Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Converting Recipes to Metric Measures...

Converting Recipes to Metric Measures

The instructions and tables presented below will walk the reader through converting a recipe to metric measures. It is important to note that these conversions only work with U.S. recipes. Customary measures like cups, pints, quarts, and gallons mean different things in different countries. For example, if you try to convert a British or Australian recipe to metric using these instructions, it may flop.
For the sake of keeping things simple, I have slightly rounded off the measurements stated below. All conversions should be sufficiently accurate for all recipes. For exact conversions, see the Appendices.

Liquids (and Herbs and Spices)

Liquids can be converted to liters or milliliters with the following table. Small volumes (less than about 1 fluid ounce or 2 tablespoons) of ingredients such as salt, herbs, spices, baking powder, etc. should also be converted with this table. Do not use this table to convert other non-liquid ingredients.
Volume Conversions: Normally used for liquids only
Customary quantityMetric equivalent
1 teaspoon5 mL
1 tablespoon or 1/2 fluid ounce15 mL
1 fluid ounce or 1/8 cup30 mL
1/4 cup or 2 fluid ounces60 mL
1/3 cup80 mL
1/2 cup or 4 fluid ounces120 mL
2/3 cup160 mL
3/4 cup or 6 fluid ounces180 mL
1 cup or 8 fluid ounces or half a pint240 mL
1 1/2 cups or 12 fluid ounces350 mL
2 cups or 1 pint or 16 fluid ounces475 mL
3 cups or 1 1/2 pints700 mL
4 cups or 2 pints or 1 quart950 mL
4 quarts or 1 gallon3.8 L
Note: In cases where higher precision is not justified, it
may be convenient to round these conversions off as follows:
  1 cup = 250 mL
  1 pint = 500 mL
  1 quart = 1 L
  1 gallon = 4 L


Weights can be converted with the following table. Note that the ounces referred to in this table are not the same as fluid ounces.
Weight Conversions
Customary quantityMetric equivalent
1 ounce28 g
4 ounces or 1/4 pound113 g
1/3 pound150 g
8 ounces or 1/2 pound230 g
2/3 pound300 g
12 ounces or 3/4 pound340 g
1 pound or 16 ounces450 g
2 pounds900 g

Other non-liquid ingredients

Non-liquid ingredients specified in American recipes by volume (if more than about 2 tablespoons or 1 fluid ounce) should be converted to weight with the following table. If you need to convert an ingredient that isn't in this table, the safest thing to do is to measure it with a traditional measuring cup and then weigh the results with a metric scale. In a pinch, you can use the volume conversion table, above.
Weights of common ingredients in grams
Ingredient1 cup3/4 cup2/3 cup1/2 cup1/3 cup1/4 cup2 Tbsp
Flour, all purpose (wheat)120 g90 g80 g60 g40 g30 g15 g
Flour, well sifted all purpose (wheat)110 g80 g70 g55 g35 g27 g13 g
Sugar, granulated cane200 g150 g130 g100 g65 g50 g25 g
Confectioner's sugar (cane)100 g75 g70 g50 g35 g25 g13 g
Brown sugar, packed firmly (but not too firmly)180 g135 g120 g90 g60 g45 g23 g
Corn meal160 g120 g100 g80 g50 g40 g20 g
Corn starch120 g90 g80 g60 g40 g30 g15 g
Rice, uncooked190 g140 g125 g95 g65 g48 g24 g
Macaroni, uncooked140 g100 g90 g70 g45 g35 g17 g
Couscous, uncooked180 g135 g120 g90 g60 g45 g22 g
Oats, uncooked quick90 g65 g60 g45 g30 g22 g11 g
Table salt300 g230 g200 g150 g100 g75 g40 g
Butter240 g180 g160 g120 g80 g60 g30 g
Vegetable shortening190 g140 g125 g95 g65 g48 g24 g
Chopped fruits and vegetables150 g110 g100 g75 g50 g40 g20 g
Nuts, chopped150 g110 g100 g75 g50 g40 g20 g
Nuts, ground120 g90 g80 g60 g40 g30 g15 g
Bread crumbs, fresh, loosely packed60 g45 g40 g30 g20 g15 g8 g
Bread crumbs, dry150 g110 g100 g75 g50 g40 g20 g
Parmesan cheese, grated90 g65 g60 g45 g30 g22 g11 g


Lengths may be converted with the following table. Keep in mind that 1 cm = 10 mm.
Length Conversions
Customary quantityMetric equivalent
1/8 inch3 mm
1/4 inch6 mm
1/2 inch13 mm
3/4 inch19 mm
1 inch2.5 cm
2 inches5 cm
3 inches7.6 cm
4 inches10 cm
5 inches13 cm
6 inches15 cm
7 inches18 cm
8 inches20 cm
9 inches23 cm
10 inches25 cm
11 inches28 cm
12 inches or 1 foot30 cm


The following converter (below) will convert back and forth between °C and °F. Just enter a number in either field, then click outside the text box. Round off the results appropriately.

Finishing up

Now that you've converted all measurements to metric, you may want to consult the style guide before sharing or publishing your recipe.


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