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Information on weights and measures in the kitchen
OverviewThe way of measuring ingredients in recipes change according to country. There are significant differences in units and ways to measure volume or mass.
In many countries, including France, the metric system is used:
- Grams and kilogrammes for solid ingredients (125 g flour for example)
- Millilitres or litres for liquid ingredients (200 ml milk for example)
- Celsius degrees for temperature (180°C for example)
Other countries, especially English speaking ones, use the imperial system:
- In the USA ingredients are usually measured by volume rather than weight, but in Britain pounds (lb) and ounces (oz) are still used in spite of "official" metrication.
- These volumes are in cup, tablespoon and teaspoon (5 ml)
- Temperatures are in Farenheit degrees
It's a bit complicated because cup and tablespoon are not standard between different countries
|Tablespoon||15 ml||15 ml||20 ml|
|Cup||240 ml||285 ml||250 ml|
On this site
To be useful to as many people as possible, here is what happens on this website:
- All liquid ingredients are by volume, in millilitres
- All others ingredients are by weight, in grams
- All volumes and weights can be converted from metric to imperial (and vice-versa) in a single click
- This conversion can be made to US, British and Australian measures
- All temperatures are given in both Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees
Some conversion tips
With liquids (water, milk, etc.) volume is generally equal to weight, which means for example that 50 ml water = 50 g water.
You will often find on packaged goods, volumes stated in centilitres (cl). Typically a pot of cream 20 cl.
- As 1 cl = 10 ml, your pot of cream contains 200 ml.
- Divide ml by 10 to get cl. For example: 300 ml milk / 10 = 30 cl milk
- Multiply cl by 10 to get ml. For example: 5 cl whisky x 10 = 50 ml whisky
My best advice
In spite of all these explanations, I strongly advise you to weigh everything: liquid or dry ingredients. It's the best way to be precise, to avoid errors in proportions, and to be sure of success. This is particulary true for cakes, pastries and bread which need absolute precision.
So make friends with your weighing scales.
Changing quantitiesEach recipe on this site is available with its original quantities, but can be changed with one click to get:
- 3 times initial quantities
- Twice initial quantities
- Initial quantities (to get back to original recipe)
- Half initial quantities
- Third initial quantities, wherever possible
Take care, as in recalculating new quantities some errors may occur when dividing small values (half an egg for example). Don't hesitate to contact me, see link in top of page, if you find an error.
Last modified on: October 30th 2012