Tracking ounces of meats

When tracking meat intake, should I weight it before it after it is cooked?
Thanks for any input


  • Hello @MissyRaySue ,

    The best way to accurately track your nutrition is to weigh out the portion you are eating and enter in your serving size as a gram amount in Cronometer for the cooked values if your food is cooked.

    If the data is sourced from the USDA, it will often be specified if the nutritional values are for cooked or raw. It can be tricky with NCCDB foods, as they don't always specify if the values are for cooked foods or not. The NCCDB assumes the most average method of preparation for foods in their database so it would be safe to assume in the case of meats that the nutritional information represents the cooked values.

    In other words, to be accurate, you would need to weigh the weight of the cooked meat, without bones, and log the cooked values in your diary.

    We have a great blog post that you might like to check out that explains how to get more accurate nutrition information using Cronometer.


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  • Just one thought on this...if you are using cooked weights it can be inaccurate if you are someone that prefers very well done meat...the same chicken breast will weigh substantially different cooked to just done or cooked until well (i.e. "dried out") the moisture that is cooked out makes the difference. Steak is a great example of this as well - there are definitely different cooked weights for the same starting weight if you prefer well done vs. if you prefer your meat more well done you may be under estimating your calories by a fair amount because 4 ounces will have more "meat" and less water if well done and than 4 ounces of just done/underdone/rare meat which still includes more moisture. This is an issue if you re-heat/microwave cooked meats as well...they will weigh less after you reheat, but there isn't any less "meat" there - what's missing is the water and maybe some fat that melted away, but mostly water.

    That said close enough is well usually close enough and it's about 25% of weight lost to water/fat loss when cooking meat, notwithstanding the variability mentioned above....and if you have a raw weight (i.e. before adding to a recipe) and there isn't an entry for raw (I run into this once in a while) - you can multiple by .75 and that should approximate the cooked weight - which should be close enough for most purposes.

  • @kahbakerjd makes a good point and that's the reason I have used raw weight, but for some things, like a stew, for example, unless you remember to weigh before hand, that isn't always easy. I used the 25% average loss figure as well and figure that it is good enough.

    But, the point that @Marie_Eve_H makes about the data base is interesting and has been one of the things I wish was better defined in Cronometer. For example, the entry for 'Chicken Breast, Skin Removed Before Cooking' from the NCCDB doesn't specify it that is for raw or cooked chicken breast, but 'skin removed before cooking' seems to imply that it is for a cooked entry. Is there a way to confirm that an entry is raw or cooked?

  • Hi Captain_Ron,

    Foods from NCCDB are generally meant to represent the way the average American prepares it. Unless it specifies raw, you can safely assume this means cooked for meat products.


    Karen Stark
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  • Thanks @Karen_Cronometer ! That's what I have been doing, but wanted to be sure.

  • Thanks everyone :)

  • This answers my question about meat weighing too- yay. But I'm also wondering: What about oatmeal and other grains? 1/2 cup dry is going to give a very different set of numbers than 1/2 cup cooked... but it is much more common to measure the dry/uncooked.... which value should I enter in cronometer? Thanks :-)

  • I'm also interested. I think somebody should ask those from NCCDB... :smile:

    I apologise for my misspellings, as English is not my native language.

  • Hi Josie,

    You could measure your dry oats. Then cook them and weigh them again. Add the difference in water weight (if you are boiling your oats). The difference in final weight will depend on how much liquid you added and how much was absorbed vs. boiled off.


    Karen Stark
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Thanks Karen. This seems to be getting more complicated than I meant it to be! All I'm trying to figure out is whether I should enter the dry volume of (say) oatmeal or the cooked volume (not weight, for grains) on cronometer. :-)

  • Hi Josie,

    Use the measurement that matches the description of the food you are using.
    For example, for NCCDB food "Oatmeal, Regular or Quick Cooking, Dry" weigh the dry oats. I hope that helps!


    Karen Stark
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Thanks. I must have missed that one!

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