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How Many Teaspoons in a Tablespoon

Written by the YesChef staff

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Nancy Silverton
Teaches The Pursuit of Delicious
Learn how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, along with recipe abbreviations and global variances. Use our short and sweet conversion list for all your kitchen calculations and adventures. Are you a home chef who has tried scaling a recipe up or down only to realize you don’t know how to convert teaspoons to tablespoons (or vice versa)? When we cook with essential ingredients which usually call for smaller amounts, such as baking powder, baking soda, spices, extracts, salt, and oils, it’s extremely important to understand how many teaspoons equal a tablespoon. For example, too much baking soda can ruin a dish, causing a metallic flavor and altering the consistency.
Chef Nancy Silverton
Teaches The Pursuit of Delicious

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There are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon (3 tsp per tbsp).   Knowing this makes it easy to bake decadent dessert recipes such as chef Nancy Silvertons Mom’s Apple Pie.

Teaspoon to tablespoon conversion

For a few more culinary conversions, use this list as a friendly guide:

 

  • 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons = ½ tablespoon
  • ¾ teaspoon = ¼ tablespoon
  • 6 teaspoons = 2 tablespoons

How many tsp in a tbsp

The following are a list of common abbreviations you might encounter in different recipes:  
  • Teaspoon: tsp, t, ts, or tspn
  • Tablespoon: Tbsp, tbsp, T, Tb, Tbs, or Tbls*
  A tbsp is 3 times bigger than a tsp. Keep these abbreviations in the back of your mind the next time you’re reading a recipe. *Sometimes you’ll notice ‘tablespoon’ capitalized in recipes, and other times it appears in lowercase.  Teaspoon generally appears as lowercase. Pay special attention when reading through the recipe to decipher between the two measurements.

Imperial vs metric

Unit measurements for teaspoons and tablespoons are not the same globally. The United States, Liberia, and Myanmar use the imperial vs metric system, which is used throughout the rest of the world.  
Teaspoon:
  • United States imperial teaspoon = 4.93 ml
  • Metric teaspoon = 5 ml
Tablespoon:
  • United States imperial tablespoon = 14.79 ml
  • Metric tablespoon = 15 ml
  Since the imperial and metric units are so close, you can use a one-for-one swap and it will not impact the recipe. The only exception to this rule is the Australian tablespoon, which is 20 ml (4 teaspoons in 1 Australian tablespoon).

What is a dessert spoon?

In recipes from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, you may come across a volume measurement called a dessert spoon. A dessert spoon is 10 mL, or just between a teaspoon and tablespoon.   Now that you know how many teaspoons in a tablespoon, check out how many tablespoons in a cup to learn even more measurement conversions.

Nancy Silverton

Multiple James Beard Award-winning chef, best-selling cookbook author, and the restaurateur behind Michelin-starred Mozza, a Los Angeles gastronomic institution. One of America’s most influential chefs, Nancy is celebrated for her unwavering pursuit of making the most delicious food possible.

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