Because there isn’t one standard measurement system, finding a recipe online that’s not from the United States and trying to follow it can be somewhat of a challenge. While American recipes use cups and tablespoons, recipes from Europe and the United Kingdom use what is known as the metric system of measurement. This system uses weight as a unit of measure and results in ingredients being listed in grams, kilograms and liters.
The American system, on the other hand, uses cups, teaspoons and tablespoons relying on their volume as units of measure. Given this major difference, there isn’t a universal conversion chart between the two systems because an ingredient may weigh more, but take up less volume. For example, a tablespoon of butter will be a different weight than a tablespoon of flour or sugar.
But, once you find and follow a conversion chart for the particular ingredient in question, it’s easy enough to convert the ingredients of your favorite recipes from grams to tablespoons.
How to Convert Grams to Tablespoons
The easiest way to convert grams to tablespoons is to do it yourself using a weighing scale. An electronic scale works best in terms of accuracy. Weigh out the ingredient in question and then use a tablespoon to scoop it up, making note of your conversion in a chart. You can do this for common gram measurements, like 5 grams, 10 grams, and so on. You can also use an interactive conversion chart to make the process of converting easier. Just remember that there will be a difference in the resulting measurements if you’re converting a liquid as opposed to a powder.
For a liquid like water or something of similar consistency, if you’re wondering how many grams there are in a tablespoon, the answer is: 15 grams in 1 tablespoon of water. Converting 32 grams to tablespoons gives you 2.13 tablespoons of water. This measurement works for stock, oil and other thin liquids that your recipe may call for.
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When it comes to measuring butter, which is denser than water, 1 tablespoon of butter is equivalent to 14 grams. Some common tablespoon measurements to get you started are:
- 14 grams = 1 tablespoon of butter
- 21 grams = 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
- 28 grams = 2 tablespoons of butter
- 42 grams = 3 tablespoons of butter
- 50 grams = 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter
- 100 grams = 7 tablespoons of butter
- 200 grams = 14 tablespoons of butter
Flour is lighter than butter and, as a result, the conversion of grams to tablespoons will be different. Here are some common gram-to-tablespoon measurements for flour to get you started:
- 8 grams = 1 tablespoon of flour
- 14 grams = 1 3/4 tablespoons of flour
- 16 grams = 2 tablespoons of flour
- 24 grams = 3 tablespoons of flour
- 50 grams = 6 1/4 tablespoons of flour
- 100 grams = 12 1/2 tablespoons of flour
- 200 grams = 25 tablespoons of flour
From nutrition labels on products, 4 grams of sugar are equivalent to 1 teaspoon. And, converting that to tablespoons means multiplying 4 grams by 3, since 3 teaspoons make 1 tablespoon. So, 12 grams of sugar are in 1 tablespoon of sugar.
- 12 grams = 1 tablespoon
- 18 grams = 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 24 grams = 2 tablespoons
- 36 grams = 3 tablespoons
- 50 grams = 4 1/8 tablespoons
- 100 grams = 8 1/3 tablespoons
- 200 grams = 17 tablespoons
Converting grams to tablespoons is not a straightforward process. Different ingredients have different weights and thus, different gram-to-tablespoon measurements, but it is possible to approximate the measurements should you need to. The only metric measurements that can accurately be converted to the U.S. measurement system are: pressure, temperature, volume and length.
Christabel Lobo is a freelance writer focusing on all-things food, travel, and wellness. Her writing has appeared in Tenderly, SilverKris, Byrdie, Trivago, Open Skies, Fodor’s, London’s Evening Standard, Silkwinds, HuffPost, Barclays Travel, Pint Size Gourmets, and on her personal yoga & travel blog, Where’s Bel. Feel free to check out her design and writing portfolio: christabel.co