How many cups are in a gallon

Everyone should know how many cups are in a gallon , it is useful not only in the kitchen, but also in everyday life! Learn about the difference between a US gallon and an imperial gallon , and so much more!

There are more cups in a gallon than you might imagine!

The answer to how many cups in a gallon seems like it would be fairly straightforward. There are 16 cups in a gallon – in the United States. 

This is where a simple answer requires a bit more explanation, such as what is the difference between a US gallon and an Imperial gallon? Also what is a dry gallon?


The US gallon is a measurement that measures the volume of a liquid . It is considered an imperial unit of measurement along with other imperial units of measurement such as inches, ounces, pints and quarts.

The imperial unit of measurement was introduced in Britain in the early 1800s and was primarily 19 . Measured in several countries in the th century – including the United States.

While the United States was eager to break away from British rule, they maintained this system of measurement even after they gained their independence from Britain.

However, while the US retained what was known as the ” Queen Anne’s gallon “, the UK shifted its measurement of the gallon. The choice by the United States to retain the original imperial system of measurement resulted in What is now known as the US Standards System.


In many respects, the imperial unit of measurement and the American standard system are the same. For example, both systems measure 1 foot as 12 inches.

When it comes to gallons, while the US Standard System and the Imperial System both state that 4 cups is equal to a gallon, the volume of each cup is different in each system. Therefore, each gallon is a different volume.

To help show the difference between the two it helps to bring in another unit of measurement – the metric system . The metric system is used in other countries around the world and is measured in a decimal system .

The use of decimals allows us to see a more detailed comparison between these two gallons. The metric system measures volume in liters ( or liters ).

Here’s how many liters are in one US gallon and one imperial gallon:

1 US gallon = 3.785 liters

1 imperial gallon = 4.546 liters

You can easily see that the Imperial gallon is larger than a US gallon. Going back to the US Standard and Imperial Standard systems, this difference in quantity is substantial:

1 US gallon = 128 ounces

1 imperial gallon = 153 ounces

That’s a 25-ounce difference between two different gallons!


If an Imperial gallon contains 25 ounces more than a US gallon it is essential to understand Imperial gallon versus US gallon, especially if you are ever switching between using dishes that are on the Imperial system versus US standard system . .

If you’re in a place that uses Imperial gallons and you ask, “How many cups are in a gallon,” you’ll get the same answer you would get in a country that uses US gallons. There are 16 cups in a gallon . Then the question becomes, how many ounces are in a cup?


We have already seen how there are about 153 ounces in an Imperial gallon; Therefore, one cup contains approximately 9.6 oz. That’s about 2 ounces more than the American standard measuring cup.

So, while there are 16 cups in a gallon, it depends on how many ounces are in each cup. With day-to-day cooking and baking, this won’t be a problem. If you live in the United States, the measuring cup you buy will always be a standard 8 oz .

If you live in one of the handful of places that continue to use the Imperial gallon, standard measuring cups will hold just under 10 ounces.


The United States is known as one of the few countries that still follow a measurement system that is based on the Imperial System. Most other countries have switched to the metric system.

While the United States is the main country that uses US gallons, there are some places, such as those in South America, that use US gallons as a measurement for things such as gasoline . In the kitchen however, most recipes and measuring equipment will follow the metric system.  


While the Imperial gallon was originally a form of measurement in the United Kingdom, Britain has since moved to the metric system for most things.

However, the Imperial system is still commonly used in emergent situations – such as measuring a pint of beer!

While the UK has moved into wider use of the metric system, a handful of countries that were originally under British rule retained the Imperial gallon as a standard measurement in all regions. These countries include:

  • anguilla
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • montserrat
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Grenadines


Typically, a gallon is associated with fluid. a gallon of milk. one gallon of water. a gallon of juice. Although beyond liquids, a gallon can also measure the volume of dry goods .

The history of the dry galleon is also based on British rule. It was the measure of dry goods and grain in historical Britain. Today however, the dry gallon is measured primarily in the United States.


A dry gallon falls between the volume of a US gallon and an imperial gallon. There are approximately 148 ounces in a dry gallon. This equals approximately 1 US standard cup in 18 dry gallons , which is 2 cups more than a US gallon of liquid.

Most standard recipes will require measuring dry ingredients and grains in the form of cups rather than gallons. Therefore, you generally won’t need to convert to a dry gallon. If necessary, remember that a dry gallon is more than a liquid gallon.


Once you know that there are 16 US cups in a US gallon it is easy to figure out how many cups there are in other standard measurements.

To make it even easier though, here’s a quick conversion guide for most liquid measurements in the kitchen. Keep it handy for quick reference while cooking.

  • 32 cups = 2 gallons
  • 16 cups = 1 gallon
  • 12 cups = gallons
  • 8 cups (or 2 quarts) = gallon
  • 4 cups (2 pints) = 1 quart 
  • 2 cups = 1 pint
  • 1 cup (½ pint) = 8 ounces
  • cup = 4 ounces
  • cup = 2 ounces

We hope you feel like you really understand how many cups are in a gallon! If you found this information useful, let us know by commenting below!