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Metric Cooking

The most frequent measurements made in the home are those used for cooking and baking. Metric "cup and spoon" measures are only slightly larger than, and can often be used interchangeably with, the customary "cup and spoon" measures. There are only a few ingredients that are not measured by weight (pounds and ounces) that will be expressed differently in metric recipes

Cooking Measurement Tips

  • Select the right cooking tool for the job. Use that tool as designed to get the best measurement result. Using dry measuring cup (designed to measure the volume of dry commodities like sugar) instead of using a fluid measuring cup (designed to measure the volume of liquid commodities like water) is a common way of introducing measurement errors into the cooking process.
  • Use good measurement techniques when reading a meniscus of a fluid measuring cup, which have a large surface area. Set the fluid measuring cup on a level surface to accurately read the meniscus and read the meniscus at eye level. Tips on reading a meniscus are available
  • Strike off excess dry ingredients when using a dry measuring cup.
  • Measuring ingredients by mass (weight) using an appropriate kitchen scale is a best practice to improve recipe accuracy, rather than measuring ingredients by volume using fluid and dry measuring cups.
  • It’s important to note that there are two types of U.S. customary volume measurement units (e.g., liquid and dry). For example, fluid ounce (fl oz) and the Avoirdupois ounce (oz). This contrasts with metric volume (e.g., liter, milliliter), which is suitable for measuring both fluid and dry volume. Because much of metric cooking uses mass (weight), the density of different ingredients can be important. NIST SP 430, Household Weights and Measures, provides the approximate weight of several commodities appropriate for home cooking applications.
  • Have you found a delicious international recipe or a heritage recipe in need of conversion? An online cooking calculator or smartphone app can help you can convert measurement units like pounds to grams, gallons to liters, and degree Fahrenheit to degree Celsius.
  • Adjustments are needed when baking, canning, pressure cooking, and candy making at high altitudes. Consult online resources to adjust recipes.

The Metric Kitchen

Do you need to convert the measurement units used in a recipe? The Metric Kitchen provides easy instructions on how to convert recipes done in teaspoon, cups, and pounds and their metric unit counterparts. A Conversion Style Guide is also available to further explain how metric measurement is used in the art of cooking.


the metric kitchen pumpkin pie recipe

Pumpkin Pie Recipe Card - PDF

USA Rice Federation

Offers a searchable database of tasty recipes featuring the use of rice.

Recipe Gallery

Liquid and Dry Measure Equivalencies*
Metric Customary
1.25 milliliters 1/4 teaspoon
2.5 milliliters 1/2 teaspoon
5 milliliters 1 teaspoon
15 milliliters 1 tablespoon
30 milliliters 1 fluid ounce
60 milliliters 1/4 cup
80 milliliters 1/3 cup
120 milliliters 1/2 cup
240 milliliters 1 cup
480 milliliters 1 pint (2 cups)
960 milliliters (0.96 liters) 1 quart (4 cups, 32 ounces)
3.84 liters 1 gallon (4 quarts)
28 grams 1 ounce (by weight)
114 grams 1/4 pound (4 ounces)
454 grams 1 pound (16 ounces)
1 kilogram (1000 grams) 2.2 pounds


Oven Temperature Equivalencies
Description °F °C
Cool 200 90
Very Slow 250 120
Slow 300-325 150-160
Moderately Slow 325-350 160-180
Moderate 350-375 180-190
Moderately Hot 375-400 190-200
Hot 400-450 200-230
Very Hot 450-500 230-260


Created January 13, 2010, Updated September 15, 2022