Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Converting to and from metric!

I get a lot of email asking me to convert my recipes into non-metric measurements. I can't. I don't have the time and my brain doesn't think that way. I've been metric since grade one, and I measure in Celsius and grams. (Although I can't figure out how to do height and weight in anything other than Imperial because we learned that bit in kindergarten!) Besides, I find using ounces confusing as heck! Liquid ounces and weighted ounces, and it is far too confusing to figure out which one is in a recipe!

I'm Canadian, so I use Celsius as my temperature measurement. The general rule I learned about converting from Fahrenheit was to subtract 32 and divide by 2. To find Fahrenheit you can double it and add thirty.

20˚C would be doubled and add 30 - about 70˚F. It's actually 68˚F, but we got close.
70˚F would be subtract 30 and divide by 2 - about 20˚C. It's actually 21.1˚C, but again close enough.

If you want to be really accurate, check out this conversion site or memorize these formulas!

˚C = F - 32/1.8 (Fahrenheit minus 32, then divide by 1.8)
˚F = C x 1.8 +32 (Celsius times 1.8, then add 32)

An ounce is about 28.35 grams by weight. We work in grams for bath & body products because it's easy to convert from percentages to grams - just substitute the % for the word grams and you have a recipe! You can do this with weighed ounces, but substituting the word "ounce" for % in the example below would result in a massive batch of lotion - about 100 ounces - whereas doing that with grams will result in a batch of about 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces! Big difference, eh?

If you want to make more of something, just multiply the grams by the amount you want and you've got a larger batch! (I have already written a post on this topic, which I definitely suggest you read if you want more detail!)

Click on the picture to see the entire thing. I'm not sure why it's not coming up properly! 

You have to love the highlighted possible spelling error, eh? I should have caught that before I captured the picture. Oh well! 

Related posts:
How to convert recipes from percentages to weights!
Weight vs volume
Doubling, tripling, and quadrupling our recipes!


Matt said...

I've found these Calculators helpful when converting measurements and percentages.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with this company. I'm just posting this as a resource for my fellow crafters.

Michele Clarke said...

I just google for answers. This is the one I use the most.

Sciarretta Farms said...

I use Google as well, I put this in the search window:

convert 5oz to g

and hit enter and hey presto! It's converted into grams.

melian1 said...

you said: "A gram is about 28.35 ounces by weight" i think you mean that an ounce is about 28.35 grams. yes?

i was firmly in the ounces and tablespoons group until the first time i made a batch using grams and my scale. converted!! never looked back.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thanks for the converter information!

Hi melian! Thanks for another catch. I must be a little sleepy lately. I'm in the process of converting a lot of my food recipes into weight as well because it is so much easier to make changes when it's weighed. I hate measuring butter into cups - what a mess - or marshmallow fluff! It's so much easier! I think that's why I harp on and on about it!

Anonymous said...

I actually prefer metric as well. love ur posts. :)

Kathe Kennedy Anzola said...

I've been using metric more and more for weights as I'm finding the math so much easier when I do!

melian1 said...

susan, you are SO RIGHT!! using weight measurements for cooking is the best thing ever. don't know why it took me so long to make that connection. but measuring out butter, syrup or oil, well, anything, is so much easier.

since i had no idea what things weigh what, i started a little notebook and i measured a cup of flour, placed it onto the scale, and wrote that down. now i have a reference list of what things weigh that i know is accurate.

omg, how much easier it has become to make various recipes! i throw stuff in, hit tare, and throw the next item into the bowl.

is there a site that lists out the weights of various cooking things like peanut butter, flour, sugar, etc?

Mychelle said...

I had this whole philosophical conversation with myself the other day about grams vs ounces. I use both, as my older formula are still in ounces and the newer in grams. Grams are easier to work with as it's based on 10 and requires simple multiplication, and very helpful for picky ingredients like acids. And yet...and yet I get ounces on a whole Libra-esque philosophical level. Ounces are based on 8. I'm a dance/fitness teacher and have studied music my entire life; I teach in 8, I dance in 8, I cook in 8, and metaphysical studies place great emphasis on 4 and 8. So while I work in grams a lot, I get ounces and still harbor a love of them. I know, I take these things way too seriously. :)