Or, "If God had meant Humans to use the metric system,
he'd have given us ten fingers!!" (Um ...)

I get lots of letters from lots of Europeans and Asians and Australians that are very much like this one from Gumbo Pages reader and correspondent Dave Walker of England:

"I use your recipe for jambalaya, and it's become essential eating at family camping trips and barbys. Thanks! Now i'm going to try the gumbo. Could you just clear one thing up? Being an Englishman, I'm not familiar with the measurement `quart'. Exactly how many pints are in a quart?"

Ironic, isn't it? I think the system of measurement that I grew up with and that is still used almost exclusively in the United States is still called "The English System". Two pints in a quart, two cups in a pint, eight fluid ounces in a cup. Etc., etc., etc.

This and many other similar enquiries keeps pounding into my head that my site is on the World Wide Web, and we silly Americans are practically the only people left who still measure this way. I decided that I really needed to put up a metric equivalents page. Some of these recipes (particularly the ones that come from my more elderly relatives) have measurements like "one stick of butter". Then, a guy from Finland writes and quite legitimately asks how much butter a stick is. (If only my great-aunt Nettie knew that guys in Finland were making her dirty rice recipe!)

Incidentally, Dave wrote back a few days later:

"Thanks for the reply, and you're right -- a quart is part of an old English system. My wife has just blown the dust off a fifty-year-old cookbook for which we never had any use before, and there it is -- 2 pints to a quart, and a cup is equivelent to two "gills" a gill being a 1/4 pint."

Now c'mon, I know they still use gills in Britain and Ireland, I've seen the whiskey measurers in pubs dispensing 1/2 gill and 1/3 gill ... anyway, here we go. Oh, remember that the measurements given below, and in all my recipes, are the American units, not the Imperial ones. "I cry out 'Republic!' and allegiance to no crown!"


1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints = 16 cups = 128 fluid ounces

1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups = 32 fluid ounces

1 pint = 2 cups = 16 fluid ounces

1 cup = 8 fluid ounces = 16 tablespoons

1 gill = 1/2 cup = 4 fluid ounces = 8 tablespoons

1 fluid ounce = 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon = 1/2 fluid ounce = 3 teaspoons

To convert ounces to grams, multiply ounces x 28.35
To convert pounds to grams, multiply pounds x 453.59

To convert Fahrenheit degrees (F) to Celsius degrees (C):
°C = (°F - 32) x 5/9

1 stick of butter = 8 tablespoons = 4 ounces = 1/4 pound


Metric equivalents are rounded.

U.S. Measurement Metric Measurement

1 teaspoon 5 milliliters
1 tablespoon 15 milliliters
1 fluid ounce (2 tablespoons) 30 milliliters
2 fluid ounces (1/4 cup) 60 milliliters
8 fluid ounces (1 cup) 240 milliliters
16 fluid ounces (2 cups = 1 pint) 480 milliliters
32 fluid ounces (2 pints = 1 quart) 950 milliliters (.95 liter)
128 fluid ounces (4 quarts = 1 gallon) 3.75 liters


Metric equivalents are rounded.

U.S. measurement Metric measurement
1/4 ounce 8 grams
1/2 ounce 15 grams
1 ounce 30 grams
4 ounces 115 grams
8 ounces (1/2 pound) 225 grams
16 ounces (1 pound) 450 grams
32 ounces (2 pounds) 900 grams
35.2 ounces (2.2 pounds) 1 kilogram


Celsius equivalents have been rounded.

Degrees Fahrenheit (°F) Degrees Celsius (°C)
140° 60°
150° 65°
160° 70°
170° 75°
212° 100°
275° 135°
300° 150°
325° 165°
350° 175°
375° 190°
400° 205°
425° 220°
450° 230°
475° 245°
500° 260°


Folks have written in asking how to increase the yield of a recipe for large gatherings, etc. Here's how you do it.

Divide the desired yield by the recipe yield:

new yield
---------  = conversion factor
old yield
Multiply each ingredient quantity by the conversion factor:

conversion factor X old quantity = new quantity

And if you really wanna get wacky with measurements, try this page on old Anglo-Saxon measurements. Guess all that that metric stuff makes sense after all ...


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)