International recipe conversions made easier

Converting measures the old-fashioned way
Converting measures the old-fashioned way

Sharing recipes with friends and acquiring cookbooks while traveling and living overseas has occasionally left me playing the conversion game. This isn’t so bad when you’re converting similar measurements (like volume, cups to liters). But it’s maddeningly slow work when you have to cross between the U.S. standard of measuring dry goods by volume (like cups of flour or sugar) to a metric weight standard. One cup of flour doesn’t weigh the same as one cup of brown sugar. In the past, I’ve patiently measured out my ingredients in cups, then dumped them onto an electronic kitchen scale, before faithfully recording the weight into a translated recipe. I’ve done the same in reverse, translating recipes from other countries for my American friends. It can be slow and tedious work.

If you’re nodding your head sympathetically as you read this, then you’ll want to click on the Convert-me.com link that is winking at you in the sidebar. This is no ordinary conversion site because it has a unique tool just for international foodies — it’s called the On-line Cooking Converter. With one click this tool will instantly give you 7 conversions from US/British pounds, ounces, fluid ounces, pint, cup, teaspoon or tablespoon to European metric kilogram, gram, liter, mililiter, cup, teaspoon and tablespoon, or vice versa.

But that’s not even the best part. There’s a menu of almost 200 different wet and dry goods (different types of flours and sugars, even) from which to choose before making the conversions. As you would expect, the differences can be dramatic. One cup of regular flour is 99 grams, one cup of brown sugar is 201 grams. Now all you have to do is take a copy of your recipe and go to the Cooking Converter at Convert-me.com, and call up your ingredients and plug in your values. Voila, your measurements are converted!

This tool is available for use on the Convert-me,com site for free! When you click on the link, look in the right-hand column for “Cooking Conversion” to try this tool for yourself.

When I was preparing the Double Mango Bread recipe for World Bread Day, I knew our host, kochtopf, has many readers in Europe and Asia so I wanted to provide the metric measures for those readers. I checked my manually-weighed measurements against those on the “Cooking Conversion” tool and it checked out. I hope that many other people will find it useful, too. I’m happy to spread the news about any tool or product that makes it easier to share recipes, and that might make people more likely to cook (or bake)!!

There is also a free Google gadget from Covert-me.com that will calculate simpler like-to-like measurements (lengths, volumes, weights, etc.) which you can make available on your website or load on your Google homepage. I tried to put it in my sidebar here but it was much too big. But you can still try out this cool little converter for yourself at the Test Kitchen. If you like it, you can download it for yourself at the Convert-me site.