Modern cooks may notice that many recipes also include grams in the instructions, in addition to teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups. Some recipes also offer instructions in ounces.
Below is a listing of conversions from tablespoons, ounces, and grams, both in liquid form and in solids or dry products.
Liquids are the easiest item to measure and generally weigh as much as they measure in ounces.
Please note that the term liquids refers to some products that are solid at room temperature; for example, butter and shortening.
Liquids either fill the full space of a measuring vessel at room temperature or will melt to fill the vessel. For example, 8 ounces of water = 1 cup, and actually weighs 8 ounces.
Per food expert Emma Christensen, 1 ounce = 28.35 grams / milliliters.
Basic Tablespoon Conversions
Per cooking expert Kimberly Stakal with Organic Authority, liquid conversions are fairly straightforward.
Dry ingredients will be more accurate when measured by weight, not by volume.
5 tbsp. + 1 tsp.
2.33 fl. oz
4 fl. oz
10 tbsp. + 2 tsp.
5.33 fl. oz
8 fl. oz
When measuring liquids for volume, the following is a helpful guide to make sure your recipes produce consistent outcomes. Conversions for butter and/or shortening:
Tools To Simplify
There are several tools that will simplify these calculations. For example, a stick of butter is 8 ounces or half a cup, and if you need to be more specific, most sticks of butter have markings on the wax paper coating.
In addition, many solid forms of shortening are available in sticks and can be easily cut into accurate chunks for baking.
When working with any product that is solid (or dry), weighing is a much more accurate method of adding product to your mixing bowl.
For example, one cup of milk is 8 ounces, while a cup of wheat flour is 4.5 ounces, and a cup of cake flour is 4 ounces. Brown sugar is heavier than white sugar, but powdered sugar only weighs as much as cake flour.
Now that we know why that last batch of oatmeal cookies turned into aromatic bricks, we can address this challenge and get back to great baking.
A kitchen scale that will zero out is critical if you're going to measure your dry products by weight.
Use A Kitchen Scale!
The Primo digital kitchen scale by Escali is available in a variety of colors to help match your decor. This scale zeroes out when you turn it on.
If you need to measure 2 cups of flour, which is actually only 9 ounces, simply set your measuring container on the scale, turn it on, and add 9 ounces of flour to the container.
The weighing plate is wide enough to handle a variety of full sized mixing bowls and the digital display is flat, so cleanup fairly easy.
Finally, this scale will measure in either grams or ounces; simply choose your preferred weight on the button to the right of the display.
See our full kitchen scale buying guide for more options and ideas to help measure your ingredients accurately.
Basic Baking Conversions
If you're happy measuring your dry baking products by volume and get frustrated when recipes you want to try only offer weights, the conversions below will help.
Make Old Recipes New Again
An additional challenge for fans of old cookbooks is the question of whether or not to sift their flour.
While many older recipes require cooks to sift the flour, it should be noted that this step was often undertaken to remove bits of grain or pests from flour.
SEE ALSO: Does Flour Go Bad?
As most flour is now both grain and pest free:
- Do you need to sift?
- At what point do you sift?
Per authorities with Cook's Illustrated you'll want to weigh your flour first, then sift it.
Measuring sifted flour by volume can lead to recipe failures, as too little flour will leave your leavening products nothing to work with and result in flat, dense baked goods.
Cooking is fun, creative and offers plenty of opportunities for unique individual expression. Baking is also fun, but it's primarily chemistry that warms up your home and makes it smell great.
Weighing and measuring your dry and wet ingredients accurately will make it much easier to produce consistent, delicious baked goods that taste great from batch to batch.
Did you enjoy this guide? Let us know in the comments with your favorite measuring tips.
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