Epicurean Table title

Close Enough Equivalents . . . 

Misunderstood, abused and misused, metrics are often made unnecessarily complicated. Here are easy charts and close enough equivalents to make converting units to metric easy.


 

Which is more accurate - weighing or cup measuring?

Which is easier?

Which is quicker and has less clean up? 

Read more articles on Metric Who? and Metric Simplicity,

The Epicurean Digest

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3 & 4 

 


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Equivalent Charts

 

Cooking is not an exact science and so when converting metric to cups or ounces to grams, most recipes will survive a close approximation.

 

In the kitchen there is no need to suffer along worrying about getting 257 g. of something that has converted out that way when 250 g. will really do, or that 8 US fl. ounces equals 236.5 ml. when 250 ml. is better (about 1 tablespoon difference. (UK: 227.3 ml. to 8 imperial fl. ounces.) A metric unit is a metric unit anywhere in the world. Needless to say, never mix one system with another.

 

Milliliters are used for liquid measures and grams are used  for dry (bulk) measures.  Inconsistency in how to use the metric system as well as public unawareness contributes to the confusion/frustration on the subject so common in North America. 

 

Even on respected internet cooking sites and sources, readers are often given erroneous equivalents such as 1/2 liter of strawberries or giving 1 cup of flour as 250 ml. - obviously measured in a metric container intended for liquids.  One cup of flour is 125 grams.

 

Strawberries and flour are not liquid and must be weighed in grams. Obviously, continuing to measure everything (dry and liquid) still using a cup system that one is just renaming milliliters makes no sense.  This kind of 'conversion' defeats the purpose.  

If you do not have one already, purchase a digital 1 g. to 2 k. scale with a reset button to zero after you have placed the holding reciprocal on it (some of the very early ones did not have this function, so one had to subtract the weight of the container from the ingredients weighed). You want to weigh what is in the reciprocal. Though I now have a digital one, my favourite is an old dial scale - still very accurate - that can be dialed to ounce/pound or gram/kilogram.

 

The following is for your convenience and uses a standard 'metric cup of 250 ml.'* used by Great Britain, Canada and Europe and Australia. (A British and Canadian breakfast cup is 10 fl. ounces or 284 ml. by the way.) Use spoon measures for small increments.

Click here for :

 

LIQUID MEASURES

 

BULK & DRY MEASURES

 

OVEN 

TEMPERATURES

 

COMMON INGREDIENTS

 

The liquid difference between a common US 8 oz. cup and a common UK 10 imperial oz. cup is roughly 4 tablespoons (45 ml.)  The difference between a US 8 oz. cup and a UK 8 oz. cup is roughly 2 teaspoons (10 ml.).  But you only need to know that if you are curious.

 

For practical purposes...

Use the following chart as a close enough equivalent for cooking (for your info: 1 litre = 1.057 US quart and 1.134 UK quart). As long as you are consistent, your recipe will come out fine with only a slight difference in volume. Figures in <> are the exact conversions.  T = tablespoon, t = teaspoon, litre = Brit. Eng., liter = US Eng.

CLOSE ENOUGH EQUIVALENTS - LIQUID MEASURES

Use these metric

units to replace oz.

approx. fluid ounces

US

approx. imperial fl. ounces

UK

cups

UK

(10 imperial

fl. ounces)

spoons

1 T. = 15 ml.

1 t. = 5 ml.

1000 ml.  is about

(1 litre)

32 oz.

(1 generous quart or 2 gen. pints)

<33.813 oz.>

36 (imperial fl). oz.

(1 imperial quart)

 

 

<35,198 oz>

4 cups minus 8 T.

 

500 ml.  is about

(1/2 litre)

16 oz

(generous 1 pint)

<16.90 oz.>

18 (imperial fl.) oz.

(1 scant imperial pint)

<17.599 oz.>

2 cups minus 4 T.

 

250 ml.  is about

(1/4 litre)

8 oz.

(1/2 generous pint)

<8.453 oz.>

9 oz.

(1/2 scant pint)

<8.799 oz.>

1 cup  minus 2 T.

16 T. plus 2 t.

125 ml.  is about

(1/8 litre)

4 oz.

<4.22 oz.>

4.5 oz. (use 5 oz.)

<4.39 oz.>

1/2 cup minus 1 T.

8 T. plus 1 t.

62.5 ml. (use 60 ml)

(1/16 litre)

2 oz.

 

<2.11 oz.>

2.5 oz. (use 2 oz.)

 

<2.199 oz.>

1/4 cup minus 1-1/2 T.

4 T. plus 1/2 t.

30 ml.

(anything less, 

use spoon measures)

15 ml.

1 oz.

<1.014 oz.>

 

 

.5 oz.

1.25 oz. (use 1 oz.)

<1.05>

 

 

.527 oz.

1/8 cup minus 3/4 t.

2 T. plus 1/4 t.

 

 

 

1 T.

 

For bulk and dry measure:

Oven temperatures: 
Celsius - Fahrenheit

Metric - weights

Metric, weight Pounds US

Pounds

UK

Close Enoughs UK & US

1000 g.

(1 kilogram is 2 metric pounds)

2.20 lb.

35.27 oz.

2 lb.

500 g.

(1/2 k.)

1.10 lb.

17.63 oz

1 lb.

 

250 g.

(1/4 k.)

.55 lb.

8.8 oz.

1/2 lb.

(8 oz.)

125 g.

(1/8 k.)

.275 lb.

4.4 oz.

1/4 lb.

(4 oz.)

60 g. (62.5 g.)

.137 lb.

2.2 oz.

1/8 lb.

(2 oz.)

Close Enough Temperatures

 

C.

F.

Gas Mark

Very Hot

230

450

8

 

220

425

7

Hot

200

400

6

 

190

375

5

Moderate

180

350

4

 

160

325

3

Slow

150

300

2

Very Slow

120

250

1/2

Close Enough Equivalents of Common Ingredients

Close Enoughs - common DRY ingredients

 

METRIC CUP

250 g.=8.8 oz.

SUGAR

ICING (POWDERED) SUGAR

FLOUR, BREAD,

CRUMBS, DRY

GRATED CHEESE, NUTS

BUTTER

RICE, LENTILS,

SPLIT PEAS,

SEMOLINA

1 cup

220 g.

150 g.

125 g.

250 g.

200 g.

3/4 cup

165 g.

112 g.

(use 110 g.)

92.5 g.

(use 90 g.)

187.5 g.

(use 190 g.)

150 g.

 

1/2 cup

110 g.

75 g.

62.5 g.

(use 60 g.)

125 g.

100 g.

1/3 cup

73 g.

50 g.

41 g.

(use 40 g.)

83 g.

(use 85 g.)

66.6 g.

(use 65 g.)

1/4 cup

55 g.

37.5 g.

(use 4 T.)

30 g.

62.5 g.

(use 60 g.)

50 g.

1/8 cup

27.5 g.

(use 30 g.)

use 2 T.

15 g.

31.25

(use 30 g.)

25 g.

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The Epicurean Table 1999-2009  Patricia Conant