Measures and Conversions

While the French measure the amount of solid ingredients by weight, most Americans measure in volume, using measuring cups and spoons. And we, poor Cartesian French that we are, get completely lost when reading a recipe in English.First we have to remember the equivalences or check them on the internet, then we have to do some arithmetic – which might not be our strength – or we have to use measuring cups and spoons we don’t have. All the more, we don’t see how it could possibly be precise. One cup of flour will definitely not have the same weight as the next because it depends on how you pack it!Therefore we think using a digital scale and a measuring jug is much more accurate.In each recipe, I give French measurements in grams and milliliters, with a try of English conversion. For more precise conversion, you can refer to the French gastronomic encyclopedia online convertor here or to the different equivalences listed below.

Temperature

The rule to converting Fahrenheit and Celsius temperatures

  • Fahrenheit degrees to Celsius degrees rule = Farenheit minus 32, multiply by 5 and divide by 9 (Celsius = (Fahrenheit – 32) x 5/9).
    Example : 400°F = (400-32)*5/9 = 204°C
  • Celsius degrees to Fahrenheit degrees rule = Celcius multiplied by 9, divide by 5 and add 32 (Fahrenheit = (Celsius x 9/5) + 32)
    Example : 200°C = 200*9/5 + 32 = 392°F
CELCIUS
TEMPERATURE
FAHRENHEIT
TEMPERATURE
TYPE OF TEMPERATURE
FRENCH OVEN MARKGAS
MARK
30°C85°FHeating chamberT1
60°C140°FWarmT2
90°C190°FLow heatT3
120°C250°FLow heatT4
140°C275°FGas mark 1
150°C300°FLow heatT5Gas mark 2
165°C325°FGas mark 3
180°C350°FHotT6Gas mark 4
190°C375°FGas mark 5
200°C400°FGas mark 6
210°C410°FHortT7Gas mark 7
220°C425°FGas mark 8
230°C150°FGas mark 9
240°C460°FVery hotT8Gas mark 10
270°C520°FVery hotT9

A few interesting notions

°F°CState
32°F0°CFreezing point (water freeze)
98.6°F36.9°CBody temperature
115°F46°CSimmering water
130°F54°CHot water
212°F100°CBoiling water
375°F190°CFrying temperature (+/-,depending on the oil)

Volume

1 cup = 240 ml (millliliter)
1/2 cup = 120 ml
1/3 cup = 80 ml
1/4 cup = 60 ml = 4 tablespoons
1/5 cup = 50 ml
1 tablespoon (= une cuillérée à soupe literally soup spoon or CS in French) = 15 ml  = 3 teaspoons
1 teaspoon (= une cuillérée à café, literally coffee spoon or CC in French) = 5 ml

1 fluid ounce = 30 ml = 2 tablespoons
1 US quart = 0.946 liter (~=1 liter) = 4 cups
1 US Gallon = 4 quart = 3,8 liter = 16 cups

1 liter = 34 fluid oz = 1,06 quart = 0,26 gal = 4,2 cups

Weigh

1 ounce (oz) = 28,35 grams (gr) = 0,02835 kilogram (kg)
1 pound (lb) = 16 ounces = 45 grams (gr)
2,2 pounds (lb) = 1000 grams (gr) = 1 kilogram (kg)

100 grams (100gr)= 3,5 ounces
500 grams (500gr)= 1,1 pounds
1 kilogram (1kg)= 35 oz = 2,205 pounds

Volume-to-weight conversions

Approximate and rounded as it depends on the density of the ingredient itself and how you pack the cup or spoon)

Flour : 1 cup = 130 grams
Sugar : 1 cup = 245 grams
Butter : 1 cup = 240 grams, 1 knob (noix) = 15 grams, 1 pat (noisette) = 4 grams
Cocoa powder : 1 cup = 120 grams
1 pinch of salt = 0,3 to 0,5 grams
1 large egg = 55 to 60 grams (egg white 20 grams, egg yolk 30 grams, shell 5 grams)

Length

1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
1 foot = 12 inches = 30 centimeters

This article is constantly updated with additionnal conversions and measures.