Converting Grams to Teaspoons When You Cook

Different units of measurement for cooking

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

It's tough to find a converter for grams and teaspoons because they're two different types of measurements. One is mass, and one is volume. Within a recipe, ingredients vary by how much mass is in a unit of volume, and, therefore, how many grams are in a teaspoon.

Mass vs. Volume

It can be helpful to understand the difference between measurements of mass and measurements of volume when making conversions in recipes.


A gram is a unit that measures mass, which has to do with the amount of matter something contains. Ounces and pounds are also measurements of mass. For this purpose, mass and weight are about the same thing. 

Measuring mass is like measuring weight. It doesn't matter how much space something takes up—a pound of feathers would take up much more room than a pound of steel, but they still have a mass (weight) of a pound.


Teaspoons measure volume. You can look at the difference in mass versus volume on a larger scale.

Imagine you have two one-cup measuring cups, a big tub of peanut butter and a bag of powdered sugar sitting on your kitchen counter. Think about filling one cup with peanut butter and the other one with powdered sugar. Then imagine picking them up.

If you do this for real, you'll find the cup of peanut butter is much heavier than the cup of powdered sugar even though they both take up the same amount of space—they both have the same volume.

A teaspoon measures volume, which is the space that something takes up. Cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons all measure volume.

Trying to convert grams to teaspoons is like converting ounces to teaspoons—every ingredient is going to be different, so one converter can't convert everything.

Converting Ingredients in Recipes

Back at the teaspoon level, ingredients with a similar appearance can have different weights. Making the wrong conversion could easily mess up the whole recipe. For example, a teaspoon of sugar looks a lot like a teaspoon of salt. But the teaspoon of sugar weighs about 4 grams while a teaspoon of salt weighs 6 grams.

So, an online converter for grams to teaspoons would have to have a large database of ingredients. It couldn't rely on a simple mathematical conversion formula, like liters to gallons or pounds to kilograms.

An Example: Sugar

When you look at the Nutrition Facts labels on any packaged food product, you'll see the amount of sugar listed there, in grams. The problem is that if you're in the U.S., your brain probably thinks in teaspoons, so it's difficult to picture how much sugar is in there based on weight.

To convert grams to teaspoons, in this case, you'll need to know that one teaspoon of granulated white sugar is close to four grams. So if you buy a bottle of cola with 44 grams of sugar, you can divide 44 by 4, which is equal to 11 teaspoons of sugar. That's a lot of sugar.

Of course, the sugar in the cola may be in liquid form, like high fructose corn syrup, rather than granulated sucrose. So it may not be totally accurate, but it can give you an idea of how much added sugar is in the product.

2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Sugar, white, granulated or lump.

  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Salt, table.

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.