Finally: A Guide to Converting Liquid Measurements for Every Type of Recipe
Using correct measurements is one of the simplest keys to recipe success. Our liquid measurement conversion charts will show you how to convert liquid measurements from the metric to U.S. measurements (aka imperial measurements). We're also sharing a refresher on how to measure liquids correctly to ensure delicious results.
You need correct measurements of liquid in recipes for a successful layered cake, chocolate chip cookie recipe, a just-thick-enough sauce, and just about anything else you're cooking or baking. When halving or doubling recipes, it can be especially tricky to figure out exactly how much liquid you need. There's a difference between dry and liquid measuring cups, too. Here you can find out the proper tools to get you started. From there, our cooking measurement converter guide will do most of the math for you; it'll help you convert metric liquid measurements to the imperial system mainly used in the U.S., plus share crucial measurement math like how many tablespoons are in a cup.
Best Tools for Liquid Measurements
To measure liquids, you'll need a set of liquid measuring cups, like KitchenAid's 3-piece Measuring Cup Set ($24.99, Wayfair), and a set of measuring spoons, like this stainless steel set ($12.95, Crate & Barrel). Measuring cups are made of clear glass or plastic and hold 1, 2, 4, or 8 cups of liquid. They have incremental markings on the outside with a handle and spout for easy pouring. Don't use dry measuring cups to measure liquid (or vice versa), because you can end up with inaccurate measurements. Nested measuring spoons commonly come in sets that measure ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon. Unlike measuring cups, they can be used for both dry and liquid ingredients.
How to Convert Metric Measurements to U.S. Measurements
If you're making a recipe that uses metric measurements, you'll probably have to convert the measurements before you get cooking. (If your measuring tools have both metric and standard volumes marked, the metric conversions might not be an issue.) This measurement converter chart will help you figure out the liquid measurements called for.
- 0.5 ml = ⅛ teaspoon
- 1 ml = ¼ teaspoon
- 2 ml = ½ teaspoon
- 5 ml = 1 teaspoon
- 15 ml = 1 tablespoon
- 25 ml = 2 tablespoons
- 50 ml = 2 fluid ounces = ¼ cup
- 75 ml = 3 fluid ounces = ⅓ cup
- 125 ml = 4 fluid ounces = ½ cup
- 150 ml = 5 fluid ounces = ⅔ cup
- 175 ml = 6 fluid ounces = ¾ cup
- 250 ml = 8 fluid ounces = 1 cup
- 500 ml = 1 pint = 2 cups
- 1 liter = 1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups
Liquid Measuring Math
If you're halving or doubling a recipe (or if one of your cups is in the dishwasher) knowing how to convert measurements within the standard system can make your time in the kitchen easier. When you're wondering how many tablespoons are in ¼ cup, or how many ounces make up a pint, refer back to this liquid measurement converter.
Tablespoons and teaspoons can be a little tricky, but keeping these conversions handy will help whenever you're making changes to a recipe. Instead of trying to eyeball half of ¾ cup, just measure what you need in tablespoons instead (6 Tbsp. in the case of halving ¾ cup).
- 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
- 4 tablespoons = ¼ cup
- 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = ⅓ cup
- 8 tablespoons = ½ cup
- 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons = ⅔ cup
- 12 tablespoons = ¾ cup
- 16 tablespoons = 1 cup
More Liquid Conversions
To make any recipe doable no matter the supplies you have on hand, here are a few more common liquid conversions to help you out:
- 1 tablespoon = ½ fluid ounce
- 1 cup = ½ pint= 8 fluid ounces
- 2 cups = 1 pint = 16 fluid ounces
- 4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart = 32 fluid ounces
- 16 cups = 8 pints = 1 gallon = 128 fluid ounces
How to Measure Correctly
To measure liquids correctly, pour into a liquid measuring cup set on a level surface. To confirm the measurement's accuracy, bend down so your eyes are level with the markings on the side of the cup. Don't try to eyeball it from above, either; when you're looking down on your measuring cup, it can look like you have too much, but from eye level, you might be right on the mark. Especially when you're baking, too much or too little liquid can affect how your recipe turns out, so it's important to be as precise as you can. Smaller measurements are the exception: When you're measuring 1 tablespoon or less, fill the appropriate-size measuring spoon to the rim without letting the liquid spill over.
Keep these measurement converter charts on hand, because they're always useful to refer back to. Memorizing a few can be helpful (like remembering 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon), but for the best recipe results, it never hurts to double-check how to convert measurements. With this guide in front of you, you'll have no problem conquering savory dinner recipes, homemade desserts, and more.