Measurements, conversions and kitchen jargon: big T, small t

Jake Fredericks

The difference between making and destroying a recipe is as easy as replacing a tablespoon (T) for a teaspoon (t), and vice versa. Whether its a seasoning, a liquid or the issues of weight, measurements play a large part in dictating the success of a dish. Suppose, for example, I am baking a pie crust and I accidentally misread the quantity for salt as 5 tablespoons rather than 5 teaspoons. No matter how perfectly I bake that sucker, I’m still going to be left with a golden-brown piece of Play-Doh. While the measurement game is vastly more complex in the world of baking, its application in cooking techniques is equally important. Not enough pepper, bland. Too much chicken stock, diluted. Forgot to add thyme, might as well be a microwave dinner. Here are a handful of basic measurements (US standard) and conversions and their abbreviations the everyday cook may encounter.

Teaspoon = t. or tsp.
Tablespoon = T. or tbsp.
Cup = C. or c.
Pint = pt.
Quart = qt.
Gallon = gal.
Ounces – oz.
Fluid ounces = fl.oz.
Pounds = lb. or lbs.
Dozen = doz.
Each = ea.

3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
2 cups = 1 pint
1 pint = 1 pound
2 pints = 1 quart
1 quart = 4 cups
4 quarts = 1 gallon
1 gallon = 128 fluid ounces