There are many forms of measurements known to men. We have been studying them in school since grade school. Two of those are cup and ounce, which are both used to measure volume and are commonly used in cooking.
So if I ask you how many kinds of ‘ounce’ there are- or at least give me an example, you can give me an answer, right? If I ask “how many cups is 32 oz?”, you’ll be sure of your answer?
I’m going out on a limb here and say that we, mere mortals, would not be able to answer that!
A Brief History
Measurements are important even in ancient times. It’s used mostly in trade and guessing time and date. But the way they measured things back then are quite unreliable. For example, an inch is equivalent to the width of your thumb. But what about situations like this:
You see, the measurements scale before are very unreliable, that’s because they base it in the things they see in their surroundings and not on a fixed things. So an inch for one person may not be the same inch for the other person, the answer to question we’re trying to figure out may vary.
Aren’t you glad now that that’s not what we are up against? Can you imagine having to follow recipes using the measurements of the ancient times and having to convert from one unit to another? That would be so disastrous especially in baking!
Fortunately for us, scientists did not stand for unreliable measurements! Now we’re only stuck with a whopping TWO standards in measurements- the Metric or SI system and the Imperial or English system. But in the case of, converting from ounce to cup, we’re going with just the US and Imperial standards.
This is going to be quite confusing. As you know, the currently used standard of measurements in the United States is the Imperial System, but in terms of volume they have their own standard. Those are the US Legal cup, US Customary cup and US Fluid Ounce.
A cup is generally used as a measuring tool for cooking. In the US, this can be used both in dry and wet ingredients. A US Legal cup is almost the same as the US Customary cup, only larger by 0.01442 times.
As for the US Fluid Ounce, water measured by it weighs just a bit more than one ounce avoirdupois. That means in US Standards, if we convert 32 US Fluid Ounce, that will give us precisely 8 US Customary cups and approximately 8.12 in US Legal cup.
Luckily, in Imperial Standards, there is just one kind of measurement each for ounce and cup. There is the Imperial cup and then the Imperial Fluid Ounce.
The Imperial cup is sometimes referred to as breakfast cup and is equivalent to 10 Imperial Fluid Ounces. On the other hand, the Imperial Fluid Ounce, compared to the US Fluid Ounce, can weigh exactly one ounce at a specific temperature and pressure.
That means if you are going convert 32 ounces to cup, it will give you 3.2 if the reference is to the Imperial Standards.
Imperial Standards and US Standards Combined
If your head is not swimming yet, how about we answer the question when using both the Imperial Standards and the US Standards? Don’t worry! Since you already know how to answer this by using each standard, this one will just be a piece of cake!
We are just going to convert the Imperial Fluid Ounce to US Customary cup and US Legal cup. Basically, with regards to that will be approximately 3.84 and 3.79 cups, respectively. How about converting 32 ounces to cup if it is in terms of US Fluid Ounce converted to Imperial cup? The answer to that will be approximately 3.33.
The Conversions You Need To Know
So to summarize what we had gathered in trying to convert 32 ounces to cup (you have to remember that accuracy very important especially in baking), we can come up with a list of conversions:
- 1 US Legal Cup is equal to 1.01442 US Customary Cup
- 1 US Legal Cup is equal to 8.11537 US Fluid Ounce
- 1 US Customary Cup is equal to 8 US Fluid Ounce
- 1 Imperial Cup is equal to 9.6076 US Fluid Ounce
- 1 Imperial Cup is equal to 10 Imperial Fluid Ounce
- 1 US Legal Cup is equal to 8.44682 Imperial Fluid Ounce
- 1 US Customary Cup is equal to 8.32674 Imperial Fluid Ounce
You just have to reverse the equation if you need to convert the opposite way. As you can see, it is possible to convert 32 ounces to cup with regards to all of the equation. But it is highly unlikely for us to be able to measure accurately with all those decimal place; you could go as far as one-tenths, but lower than that? And when you are baking, accuracy is not just an option, it is a requirement. So with that, we can narrow down the conversion needed to answer the given question to two- Imperial Cup to Imperial Fluid Ounce and US Customary Cup to US Fluid Ounce.
With that we can say that if you need to convert 32 ounces in cup in terms of Imperial Cup and Imperial Fluid Ounce will obtain the answer of 3.2. On the other hand, if we need to know how many cup is equivalent to 32 ounces if we are basing it on US Customary Cup and US Fluid Ounce will be 4.
So if you are asked “how many cups is 32 oz?”, you will have to clarify what ‘ounce’ and what ‘cup’ is being referred. You can never be sure whether it is referring to the Imperial or US Standards. Again, the important conversions to remember are- in Imperial Standards, use one is to ten ratio and one is to eight for US. That will be easy enough to remember, but you can jot it down if that’s easier for you!
If you still have any clarifications or other comments, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section!
You also can see: How Many Cups in 16 oz.?