The basic difference between a cup and a pound is that the cup measures volume capacity while the pound weighs the mass of a substance or ingredient.
Pound to cup is beneficial in many ways, as supermarket labels for dry ingredients are in pounds, but actual cooking measurements would require cups. To do this, we need to know how many cups are in a pound.
How Many Cups In A Pound?
Begin converting cups to pounds by understanding a few basic conversion points. 16 ounces equals one pound or two cups. Another way to look at the equivalent is that one cup weighs eight ounces and therefore two cups equal 16 ounces and this is the same weight of one pound–16 ounces.
The conversion from cups to pounds depends on the ingredient used. A pound of sugar is about 2.26 US cups and a pound of flour is about 3.62 US cups.
When converting between pounds and cups, it’s important to remember that a cup is a unit of volume and the pound (lb) is a unit of weight. This means that you need a consistency number for the conversion.
How To Convert Pounds to Cups?
To convert a pound measurement to a cup measurement, divide the weight multiplied by 1.917223 by the density of the ingredient or material.
You can convert with this simple formula:
Cups = (Pounds × 1.917223)/ingredient density.
Thus, the weight in cups is equal to the pound’s times 1.917223, divided by the density of the ingredient or material.
For example, here’s how to convert 5 pounds to cups for an ingredient with a density of 0.7 g/mL.
5 lb = (5 × 1.917223)/0.7= 13.694449 c
Pounds and cups are both commonly used to measure cooking ingredients.
For cooking applications, most chefs suggest measuring dry ingredients by weight rather than volume to improve the accuracy of the measurements. The density of dry ingredients can vary for a variety of reasons, such as compaction.
The best way to ensure an accurate conversion is to use a scale. If a scale isn’t available, a calculator like the one above is a good way to estimate the weight-to-volume conversion.
For cooking and baking ingredients, you can get more accurate results with our butter, flour and sugar conversion calculators.
How Many Cups are in a Pound?
The actual volume of a pound will vary depending on the density of the material. The table below shows how many cups of various wet and dry ingredients are in a pound.
Pound measurements converted to cups for commonly used ingredients.
|Weight in Pounds:||Water||Milk||Cooking Oil||All Purpose Flour||Granulated Sugar|
|1 lb||1.9172 c||1.8614 c||2.1787 c||3.6242 c||2.268 c|
|2 lb||3.8344 c||3.7228 c||4.3573 c||7.2485 c||4.5359 c|
|3 lb||5.7517 c||5.5841 c||6.536 c||10.87 c||6.8039 c|
|4 lb||7.6689 c||7.4455 c||8.7146 c||14.5 c||9.0718 c|
|5 lb||9.5861 c||9.3069 c||10.89 c||18.12 c||11.34 c|
|6 lb||11.5 c||11.17 c||13.07 c||21.75 c||13.61 c|
|7 lb||13.42 c||13.03 c||15.25 c||25.37 c||15.88 c|
|8 lb||15.34 c||14.89 c||17.43 c||28.99 c||18.14 c|
|9 lb||17.26 c||16.75 c||19.61 c||32.62 c||20.41 c|
|10 lb||19.17 c||18.61 c||21.79 c||36.24 c||22.68 c|
|11 lb||21.09 c||20.48 c||23.97 c||39.87 c||24.95 c|
|12 lb||23.01 c||22.34 c||26.14 c||43.49 c||27.22 c|
|13 lb||24.92 c||24.2 c||28.32 c||47.12 c||29.48 c|
|14 lb||26.84 c||26.06 c||30.5 c||50.74 c||31.75 c|
|15 lb||28.76 c||27.92 c||32.68 c||54.36 c||34.02 c|
|16 lb||30.68 c||29.78 c||34.86 c||57.99 c||36.29 c|
|17 lb||32.59 c||31.64 c||37.04 c||61.61 c||38.56 c|
|18 lb||34.51 c||33.5 c||39.22 c||65.24 c||40.82 c|
|19 lb||36.43 c||35.37 c||41.39 c||68.86 c||43.09 c|
|20 lb||38.34 c||37.23 c||43.57 c||72.48 c||45.36 c|
|21 lb||40.26 c||39.09 c||45.75 c||76.11 c||47.63 c|
|22 lb||42.18 c||40.95 c||47.93 c||79.73 c||49.9 c|
|23 lb||44.1 c||42.81 c||50.11 c||83.36 c||52.16 c|
|24 lb||46.01 c||44.67 c||52.29 c||86.98 c||54.43 c|
|25 lb||47.93 c||46.53 c||54.47 c||90.61 c||56.7 c|
|26 lb||49.85 c||48.4 c||56.65 c||94.23 c||58.97 c|
|27 lb||51.77 c||50.26 c||58.82 c||97.85 c||61.23 c|
|28 lb||53.68 c||52.12 c||61 c||101.48 c||63.5 c|
|29 lb||55.6 c||53.98 c||63.18 c||105.1 c||65.77 c|
|30 lb||57.52 c||55.84 c||65.36 c||108.73 c||68.04 c|
|31 lb||59.43 c||57.7 c||67.54 c||112.35 c||70.31 c|
|32 lb||61.35 c||59.56 c||69.72 c||115.98 c||72.57 c|
|33 lb||63.27 c||61.43 c||71.9 c||119.6 c||74.84 c|
|34 lb||65.19 c||63.29 c||74.07 c||123.22 c||77.11 c|
|35 lb||67.1 c||65.15 c||76.25 c||126.85 c||79.38 c|
|36 lb||69.02 c||67.01 c||78.43 c||130.47 c||81.65 c|
|37 lb||70.94 c||68.87 c||80.61 c||134.1 c||83.91 c|
|38 lb||72.85 c||70.73 c||82.79 c||137.72 c||86.18 c|
|39 lb||74.77 c||72.59 c||84.97 c||141.35 c||88.45 c|
|40 lb||76.69 c||74.46 c||87.15 c||144.97 c||90.72 c|
In conclusion, it is important to know how many cups are in a pound because it is very useful in many circumstances, especially when cooking. As stated, supermarket labels use pounds, but the actual recipe would call for a cup’s worth.
The fact that most ingredients such as flour, pasta, and sugar have different cup values is all the more important. Therefore, we need to know which ingredient has different pound-to-cup measurements and which follow the standard conversion that a one-pound equals 2 cups.