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A Cup is Not Always a Cup – U.S. and U.K Measurements Compared

A Cup is Not Always a Cup – U.S. and U.K Measurements Compared

With great thanks to the Internet, we’ve got recipes at our fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether we’re looking for a new pasta recipe or we’re not sure what to do with all that leftover chicken, we can find recipes from all over the world. Our mothers never had things so easy.

As convenient as it all is, did you know that the way ingredients are measured varies from place to place? For example, there are certain differences in measurements between the United States and the United Kingdom that you should be aware of before cooking up that next meal or baking that next treat.

You may already know there are differences in weight measurements between the U.S. and the UK. How you make those conversions depends on the type of ingredients you’re using and it’s not always straightforward. After all, if you know how much ¼ pound of butter is in the UK, it doesn’t help you figure out how much ¼ pound of ground beef would be because the volume to weight measurement is not the same.

But here’s a further complication. Did you know that straight volume measurements also need conversion? There are teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, fluid ounces, pints and gallons in the US and the UK, but they’re not the same.

To get 1 UK teaspoon, you need to measure 1.399 U.S. teaspoons.
To get 1 UK tablespoons, you need to measure 1.041 U.S. tablespoons
To get 1 UK cup, you need to measure 1.066 U.S. tablespoons
To get 1 UK fluid ounce, you need to measure 0.961 U.S. fluid announces
To get 1 UK pint, you need to measure 0.832 U.S. prints
To get 1 UK gallon, you need to measure 0.832 U.S. gallons

If you search around online, you may find some disagreement on the above conversions, but the numbers above are a good estimate. Then when you try to compare to metric measurements, things really get thrown for a loop, but we can leave that for another discussion.

Of course, this all sounds really quite complicated and you might wonder how you can figure it all out when working with a recipe. The good news is the difference in volume measurements is often negligible. Of course, if you’re using strong spices or key ingredients in large amounts, you may want to be sure you’re using the correct amount.

Overall, just be aware of what type of measurement the recipe is using, if possible. You may want to make some adjustments as necessary, or for simple recipes just keep the recipe as is. You’ll probably be just as happy with the results.