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Weights and Measures for Australia

Asked by MoyraMac. Answered on 1st August 2011

Full question

Hello Nigella and Team, my query is in regard to conversion of recipes. I am in Australia and wondering if there are differences between the U.K. weights and measures compared with the Australian ones? Thank you, MoyraMac.

Our answer

The main difference in measurements between the UK and Australia is that Australian tablespoons are defined as 20ml (4 teaspoons) whereas in the UK, and most of the world, a tablespoon is defined as 15ml (3 teaspoons). All of Nigella's books use 15ml tablespoons, in the UK versions the recipes specify a 15ml tablespoon whilst the US versions tend to state just "tablespoon" as it is a standard measure for the US.

For weights of ingredients there is absolutely no difference and Nigella's books now give just metric weights. However we understand that the US versions of her books may be more commonly available in Australia than the UK versions and these tend to use cup measurements instead. There is a difference between US and Australian cup measures - a US cup is 240ml and an Australian cup is 250ml. For most recipes the difference is small enough not to worry about, especially as cup measurements tend to be less accurate than weighing anyway, though if it really concerns you then remove 2 teaspoons from each cup.

The other main difference between the US and Australia is the measurement of a quart. In the US this is 4 cups, or 960ml (we tend to round up to 1 litre for ease) and in Australia and the UK it is 1.1 litres. So if you see "1 quart" in a book please use 1 litre, or 4 cups. A US pint is also different as it is 480ml vs an Australian and UK pint of 600ml (again we have slightly rounded up here for convenience), though in Nigella's books we tend to state "2 cups" rather than "one pint".

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