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# Measurement systems - which cups?

Posts: 764Member Member
in Recipes
Greetings all.

I am working on some recipes and am running into a problem with international conversions. I didn't realize there are 3 versions of a "cup". To be clear:

US: 1 cup = 238 ml
Metric: 1 cup = 250 ml
Imperial: 1 cup = 284 ml

I don't have a metric set at this time, so I need to make sure when working on a recipe I don't use the wrong set. 34ml may not seem like much, but since dry ingredients are measured in grams, it could really throw off a recipe, especially when baking. For pre-60's books, I'm ok. I'm just not sure in the UK, Australia, Canada, and such which measurements are used currently in recipes. I thought it was all imperial but one recipe I just read from Australia makes me think it may be metric.

So to be safe, let me know what you are currently using from any country you are familiar with. Thanks.

## Replies

• Posts: 49Member Member
This is why I don't like cups as a measurement. You know where you are with a gram or a millilitre.
• Posts: 4,855Member Member
I've generally gone with American (I live in Canada, but most of my cookbooks come from the US), but I now look up "How many grams in 1.5 cups of white flour"; "How many grams in 1/2 cup packed brown sugar" online and do the conversions.
• Posts: 6,182Member Member
Liquids in cups (US) 250ml = 1cup
Anything else by weight in gram.
• Posts: 764Member Member
• Posts: 602Member Member
keep in mind that liquid cups aren't the same as a dry cup. I use a pyrex "measuring cup" for liquids (which also provides metric equivalents) and "dry scoopers" for dry measurements. And a set of "spoons" for spoonful measurements (although I usually just guesstimate these now).
• Posts: 764Member Member
mjbnj0001 wrote: »
keep in mind that liquid cups aren't the same as a dry cup. I use a pyrex "measuring cup" for liquids (which also provides metric equivalents) and "dry scoopers" for dry measurements. And a set of "spoons" for spoonful measurements (although I usually just guesstimate these now).

a good reminder. I am good with that part, but it's always nice to be reminded.
• Posts: 70Member Member
I might be way off here, but I would have thought that most recipes using ‘cups’ shouldn’t matter what underlying measurement is involved as long as you stick to the same ‘cup’ size type measurement for your location (I.e.dont mix and match). Surely this is because you are producing something using volume rather than weight.
I’m in the UK so typically I would weight everything in grams or ounces but occasionally I’ll make something deriving from a US recipe using cups as the measure. The recipe still works for me using cup sizes purchased in UK because I use the same measuring tool throughout, therefore any fluids I measure out in my cups are still correct in relation to the dry ingredients also measured by said cups.
• Posts: 26,391Member Member
crazyravr wrote: »
Liquids in cups (US) 250ml = 1cup
Anything else by weight in gram.

Actually it's 238ml... lol.

Only US recipes use cups anyway, as far as I know (not sure what Australians do, lol). So it's a fair guess that if you find a recipe that has cups as a unit, it's going to be 238ml (as long as you're talking about liquids).
• Posts: 84Member Member
Aussies use cups in recipes too, ours are 250mls. We don't use fluid ounces so online recipes can get tricky. I generally look for ones that use grams and mls.
• Posts: 764Member Member
I might be way off here, but I would have thought that most recipes using ‘cups’ shouldn’t matter what underlying measurement is involved as long as you stick to the same ‘cup’ size type measurement for your location (I.e.dont mix and match). Surely this is because you are producing something using volume rather than weight.
I’m in the UK so typically I would weight everything in grams or ounces but occasionally I’ll make something deriving from a US recipe using cups as the measure. The recipe still works for me using cup sizes purchased in UK because I use the same measuring tool throughout, therefore any fluids I measure out in my cups are still correct in relation to the dry ingredients also measured by said cups.

It has to do with portion sizing/planning. Imperial measures give you 20% more in a recipe than US measures, so a recipe for 4 actually makes 5 portions if switching from US to Imperial. At the same time, you lose almost a full portion when going the other way.

US/Metric has minor variations, but if a recipe has a mix of weight and cups (especially with baking), using the wrong volumetric measure in the recipe can throw off the balance, leading to things not coming out quite right. In fact, one of the cooking shows I watch right now uses grams for weight, and US cups for volumetric (Alton Brown - Good Eats Reloaded). Another uses grams/Metric Cups (show from Africa with Sarah Graham).

So, I would like to have a general idea since it will help me avoid those types of issues.
edited February 1