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Metric Units and Their Equivalents

The metric system of measurement is a very organized system. It's a decimal-based system of measurement and means that all the units are based on powers of 10. For cooking, the most used metric units are grams and kilograms for weight, milliliters and liters for liquid volume and centimeters for thickness (length) sizes which is important for cutting, dicing and slicing. In cooking you will rarely see any cuts made over 2 inches, excuse me, that's 5.08 cm! In baking it's common to see measures above 2 inches, such as the size of tart tins and cake pans. A 25 cm spring-form pan is 10 inches.

How many times have you tried to prepare a recipe only to realize that it needs to be converted from grams to teaspoons? Then after all of that the oven temperature is listed in celsius not Fahrenheit. Do you need to add 10 milliliters of vanilla to a cake batter? If you're math-challenged, don't worry, goodcooking.com is here to help!

US Weight Measure to Metric

US Amount

Metric

1/4 ounce 7 g
1/2 ounce 14 g
3/4 ounce 21 g
1 ounce 28 g
2 ounces 57 g
4 ounces or 1/4 pound 113 g
8 ounces or 1/2 pound 230 g
2/3 pound 300 g
12 ounces or 3/4 pound 340 g
1 pound or 16 ounces 454 g
2 pounds 908 g
2.2 pounds - 1 kilo 1000g

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In cooking and baking it is important to measure accurately, but to be honest 1 or 2 grams won't make a difference in most recipes and formulas, more than 2 grams will. A few exceptions might be with yeast, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and spices. Don't be too concerned with flour, potatoes, meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.

Liquid Metric Measures

Liquid measures that chefs and bakers use most often are milliliters, centiliters and liters. We don't use the others often. In wine making, because of quantity, you often see the measure of hectoliter. All measures in the metic system are based on the scale of 1, 10, 100 and 1,000. You can get scientific and carry the decimal points, for example 3.4 g of flour or 14.7 g of butter but that is rarely done in the kitchen or bakeshop. In many cases cooking measures of weight and volume are often rounded up or down to the next closest amount. For sugar, flour and some other dry ingredients 4g would be rounded to 5g and 12g would be rounded down to 10g. If you have ever worked with a gram scale you know it's hard to measure 1 gram exactly.

milliliter = one thousandth of a liter
centiliter = one hundredth of a liter
deciliter = one tenth of a liter
liter = (33.8 fluid ounces US)
decaliter = equal to 10 liters
hectoliter = a hundred liters

Liquid volume measures are different than dry volume measures!
Cooking Measures---Liquids Metric Equivalent
1 teaspoon 5 mL
1 tablespoon - 1/2 ounce 15 mL
1 ounce - 1/8 cup 30 mL
1/4 cup - 2 ounces 60 mL
1/3 cup 80 mL
1/2 cup - 4 ounces 120 mL
2/3 cup 160 mL
3/4 cup - 6 ounces 180 mL
1 cup - 8 ounces 240 mL
1 1/2 cups - 12 ounces 350 mL
2 cups - 16 ounces 475 mL
3 cups - 1 1/2 pints 700 mL
4 cups - 1 quart 950 mL
4 quarts or a 1 gallon 3.8 L
Weights of some Ingredients
(1 cup measure) (grams)
Flour, all purpose 120g
Flour, sifted all purpose 110g
Sugar, granulated cane 200g
Confectioner's sugar 100g
Brown sugar, packed 180g
Corn meal 160g
Corn starch 120g
Rice, uncooked 190g
Macaroni, uncooked 140g
Couscous, uncooked 180g
Oats, uncooked quick 90g
Table salt 300g
Butter 240g
Vegetable shortening 190g
Chopped fruits 150g
Diced vegetables 150g
Nuts, chopped 150g
Nuts, ground 120g
Bread crumbs, fresh 60g
Bread crumbs, dry 150g
Parmesan cheese, grated 90g

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The pastry chef wants you to roll out 24 - 10cm tart shells---you should know that is 4 inches!

US Length

Metric Equivalent

1/8 inch 3 mm
1/4 inch 6 mm
1/2 inch 13 mm
3/4 inch 19 mm
1 inch 2.5 cm
2 inches 5 cm
3 inches 7.6 cm
4 inches 10 cm
5 inches 13 cm
6 inches 15 cm
7 inches 18 cm
8 inches 20 cm
9 inches 23 cm
10 inches 25 cm
11 inches 28 cm
12 inches 30 cm

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