How Many Cups in 1 Gallon?

The Editors at Food Fanatic | Food Fanatic

Need to know how many cups in 1 gallon? How many cups per quart? We've got you covered!

Gallon refers to a unit of measurement that can be used for both dry and liquid ingredients. There are actually two different types of gallon - the US gallon and the imperial (or UK) gallon.

Why are there two?

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Well, after England had colonial rule in the US, the US gallon was typically only used to measure wine. Eventually, though, it came to be used for dry ingredients too.

Although recipes on this site and other US sites use the US gallon, it's important to know that the difference, because the imperial gallon actually has a larger volumetric capacity when expressed in cubic inches.

So, for cups per gallon, we have:

1 US fluid gallon = 16 US cups

1 US dry gallon = 18.6 US cups

1 Imperial gallon = 18.18 metric cups

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Be sure to check the origins of your recipe when using these conversions to make sure you're using the right one!

All about quarts

Both one US and one UK gallon are equivalent to 4 quarts.

Luckily, as gallons are no longer used to measure dry ingredients (or at least not typically) it is safe in the US to just assume there are 16 cups to a gallon.

If you’ve ever wondered how many cups per quart there are, just think of a quart being a quarter. It's easy to remember 4 cups per quart! So, now if someone asks, 'how many cups in 3 quarts?', you can quickly recall that the answer is 12 cups!

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When you're baking, accuracy matters!

While you may have more flexibility when it comes to general cooking, baking is much more precise. You must always adhere to the measurements listed to create the right consistency and texture.

Volume refers to how much space something takes up and is the most common form of measurement used in the US. Wet ingredients, like water and milk, can be accurately measured by volume (in other words, by the cup).

When measuring dry goods like flour or sugar, you can make sure your measurements are reasonably accurate by using measuring spoons and cups to scoop up ingredients and then levelling them off.

However, the most accurate way to measure dry goods is by weight rather than volume.

The reason behind this is because you can pack a lot more of a dry ingredient into a measuring cup, potentially ending up with too much. It’s best, then, to measure dry goods in ounces or grams.

The difference between ounces and fluid ounces

It's important to note that ounces and fluid ounces are two completely different units of measurement.

An ounce is a unit of weight, whereas fluid ounces are units of volume.

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A good rule of thumb is to remember is that if a recipe calls for a dry ingredient listed in ounces, it should be considered a unit of weight and measured on a scale. If a wet ingredient is listed in ounces, these will be fluid ounces and should be measured in a liquid measuring jug.

Who know baking could be so technical?

Luckily, remembering the units you should be using for wet and dry ingredients means you need not worry about any baking or cooking disasters! 

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