A standard US cup is 8 fluid ounces or 0.5 pint. So one cup is equivalent to half a pint in volume. A pint is 16 fluid ounces, so 2 cups make 1 pint.
What is a Cup?
A cup is a common cooking measurement used in recipes, especially in the United States. It refers to a standardized cup size of 8 fluid ounces, which is equal to half a pint or 236.588 ml.
The most common types of cups used for measuring are:
- Standard US cup – 8 fl oz or 236.588 ml
- Legal US cup – 8.5 fl oz or 251.5 ml
- Imperial cup – 10 fl oz or 284.131 ml (used in the UK and Canada)
- Metric cup – 250 ml
Of these, the standard US cup of 8 oz is the most widely used in American recipes. Many measuring cups and spoons sets are designed to measure a US cup of 8 oz.
Standard US Cup
The standard US customary cup is defined as exactly 8 fluid ounces. It is equal to half a US pint and 1/16 of a US gallon.
Some key facts about the US cup measurement:
- Volume: 8 fluid ounces exactly
- US fluid ounces: 8
- Milliliters: 236.588 ml
- Cubic inches: 57.75 in3
The US cup has been standardized since the late 19th century to be half a pint. So 2 cups is equivalent to 1 pint.
Legal US Cup
The legal cup in the US is slightly larger at 8.5 fluid ounces (251.5 ml). This was the traditional US cup size defined in 1832. The legal cup is still used for some purposes like commercial transactions. But it has been replaced by the smaller 8 oz cup for most cooking and recipes.
The imperial cup used in the UK and Canada is 10 imperial fluid ounces or 284.131 ml. It is equal to 1/10 of an imperial quart.
The imperial system is no longer commonly used in recipes except in some commonwealth countries. Most recipes in the UK now use the metric cup of 250 ml.
The metric cup used worldwide is 250 ml. Recipes in countries like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa often specify metric cup volumes. The metric cup is equal to about 2.5 US cup sizes.
So in summary, the standard US cup size used for cooking and recipes in the US is 8 fluid ounces or 0.5 US pint. All other cup sizes vary slightly from this volume.
What is a Pint?
A pint is an imperial unit of volume equal to 16 fluid ounces. It is abbreviated as pt or occasionally as p.
There are two main kinds of pint in use:
- US customary pint – 16 US fluid ounces
- Imperial pint – 20 imperial fluid ounces (used in the UK and Canada)
In the US, a pint is 16 US fluid ounces. A US gallon consists of 8 pints.
Some key facts about the US pint:
- Volume: 16 US fluid ounces
- US fluid ounces: 16
- Milliliters: 473.176 ml
- Cubic inches: 28.875 in3
The imperial pint used in Britain is 20 imperial fluid ounces, making it about 20% larger than the US pint.
The US and imperial pints are different volumes, but they are both defined as 1/8 of their respective gallons. So a US gallon is 8 US pints, while an imperial gallon is 8 imperial pints.
The US customary pint is 16 fluid ounces. Some key facts:
- 2 US cups = 1 US pint
- Volume: 16 US fluid ounces
- Abbreviation: pt
The US pint is divided into 2 cups, 4 gills or 32 tablespoons. It is used in the US customary system of units. Most American recipes use the US pint volume.
The imperial pint used in Britain is 20 imperial fluid ounces.
- 1.25 imperial cups = 1 imperial pint
- Volume: 20 imperial fluid ounces
- Abbreviation: pt
The imperial pint is divided into 4 imperial gills or 40 imperial tablespoons. It equals roughly 1.2 US pints.
So in summary, a pint is 16 fluid ounces in the US customary system or 20 imperial fluid ounces in the imperial system. The US and imperial pints differ in size.
Cup to Pint Conversion
To convert between cups and pints:
- 1 US cup = 0.5 US pint
- 1 US pint = 2 US cups
- 1 imperial cup = 0.833 imperial pints
- 1 imperial pint = 1.2 imperial cups
Some key conversion facts:
- 2 US cups = 1 US pint
- 1 US cup = 8 US fluid ounces
- 1 US pint = 16 US fluid ounces
- 1 imperial cup = 10 imperial fluid ounces
- 1 imperial pint = 20 imperial fluid ounces
So in the US customary system:
- 1 cup = 8 fl oz
- 1 pint = 16 fl oz
And in the imperial system:
- 1 cup = 10 fl oz
- 1 pint = 20 fl oz
This shows that a US cup is equivalent to half a US pint. While an imperial cup is 5/6 of an imperial pint.
Cup and Pint Volumes
|Unit||US Volume||Imperial Volume|
|Cup||8 fl oz||10 fl oz|
|Pint||16 fl oz||20 fl oz|
This table summarizes the different cup and pint sizes in US customary and imperial units. It clearly shows 1 cup is half of 1 pint in the US system.
Converting Between US and Imperial
The US and imperial cup and pint sizes differ, so conversions are needed when converting recipes between the two systems:
- 1 US cup = 0.833 imperial cups
- 1 imperial cup = 1.2 US cups
- 1 US pint = 0.833 imperial pints
- 1 imperial pint = 1.2 US pints
To convert US cup and pint volumes to imperial:
- Multiply by 0.833
To convert imperial cup and pint volumes to US:
- Multiply by 1.2
So for a recipe with 2 US cups:
- 2 US cups x 0.833 = 1.666 imperial cups
And for a recipe with 1 imperial pint:
- 1 imperial pint x 1.2 = 1.2 US pints
Using these conversions allows you to adjust between US and Imperial units when following recipes from different countries.
Typical Cup and Pint Volumes
Here are some examples of typical volumes measured in cups and pints:
- 1 cup flour = 5 oz by weight
- 1 cup milk = 8 fl oz
- 1 cup sugar = 7 oz by weight
- 1 pint milk = 16 fl oz
- 1 pint strawberries = 2 cups
- 1 pint water = 16 fl oz by volume
These examples give you an idea of cup and pint volumes for common ingredients. Many dry ingredients like flour and sugar weigh around 4-8 ounces per standard cup. Liquids like milk or water fill a full cup or pint volume. Berries and small foods may take 2 cups to fill a pint.
When to Use Cups vs Pints
Cups are more widely used than pints in everyday cooking and baking recipes. Cups provide a convenient way to measure volumes of ingredients for small batches.
Pints may be used more often when:
- Measuring larger volumes like quarts or gallons
- Measuring bulk liquids like milk, juice, stock
- Serving beverages like beer or milk
- Referencing container sizes (1-pint jar)
Most published cookbooks and recipes in the US will specify ingredients in cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons rather than pints.
Pints are not very precise for small measurements, since a pint is divided into just 2 cups. Cups can be divided into fractions more easily (1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, etc).
So cups tend to be the more practical choice for everyday cooking and baking uses. But pints may be used when preparing larger batches of food or drink.
To summarize the key facts covered:
- A US cup is 8 fluid ounces or 0.5 US pint
- A US pint is 16 US fluid ounces or 2 US cups
- An imperial (UK) cup is 10 imperial fluid ounces
- An imperial pint is 20 imperial fluid ounces or 1.25 imperial cups
- So 1 US cup equals 0.5 US pint while 1 imperial cup equals 0.833 imperial pints
Understanding the relationship between cups and pints allows you to convert recipes and adjust ingredient amounts as needed. Cups and pints are convenient for measuring volumes in cooking and baking.
In summary, the standard US cup size used in recipes is 8 fluid ounces, which equals half a US pint. Two US cups make 1 US pint.
The imperial cup and pint used in Britain are slightly larger volumes, so conversions are needed when adapting between US and UK recipes.
Cups provide a practical way to measure ingredients for cooking and baking, especially in small batches. Pints are better suited for measuring larger volumes.
Knowing the cup-pint equivalents, as well as how US and imperial units differ, ensures you can accurately follow recipes and convert between the systems as needed.