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The Metric System in the Kitchen

Although there may be some concern about the effect of metric conversion on cooking, there is really very little to worry about as long as the change to metric is done in a sensible manner.

There will be no need for much change in recipes if the new metric recipes remain volumetric and if the utensils retain approximately the same ratio as the customary cup (237 ml), teaspoon (4.9 ml), and tablespoon (14.7 ml). This can be easily achieved by adopting a "metric cup" of 250 ml (1/4 liter), a "metric teaspoon" of 5 ml, and a "metric tablespoon" of 15 ml. Amounts such as "a pinch" or "2 eggs" will, of course, remain the same. However, weights such of the amount of meat in a recipe would be expressed in kilograms (1 kg equals 2.2 pounds).

Under this type of changeover, either customary or metric utensils could be used for any recipe with the same results being obtained, except for slight variations in quantity as long as the same system is used for the entire recipe. For example, a "customary" recipe made using metric utensils would yield only five percent more quantity. And your favorite cookbooks will continue to be useful forever.

Department of Consumer Protection / Weights and Measures 
Michael D. Bannon, 
New Address:

Bucks County Administration Building
55 E. Court Street, 2nd Floor
Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone: 215-348-6060 or 1-800-942-2669
Fax: 267-885-1420