Conversions etc.

One of the best friends you can have when cooking for one is a kitchen scale.  It’s great for things like apportioning that pizza dough into single-serving size before putting it in the freezer, or just checking how much those two carrots weight so that you can scale the rest of the ingredients in the recipe.

Whether or not you use a scale, you still have to deal with  volume measures.  When looking at recipes to scale down the size for cooking for one, you can translate cups into tablespoons, and tablespoons into teaspoons  and keep the proper ratios of ingredients.

Cups to tablespoons:

  • 1 cup = 16 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
  • 1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons

Tablespoons to teaspoons:

  • 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 15 mL
  • 1/2 tablespoon = 1-1/2 teaspoon = 7.5 mL
  • 1/3 tablespoon = 1 teaspoon = 5 mL
1 teaspoon of table salt = 1-1/2 teaspoons of Morton’s kosher salt = 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal kosher salt.


There is a purpose behind the shapes of different cooking utensils.  For a brief description see cookware shapes.

Skillet (frying pan)

  • long-handled, usually round, with sloping sides that allow steam/moisture to evaporate and not collect in the pan.
  • Measurements are given as the diameter at the top (flared edge) so the cooking surface is actually smaller.

Sauté pan

  • Usually round, with straight sides only slightly deeper than a skillet or frying pan.   As the name suggests, used for sauté or frying.  The straight sides make them inconvenient for such things as omelettes.