British Tablespoons

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British Tablespoons

Hello. A question about British tablespoons: In the US, where I live, Tablespoons are 3 teaspoons, or 15ml. The ones I see on the website to demonstrate techniques appear larger. Can you shed any light on the volume of a British tablespoon?


Essex Girl


They're exactly the same here.

Lindsey, Food Editor

Delia's Tablespoon

Hello NateJ,

A tablespoon in the UK is 15ml but if you are following Delia’s recipes, Delia says this in her book….

‘I have to confess I have never liked measuring spoon sets because
a) they vary, and b) I’ve always thought they were a bit mean. So I use conventional, old-fashioned teaspoons (5ml), dessertspoons (10ml) and tablespoons (20ml).’

This means that when you follow a Delia recipe you should use a 20ml spoon for a tablespoon or 2 dessertspoons per tablespoon will be the equivalent.

Best wishes




I really think Delia flies in the face of reason with her dislike of standard tea and tablespoons. They do vary slightly from country to country but not by very much. I have just bought a set of Australian standard spoons which I will use for Womans Weekly recipes, but the difference is minimal. 1 teaspoon in a tablespoon, which is 20ml.

But, I give you some ingredients from a Delia Cheat recipe chosen at random.

1 piece of jalapeno pepper
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3 rounded tablespoons breadcrumbs
good pinch cayenne
1 heaped tablespoon semolina
the equivalent of 1/2 red pepper
2 rounded tablespoons mayo
Another good pinch cayenne

Not much accuracy there. Rounded? Heaped? Piece? Good pinch? OK in that recipe it doesn't matter, but sometimes it does.

I will stick with my standard spoons, thank you very much. They certainly don't vary as much as tablespoons out of the cutlery drawer.


Thank you.

Thank you, that gives me the information I need. I thought that a 'heaped tablespoon' of jam looked like about 30ml (1 ounce) or more.

I appreciate the information.



Spoon measures

I was taught by mum and gran the same as Delia. 1 tbs = 2 dst = 4 tsp.


Brit v Amaerican measures

Bear in mind that it's a LEVEL tablespoon. Older cooks (like me) will have been taught at school that a tablespoon should have as much above the rim as below (and hold an ounce!)

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