How many grams is 1 tablespoon butter?

Butter is a staple ingredient found in many recipes and is a necessity in most kitchens. When baking or cooking, you’ll often see butter called for in tablespoons or cups. But if you only have a kitchen scale, you may be wondering how many grams equal a tablespoon of butter.

Luckily, converting butter measurements is easy once you know a few key details. In this article, we’ll break down exactly how many grams are in a tablespoon of butter. We’ll also provide a handy conversion chart and give some tips on measuring butter accurately.

The Answer

1 tablespoon of butter equals:

  • 14 grams
  • 0.5 ounces

So if you need to know how many grams are in a tablespoon of butter, the answer is 14 grams.

Butter Conversion Chart

Here is a handy butter conversion chart showing some common measurements:

Butter Measurement Grams
1 tablespoon 14 g
2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) 28 g
3 tablespoons (3/16 cup) 42 g
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) 56 g
5 tablespoons 70 g
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) 84 g
7 tablespoons 98 g
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) 112 g
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) 168 g
16 tablespoons (1 cup) 224 g

Why Are There 14 Grams in a Tablespoon of Butter?

The reason there are 14 grams in a tablespoon of butter is because of the density and consistency of butter. Butter is a solid fat that packs down into a tablespoon measure. One cubic inch of butter weighs around 0.911 ounces. With a tablespoon equalling 0.5 fluid ounces, 0.5 * 0.911 equals approximately 14 grams per tablespoon.

This conversion remains consistent across salted and unsalted butter varieties. Light butter spreads, however, tend to weigh slightly less than stick butters per tablespoon. Still, the difference is minor enough that you can reliably use 14 grams per tablespoon for any type of butter when cooking.

Tips for Measuring Butter Accurately

When baking, precision is important for getting the right texture and taste. Here are some tips for accurately measuring butter in grams or tablespoons:

  • Use cool, firm butter straight from the fridge, not melted butter.
  • Pack butter firmly into tablespoon measures for an accurate reading.
  • Level off tablespoons with a straight edge like a knife.
  • Scrape butter packs down when adding to the scale if weighing.
  • Double check measurements, especially if halving or doubling a recipe.
  • Stick to using grams or tablespoons within one recipe. Don’t mix units.

Does Butter Weight Change When Melted or Whipped?

Butter’s weight remains the same whether it is melted, solid, or whipped. The key thing is that butter is still butter – its chemical composition doesn’t change with physical state.

So if you need to melt or whip butter before using it, you can use the same 14 grams = 1 tablespoon conversion ratio.

Metric Butter Conversion Chart

For bakers and cooks using the metric system, here is a metric conversion chart for common butter measurements:

Butter Measurement Grams
1 tablespoon 14 g
50 grams 3 1/2 tablespoons
100 grams 7 tablespoons
115 grams 8 tablespoons
125 grams 8 3/4 tablespoons
170 grams 12 tablespoons
225 grams 16 tablespoons

Substituting Oil for Butter in Baking

When baking, butter can often be substituted with oil using a 1:1 ratio. However, keep in mind that butter and oil will produce slightly different textures and flavors.

Butter adds flakiness and richer flavor. Oil substitutions will make a more tender and moist texture. For the best results, look for recipes developed specifically for oil rather than substituting in existing butter-based recipes.

If you need to substitute oil for butter, use a light or mild tasting oil like canola or vegetable oil. Measure the same quantity in tablespoons or grams as you would for butter.

Why Accuracy Matters

Being accurate with kitchen measurements is always important when cooking and baking. But it is especially important when measuring dense, concentrated ingredients like butter and oils.

A tablespoon off in either direction with butter can throw off the moisture balance and texture of baked goods. Too much butter can cause cakes or cookies to be greasy. Not enough butter may result in dry baked goods.

With butter, a relatively small measurement like a tablespoon represents a large quantity in grams. So being precise with your measurements will ensure your recipes turn out as intended.

Handy Butter Measurement Tips

Here are some extra tips for successfully measuring butter for cooking and baking:

  • Use cool, firm sticks of butter right out of the fridge for easy measuring.
  • Avoid soft or melted butter that may cause you to over or under measure.
  • Pack sticks of cold butter firmly into measuring spoons or cups for an accurate reading.
  • Use butter wrappers to grease measuring cups or spoons for easy release.
  • Choose a butter with markings on the wrapper denoting tablespoon sizes to cut and measure quickly.
  • Mark measurements on sticks of butter with a knife for future recipe use.
  • Store and freeze unused butter sticks wrapped in parchment paper to preserve freshness.

Storing Butter Properly

To keep butter fresh for accurate measuring, make sure to store it properly. Butter can absorb food odors easily and spoil without the right storage methods.

Here are some tips for storing butter:

  • Keep butter tightly wrapped at all times in its original packaging or parchment paper.
  • Store opened sticks of butter in a covered butter dish or container.
  • Store butter in the fridge, not left out on the counter.
  • Don’t store butter in the fridge door, where the temperature fluctuates.
  • Place butter towards the back of the fridge where it’s coldest.
  • If freezing butter, allow to thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Signs Butter Has Spoiled

Butter will show signs when it has gone bad and shouldn’t be used. Check for:

  • Mold spots or unusual colors like blue, green, or pink.
  • Rancid or off smell.
  • Curdled appearance when melted.
  • Sour taste.
  • Dry, crumbly texture.

For optimal freshness and taste, use butter within a few weeks of opening. Discard immediately if any signs of spoilage occur.

The Difference Between Salted vs. Unsalted Butter

When it comes to measuring, salted and unsalted butter can be used interchangeably. The main difference is:

  • Salted butter has added salt, typically 115-120mg per tablespoon.
  • Unsalted butter contains no added salt.

In baking, recipes will specify if salted or unsalted butter is required. Generally, bakers prefer unsalted butter so they can control the exact amount of salt used.

For other cooking uses like sautéeing or spreading on toast, either salted or unsalted butter can be used without impacting measurements.

Weighing Salted vs. Unsalted Butter

Given its extra salt content, you may wonder if salted butter weighs more per tablespoon than unsalted. But the difference is negligible. On a tablespoon basis, salted butter weighs only around 1 gram more.

So you can use the conversions of:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter = 14 grams
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter = 15 grams

Given the minimal difference, it’s fine to use 14 grams per tablespoon for both varieties when measuring.

Does Butter Go Bad?

Yes, butter can go bad over time, which is why proper storage is important. Like other dairy products, butter contains milk solids and moisture that can eventually cause spoilage.

On average, stored properly in the refrigerator, butter will stay fresh for:

  • 2-3 weeks past the sell-by date if unopened.
  • 3-4 weeks if opened.

Freezing can extend the shelf life of butter. Frozen properly, butter can keep for 6-9 months frozen before quality deteriorates.

How To Tell If Butter Is Bad

Signs that butter has spoiled and should be discarded include:

  • Sour, rancid, or odd smell.
  • Mold spots or unusual coloring.
  • Liquid or separated appearance.
  • Curdled texture when melted.
  • Off or bitter taste.

Taste butter first before using if you are unsure of its freshness. Rancid butter can ruin the flavor of recipes.

Butter Equivalents and Substitutions

In a pinch, you can substitute butter in recipes with:

  • The same amount of coconut oil, shortening, or margarine.
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil for every 1 cup butter.
  • 7/8 cup unsweetened applesauce for every 1 cup butter. Reduce liquids by 1/4 cup.

Ghee, a clarified butter that has the milk solids removed, can also be used in a 1:1 ratio in place of regular butter.

When substituting, keep in mind that alternative fats may change the texture and flavor compared to recipes using regular butter.

Butter Substitutes for Lactose Intolerance

For those avoiding dairy due to lactose intolerance or allergies, good butter swaps include:

  • Coconut oil.
  • Vegetable oil spreads.
  • Non-dairy margarines like those made from soy or olive oils.
  • Vegan butter sticks made from plant oils.

Always check ingredient labels to confirm dairy-free status when using butter substitutes.

Different Types of Butter

While all butter contains the same basic ingredients, different forms and types of butter are available:

  • Salted vs. unsalted – Salted contains extra salt, while unsalted has none added.
  • Whipped butter – Whipped for a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • European-style – Higher butterfat content, richer taste.
  • Ghee – Clarified by removing milk solids.
  • Organic – Made from milk of cows not given hormones or antibiotics.
  • Grass-fed – Made from the milk of cows fed grass instead of grains.

When substituting different types of butter in recipes, use the same butter-to-gram conversions. Just keep in mind that flavors may vary slightly.

Common Butter Questions

Is butter dairy?

Yes, butter is a dairy product made from cow’s milk. However, the lactose and milk proteins are removed in processing, leaving mainly milk fat.

Is butter vegetarian?

Traditional butter made from cow’s milk is not vegetarian. However, many vegetarian butter substitutes exist, such as those made from plant oils.

Is butter gluten-free?

Yes, pure butter contains no gluten ingredients and is considered gluten-free.

Is butter keto?

Yes, butter fits into a ketogenic diet, given its high fat content and lack of carbohydrates.

Is butter paleo?

Yes, butter fits into the paleo diet guidelines since it comes from grass-fed cows and contains no modern processed ingredients.

Is butter Whole30 approved?

Yes, both salted and unsalted forms of butter are approved for the Whole30 diet.

The Bottom Line

So to answer the original question – there are 14 grams in 1 tablespoon of butter. This conversion remains the same whether the butter is salted, unsalted, whipped, melted, or clarified.

Knowing exactly how many grams are in a tablespoon of butter makes baking and cooking much easier. No more guessing or dirty measuring cups. Just use a kitchen scale or this handy conversion to get perfect butter measurements every time.

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