Weighing meat: Raw or cooked?

Happy Friday!

We get asked all the time about the nutrition info listed on packages, specifically the weight listed per serving, and if it’s for the cooked or raw version of whatever is packaged. I would say about 99% of the time the nutrition info listed on a package is applying to how the item comes. For example: MEAT. You buy it raw most of the time, the nutrition info on the package when you’re purchasing your ground turkey is for RAW ground turkey. The veggies I buy pre chopped from Trader Joe’s are no different, the butternut squash says 98 grams per serving, this is for the raw weight.

Most things that you cook, change weight in the cooking process. They lose moisture, fat and the consistency can change which will always change the original weight. Weighing out something cooked and thinking you’re eating the same serving you logged as raw isn’t quite accurate. You logged 4 oz of RAW chicken thighs after scanning the package, you cook the package and serve up 4 oz of cooked chicken on your plate thinking is the same, you’re actually eating closer to 5.3 oz of chicken.

If you’re cooking just for one, this is no problem. You can weigh out exactly what you want to use while cooking and you don’t have to bother with it again. The confusion comes when you’re cooking multiple servings at a time, in big batches.

Yesterday I cooked an entire package of chicken thighs. Raw, the package was about 24 oz of chicken (which can break down into 24, 1 oz servings).

raw chicken

Once it was cooked I weighed it again and it totaled about 17 oz. (Same chicken, different weight now that it’s cooked).

To figure out what the weight would be per oz of cooked chicken, you would take 17 oz cooked and divide it by 24 oz raw. This equates to .71 oz cooked chicken = 1 oz raw. So, if you logged 4 oz of chicken from scanning the package, you actually would only weigh out 2.84 oz once its cooked.

Big difference, right?

Again, you only need to apply this when cooking in big batches because if I’m making one serving of chicken that’s 4 oz for one meal, I measure out my raw chicken for my one serving and I don’t have to worry about weighing it out again because I’m only cooking one serving.

Lets say you eat 4 oz of chicken thighs every day for 5 days but you weren’t figuring out the weight once it was cooked, you were logging 4 oz raw and weighing out 4 oz cooked. That actually means you’re eating an extra 1.6 oz of chicken every day that’s not being logged and after 5 days means 8 extra oz of chicken that week = 263 extra calories not accounted for. If you’re currently in a cut, you can see how that little discrepancy adds up.

 

If I haven’t lost you already, I’m going to make this process way easier for you. As a general rule of thumb, on average meat will lose about 25% of its weight when cooked. 

This means if you’re trying to figure out the weight of something raw>cooked, you multiply the raw weight by .75

You still have to weigh out your meat in bulk when its raw, but you don’t need to re-weigh it cooked and figure out the math, just multiple the total raw weight by .75 and that’s what your 1 oz logged will actually weigh.

If you’re like me and love numbers, I always weigh out the package raw and again when its cooked and figure out exactly how much my 1 oz raw weighs cooked but lets be real, not everyone loves numbers and thats okay! I hope the above equation will help simplify things for you.

 

Happy tracking!

Mallory

 

 

 

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