustard. 1 tablespoon mustard = 1 teaspoon dry mustard
Vinaigrette. A classic vinaigrette is 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar

Temperature

Click here for the ultimate meat temperature guide.

Conversion formulae

Celsius or Centigrade = (Fahrenheit - 32) / 1.8
Fahrenheit = (Celsius x 1.8) + 32°C

Important temperature equivalents

400°F = 204°C = hot oven
350°F = 177°C
300°F = 149°C
250°F = 121°C
225°F = 107°C = ideal smoking temperature
212F = 100°C = water boils
203°F = 95°C = pork butt, beef brisket, and beef ribs are done
180°F = 82°C
170°F = 77°C
160°F = 71°C
130°F = 54°C = medium rare
72°F = 22°C = room temperature
32°F = 0°C = water freezes
0°F = -18°C

Cooking at altitude

Boiling point goes down about 2°F for every 1,000 feet above sea level.

Briquets

1 quart = about 16 Kingsford briquets
1 Weber chimney holds about 5 quarts, or about 80 briquets
Figure 100 square inches of cooking surface per person when buying a grill

Slow cookers & crockpots

Low. Approximately 200°F
Medium. Approximately 250°F
High. Approximately 300°F

If there is a lot of liquid in the crock, then the water temp will rise to 212°F and stay there no matter what temp you have on the dial.

Distances

1 centimeter = 0.4 inches
1 meter = 100 centimeters = 1000 millimeters = 3.28 feet
1 inch = 25.4 millimeters = 2.54 centimeters
1 foot = 0.305 meters

If you can't find a conversion you need on this page, you might try here.

Calories

1 gram of carbohydrates contains 3.75 calories
1 gram of fat contains 9 calories
1 gram of protein contains 4 calories
1 gram of alcohol contains 7 calories

This page was revised

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