Common Kitchen Measurements and Conversions

Measuring cups and spoons on a table

Measuring cups and spoons on a table

When it comes to cooking and baking, it’s imperative to know how much a teaspoon and a tablespoon can measure. They’re typically units of volume used for smaller (but incredibly important) spices, extracts, and oils in all of our favorite recipes and dishes. They also help because using a scale to weigh these would be pretty messy, and using a measuring cup can be inaccurate and involves extra cleaning, too. Teaspoons and tablespoons and cups are used in both the imperial and metric systems.

A cartoon of a measuring cup

Cooking Conversion Chart for Cups, Fluid Ounces, Tablespoons, Teaspoons, and Milliliters

CupFluid OzTablespoonTeaspoonMilliliter
1 cup8 oz16 Tbsp48 tsp237 ml
3/4 cup6 oz12 Tbsp36 tsp177 ml
2/3 cup5 oz11 Tbsp32 tsp158 ml
1/2 cup4 oz8 Tbsp24 tsp118 ml
1/3 cup3 oz5 Tbsp16 tsp79 ml
1/4 cup2 oz4 Tbsp12 tsp59 ml
1/8 cup1 oz2 Tbsp6 tsp30 ml
1/16 cup0.5 oz1 Tbsp3 tsp15 ml

Cartoon of a teaspoon

How Many Teaspoons in a Tablespoon?

Every 1 tablespoon is 3 teaspoons. Or, 3 teaspoons are in 1 tablespoon. Under the metric system, a teaspoon is 5 ml and a tablespoon is 20 ml. So, in the metric system, there are 4 teaspoons in every 1 tablespoon.

How many teaspoons in half a tablespoon?

1 U.S. tablespoon requires 3 U.S. teaspoons.

How many 1/4 teaspoons in a tablespoon?

1 U.S. tablespoon requires 12 U.S. 1/4 teaspoons.

How many teaspoons in 3 tablespoons?

3 U.S. tablespoons require 9 U.S. teaspoons.

How many tablespoons in 1/4 cup?

1/4 U.S. cup requires 4 U.S. tablespoons.

Metric vs Imperial Measurements in the Kitchen

While almost every country uses tablespoon and teaspoon measurements in their cooking, there are technically 2 different kinds. In the United States, Myanmar, and Liberia, the imperial system is used, whereas the rest of the world (correctly) uses the far easier-to-understand metric system.

In the metric system, 1 metric tablespoon equals 15 mL. In the imperial system, 1 tablespoon equals 14.79 mL or 1/2 fluid ounce. Australia also uses the metric system but has a slightly different tablespoon. An Australian tablespoon equals 0.68 US fluid ounces, or 20 mL. 1 U.S. teaspoon equals 4.93 mL or 1/6 fluid ounce, whereas the metric teaspoon uses exactly 5 mL.

Since these differences are relatively small, most recipes can use these measurements interchangeably, as long as the full size of the meal isn’t too huge.

Spoonful of butter

How Many Tablespoons Are in a Stick of Butter?

A U.S. stick of butter is usually 4 ounces or 113.4 grams, this equals 8 U.S. tablespoons. Half of a stick of butter equals 4 U.S. tablespoons or 12 U.S. teaspoons.

Spoonful of sugar

How Much Does a Spoonful of Sugar Weigh?

Tablespoons are a measure of volume and not physical weight or mass, so an estimate or approximation has to be used instead. Roughly speaking, 1 U.S. tablespoon of sugar weighs 12.5 grams.

What Is a Dessert Spoon?

A dessert spoon is a small unit of volume sometimes used in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and other Commonwealth countries. A dessert spoon is 10 mL in volume, halfway between a metric teaspoon and tablespoon.

Salt in dish

Tips for Adding the Right Amount of Salt in a Dish

Generally speaking, for every 1 pound, or 0.453592 kg, 1 U.S. teaspoon of salt is needed. If you’re making noodles or pasta, use 1 U.S. tablespoon of salt for every 4 cups of water. If cooking rice, use around 3/4 of a U.S. teaspoon for every 1 cup of rice.

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