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TOPIC: What do you use when weighing food, ounces or grams?

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May 19, 2012 6:52 AM
I have a scale that gives me both, but I'm thinking that grams are more accurate. When working with ounces there's a bit of leeway, but with grams it's so exact and there's no play.

I weigh everything. I hate the food listings on here that say 1 cup or 1/2 cup, because that means nothing. You have to weigh it, because sometimes a cup is not a cup, and a cup is approx 4 ounces weighed, BUT that's dependent on the density of what you are weighing. Again, 2 ounces weighed is 1/2 a cup, so it doesn't match the liquid measure of 8 ounces in a cup and 4 ounces in 1/2 a cup. Very confusing, I know!

The difference is in the measurement. Cups measure volume and that’s great for a liquid, but not for solids. Solids you have to weigh to measure and as any good cook knows, a cup of anything will vary in it’s weight. A cup of flour for example, and this varies with different types of flour, but a cup of all purpose flour weighed is: 4.049 ounces.

This is what I use when weighing my food that’s not a liquid:

1/4 cup = 1 ounce = 28 grams approx
1/2 cup = 2 ounces = 57 grams approx
3/4 cup = 3 ounces = 85 grams approx
1 cup = 4 ounces = 115 grams approx

And then you have to consider that any dry food will weigh differently when it comes to a “cup”

For example:

Granulated sugar: 1 cup = 7.055 ounces
Brown sugar: 1 cup, packed = 7.760 ounces
White flour: 1 cup = 4.409 ounces
White rice, uncooked: 1 cup = 6.526 ounces
White rice, cooked: 1 cup = 6.173 ounces
Butter: 1 cup = 8.007 ounces
Almonds, slivered: 1 cup = 3.810 ounces
Oil: 1 cup = 7.901 ounces
Maple syrup: 1 cup = 11.358 ounces
Milk, non-fat: 1 cup = 8.642 ounces
Milk, sweetened condensed: 10.794 ounces
Broccoli, florets: 1 cup = 2.504 ounces
Raisins: 1 cup, packed = 5.820 ounces
Milk, dry: 1 cup = 2.399 ounces
Yogurt: 1 cup = 8.642 ounces
Water: 1 cup = 8.325 ounces
Confectioners sugar: 1 C = 3.880 ounces
Cocoa: 1 C = 4.409 ounces

So, be careful how you measure. Here are some other charts to help, but I thoroughly suggest that you find an online converter to use when you are measuring your food. If not done correctly, you may be eating more than you think, or perhaps, less than you think.

Liquid volume:

1 tsp = 5 cc/ml
1 tbsp = 3 tsp = ½ fl. oz = 15 cc/ml
2 tbsp = 1 fl. oz. = 30 ml
1/4 cup = 2 fl. oz. = 60 ml
1/2 cup = 4 fl. oz. = 125 ml
1 cup = 8 fl. oz. = 250 ml
1 1/2 cups = 12 fl. oz. = 375 ml
2 cups or 1 pint = 16 fl. oz. = 500 ml
4 cups or 1 quart = 32 fl. oz. = 1000 ml or 1 liter
1 gallon = 128 fl. oz. = 4 liters

Dry measure: Volume! Not weight!

1 teaspoon = 5 cc/ml = 4.5 grams approx = 1/3 tablespoon
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce = 14.3 grams 15
2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup = 1 ounce = 28.3 grams
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup = 2 ounces = 56.7 grams
5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup = 2.6 ounces = 75.6 grams
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup = 4 ounces = 113.4 grams
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup = 6 ounces = .375 pound
16 tablespoons =1 cup = 8 ounces =.5 pound
32 tablespoons = 2 cups = 16 ounces 1 pound

Weight (Mass)

1/2 ounce = 15 grams
1 ounce = 30 grams
3 ounces = 85 grams
3.75 ounces = 100 grams
4 ounces = 115 grams
8 ounces = 225 grams
12 ounces = 340 grams
16 ounces or 1 pound = 450 grams
May 19, 2012 7:06 AM
Bump to save. I've been using ounces as that's what my scale measures. But I have been using a measuring cup for things like shredded cheese.
May 19, 2012 7:12 AM
I measure in both, some food listings on this site it measures in ounces and others it's measured in grams. I too find grams MORE reliable though. I personally don't log food (when possible) from peoples listing here that say '1 cup' because their idea of a cup might be heaping.

Also in grams it's easier to cut a portion in half should you choose to do so. Some foods don't sit well in a measuring cup due to bulk so you could be A. Over-eating a portion or B. Under-eating a portion.

**Prior to signing up here and weighing foods and buying my food scale I was kind of surprised by how I wasn't too keen on what actual portion sizes looked like. Lot's of eye balling, lots of realizing I was pretty off!
Edited by 81Katz On May 19, 2012 7:14 AM
May 19, 2012 7:28 AM
Metric in Canada.
May 19, 2012 7:49 AM
Yes, Europe and Canada are different, and that's why there's a lot of grams, but again I think it's more accurate.

Also, cups and tablespoons are different in Australia, I didn't know that! I wonder what they use in the APAC countries, South America, etc., when it comes to cooking?
May 19, 2012 8:11 AM

cmccorma wrote:
I've been using ounces as that's what my scale measures.

I thought all digital scales do grams. Is yours old?
Edited by mfp_1 On May 19, 2012 8:12 AM
May 19, 2012 9:14 AM


cmccorma wrote:
I've been using ounces as that's what my scale measures.

I thought all digital scales do grams. Is yours old?

My scale does both.
May 19, 2012 5:12 PM
My scale measures both - ounces are measured out to 2 decimal places.

If I'm making a recipe that calls for cups/tablespoons/etc instead, I use my phone to scan the label and then portion it based on whatever measurement the label calls for (grams or ounces). Anything that's not scannable and/or in the database already, I Google and just do my best.

I'm not concerned about perfection in this though - "close enough" is "good enough" for me. I don't want to live the rest of my life with my scale in my purse =)
July 25, 2013 8:07 PM
Nicely done! Thanks for the tips and for taking the time to write all that out!

July 25, 2013 8:49 PM
All of the above. It depends on what I'm dealing with. For example, I measure out 140g of frozen cherries but divide chicken into 6 oz. packages for the freezer. I do use metric for bread making, measuring everything, including liquids by weight. Bread bakers often use what's called the "baker's percentage" system. The flours used in a recipe comprise 100%. Other ingredients are measured in terms of the amount of flour. So, for example, a common formula I use for a simple "Italian" bread is 600g flour so 600=100% in my head. I want 1.5% yeast, 2% salt, 5% olive oil, and 70% water so I use those percentages times 600 to get the measurements I need. 9g yeast, 12g salt, 30g olive oil, and 420g water. If I want to change the size of the loaf of bread or make a bunch of sandwich rolls, I just increase the amount of flour and do the math. Very simple. Foolproof bread making.
July 25, 2013 9:00 PM
If the thing I'm weighing has the serving in grams I use grams. If the serving size is in ounces I use ounces.
July 25, 2013 9:03 PM
Same way I weigh my coke...
July 25, 2013 9:03 PM
Grams. Always the grams.
July 25, 2013 9:04 PM
My scale does both, but I use ounces or volume measures like cups and tablespoons. The only things I'd measure in grams is silver or gemstones. ( I don't want to have to bother doing conversions of one form to the other.)
July 25, 2013 9:06 PM
I always measure in grams, its easy enough to go to google and use the grams to ounces calculator (or cups or teaspoons or whatever). But having the base of grams seems pretty useful
July 25, 2013 9:13 PM
I use grams for smaller or very calorie dense things (i.e. dry pasta, cooked rice, peanut butter), but ozs for bigger things, like meat. I generally reserve "cups" for things like veggies and fruit, where accuracy doesn't matter that much, calorie-wise. ("Cups" are also fine for most baking-related things, since bakers almost always deal in level cups for flour, packed cups for brown sugar, etc.)

When it comes to liquids, being American, I can't even fathom how many milliliters (or what fraction of a liter) of sangria I drank at happy hour tonight. Liquid ozs and cups are much easier for me to guestimate if I have to, but I'm sure that's just because of familiarity. :-)

Life's too short to stress--regardless what you use, if you try to be honest, you might over-estimate one day, but you'll under-estimate the next.....
July 25, 2013 9:18 PM
An ounce is always good but will settle for an 8th.
July 25, 2013 9:21 PM
Good information. Bump for later.
July 25, 2013 9:52 PM
You have to weigh it, because sometimes a cup is not a cup


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September 3, 2013 8:13 AM
bump to save
September 3, 2013 8:35 AM
I think the answer to that probably depends on where you live more than anything (or what you were brought up with). I'm in the UK and measure in grams. I was taught using the metric system in Asia so have no clue about ounces etc. Oddly though, I measure the weight of myself in pounds....I'm just full of inconsistencies! laugh
March 15, 2014 8:48 AM
bump for reference
March 15, 2014 8:59 AM
Grams. I was never taught ounces. Though I was also never taught pounds and that's what I weigh myself in!

Cups etc aren't measurements used where I live.
March 15, 2014 9:05 AM
I'm in Canada. My food scale does both metric and Imperial but I prefer metric (grams).
March 15, 2014 9:07 AM
I use metric as I'm from Australia but I've also got imperial on my scale :)


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