While there are some people who can tell you instantly how many cups are in a quart, the number of grams in a pound, or what the heck a jigger is, most people can’t do even common kitchen conversions off the top of their head. Of course, there are tools to help you out here. Some cookbooks offer simple conversions on the front or back flap (although not all of them have the foresight to feature these handy charts). And you can certainly fire up your laptop and look online as you cook. But these time-consuming tactics could leave you with a fallen soufflé or charred chard if you happen to be handling time-sensitive recipes. Luckily, there’s an app for everything these days, and for just under a buck you can download the handy KitchenMath application to get common conversions at your fingertips.
How many times have you had a recipe propped open in front of you calling for liquid measurements by the pint or for dry ingredients by weight? If you only have measuring cups and spoons at your disposal you could find yourself frantically booting up your computer to search for conversions while your yeast and water mixture fizzes away or the portion of your meal that is already cooking starts to burn. Or what if you happen to be working off a recipe that your friend from overseas sent you and the heating instructions are in degrees Celsius? Aside from the fact that you may be very confused to see a cooking temperature of 177 degrees listed, you probably don’t know the formula for converting this number to Fahrenheit (it comes out to 350 degrees, by the way). But the truth is, you needn’t know these conversions off the top of your head so long as you have the right tools to help you out.
And KitchenMath can do a whole world of conversion. It has the obvious measurements covered, from volume (teaspoons, pints, liters, etc.) to weight (ounce, pound, kilogram, and so on). It will convert from volume to volume, weight to weight, volume to weight, and vice versa, and the app even goes between standard US and UK measurements (so you don’t have to puzzle over pesky metric measurements). But it does a lot more. For example, there is already a database of nearly 400 common ingredients listed to help users quickly figure out targeted conversions. And when it comes to temperatures there are two options. Not only can the app convert between Celsius, Fahrenheit, and gas mark, but it can also apprise you of the perfect serving temperature for a variety of meats. A steak cooked to medium, for example, should be served at 160 degree Fahrenheit (and you can figure out the temperature in Celsius, too, if you want).
While you might get so frustrated by the difficulties of cooking that you throw your hands in the air, admit defeat, and start looking for Chinese takeout or pizza in your area, converting recipes doesn’t have to be that hard. With the KitchenMath app you never again have to waste time flipping through your cookbook or scouring the internet in search of common conversions. You can have them in a few simple taps on your smartphone or tablet and get on with cooking the best meal you ever made.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.