A tablespoon (T or tbsp) is a unit of volume in the U.S. customary and imperial systems of measurement. Tablespoons are used mostly in the United States, but are also used to some degree in the United Kingdom (imperial system) and Australia. It is commonly used in cooking, alongside other measures such as teaspoons and cups.

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

16 tablespoons = 1 cup

The above relationships are the same within most systems of measurement, including the US customary and imperial systems of measurement. However, the actual measures of volume differ based on region. Also, in Australia, 1 tablespoon is equal to 4 (not 3) teaspoons. In terms of milliliters:

1 tbsp (US) = ~14.8 - 15 mL

1 tbsp (Aus) = 20 mL

1 tbsp (UK) = 17.758 mL

Common measurements used in cooking

Some common measurements of volume used in cooking in the US are the tablespoon, fluid ounce (fl oz), cup, and milliliter. Different recipes may use different measurements, so being able to convert between various measurements of volume can be helpful. Below is a table showing the approximate relationships between some commonly used measures.

Tablespoons 2 4 5 1/3 8 16
Cups 1/8 1/4 1/3 1/2 1
Fluid ounces 1 2 2.7 4 8
Milliliters 30 60 80 120 240

The table can be used to quickly convert between some commonly used measures. To convert more exactly between the above measures, use the following equivalences:

1 tbsp = 0.5 fl oz = 1/16 cup = 15 mL


Convert 28.576 tablespoons to milliliters.

There are approximately 15 milliliters in 1 tablespoon, so multiply 28.576 by 15.

28.576 × 15 = 428.64 mL

Did you know??

Although tablespoons are commonly used in the US for measuring ingredients when cooking, it is usually not as accurate a measurement as weighing ingredients using a scale, particularly when measuring dry ingredients. This is because the volume of an ingredient such as flour varies; it can be more packed or more loose. A tablespoon of loosely packed flour will weigh less than one that is densely packed. Also, it may not always be possible to exactly level a tablespoon, so the amounts scooped in a single tablespoon, even by the same person, may differ.