Most of the time, I cook for one person (me). For that reason, recipes end up being changed to accommodate. Instead of making a recipe for eight servings, I cut it down to one or two so I’m not eating that main or side dish all week. Sure, there are some dishes for which I cook a whole batch and freeze enough for later. But some foods I’d rather not preserve that way because they’re just not as good thawed and re-heated.
Something that helps me to cut a recipe is having simple conversions I can make while baking or cooking. Today I’m passing on some that you can memorize if you need to decrease like I do. You may even find it handy to know these simple conversions if you’re increasing a recipe.
It’s easy to double; you just multiply by two. But how about making a recipe one-and-a-half times the amount? That’s a little trickier. Foodies make it work, though, don’t we?
- 3 tsp. = 1 Tbsp.
- 1/3 cup = 5 Tbsp. + 1 tsp.
- 1 c. = 16 Tbsp.
- 2 c. = 1 pint
- 4 c. = 1 quart
- 1 oz. = 2 Tbsp.
- 16 oz. = 1 lb.
Can Number Equivalents
- No. 300 = 14-16 oz. = 1 ¾ c.
- No. 303 = 16-17 oz. = 2 c.
- No. 2 = 1 lb. 4 oz. = 2 ½ c.
- No 10 = 6 ½ – 7 ¼ lbs. = 12-13 c. (This is handy to remember when you’re cooking for a crowd)
- 2 c. butter
- 4 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 c. granulated sugar
- 3 ½ c. sifted powdered sugar
- 2 c. milk
- 9 medium eggs
- 2 2/3 c. oatmeal or brown sugar
- 1 1/8 c. rice (uncooked)
- 2 1/3 c. dry beans
- 2 c. ground, packed meat
Pan Size Equivalents
- 2 8-inch layer pans or 1 ½ to 2 dozen cupcakes in muffin tins
- 3 8-inch layer pans or 2 9-inch square pans
- 1 9-inch layer pan or 1 8-inch square pan
- 2 9-inch layer pans or 1 13×9 pan, or 1 9-inch tube pan or 2 8-inch square pans
- 1 9×5 loaf pan or 2 dozen cupcakes in muffin tins
That last conversion comes in handy when I want to make apple, zucchini or carrot bread to freeze, but I want to freeze individual servings for snacks. It would also work for individual meatloaf servings if you’re trying to maintain portion sizes.
Remember to measure liquids and dry ingredients correctly.
Use dry measuring cups for flour, sugar, shortening (or other solid fat), and various chopped or minced foods. Liquid measuring cups (glass, plastic or other material) for any kind of liquid. Don’t know the difference between a dry measure or liquid measuring cup? Liquid measuring cups have a spout.
Use measuring spoons to measure ingredients such as lemon juice, flavorings, salt, spices, etc.
Certain ingredients like flour and powdered sugar should be spooned into the measuring cup and leveled off, never packed in. Other ingredients, like brown sugar, butter or shortening, should be packed down into the cup and then leveled off.
I’m not the only person who needs to make changes to recipes. As I travel the web and investigate new foods, taste combinations, and options, I see recipes in metric measurements. This Midwest cook doesn’t do metric! That’s when I need more help and I rely on what others who’ve gone before me have created.
Here’s a blog post from “Start Cooking” with a chart to help you convert just about anything during your kitchen adventures.
Happy cooking and eat hardy!