How Many mL In a Tablespoon?


Accurate measurements are the cornerstone of successful cooking and baking.

Whether you’re preparing a family meal or experimenting with a new recipe, knowing the right measurements is essential.

In this blog guide, we will delve into the common question of how many mL in a tablespoon and provide you with a handy conversion guide to ensure your culinary creations turn out perfectly every time. 

So, let’s start to discover more!

Understanding Tablespoons and mL

To begin, let’s clarify the definitions of a tablespoon and milliliter (mL).

A tablespoon is a frequently employed measurement unit in the process of cooking and baking, commonly denoted by the abbreviations “tbsp” or “T.”

On the other hand, mL is a metric unit of volume equal to one-thousandth of a liter and is often used for measuring liquid ingredients.

While they may seem unrelated, they can be easily converted to ensure precision in your recipes.

It’s essential to note that tablespoons and mL are part of different measurement systems.

– Tablespoons belong to the imperial system commonly used in the United States

– mL is a metric measurement used in many other countries

However, with the right conversion knowledge, you can effortlessly navigate between these systems.

How Many mL In a Tablespoon?

When it comes to determining how many milliliters (mL) are in a tablespoon, the answer is not entirely straightforward due to the variations in tablespoon sizes from country to country.

In the United States, one tablespoon is equivalent to approximately 14.79 mL.

However, this differs when you look at other countries, like Australia, where a tablespoon is equal to 20 mL, and in the United Kingdom, where it is defined as 15 mL.

To get a granular perspective, it’s essential to understand the measurement systems in place.

The United States uses the customary system, which defines volume measurements in cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons, whereas most of the rest of the world utilizes the metric system, which measures in liters and subdivisions like milliliters. 

This difference is why cooking and baking often require careful conversion from one system to another to ensure the accuracy and consistency of a recipe.

In professional kitchens and for those recipes that demand precise measurements, the slight variation in milliliters per tablespoon can mean the difference between a good dish and a great one. 

For casual cooking, the small discrepancy may not be as noticeable, but it’s always a good practice to understand the standard your recipe is using.

For recipes developed in the U.S., it’s most common to use the standard U.S. tablespoon measurement of 14.79 mL.

This means if a recipe calls for four tablespoons of an ingredient, you would simply multiply four by 14.79 to get the measurement in milliliters, which would be 59.16 mL. 

For international recipes, you’d adopt the country’s standard, using 20 mL for an Australian tablespoon or 15 mL for a British one.

The precise measurement of ingredients can be particularly critical in baking, where chemical reactions and the balance of ingredients are necessary for the desired result.

In these cases, using a kitchen scale or conversion chart can be extremely helpful.

So, understanding the conversion of tablespoons to milliliters is a fundamental part of cooking and baking, especially when dealing with international recipes.

Remember, 1 US tablespoon is approximately 14.79 mL, but it’s always best to confirm the standard being used in your particular recipe to ensure the accuracy and success of your culinary endeavors.

How Do You Convert mL To Tablespoon?

Converting mL to tablespoons is equally important in certain situations. Here’s a detailed guide to help you make the conversion accurately:

1. Determine the volume in milliliters (mL) that you need to convert.

2. Divide the mL measurement by 14.79 to obtain the equivalent measurement in tablespoons.

3. Round the result to the nearest whole or fractional tablespoon.

Here, I have a practical example of when needed to convert mL to tablespoon. 

If a recipe calls for 60 mL of milk, here’s how you would make the conversion:

60/14.79 = 4.06 tablespoons

Rounding to the nearest whole or fractional tablespoon, we get approximately 4 tablespoons.

Besides, it’s important to note that measuring precision is crucial for both dry and liquid ingredients.

Investing in a set of high-quality measuring spoons ensures accuracy and consistency in all your culinary endeavors.

How Many mL In a Tablespoon – Conversion Chart

To further simplify the process of converting tablespoons to milliliters, a conversion chart can be an indispensable kitchen resource.

Below is a concise chart that outlines the number of milliliters in given tablespoons based on the US customary measurement:

Tablespoons (US)Milliliters (mL)Milliliters (mL) Rounded
1 tbsp14.79 mL    15 mL     
2 tbsp29.58 mL   30 mL    
3 tbsp44.37 mL 45 mL  
4 tbsp 59.16 mL 60 mL
5 tbsp73.95 mL 75 mL    
6 tbsp88.74 mL90 mL    
7 tbsp 103.53 mL105 mL  
8 tbsp118.32 mL120 mL    
9 tbsp133.11 mL 135 mL          
10 tbsp147.9 mL150 mL          

This chart is a quick reference that covers the conversion for up to 10 tablespoons, which is a typical range needed for many recipes.

For more significant quantities, simply continue the pattern, adding 14.79 mL (or rounding to the nearest convenient measurement) for each additional tablespoon.

Keep in mind that while the figures have been rounded in this chart for ease of use, in recipes requiring high precision, you should use the exact conversion value of 14.79 mL per tablespoon.

For instance, in baking, where exact measurements are necessary to achieve the correct consistency and chemical reactions, sticking to the precise conversion is recommended.

Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, having this conversion chart accessible will ensure that your measurements are precise, which is vital for successful cooking and baking.

With the help of this chart, you can confidently tackle recipes from around the world, knowing your measurements are as the recipe intended.

Why Does Knowing the Conversion Matter?

Now you know how many ml are in a tablespoon, then you may be wondering why knowing the conversion from tablespoons to mL is important.

Understanding the conversion from tablespoons to milliliters is vital for several reasons, particularly for individuals who love to cook or bake with international recipes.

1. Makes Perfect Meals

Firstly, precision in measuring ingredients is the linchpin of culinary consistency.

Just as each word in a sentence has a distinct meaning and affects the overall message, every milliliter in a recipe influences the taste, texture, and structure of the food.

Recipes conceptualized in metric-using countries often list liquid ingredients in milliliters or liters, while those from the U.S. are typically presented in teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups.

This discrepancy can confound home cooks and professional chefs alike.

For example, when trying an Italian pasta sauce recipe, accurate conversion ensures the balance of flavors intended by the original chef.

Similarly, the exact chemistry of a French pastry might be ruined by a slight discrepancy in a liquid ingredient’s volume.

2. Relates To Dietary Constraints

Moreover, for health-conscious individuals or those who must adhere to strict dietary constraints, precision is critical.

Misjudging the volume of an ingredient due to conversion errors could unintentionally increase calorie or sugar intake.

In medical scenarios, such as preparing specialized diets, these conversions are equally crucial.

3. International Cooking

Lastly, knowing the conversion between tablespoons and milliliters is essential for international cooking.

It allows individuals to explore a broader range of recipes and cuisines from different cultures without being hindered by measurement discrepancies.

By mastering the simple but essential skill of converting tablespoons to milliliters, you empower yourself with the confidence to explore a world of recipes, maintain consistency in your cooking, and adapt seamlessly between different measurement standards.

It’s an easy yet important step toward kitchen proficiency and culinary versatility.

Some Practical Examples For Using Conversion From mL To Tablespoon

1. Recipe Adjustments: Converting tablespoons to mL or vice versa is crucial when adjusting recipe quantities to suit your needs, whether halving a recipe or doubling it.

2. International Recipes: Following recipes from different countries often requires converting mL for liquid measurements, ensuring accuracy and consistency.

3. Dietary Needs: Precise measurements are essential for those with dietary restrictions who need to measure ingredients exactly to calculate nutrient intake accurately.

4. Baking Precision: Baking delicate pastries or cakes often requires precise measurements in mL to ensure the right consistency and rise.

5. Cocktail Mixing: Creating the perfect cocktail relies on precise mL measurements to achieve the ideal balance of flavors.

Remember, when it comes to culinary creations, precision matters. So, embrace the conversion guide and elevate your cooking and baking to new levels of excellence.


In short, knowing how many mL in a tablespoon is a fundamental skill for home cooks and baking enthusiasts alike.

Accurate measurements are the key to culinary success and delicious results.

With the conversion guide provided, you can confidently navigate between tablespoons and mL, ensuring precision in all your recipes.

So, grab your measuring spoons and embark on your culinary adventures with confidence!


Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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