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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. What is the difference between metric and US measurements?

In the US, recipes generally use cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons when describing the amounts of ingredients used. For some ingredients, such as meat and fish, recipes will provide the weight of the ingredient in pounds, ounces, etc. Liquids may also be given in gallons, quarts, or pints.

Common Abbreviations

1 C or c1 cup
1 T or tbsp1 tablespoon
1 t or tsp1 teaspoon
1 lb1 pound
1 oz1 ounce
1 gal1 gallon
1 qt1 quart
1 pt1 pint

Recipes from other countries will often use the metric system, so solid ingredients will be given in grams or kilograms and liquids will be given in milliliters or liters. For this reason, it is extremely useful to have a food scale. When recipes from the UK or Australia use cups or pints, they are likely using imperial cups and pints, which are different than US cups and pints! Even tablespoons and teaspoons are different, so pay attention to where the recipe comes from.

Common Abbreviations and Equivalences

1 kg1 kilogram1000 grams
1 g1 gram
1 l1 liter1000 milliliters
1 ml1 milliliter

You can find numerous conversion tools and charts online, but spoonacular already converts recipes for you! Just toggle between metric and US on the recipe page.



  1. The metric system uses kilograms, grams, milliliters, and liters.
  2. The US measurement system uses cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, pounds, ounces, gallons, quarts, and pints.
  3. Some recipes will use imperial cups and pints, but these are not the same as US cups and pints.
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