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please help...chicken breast weight before/after question

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I made boneless skinless chicken breast last night.

There were 4 breast in the package and I baked them.  When they were done I weighed the smallest one (all of them were about the same size though) and it was a little over 4 ounces, looked at the package and saw 4 ounces was the serving size. I ate the chicken, then when cleaning up I noticed the package said......

Serving size 4 ounces, servings per container 12!!!  If one piece weighed 4 ounces, and all were close in size, how can their be 12 servings per container?  Someone please explain this to me.

I know that it shrinks some while cooking...please tell me I didnt eat 3 servings?  I just dont get it!
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I've been wondering the same thing.  Do you weigh the meat before it's cooked?  Or after?
It really is frustrating.

If this is true, you get 1.3 ounces per serving.  Thats small!!  I can think of many things that would probably fill me up more than a 1.3 ounce chicken breast for the same amount of calories.
Anyone know? 

Sorry to keep asking....I was trying to log my calories in for last night....I am assuming it was 3 servings :(.  I'm going to go with that for now. I'll check back later.

Thanks guys!
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This is tricky, but if there were 4 chicken breasts and 12 servings @ 4 oz each...then there was a total of 48oz/package.  Divide that by 4 breasts and you get 12oz/breast.....or 3 servings/breast.  So yes, I do believe you had 3 servings.  It seems outrageous that a breast would lose 8 oz of water during the cooking process.  And, if it is really just water, who cares?  Isn't that more reason to weigh it after it's cooked?  I've always been confused about weighing meats.  I know this was no help...but if it's any consolation, I would log in 4 oz of chicken breast, because that is what you consumed.  What does it matter what it weighed before you cooked it, if that's not what you're going to metabolize anyway???? .....ahhh my own personal soap box.  
Well I guess the reason it matters to me is that that is a huge difference.

The package says:

serving size: 4 ounces

servings per container: 12

Calories per serving: 120

fat grams per serving: 4

So, I look at the serving size and weigh my chicken, little over 4 ounces (4.3). 

If in fact there is 12 servings....

My 4 ounce chicken breast was,  360 calories!!!  12 fat grams, not to mention 3 times the sodium listed. 

Lesson learned I guess lol.  I just cant imagine it making that much of a difference after being cooked.

I see what you are saying though jkr :).
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What it says on the package is the raw value.  

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DM84...I knew you'd find this posting.  You were very helpful in conceptualizing it all for me a few days ago.  But, alas....I still want to weigh after I cook because that is what I'm actually eating.   So, it's true that 4 oz cooked is  the same as 12oz raw?  And when I'm logging, I need to always log the raw weight?   AAAHHHH...
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No. I find it totally odd that the package would say that there are 12 servings. Usually a pack of raw meat says that the servings per package will vary.

Personally when I cook meat, I weigh it raw first. If I'm eating leftovers I weigh it cooked. The cooked weight is more relevant for meat. While for most items, the dry weight is the only thing that matters, meat is the exception where cooked weight is more important. 

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If you go onto food log and type in chicken on the food brower.  I don't know how you cooked the chicken but say it was chicken breast roasted click on that then when you're adding it to your log go on other  when adding the portion size and put in the weight in 4oz.  I tried it and it came up with 186 cals.

Does that help?

remember what the package says is an estimate.. I would weigh it cooked.  they also say on a can of peaches that there are 3.5- 1 cup servings in a 15 oz can!!! I am not a whiz with math, but I know that doesn't add up.  Don't worry about what a "serving size" is on a package, just go with what you know to be a serving size.... 3 oz of chicken is 3 oz of chicken, is 3 oz of chicken. 

fast food restaurants tout their 1/4 pounders...... PRE cooked weight..

count what you eat, not the water that's cooked out of it.

good luck!

Meat weight is always pre-cooked weight.
Roasted (Without Skin) 3 1/2 Onces is 140 calories


The Calorie King: Calorie, Fat& Carbohydrate Counter 2006 Color Edition
when you buy cubed chicken in a can (like tuna, but chicken cubes... do know what I mean?) the can says 70 calories for 2 oz, and that's already cooked... so i think it's after it's cooked
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The nutrition facts label has to give the values for the state the product is delivered to you in.

For raw chicken, the values are for raw chicken. For canned chicken that has been pre-cooked, the values are for cooked chicken.

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NO!  You did not eat three servings of meat!  I hope that brings you relief.  I am studying dietetics and nutrition and have been focused on food and health for many years.  If you read this entire posting, you will find the answer to your question, at the very end.  Take care, and God bless! 
Best regards,
Ali M

P.S.  Don't worry much about the discrepancy on your packaging.  It is all part of a marketing sales ploy, basically to rip consumers off, and it is relatively unavoidable in this current world. 

I have a recipe that calls for 3 cups of cut up chicken breast. How many ounces of boneless chicken breasts should I buy? I find I frequently have trouble with recipes, which call for one measure, but the grocery store sells in another measure. Could you post some equivalents?

About 18 ounces or 1.125 pounds (about 4.5 raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts weighing 4 ounces each) would yield 3 cups of raw chicken breast. I have seen some rather large chicken breasts in my local grocery stores so go by weight rather than counting the number of breasts as long as the chicken is going to be cut up. The number of servings in the recipe would give you a clue as to the number of chicken breasts to buy unless it is a casserole or stir fry that extends the meat required. Generally, a chicken breast weighing 4 ounces raw (boneless and skinless) and measuring about 2/3 cup (per raw breast in cut pieces) is the same as 3 ounces of cooked chicken breast.

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I just looked at my new package of Sanderson Farms boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  It shows the following:

Serving Size 4 oz RAW (112grams)

Calories 140 (30 from fat)

Total Fat 3.5g

Sat Fat 1g

Chol 65mg

Sodium 70mg

Protein 25g

So, it's definitely raw weight, which I had heard before.  It's hard because it makes it harder to weigh leftovers...

I was a butcher back in the 70's. When you talk about serving size and weight it is the cooked weight that matters. Chicken breast can vary a lot in size so just go by weight after cooking.

I had wondered the same thing, and tonight I cooked up a three pound bag of frozen chicken breast and it came out to one pound twelve ounces. I lose one pound and four ounces just cooking it in a pan Surprised

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That is because the total weight amount on the packaging is only the minimum weight of the food.  Food packaging is legally required to state the minimum amount of how much is contained - sort of a guarantee that you are getting at least such-and-such ounces in this package, etc.  Generally, the packages are overfilled at least a bit and sometimes a lot "just to be safe".  Next time you are in the produce aisle, weight a few bags of potatoes - one supposedly "ten-pound bag" of potatoes might weight 10 1/2 lbs, while another one might weight 13 lbs. 

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Not to mention that almost all of the chicken available for purchase at the grocery store has a LOT of "juices" (water and "flavorings") injected into the meat, supposedly to make the meat more flavorful and juicy when cooked - but I suspect also to make it look plumper and increase the weight so they can charge more for less actual chicken meat.  So yes, there is going to be a LOT of weight lost through steam and water in the bottom of the pan when cooked.

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