Did you know that metric units of mass can be found in the kitchen? Yes, you can find customary units of measurement there too, but if you want to be a chef who’s able to make cuisine from all around the world, then you had better be aware of your metric units!
Why It Matters
There are only three countries in which a non-metric system of measurement is still primarily used: the United States, Liberia, and Burma. Throughout the rest of the world, the metric system has been adopted as the official system of measurement. Thus, if you’re an American chef who wants to make a French dish or follow a Chinese recipe, then you’ll need to understand the metric system.
Looking at the illustration above, you can see that there are 1000 grams in 1 kilogram. Are you wondering how heavy that is? Well, a bag of flour can weigh between 1 and 1.5 kilograms. Items smaller than a bag of flour would be measured in grams.
If you were cooking steak for 4 people, then you would need about 2 kg of beef. How many grams is that? You know that there are 1000 grams in 1 kilogram, so there are 2000 grams in 2 kilograms. That’s 500 grams of meat per person!
See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wW-Ssk2BjU
Use the first website below to practice converting between grams and kilograms. You can also read more about the use of the metric system in the culinary arts. At the next link, play a game to test your skills at identifying equivalent metric masses.