Is a dry pint 16 oz?

No, a dry pint is not 16 oz. A dry pint is actually only 14.65 oz. This can seem confusing, since a normal liquid pint is 16 oz. But dry pints and liquid pints are measured differently.

What is a Dry Pint?

A dry pint is a unit of measurement used for dry goods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. It equals 550.610 ml or 1/8 of a dry gallon. A dry gallon contains 4 pecks, and a peck contains 2 dry quarts. This makes a dry pint equal to 1/32 of a dry gallon.

The exact amount of a dry pint is:

  • 14.65 oz
  • 437.747 grams
  • 550.610 ml

So a dry pint is less than a full 16 oz liquid pint. The term “dry” is used to distinguish it from the more common liquid pint.

Why is a Dry Pint Less than 16 oz?

Dry pints contain less volume than liquid pints because dry goods are not as dense as liquids. A certain volume of a dry good like flour takes up more physical space than the same volume of a liquid like water. This means dry goods need a smaller unit of volume measurement to make measuring and handling practical.

For example, a true 16 oz pint of flour would occupy a much larger physical space than a 16 oz pint of water. It would be unwieldy to handle. The dry pint of 14.65 oz allows for more reasonable measurement quantities for dry goods.

The History of Dry Pint Measurements

Historically, dry pint measurements date back to medieval England.Before metric measurements were standardized, various traditional systems of weights and volumes were used in different locations and for different goods.

Over time, the dry pint evolved as a practical volume unit for measuring out dry goods for sale at local markets and general home usage. The exact amount has varied over time and location, but 14-15 oz has been typical.

Even as the imperial and metric system standardized liquid measurements, the traditional dry pint unit persisted for dry goods. It is still used today, especially in settings focused on traditional techniques like small bakeries and farmsteads.

Dry Pint vs. Liquid Pint

Here is a quick comparison of key attributes between dry pints and liquid pints:

Measurement Dry Pint Liquid Pint
Volume 14.65 oz 16 oz
Grams 437.747 g 473.176 g
Milliliters 550.610 ml 473.176 ml
Used for Dry goods Liquids

As the table shows, the dry pint diverges from the liquid pint in its volume and weight, while using the same customary unit name of “pint.” This is why it can cause confusion when reading old recipes or measuring dry goods.

Common Usage Today

While dry pints are not as common as they once were, they are still used today in a few settings:

  • Small bakeries
  • Farmers markets
  • Old recipes and cookbooks
  • Cottage food industries
  • Traditionally-minded home bakers and cooks

Dry pints allow these small-scale bakers and food producers to work with traditional volumes tailored to dry ingredients. The metric system does not always translate perfectly to working with doughs and batters.

When selling at farmers markets or small fairs, dry pint pricing can also appeal to customers looking for an old-fashionedbuying experience.

So the dry pint persists as a practical traditional unit for small baking and cooking operations focused on old methods. But it is not as common in mainstream modern commercial food production and sales.

Confusion With Liquid Pints

Since dry pints are not as widely used today, they can cause confusion if customers or readers are only familiar with the 16 oz liquid pint.

For example, someone may see a price of $3 per dry pint and mistakenly think they are getting 16 oz for that price. When they actually receive 14.65 oz, they end up paying more per ounce than expected.

To avoid issues, any usage of dry pints should clearly distinguish them as units of dry volume. Terms like “dry measure pint” and indicating the ounce quantity can help avoid mix-ups.

Conversion for Recipes and Measuring

When working with old recipes that use dry pints, you need to do some conversions to adapt them for modern kitchen measurements:

  • 1 dry pint = 14.65 oz by weight
  • 1 dry pint = 437.747 grams
  • 1 dry pint = 550.610 ml in volume

Many modern measuring cups and scales make converting easier. For example, you can measure 14.65 oz of flour on a digital kitchen scale to adapt a recipe calling for 1 dry pint of flour.

However, when doubling recipes, be sure to account for the difference. Doubling 2 dry pints requires 29.3 oz by weight, not 32 oz.


While not as common today, the dry pint is still used as a traditional unit of dry volume. It equals 14.65 oz, less than the 16 oz in a liquid pint. This accounts for the differences in dry versus liquid volumes.

Dry pints persist in traditional small-scale cooking like bakeries and home kitchens. But care should be taken not to confuse them with the more familiar liquid pint of 16 oz.

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