When I started my food blog, I was burdened with the decision on whether to use the imperial or metric system when specifying quantities of ingredients by mass and volume. While the Internet is a great venue to find different recipes from around the world, it also creates a lot of confusion about the different measurements. Converting from metric to imperial or vice versa is not always straightforward, especially since a cup in the UK is not quite the same as a cup in the States. So if you want to be precise, it is crucial to know where the recipe is coming from.
You must be wondering where I am writing from, right? I am based in North America, but I have decided to incorporate both imperial with metric measurements into my recipes. I will measure different ingredients in different ways:
- Liquid ingredients are generally measured by volume. And since there is no internationally-agreed upon standard definition of the cup, one cup will refer to a U.S. cup (commonly defined as 240 mL or about 8 fl.oz). However, as long as you use the same sized up to measure all the ingredients in a recipe, you don’t have to worry about having your ingredients in the wrong proportions to one another.
- Dry bulk ingredients, such as sugar and flour, are measured by volume (1/2 cup flour). This includes small quantities of salt and spices (1 tsp ground cumin).
- Meats are generally measured by weight (2 lb ground beef) or by count (4 pork chops).
- Vegetables are measured by volume (2 cups broccoli florets).
Most of my recipes don’t require an exact conversion. But for my international friends, I have provided a quick and easy conversion table using approximate numbers. If you have chosen a particularly tricky recipe, or you just happen to be a perfectionist, have a look at the precise table for conversions from imperial to metric.
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