Culinary Arts

How Many Teaspoons in a Tablespoon? Measurement Conversion Chart

Written by MasterClass

Feb 14, 2019 • 2 min read

Tablespoons and teaspoons are units of volume that are handy for measuring smaller amounts of ingredients (e.g. spices, oils, vanilla extract) that wouldn’t be practical to weigh on a scale and are too small to measure in cups. They are essential to cooking and baking and used in both the metric and imperial systems.

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How Many Teaspoons in a Tablespoon?

When working with a limited set of measuring spoons or scaling your favorite recipes up or down, memorizing this kitchen fact will save time:

  • 1 tablespoon is equal to 3 teaspoons

For everything else, use this list of conversions for cooking measurements:

  • How many teaspoons in a tablespoon? 1 U.S. tablespoon = 3 U.S. teaspoons
  • How many teaspoons in a ½ tablespoon? ½ U.S. tablespoon = 1½ U.S. teaspoons
  • How many ¼ teaspoons in a tablespoon? 1 U.S. tablespoon = 12 U.S. ¼ teaspoons
  • How many teaspoons in 3 tablespoons? 3 U.S. tablespoons = 9 U.S. teaspoons
  • How many tablespoons in ¼ cup? ¼ U.S. cup = 4 tablespoons

Imperial vs. Metric Measurements

Teaspoons and tablespoons are used in the United States and around the world, but they’re not exactly the same. The United States, Liberia, and Myanmar use the imperial system, while the rest of the world uses the metric system.

  • In the imperial system, 1 tablespoon equals ½ fluid ounce (14.79 milliliters)
  • In the metric system, a metric tablespoon equals exactly 15 mL
  • While Australia uses the metric system, their tablespoon is a bit different: an Australian tablespoon equals 20 mL (0.68 US fluid ounces)
  • One U.S. teaspoon equals ⅙ fluid ounce (4.93 mL), slightly less than the 5-mL metric teaspoon

These differences in volume are small enough that American and metric measuring spoons can be easily interchanged without significantly altering a recipe.

What Is a Dessert Spoon?

A dessert spoon is a unit of volume used in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

At 10 mL, it’s between a tablespoon and a teaspoon in size.

How Many Tablespoons Are in a Stick of Butter?

In the U.S., a stick of butter is typically 4 ounces (113.40 grams), or 8 tablespoons. So, half a stick of butter equals 4 tablespoons.

What Does a Spoonful of Sugar Weigh?

Since tablespoons are a measure of volume, not mass, the weight of a spoonful of sugar depends on what kind of sugar you’re using. In general, however, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar weighs about 12½ grams.

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