The number of liters in a gallon is a useful conversion that could come in handy when you least expect it! It's also important to understand the relationship between liters, gallons, cups, quarts, and ounces! Don't worry, you don't need to memorize the conversions because we also included a quick liquid measurements conversion chart!
The Number Of Liters In A Gallon
When you go to the store to buy a gallon of milk, have you ever walked a couple of aisles over to also pick up a 2-liter bottle of soda? Have you ever wondered why one liquid is measured in gallons and another in liters?
Keep reading to find out why that is, as well as how to convert liters to gallons and vice versa! I've even included a quick-reference conversion chart you can save for later!
What Is The Difference Between Liters And Gallons?
Before looking at how many liters are in a gallon, it helps to know the difference between these two units of measurement.
Liters are a unit of measurement following the metric system. The metric system is considered the universal system since it is used around the world. In most countries, the metric system is the primary system used.
Gallons are a unit of measurement that follows two different systems: the imperial system and the U.S. customary system.
What Are The Different Systems Of Measurement?
The imperial system of measurement originated in Britain in the 1800s. It was the primary form of measurement used by the British until the early 1900s when they began following the metric system.`
The U.S. customary system is derived from the imperial system. However, it is slightly different due to some changes made when the settlers modified it after arriving in America.
The U.S. customary system and the imperial system use the same forms of measurement.
The United States is the primary place in which the U.S. customary system is used for cooking. However, these standard measurements are also used on several commercial products that are exported. Moreover, most commercial products that are imported to the United States follow the metric system.
The metric system is the oldest of these three forms and uses different units of measurement.
With so many different systems of measurement around the world, it is helpful for any cook to understand how to convert from one to the other. This allows you to make recipes quickly and easily from around the world!
What Are Gallons Used For?
Gallons can be used to measure both dry and liquid ingredients. However, in cooking, you are most likely to work with gallons as a form of liquid measurement.
Milk and water are the most common liquids that are measured and sold in gallons. The gallon is the largest form of measurement. It is traditionally broken down into smaller measurements.
- 1 Gallon = 4 Quarts
- 1 Quart = 2 Pints
- 1 Pint = 2 Cups
Since the measuring cup is one of the easiest ways to measure while cooking, you can also measure a gallon in cups.
- 1 Gallon = 16 Cups
These measurements can be broken down even further into fluid ounces.
- 1 Gallon = 128 fluid ounces
- 1 Quart = 32 fluid ounces
- 1 Pint = 16 fluid ounces
- 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces
The measurements above are listed according to the U.S. customary system and for the U.S. standard measuring cup.
The imperial system follows the same breakdown: 1 Gallon = 4 Quarts = 1 Pint = 2 Cups. However, the volume of the imperial cup is slightly larger than that of the U.S. cup. Since the United Kingdom follows the metric system though, it is easier to understand the differences by looking at how many milliliters are in a cup.
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What Are Liters Used For?
As mentioned above, milliliters are the most effective way to see the difference between the U.S. standard measuring cup, the imperial (or UK) cup, and the metric cup.
- U.S. Measuring Cup = 236.5 ml
- U.K. Measuring Cup (or former British Colonies) = 284.1 ml
- Measuring Cup in Latin America, Canada, and New Zealand = 250 ml
Understanding the differences in these cups is a great way to understand the difference between liters and gallons.
While a gallon is the primary unit of measurement for liquids in the U.S. customary and imperial systems, the liter is the primary unit of measurement for liquids in the metric system.
In the food world, liters are used to measure beverages like soda, wine, and alcohol. Like the gallon, a liter can also be broken down into smaller units. These are called milliliters.
- 1 Liter = 1,000 milliliters
Liters can also be converted into ounces.
- 1 Liter = 33.81 fluid ounces
As you can see by the conversion of liters to ounces, a liter is smaller than a gallon. A gallon is equal to 128 ounces, while a liter is only equal to 33.81 ounces.
How To Convert Liters Into Gallons
Converting liters and gallons into ounces makes it easier to understand how many liters are in a gallon because you have a common form of measurement to work from.
- 1 Gallon = 128 ounces
- 1 Liter = 33.81 ounces
- 1 Gallon = 3.78 Liters
- 1 Liter = .26 Gallons
Looking at the exact measurements of gallons to liters and vice versa may seem complicated when you think about how to convert these easily in the kitchen. For exact measurements, you can use a food scale to measure in ounces.
Simply use the scale to measure in ounces to equal either a gallon or a liter:
- 128 ounces = 1 Gallon
- 33.81 ounces = 1 Liter
How To Convert Gallons of Gas To Liters
Perhaps you're planning on driving in Canada, Europe, or the UK, and you are wondering how to measure gasoline. In the United States, we measure gasoline by miles per gallon (mpg). Elsewhere, they measure their gasoline in liters and the distance traveled in kilometers (Km/l).
The formula for converting miles per gallon to kilometers per liter is as follows: Km/l x 2.35 = mpg
That means to convert from miles per gallon to kilometers per liter, you can simply divide by 2.35.
How To Convert Gallons And Liters Into Cups
While a scale provides the most exact form of measurement, it is not always an option. Many home cooks don’t have a food scale. All home cooks have measuring cups, though! Therefore, you can get an approximate measurement using a measuring cup.
1 liter is equal to approximately ¼ of a gallon (or 1 quart). Therefore, 4 cups = approximately 1 liter.
Since liters and gallons are used for liquid measurements, you can also use a liquid measuring cup that has ounces or milliliters on it to get a more exact measurement.
As the gallon is almost 4x the volume of a liter, most of the time, you will be using the smaller conversion to a liter mentioned above. However, if needed, you can also use cups to convert liters into a gallon.
There are 235.6 milliliters in a U.S. standard measuring cup. There are 1,000 milliliters in 1 liter. Therefore, there are approximately 4 ¼ cups in 1 liter.
- 4 ¼ cups = 1 liter
- 8 ½ cups = 2 liters
- 12 ¾ cups = 3 liters
Liquid Measurements Conversion Chart
|Gallons||Quarts||Pints||Cups||US Fl. Oz||Liters|
|1 gal||4 qt||8 pints||16 cups||128 fl. oz||3.785 L|
|½ gal||2 qt||4 pints||8 cups||64 fl. oz||1.893 L|
|¼ gal||1 qt||2 pints||4 cups||32 fl. oz||0.946 L|
|⅛ gal||½ pint||1 pint||2 cups||16 fl. oz||0.473 L|
|¹⁄₁₆ gal||¼ pint||½ pint||1 cups||8 fl. oz||0.236 L|
|¹⁄₃₂ gal||⅛ pint||¼ pint||½ cups||4 fl. oz||0.118 L|
|¹⁄₆₄ gal||¹⁄₁₆ pint||⅛ pint||¼ cups||2 fl. oz||0.059 L|
Don't worry about memorizing the number of liters in a gallon. Just bookmark this page so you can refer back to the conversion chart whenever you need!
More Measurement Conversions
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!