Approximate Weight to Volume Conversions for Dry Ingredients
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Posted on 09 Dec 2015 18:57

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There are two primary ways to measure ingredients in the kitchen: by weight and by volume. Bakers prefer to weigh most dry or solid ingredients, as this ensures accuracy and consistency. Weight measurements are more suitable and accurate for dry and solid ingredients, such as flour.

Volume measurements are more suited to liquid ingredients. This is simply a measurement of the amount of space the ingredient takes up in a container. This is the kind of measuring we do when we use measuring cups.

Since most casual home cooks do not weigh ingredients, they may have trouble if they want to make a recipe where ingredients are given in weighted amounts. Most often, this will be flour for a baking recipe, but many other ingredients may be given in weight, as well, including sugar and butter. Obviously, when we measure meat portions, we use weight, but most of use to not bother with such precise portions at home.

Below is some standard, but approximate conversion for various dry ingredients, from weight to volume measurement. The word conversion is being used here because you may want to "convert" one measurement to a different type of measurement. However, professionals will use the term equivalent, meaning that these measurement amounts are essentially equal.

These measurements are given in the U.S customary units that Americans use, such as pounds, cups and ounces. Keep in mind that an ounce is actually a unit of weight, but a fluid ounce is a unit of volume. So, here, we are converting a unit of weight for a dry ingredient in into fluid ounces. Given that dry ingredients can have a certain amount of air mixed with them, this is not entirely accurate. It should serve most home cooks well, however.

If you would like to weigh out your ingredients, a kitchen scale that gives weights in metric grams and ounces are quite affordable. Another advantage of having a scale is if you have a need to scale up baking or other recipes that have only volume measurements. It is much easier to scale up a weighted amount accurately to any increment than a volume amount. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups of flour, you can simply measure out the flour and then weigh it, and record the weight, which can be easily increased by small or large amounts.

Standard Metric Conversions for Home cooks

Weight

  • 1 ounce = 28.35 grams
  • 1 gram = 0.035 ounces (oz)
  • 1 pound (lbs) = 16 ounces = 453.6 (~ 454) grams (g) = 0.4536 kilograms
  • 1 kilogram = 1000 grams = 2.205

Volume

1 fluid ounce = 29.57 milliliters (ml)
1 ml = 0.034 ounce
1 cup = 237 ml
1 quart = 946 ml
1 liter = 33.8 fluid ounces

You will want to round the above measurements up or down to be useful. It does not good to have highly precise weight measurements when the most accurate kitchen scale you're likely to want to buy will only measure down to 0.05 oz or 1 gram increments. So, 0.35 oz will be rounded up to 0.05 oz. This, however, will be quite accurate enough to use the equivalents below.

Approximate Weight to Volume Conversions for Dry Ingredients (Weight-to-Volume Equivalents)

All-Purpose Flour, Bread Flour, sifted

  • 1 pound sifted = 4 cups
  • 1 pound unsifted = 3 1/3 cups
  • 1 cup sifted = 4 ounces
  • 1 cup unsifted = 4.75 ounces

Cake Flour

  • 1 pound sifted = 4 1/4 cups
  • 1 pound unsifted = 3 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup sifted = 3.75 ounces
  • 1 cup unsifted = 4.5 ounces

Granulated Sugar

  • 1 pound = 2 1/4 cups
  • 1 cup = 7 ounces

Confectioner's (Powdered) Sugar

  • 1 pound sifted = 4 cups
  • 1 pound unsifted = 3 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup sifted = 4 ounces
  • 1 cup unsifted = 4.5 ounces

Cocoa, unsifted

  • 1 pound = 5 cups
  • 1 cup = 3.2 ounces
  • 1 ounce = 5 tbs
  • 1 tbs = 0.2 ounce

Salt

  • 1 ounce = 5 tsp
  • 1/4 ounce = 1 1/4 tsp
  • 1 tsp = 0.2 ounce

Baking Soda and Baking Powder

  • 1 ounce = 2 tbs
  • 1/4 ounce = 1 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tbs = 1/2 ounce
  • 1 tsp = 0.17 ounce

Cinnamon

  • 1 ounce = 17 tsp
  • 1/4 ounce = 4 1/4 tsp
  • 1 tsp = 0.07 ounce
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