Back To Basics :: Kitchen Tips and Tricks #3

According to Google Analytics, the visitors to this food blog come from 76 different countries. Being able to share ideas and communicate across borders and oceans is a wonderful thing, but at the same time raises a lot of questions caused by different culinary languages. Given that the largest portion (40%) of visitors come from the USA, there are often a lot of questions about Australian terms used in my recipes. So this post is aimed at answering some of the most common questions that crop up on the blog.

FAQ #1: What does “#°C fan-forced” mean?

Fan-forced ovens, also called convection ovens, are much better at equalising temperature than conventional gas ovens. Food is cooked quicker and more evenly than in a conventional oven and therefore requires a lower temperature. I prefer to cook in a normal gas oven as the differential of heat in the oven allows more control by where you position your food, and can be important for some dishes. If using a fan forced oven, the temperature should be reduced by 15-20°C or 25-30°F. I use 20°C as my standard rule.

FAQ #2: What is #°C in Fahrenheit? What does “moderately slow” mean? 

Sometimes I forget to put in the temperature conversion into the recipe, or I opt for a more universal but old fashioned term such as “bake in a moderate oven”. Here’s a conversion chart to clear up confusion.

Oven temperatures

 Celsius 

Fahrenheit

Gas

Description

90 ᵒC

200 ᵒF

Cool

120 ᵒC

250 ᵒF

1

Very slow

150 – 159 ᵒC

300 – 324 ᵒF

2

Slow

160 – 179 ᵒC

325 – 349 ᵒF

3

Moderately slow

180 – 189 ᵒC

350 – 374 ᵒF

4

Moderate

190 – 199 ᵒC

375 – 399 ᵒF

5

Moderately hot

200 – 229 ᵒC

400 – 449 ᵒF

6

Hot

230 – 260 ᵒC

450 – 500 ᵒF

7 – 9

Fast/Very hot

FAQ #3: What cups are you using?

Living in Australia, I always use Australian cup and spoon measurements. 1 Australian cup = 250ml or 8.5 fl.oz = 1.057 US cups. 1 US cup = 225ml or 8 fl.oz. This is a small discrepancy and so it won’t make much of a difference to most recipes if you are consistently using either US or Australian cups and spoons. Problems usually arise when you mix measurements, or if a recipe is particularly delicate.

I usually include the weight in recipes to give readers a point of reference to convert from if desired. There are plenty of online calculators that can provide you with accurate conversions, and most scales have inbuilt converters for weight and often even liquid measurements. But if you’re not using scales, here’s a quick reference for cup and spoon measurements.

Liquid Measurements

Metric

Cup (AUS)

Imperial

30 ml

1 fl.oz.

60 ml

1/4 cup

2 fl.oz.

80 ml

1/3 cup

3 1/2 fl.oz.

100 ml

2 3/4 fl.oz.

125 ml

1/2 cup

4 fl.oz.

150 ml

5 fl.oz.

180 ml

3/4 cup

6 fl.oz.

200 ml

7 fl.oz.

250 ml

1 cup

8 3/4 fl.oz.

310 ml

1 1/4 cups

10 1/2 fl.oz.

375 ml

1 1/2 cups

13 fl.oz.

430 ml

1 3/4 cups

15 fl.oz.

475 ml

16 fl.oz.

500 ml

2 cups

17 fl.oz.

625 ml

2 1/2 cups

21 fl.oz.

750 ml

3 cups

26 fl.oz.

1 L

4 cups

35 fl.oz.

1.25 L

5 cups

44 fl.oz.

1.5 L

6 cups

52 fl.oz.

2 L

8 cups

70 fl.oz.

2.5 L

10 cups

88 fl.oz.

Spoon measurements across borders represent different weights. 1 Australian tablespoon = 20ml, 1 UK tablespoon = 15ml and 1 American tablespoon = 16ml. The differences are subtle enough when only using a single tablespoon, but become more apparent as the quantities increase. Here’s a quick conversion chart if you don’t want to go by the weight.

Spoon Measurements

Metric

Australian 

US

British

Teaspoon 

1 [5ml]

1 [5ml]

1 [4ml]

Tablespoon

1 [20ml]

1 [16ml]

1 [15ml]

Tablespoon

2

2 &1/2

2 1/2

Tablespoon

3

3 1/2

4

Tablespoon

3 1/2

4 1/2

4 1/2

_______________________

That’s all for today! In the next Back to Basics post, I’ll tackle some of the ingredient questions that are raised as another consequence of language barriers. Until then, happy baking!

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4 thoughts on “Back To Basics :: Kitchen Tips and Tricks #3

  1. The spoon measurements seems a bit confusing. 1 Australian tbs = 1 US tbs = 1 British tbs.

    But then, it doesn’t seem linear for more than 1 Australian tbs?

    • It’s an approximation. 1 Australian tablespoon is 20 ml, UK is 15 ml, and American is 16 ml, so for 1 tbsp it’s rounded to 1 and wont make a difference, but as you increase it the difference becomes more apparent.

      I think I’ll edit the post to make that clearer.

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