Knowing how many tablespoons in an ounce comes in handy. It is one of those measurement conversions you need when you least expect it. Like when you are playing Trivial Pursuit, or trying a cool new recipe. The simple answer, there are two level tablespoons in one fluid ounce.
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But that of course leads down the rabbit hole of more questions…
Like what is a fluid ounce? Is that an ounce that changes with the times like a trending fad? Why is being on the level important? Does that mean the recipe is only by the book if it is on the level? The answers to these and many more pressing questions awaits ahead.
Read on, or risk looking like the nudnick that couldn’t answer the easy question during an intensely contested round of Trivial Pursuits.
How many Tablespoons are in an Ounce?
Ok, of course, the easy answer is two tablespoons equal to a fluid ounce, but the truth is more complicated than that. Because sometimes less than two tablespoons in an ounce is also correct. I know, that makes about as much sense as one plus one equals three, right?
The number varies depending on what system of measurements are being used. Because a tablespoon in the American Imperial System of Measurements differs from the British Imperial Measurement.
How do you like that cup of tea? Sweet, sweeter, or do you like some tea with your sugar?
Because the British tablespoon needs 1.665 of a level measure to make one fluid ounce. I don’t think there is an easy way to measure .665 of a tablespoon. Not unless you have a very special tablespoon that shows fractional measurement divisions anyway.
If you know where to get one of those then let me know. On second thought, I am fine with my tablespoon as is. I know how many tablespoons in an ounce with it just fine.
In any event, if you enjoy sugar in your tea then two British Imperial tablespoons make a sweeter cup than two American Imperial tablespoons.
What is meant by a Fluid Ounce?
A fluid ounce is actually a measure of volume of liquid, while a regular ounce (oz) is a measurement of weight. Most confusion regarding weight and volume measurements occurs with ounces because an imperial unit of measurement can define both weight AND volume.
In any case, just remember that fluid ounces refers to a unit of volume (like milliliters) whereas regular ounces refer to weight (like grams).
But a measuring utensil like a cup or teaspoon or tablespoon is an imperial measurement device designed to measure fluid AND solid ingredients. So, if a recipe for rice calls for one cup of rice and two cups of water, then you don’t have to break out a digital scale to convert ounces. Just use your cup measure.
Handy Conversion Table
Click here to download a printable version of this conversion table.
What Are The Various Measurement Systems?
The metric system is a base ten system of measurement and is fairly consistent even if there are a US, International, and UK metric measurements. There are some differences in the UK and US imperial systems though, but don’t worry about it. If you are using a British cup or an American cup measure then the ratio of ingredients will still be consistent.
Here are the different types of measurement systems. Don’t worry, you won’t be tested on this stuff later. There are handy conversion calculators handy.
- Imperial Cup System (British and American)
- International Metric System
- United States Metric System
- United Kingdom Metric System
Handy Tips for Measuring
Knowing how to convert fluid ounces to tablespoons comes in handy, but only if you know how to make sure your measurements are fairly consistent!
- Try to avoid over measuring or under measuring by using a knife or edge of a fork’s tine to create a level measurement. Start with a heaping measurement, just to make sure you don’t under-measure, but then scrape it off so you get a clean full measure. Not too much, not too little.
- Use the right tools for the job. Don’t think you can use any size cup as a cup measure or a regular table type spoon for a tablespoon (tbsp). They may sound the same. They may look like similar sizes. But better safe than sorry. Use the tablespoon that has the measurement equivalent clearly market on it!
- There are subtle differences between a cup designed for measuring dry ingredients and one made for wet ingredients. The wet cup typically has a spout to make pouring more convenient. Fluid cup measures typically include ounce (fl oz) measurement lines too. So those come in handy!
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Recipes to Practice Measuring Tablespoons into Ounces
Now you are ready to see how you measure up! (Try seeing if you can keep track of how many tablespoons in an ounce…)
More Measurement Conversions
My Favorite Measuring Tools
- Stackable measuring cups and spoons with leveler
- Angled measuring cup
- Nesting measuring cups (down to 1 teaspoon)
- Collapsible measuring cups
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