US tablespoon

Team Physics -
Created by: Team Physics -, Last Updated: April 25, 2024

US tablespoon

The US tablespoon is a units of volume commonly used in cooking recipes and food preparation in the United States. Defined as one-sixteenth of a US liquid pint, or approximately 0.5 Us fluid ounces, it helps in the precise measurement of smaller quantities of ingredients. In terms of larger volume units, a tablespoon is also equivalent to 1/256 of a US liquid gallon. When converted into the metric system, one US tablespoon is approximately 14.787 milliliters, making it a handy unit for translating cooking volumes into liters and cubic meters, which are often used in scientific calculations in physics and other sciences. This conversion is crucial for scaling recipes or adjusting fluid volumes in experiments where exact measurements are necessary. The tablespoon thus serves as a bridge between everyday culinary practices and the quantitative demands of scientific research, ensuring accuracy across diverse contexts.

What is US tablespoon

A US tablespoon is a unit of volume used primarily in cooking to measure both liquids and dry ingredients. It is equivalent to half a US fluid ounce, or about 14.787 milliliters. In the US customary system, there are 16 tablespoons in a US cup, and one tablespoon equals three teaspoons. This measurement is widely used in recipes and food preparation throughout the United States.

US tablespoon Formula

Milliliters (mL) = US Tablespoons (tbsp)×14.787

Practical Example for the US tablespoon Formula

Recipe Conversion for Baking

Scenario: Imagine you’re following a cake recipe that requires precise liquid measurements. The recipe calls for 8 US tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Application of the Formula: To understand how much this is in milliliters (mL), especially if your measuring tools are marked in metric units, you would use the conversion formula:

Milliliters (mL)=US Tablespoons (tbsp)×14.787


Milliliters (mL) = 8 US tablespoons×14.787 mL/tbsp

Let’s perform this calculation to find out how many milliliters of vegetable oil are needed for the recipe.

The calculation shows that if your recipe requires 8 US tablespoons of vegetable oil, you would need approximately 118.3 milliliters of oil. This conversion ensures accuracy when using measuring tools marked in milliliters, common in many parts of the world outside the United States.

US tablespoon in Grams

Here’s a general approach to converting US tablespoons to grams:

  • Identify the Substance: Determine the substance you are measuring because density is needed for conversion. For example, the density of water is about 1 gram per milliliter, but the density of flour or sugar is different.
  • Use the Density: If you know the density of the substance in grams per milliliter (g/mL), you can use the following formula:
Grams = Volume in milliliters (mL)×Density (g/mL)
  • Convert Tablespoons to Milliliters: First, convert the volume in tablespoons to milliliters using the conversion factor.
  • Apply the Formula: Multiply the milliliters by the density of the substance to get the mass in grams.

Example: Converting Water from Tablespoons to Grams

For water:

  • Density: approximately 1 g/mL
  • Volume: 1 US tablespoon = 14.787 mL

Grams = 14.787 mL×1 g/mL

This result shows that 1 US tablespoon of water weighs about 14.787 grams. This process must be adjusted according to the specific density of whatever substance you are measuring.

Volume of US tablespoon

The volume of one US tablespoon is defined as exactly 14.787 milliliters. This standard measure is commonly used in cooking recipes and food preparation in the United States for measuring both liquids and dry ingredients. In other volume units, this equates to approximately 0.5 US fluid ounces, which is useful for conversions within different measurement systems used in culinary practices.

Difference Between teaspoon and tablespoon

FeatureTeaspoon (US)Tablespoon (US)
Volume in Milliliters (mL)1 teaspoon = 4.92892 mL1 tablespoon = 14.7868 mL
Volume in Fluid Ounces (fl oz)1 teaspoon = 0.166667 fl oz1 tablespoon = 0.5 fl oz
Relation to Larger Units1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
Common UseUsed for smaller measurements, especially in baking and cooking for precision.Used for larger liquid and dry measurements in cooking and serving.
Culinary ApplicationIdeal for adding spices, extracts, and small quantities of liquids.Used for portioning ingredients like butter, oil, and sugar.

SI multiples of US tablespoon

SI PrefixSymbolMultiplierEquivalent Volume (milliliters)
Base Unit (US tbsp)114.7868

Conversion of US tablespoon

Conversion of US tablespoon
To UnitConversion FactorExample
US tablespoon to Milliliters (mL)1 US tablespoon = 14.7868 mL10 US tablespoons = 147.868 mL
US tablespoon to Cubic Meters (m³)1 US tablespoon = 1.4787 × 10⁻⁵ m³10 US tablespoons =1.4787 × 10⁻⁴ m³
US tablespoon to Liters (L)1 US tablespoon = 0.0147868 L10 US tablespoons = 0.147868 L
US tablespoon to US Fluid Ounces1 US tablespoon = 0.5 fl oz10 US tablespoons = 5 fl oz
US tablespoon to Imperial Fluid Ounces1 US tablespoon = 0.520421 imperial fl oz10 US tablespoons = 5.20421 imperial fl oz
US tablespoon to Imperial Tablespoons1 US tablespoon = 1.20095 imperial tbsp10 US tablespoons = 12.0095 imperial tbsp
US tablespoon to Cubic Centimeters (cm³)1 US tablespoon = 14.7868 cm³10 US tablespoons = 147.868 cm³
US tablespoon to Cubic Inches (in³)1 US tablespoon = 0.902257 in³10 US tablespoons = 9.02257 in³
US tablespoon to Imperial Milliliters1 US tablespoon = 14.7868 mL (Imperial)10 US tablespoons = 147.868 mL (Imperial)
US tablespoon to Imperial Teaspoons1 US tablespoon = 3.00025 Imperial tsp10 US tablespoons = 30.0025 Imperial tsp


  • Versatile Conversion Tool: The US tablespoon serves as a versatile unit for converting between various volume measurements.
  • Precision in Culinary Arts: Essential for precise measurements in culinary endeavors, ensuring accuracy in recipes.
  • Commonly Used in Cooking: Widely employed in both professional and home kitchens for portioning and measuring ingredients.

US tablespoon to Milliliters (mL)

1 US tablespoon = 14.7868 mL

The US tablespoon, a common unit in culinary measurements, converts to milliliters for precise volume measurements. This conversion is particularly useful in recipes requiring accurate liquid amounts, ensuring consistency and flavor balance in dishes.

US tablespoon to Cubic Meters (m³)

1 US tablespoon = 1.4787 × 10⁻⁵ m³

While a US tablespoon may seem small, its conversion to cubic meters highlights its minuscule volume in the context of larger-scale measurements. This comparison emphasizes the scale difference between everyday kitchen measurements and those used in scientific or industrial contexts.

US tablespoon to Liters (L)

1 US tablespoon = 0.0147868 L

For those accustomed to using liters as a primary volume unit, understanding the equivalent volume of a US tablespoon in liters provides insight into its modest capacity. This conversion aids in scaling recipes or understanding liquid volumes in larger containers.

US tablespoon to US Fluid Ounces

1 US tablespoon = 0.5 fl oz

In the US customary system, the conversion of US tablespoons to fluid ounces is crucial for understanding liquid measurements in both culinary and beverage-serving contexts. This conversion helps ensure accurate portioning and serving sizes, particularly in recipes or when preparing drinks.

US tablespoon to Imperial Fluid Ounces

1 US tablespoon = 0.520421 imperial fl oz

Converting US tablespoons to imperial fluid ounces allows for seamless communication between US and UK culinary practices. This conversion is beneficial for international recipe sharing and understanding volume measurements across different culinary traditions.

US tablespoon to Imperial Tablespoons

1 US tablespoon = 1.20095 imperial tbsp

In some regions, particularly in the UK, the conversion of US tablespoons to imperial tablespoons is essential for following recipes or understanding culinary measurements accurately. This conversion ensures consistency and precision in cooking and baking practices.

US tablespoon to Cubic Centimeters (cm³)

1 US tablespoon = 14.7868 cm³

The conversion of US tablespoons to cubic centimeters provides insight into the volume’s spatial dimensions, facilitating visualization of the tablespoon’s capacity in cubic form. This conversion aids in understanding volume measurements in scientific and engineering contexts.

US tablespoon to Cubic Inches (in³)

1 US tablespoon = 0.902257 in³

Converting US tablespoons to cubic inches offers a perspective on volume measurements in the US customary system, particularly for those familiar with imperial units. This conversion aids in understanding volume equivalencies across different measurement systems.

US tablespoon to Imperial Milliliters

1 US tablespoon = 14.7868 mL (Imperial)

For individuals accustomed to using imperial units, understanding the volume of a US tablespoon in imperial milliliters aids in practical measurements and conversions in everyday cooking and baking.

US tablespoon to Imperial Teaspoons

1 US tablespoon = 3.00025 Imperial tsp

In culinary practices that utilize imperial measurements, converting US tablespoons to imperial teaspoons is essential for accurate recipe execution and portioning. This conversion ensures consistency and precision in ingredient measurements, contributing to successful culinary outcomes.

Practical Application Example of US tablespoon

  • Measuring Ingredients: A US tablespoon is frequently used in cooking and baking to portion out ingredients like spices, herbs, and condiments, ensuring precise flavor profiles and consistent results in recipes.
  • Recipe Conversions: When adapting recipes from different sources or regions, knowing the equivalent measurements in US tablespoons allows for seamless adjustments and ensures accuracy in ingredient proportions.
  • Serving Portions: In both home and professional kitchens, US tablespoons are employed to portion out sauces, dressings, and toppings, maintaining portion control and presentation standards in plated dishes.

What are the Uses of US tablespoon?


Culinary Measurements:

  • Ingredient Portioning: US tablespoons are essential for accurately measuring ingredients like spices, herbs, and condiments in cooking and baking.
  • Recipe Adaptation: They facilitate seamless adjustments and conversions of recipes from various sources, ensuring consistent flavor profiles and successful outcomes.

Serving and Presentation:

  • Portion Control: US tablespoons help maintain portion consistency when serving sauces, dressings, and toppings, enhancing presentation and taste.
  • Plated Dishes: They are instrumental in achieving uniformity and precision in plating dishes, contributing to aesthetic appeal and portion balance.

Health and Nutrition:

  • Dietary Monitoring: US tablespoons aid in adhering to dietary guidelines by accurately measuring cooking oils, condiments, and other ingredients, supporting balanced nutrition.
  • Caloric Awareness: They enable individuals to monitor calorie intake by measuring portion sizes of high-calorie ingredients, promoting mindful eating habits.

Medication Administration:

  • Liquid Medications: In healthcare settings, US tablespoons are used to administer liquid medications, ensuring patients receive the prescribed dosage accurately.
  • Dosage Precision: They facilitate precise dosage measurement, particularly for pediatric and geriatric patients, minimizing the risk of dosage errors.

Educational Purposes:

  • Cooking Classes: US tablespoons are fundamental tools in culinary education, teaching students measurement techniques and recipe comprehension.
  • Home Economics: They play a central role in home economics curriculum, imparting essential cooking and baking skills for everyday meal preparation.

Scientific Applications:

  • Laboratory Experiments: US tablespoons are employed in laboratory settings for measuring and dispensing small volumes of liquids and powders in experiments and research studies.
  • Chemical Reactions: They play a role in chemical reactions and formulations, assisting scientists and researchers in achieving precise concentrations and compositions.


How can I measure a tablespoon without a measuring spoon?

In the absence of a measuring spoon, you can use common kitchen items for estimation. For instance, a level tablespoon is roughly equivalent to half a ping pong ball or about the size of a walnut in terms of volume.

Can I use a regular spoon instead of a tablespoon?

While a regular spoon can approximate the volume of a tablespoon, for precise measurements in cooking and baking, it’s recommended to use a standardized US tablespoon measurement to ensure accuracy in recipes.

Can I interchange US tablespoons with metric measurements?

US tablespoons can be converted to metric measurements like milliliters for international recipes. to accurate conversions to avoid discrepancies in ingredient proportions and recipe outcomes.

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