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10 essential cooking measurements

Know your kitchen math: Arm yourself with these 10 common conversions, and they will help make you a more efficient cook.

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I remember vividly how deflated I was when I learned that math courses were a component of my culinary degree. I thought that by entering the arts, I’d finally get to leave my miserable relationship with math behind. But the truth is, calculations are a huge component of cooking — and of baking in particular. Recipe testing and development requires endless measuring and converting.

Here are the 10 most common measurements that we use on a daily basis in our kitchen. If you familiarize yourself with them, they’ll make you a more efficient cook (and impress a few chef friends along the way):

Common Measurements

1 kilogram = 2.2lbs
454 grams = 1lb = 16 oz
28.35 grams = 1 oz
1 tbsp = 15 ml
1 tsp = 5ml
1 tbsp = 3 tsp
4 tbsp = 1/4 cup (I know…who knew!)
1 cup = 250ml = 8 fluid oz
1 fluid oz = 29.5 ml = 2 tbsp
1 pint = 2 cups

If you don’t have a scale, it’s a great idea to take advantage of the scales in the grocery store. Jot down the weights of the ingredients you need on your grocery list and weigh them at the market. When you get home you’ll be ready to start cooking, literally.

Here are four other handy ingredient conversions:

1. Chocolate chips
Recipes love to call for chocolate in ounces. When it comes to your chocolate chip cookies, know that 1 cup of chocolate chips = 6 oz.
Try these: Gluten-free crispy and chewy chocolate chip cookies

2. Dairy
When purchasing yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese etc., don’t mess up your measuring cups.
250ml tub = 1 cup; 500ml tub = 2 cups.
Try it: Maple Carrot Soup

3. Butter
Butter in recipes is commonly referred to as pounds.
One pound butter = 454g; or 2 cups. 1/2 lb butter is 225 g, or one cup. 1 stick of butter is 1/2 cup or 8 tbsp.

4. Meat
The Chatelaine Kitchen always refers to meat in grams, but many recipes prefer ounces. To help with these recipes, refer to your conversion and apply it.
One ounce meat = 28.35g.

Pull out your smart phone (or pencil) and multiply this by how many ounces you need and you’ll have your quantity in grams.

Try it: An excellent example of the Chatelaine Kitchen’s dedication to the metric system is this yummy feast: Slow cooked brisket with caramelized onions and our clever hot Italian sausage.

Originally published March 2nd, 2015.