Ingredient Conversions: Grams vs. Standard Kitchen Measurements

Handy Kitchen Cooking Tips & Info

We all have our own ways of doing things in the kitchen and for some it means abandoning traditional measurements and judging food quantities by eye. This can be a great skill to have and we occasionally cook for ourselves in this fashion. However, when you’re trying to develop a recipe for others, need to work our nutritional requirements and/or are still new to cooking, it’s a better idea to stick to recognised measurements. So for the rest of us, the use of standard kitchen measurements become an everyday occurrence by utilising our trusty scales, measuring spoons and/or cups!

Although we do try to keep things as simple as possible, everyone can still use various sizes of spoons and/or measuring cups and/or fill their measuring cups and spoons in different ways. There is also the fact that our American friends use slightly smaller measuring cups than us! However, these differences are so small that in general cooking it might not be too detrimental to the recipe, but may need to be adjusted in baking. So as you can see, things really are not black and white, especially in the kitchen. 😛

So with that in mind, we have created these tables that represent some average and approximate measurements and ingredient conversions; you’ll see some typical items we have previously used and some that we have not.

One thing to mention is that we always measure our dried herbs and spices with a kitchen scale and for that reason we have not included a conversion table here; sometimes our measurements work out greater than a standard measurement. E.g. our kitchen measurement can be slightly greater (+0.5 to 2g in some cases) than a standard teaspoon measurement.

However we will leave you with this tip on measuring dried spices and herbs instead!

Tip: Struggle measuring dried spices and herbs?! If your spoon will not fit into the mouth of your jar (yes, annoying)…why not try pouring some dried herbs (or spices) into a small bowl and then measuring it with your spoon! Transfer the remaining dried herbs (or spices) back into the jar with a plastic or impromptu paper funnel. Alternatively, just tip our what you need onto your kitchen scale and measure it in this fashion instead!  Also, to measure ‘level’ spoonfuls, top off the spoon using the flat edge of a knife! NB: Heaping means your spoon is slightly overflowing.

Although these tables are still ‘guides’, we hope that they will help you navigate through ours and other people’s recipes with ease.

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

Tip: When measuring anything sticky or ‘googy’, try spraying your measuring spoon and/or cup with a little cooking oil spray first. This will help your ingredients slip right out and cut down on the number of sticky fingers!
Also, when measuring seasoning (and particularly salt), do it over a plate, never over your mixing bowl or pot of food- just in case your measuring spoon overflows! The addition of 15g of salt to any meal would be a disaster!
Tip: Unless you have a modern measuring cup that gages measurements from the top, place your measuring cup onto a flat surface to help get an accurate measurement of your liquids. 

 

Sources:
FSA Food Portion Sizes: Third Edition©2002
McCance and Widdowson’s ‘The Composition of Foods’. 5th Edition B Holland, A A Welch, I D Unwin, D H Buss, A A Paul and D A T Southgate. The Royal Society of Chemistry, 1991
USDA: Nutrient Database
Our kitchen scale!
Feature image: Measuring Spoons By: Rachel_Flickr
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Food Conversions & Cooking Times: Grains, Legumes & Pulses

Handy Kitchen Cooking Tips & Info

We’ve always encouraged everyone to cook their own grains, legumes and pulses when and where they can. Firstly, because freshly cooked food always tastes great, secondly because (hopefully) you will save some money over time and thirdly, because it’s basic and easy cooking skills that everyone can and should develop.

Avid home cooks will develop their own tried and true methods of how to cook the perfect rice and other grains (us included), but it takes practice. Don’t let this discourage you because remember, everyone had the same starting point; typically quick advice from some family and friends!

You can use the cooking instructions from packets, but even those are variable and sometimes undesirable. However, until we can develop our own cooking styles and things become second nature, it’s best to have some sort of guide.

Many years ago (after thoroughly soaking some chickpeas) we tried cooking them for the first time. Thirty-five minutes later and those things were still rock hard! We thought “what the heck is going on?!” Little did we know at the time that these legumes actually needed well over an hour to cook! We just assumed that since most beans take about 45-60mins that these would too. Cooking 101: if you are new to cooking (or a new food item), always double check the basics before getting started and don’t assume anything. It’s better to get the basics down and then you can wing it… particularly if you don’t want to waste money or are trying to make the most of your time; standing next to a pot for 1-2 hrs can be a big ‘ask’!

Last year we mentioned of how to cook chickpeas in a slow cooker; now it’s our preferred method to cook our legumes! What a time saver. Like us, not everyone uses traditional methods to cook their beans (legumes or grains); for some, the use of a pressure cooker will significantly reduce their cooking times. However, not everyone uses (or has) kitchen gadgets, so it’s always great to know how to go back to basics; which is exactly why we have created this table. It includes a variety of grains, legumes and pulses (although not exhaustive) with a comparison of dried verses cooked weights and approx. cooking times; this is particularly helpful if you come across a new food item with no idea of how to cook it (as mentioned above)!

 

Tips & Info
  • Our table tries to look at the average cooking weights by standard cooking preparation (on your stove top!); some of them are averages and some of them are estimates. However, as you can appreciate, cooking beans etc. is not a perfect system. Cooked weights of grains, legumes and pulses can vary due to a number of reasons including:

-over soaking.
-soaking beans in too little water.
-over cooking pasta or cooking it to an al dente texture.
-cooking grains in too much water.

  • When we cook our own dried pulses and legumes, we always weigh them afterwards and give an approx. equivalent for using a tinned variety.
  • Cooking times shown here are not indicative of quantities used.
  • This table does not include complete cooking instructions, e.g. if the cooking time includes steaming off the heat, tempering grains in oil, under cooking (if you’re entering your pasta straight into a sauce) and/or rinsing the grains/beans/pulses before or after cooking etc.
  • Overnight soaking typical means a time span of 8-12 hours.

Hopefully this table will give everyone (who needs it) a rough idea and a head start of how to cook grains, legumes and pulses; with any luck it will also help to organise your meal planning and prep… so you’ll have more fresh and deliciously cooked meals as a result!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Sources:
-McCance and Widdowson’s ‘The Composition of Foods’. 5th Edition B Holland, A A Welch, I D Unwin, D H Buss, A A Paul and D A T Southgate. The Royal Society of Chemistry, 1991
-Feature Image: Play with your food By: Sacha Pop-Farrell_Flickr

Quick Kitchen Conversions: Temperature, Weight & Volume

Handy Kitchen Cooking Tips & Info

If you’re professional chef, you might have stumbled upon the wrong page… or then maybe not! Spoiler: whether you are a visitor or part of the Eat2Health community, this section is short and sweet (but extremely dry) and not applicable to everyone!

We don’t know about you, but there have been occasions (more so when we were new to cooking!), where we would be endlessly searching for conversions. Whether it was for oven temperatures, or deciphering between weight and volume, particularly when navigating through some old school American recipes!

We think that with so many home cooks on the rise (us included), sometimes all you need to do is go back to basics as not everyone uses metric, nor is everyone a human calculator, or perhaps familiar with the fact that dry and liquid measurements are not like for like.

So whatever category you might find yourself in (experienced or not), we are all fallible to: memory lapses (haha, yep), not writing everything down (particularly recipe names and/or quantities), losing our paperwork or scrapes of paper that we’ve scribbled our notes on (haha-guilty!).

Our recipes tend to give conversions (particularly for oven temperatures), but we are not religious about weight and/or volume. In the aid to try to make our recipes, your cooking experiences (and our blog!) as user and kitchen friendly as possible, we are providing you with three simple and standard kitchen conversions for temperature, weight and volume.

We hope that this section will give everyone (who needs it) access to quick kitchen conversions that are just two clicks away! 🙂

 

Oven Temperature Conversions

Unless you want to do some quick maths to do convert Fahrenheit to Celsius or vice versa (and even then it’s not a perfect conversion!), here’s an approximate conversion chart between electric, fan-assisted ovens and gas marks.

 

Dry/Weight Conversions

NB: OZ measurements rounded to nearest whole number

 

Volume Conversions

NB: OZ measurements rounded to the nearest whole number.

 

Key Measurements & Tips:
  • Tsp= teaspoon/ 1 tsp =5ml
  • Tbsp= tablespoon/ 1 tbsp =15ml
  • 3 tsp = 1 tbsp
  • 250ml = 1 cup
  • 1Litre (L)= 1000ml (4 cups)
  • 1 Quart(US)= 946ml
  • A measuring cup is not the same as a ‘drinking cup’.
  • Standard measuring spoons are not the same as teaspoons and tablespoons that you eat with; they can actually make a significant difference when measuring leavening agents, spices etc. as their measurements can vary from 1-4g (depending on how full your spoon is!)
  • A liquid measuring cup is not the same as a dry measuring cup. A liquid measuring cup has a spout and handle with markings (measurements down the side). Dry measuring cups are smaller, designed to only hold a specific quantity and to be levelled with a flat edge. Try not to mix them up; dry ingredients tend to vary in weight and are not necessarily like to like with liquid measurements.
  • A basic set of measuring spoons comes with five spoons: 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp. Although some sets have: 1/4 tsp, 1/3tsp, 1/2tsp, 1 tsp, 1/2 tbsp and 1 tbsp or other combinations instead.

 

Feature image:  Bring the heat By: Valeriee*_Flickr