We all know what it’s like to follow a recipe, only to get to the baking stage and have to frantically look up temperature conversation tables because the recipe doesn’t use the same temperature scale as your cooker. With the huge choice of recipes available on the internet, coming across a recipe from a country that uses different measurements is becoming more likely than ever - some recipes will include the conversion in brackets to help you out, but it’s always useful to have a back-up plan.
The simplest ways to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit are either to bookmark or print out a conversation table, so you always have it to hand, or, if you have a head for figures, memorise the formula used to convert one to the other. You can find both formulae (Fahrenheit to Celsius and Celsius to Fahrenheit), along with a handy conversation table that also includes gas mark temperatures at Joy of Baking.
Fahrenheit to Celsius
Celsius is a metric unit of measurement, and has been adopted by the majority of countries worldwide as the temperature measurement of choice. Celsius measurements will appear on recipe instructions as ‘°C’. Originally known as ‘centigrade’, and sometimes still referred to as such, it was officially renamed Celsius in 1948 in honour of eighteenth century Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius, who had proposed a similar scale centuries before.
If you live in a country that uses Celsius, coming across a recipe using Fahrenheit is more common than you might think, as many recipe websites are based in the USA, where Fahrenheit is still the preferred measurement. To convert Fahrenheit baking temperatures to Celsius, you can use a simple online conversion tool like fahrenheittocelsius.com, or use the formula to work it out in your head.
The formula for converting Fahrenheit (F) to Celsius (C) is:
C = 5/9 x (F-32)
It may look a little scary at first, but when you break it down into steps, it’s actually pretty simple.
Step 1. Subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit temperature.
Step 2. Multiply the result by five.
Step 3. Divide the result by nine. This number is the temperature in Celsius.
For more information about the Fahrenheit to Celsius formula, check out this useful link from Thoughtco.
Celsius to Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is an imperial unit of measurement used in the USA and several other countries. Fahrenheit measurements appear on recipe instructions as ‘°F’. The Fahrenheit scale is named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, an eighteenth century physicist from modern-day Poland, who invented an earlier version of the scale.
If you live in the USA, or one of the other countries that uses Fahrenheit, you can convert from Celsius using an online converter, a chart or a formula. For more information, take a look at this article from Prep Scholar.
As well as using the formula from the Prep Scholar article, you can simply reverse the Fahrenheit to Celsius formula, as follows:
F = (C x 9/5) + 32
Both these formulae will give you the same result, but this one is easier to work out in steps in your head.
Step 1. Multiply the Celsius temperature by nine.
Step 2. Divide the result by five.
Step 3. Add 32 to the result. This number is the temperature in Fahrenheit.
For more conversion charts, plus other useful facts, figures and tips, take a look at this super useful kitchen cheat sheet.
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