U.S. System of Measurements

The S.I. (or metric) system discussed in previous sections in this chapter is now in used in most of the world, with the United States being the major exception. Thus, most recipes and food labels in the U.S. will use the U.S system of measurements instead. The table below shows the most commonly used units in the U.S. including conversions:

Type of Measurement Unit Abbreviation Conversion
Weight Pound lb or # 1 lb = 16 oz
Ounce oz
Volume Gallon gal 1 gal = 4 qt

1 gal = 16 c

1 gal = 128 fl. oz

Quart qt 1 qt = 2 pt

1 qt = 4 c

1 qt = 32 fl. oz

Pint pt 1 pt = 2 c

1 pt = 16 fl. oz

Cup c 1 c = 8 fl. oz

1 c = 16 Tbsp

Fluid ounce fl. oz 1 fl. oz = 2 Tbsp

1 fl. oz = 6 tsp

Tablespoon Tbsp 1 Tbsp = 3 tsp
Teaspoon tsp
Length Mile mi 1 mi = 1760 yd

1 mi = 5280 ft

Yard yd 1 yd = 3 ft
Foot ft or ‘ 1 ft = 12 in
Inch in or “

Note: Some countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, use the imperial system for some food and drink items. The imperial system is mostly identical to the U.S. system with some small differences in volume units. Be sure to use imperial system volume units when following recipes from any of these countries. We will not use the imperial system in this class, but if you are interested to learn more, you can read more about the differences between U.S. and imperial volume measurements in the following textbook: “Basic Kitchen and Food Service Management”


This pages is based on “Basic Kitchen and Food Service Management” by BC Cook which is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Access for free at https://opentextbc.ca/basickitchenandfoodservicemanagement/


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Chemistry of Food and Cooking Copyright © 2022 by Jessica Wittman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.