Culinary Careers For Dummies
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Recipes are full of culinary codes like abbreviations and weird measurements (how big is a pinch?). Deciphering between the different cooking abbreviations and their proper units of measurement can help make sure your dish comes out exactly as planned. You can find common abbreviations for measurements here, as well as conversions of various ingredient measurements.

Common cooking abbreviations

Although some recipes spell out measurements, a lot of cookbooks use abbreviations. Oftentimes, different books will use different abbreviations, which can cause confusion when putting together a dish. For example, the tablespoon and teaspoon abbreviations may look very similar and can be mistaken for one another:
  • a lowercase t can stand for teaspoon
  • an uppercase T can stand for tablespoon
Adding a tablespoon (T) of garlic when the recipe only requires a teaspoon (t) can spell disaster!

Find the common cooking abbreviations and their corresponding units of measurement below:

Common Abbreviations for Measurements in Cooking
Cooking Abbreviation(s) Unit of Measurement
C, c cup
g gram
kg kilogram
L, l liter
lb pound
mL, ml milliliter
oz ounce
pt pint
t, tsp teaspoon
T, TB, Tbl, Tbsp tablespoon

Common cooking conversion measurements

Now that you have the abbreviations all sorted out, it’s time to learn the most common conversion measurements in cooking. Understanding these cooking conversions can help you quickly follow recipes, convert based on your available cooking equipment, or even allow you to do quick math to slightly alter recipes according to your liking.

This table lists common conversion measurements in cooking.

Conversion Measurements in Cooking
Unit of Measurement : Equals:
Pinch or dash less than 1/8 teaspoon
3 teaspoons 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons 1 fluid ounce
1 jigger 1 1/2 fluid ounces
4 tablespoons 1/4 cup
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon 1/3 cup
12 tablespoons 3/4 cup
16 tablespoons 1 cup
1 cup 8 fluid ounces
2 cups 1 pint or 16 fluid ounces
2 pints 1 quart or 32 fluid ounces
4 quarts 1 gallon

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