Translations for Cooking Terms, Ingredients and Measures

An Englishman, an American and a Dutchman walk into a kitchen. That could be the setup to a joke! If the Englishman asks the American to grill his cheese on toast, he’ll won’t get what he expected. And if the American asks for a cup of water, who knows what he’ll get. To the other two a cup is something you drink coffee out of, not a measurement!

I live in the UK, so I use UK terms and ingredient names. And I was brought up in The Netherlands so exclusively use the Metric system for measurements. Where possible, translations and conversions are provided within the recipes. This page contains a list of all terms used in the recipes as a reference.

A quick shout out to the good people over at Stack Exchange. Their page on the same subjectLink opens in a new window has helped me to find a lot of these translations.

Cooking Terms

Names for these items may vary from region to region of the UK. The ones below are the ones that I use. Where another common name exists I’ve noted this, but this page is not meant to be an exhaustive list of cooking terms.

UK US
Aluminium foil
or Tin foil
Aluminum foil
Grill (grilling) Broiler (broiling)
Hob Stove
Litre Liter
Parchment paper or
Greaseproof paper
Waxed paper

Ingredients

For some ingredients we use the same item by a different name. For other ingredients, a slightly different but closely related ingredient is used more commonly. Green onions, for example, are common in the UK, but their close cousin Scallions are more common in the US and they can generally be substituted for one another. Some of these “translations” are actually such substitutions.

Vegetables

UK US
Courgette Zucchini
Spring greens Collard greens
Green onions Scallions
Rocket leaves Arugula leaves

Herbs and spices

UK US
Coriander Cilantro

Meat

UK US
Beef / pork mince
or Minced beef / pork
Ground beef / pork
Gammon Ham

Other

UK US
Cornflour Cornstarch
Tin (tinned) Can (canned)

Measurements

Volume

I commonly use teaspoons (tsp) and tablespoons (tbsp), and occasionally litres (US: liters). Note that UK tsp and tbsp are larger than US ones, so to convert you must multiply by 1.2. For the rare occasions I talk about litres I have provided conversions to cups and pints as well. Note that US pints are smaller than UK pints; the pints referred to below are US pints.

UK US Metric
1 tsp 1.2 tsp 6 ml
1 tbsp 1.2 tbsp 18 ml
1 litre 2.1 pints 1000 ml
1 litre 4.2 cups 1000 ml

Mass

For mass I was brought up on grams and kilos. To convert, use the following guide:

UK US Metric
100 g 3.5 ounce 100 g
100 g 0.22 lbs 100 g
1 kg 2.2 lbs 1000 g