New Recipe - raw ingredient weight versus cooked serving weight

Just started with chronometer - fantastic resource. I made a cabbage and bacon stir fry yesterday - total raw ingredient wt = 2200kg. My cooked serving portion weighed 220g and the total cooked amount would do 4 - 5 servings ---- so lost approximately 50% water weight. What is the best method to enter these recipe details? If I just use the data as is, my portion is drawing 10% of the nutrient detail, instead of 25% cooked detail.
So how to account for the "cooking" when entering ingredient weights?
Thanks for any advice


  • You make a valid point. I would really like to see a definitive answer to your question.

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • I wouldn't use the weight option for your serving for something like this. Instead I would adjust the "servings per recipe" under "Serving Sizes" in the original recipe. Make it 4 servings, and then just eat a quarter of it and log it as one serving.

  • I’ve had the same query, you can’t accurately use the by weight function on a cooked recipe as the liquid cooks down. A bit frustrating but obviously unavoidable unless you weigh again after cooking. It’s all a learning experience.

  • @Hilary or @Karen_Cronometer , can you comment on this? :smile:

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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  • You have identified one of the toughest parts about tracking nutrition - the best way to record the ingredients in mixed dishes.

    The most accurate way to record your ingredients is also the most time-consuming. Cook and then weigh each ingredient separately then mix them together before you eat them. Record the weight of each cooked ingredient in your recipe. There are differences in nutrients in a cooked vs. raw food, so entering in the values as cooked foods will also give you a more accurate nutrient profile.

    In the case where you have already prepared your cabbage and bacon stir fry and it is not an option to separate out the ingredients, @planteater has a great suggestion! Change the recipe to servings based, rather than weight-based. This will give you an estimate of your nutrient intake, but keep in mind the nutrients found in raw vs. cooked food will be different. The biggest difference can usually be found in the water content, as you have noticed. If you are tracking your water intake very closely, you may consider adding water to your recipe and then entering a negative number to account for the water loss that occurred during cooking.

    It is a trade-off between how accurate you would like to be in your food diary and how much time you would like to put in to it.

    Best of luck!

    Karen Stark
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  • Thanks Karen, I had originally made the mistake of entering food as raw when making a custom recipe. I can’t see me cooking ingredients in say a curry or soup individually and weighing them before combining. I know now why last time I tracked ingredients I ended up eating very simple meals which had a large raw component. Probably best way to go.

  • This is great information; thank you Karen. One question: Do food labels or the Cronometer food database account for this?

  • Hello @jerbir

    It depends on the source whether the nutrient information is listed as cooked or raw. Some whole foods in our database will specify whether it is raw/fresh, dry or cooked. For example, we have both Broccoli, Raw and Broccoli, Cooked from Fresh.

    If not otherwise specified, NCCDB provides the nutrient values for the "average method of preparation" or in other words, how most people would eat a food. For example, most people do not consume raw ground beef, therefore the ground beef from NCCDB is for cooked ground beef.

    With brand name products, it is up to the manufacturer's discretion whether to list nutrients for the raw or prepared product. In my experience, they most often list the nutrition information for the raw or dry food. For example, nutrition for meats (ground beef, steak, chicken breast, etc.) most often appear to be for raw meat. Also grain products, like rice or quinoa, are often listed for the dry grains rather than cooked. This is another reason why we recommend using the generic equivalents of brand name products from NCCDB and USDA sources in your diary instead of entering in your brand name foods. You will get more nutrition information as well as more accurate values for the cooked foods, if applicable.


    Karen Stark
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  • Karen, something I’m not sure on is if I have a 200g lamb chop but once cooked and cut off the bone I might only eat 100g of meat. Which weight should I enter?
    Ie, does the lamb chop nutrient calculation allow for a portion of the weight being bone which is not eaten.

  • edited February 2020

    Cook the lamb chop and cut off the bone, then weigh the edible portion only.
    Search for Lamb chop and choose the NCCDB or USDA food that best describes your cut of meat. -- These nutrient values will be listed for the edible portion only - in other words, they assume that you do not eat the bone.


    Karen Stark
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  • Hi, thanks for sharing the post.

  • Clarification on amounts, please: If the food entry is "X amount, cooked from raw" is that X amount before or after cooking? Take spinach as an example. 2 cups of raw spinach is about 10% of the amount of cooked spinach. How should I measure the amount?

  • edited February 2018

    @HealthyHoney "Cooked from raw" means the measurement is the Cooked measurement the "-from raw" part of that is to delineate whether it is pre-frozen or fresh. In short - you should measure the weight of the cooked spinach.
    Check out this great post for more info:

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  • Thank you Karen I've been doing it wrong for a couple of months! I've been weighing raw then cooked, dividing raw by cooked then weighing out my cooked portions and multiplying the portion size by the determined multiplier! This is much easier.

  • You have a very analytical mind @OldHobo - appreciate the comment!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • @OldHobo

    Great tip!

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

  • So, I came across this thread because I'm having the same exact problem. I enter a recipe, cook it, parse out the servings, and select "Serving Based". The problem is that I am still shown the raw grams when trying to track it.

    My way around it is to label the servings "real grams" or something (similar to @OldHobo's suggestion , but it is just putting a band aid on an existing problem. IMHO, I think it's better to allow the user to decide if they want to have the grams automatically calculated or not. Like a check box.

    I'm curious if there is any plan to fix this for those of us that cook extensively?

  • My solution assumes nearly 100% of the change in weight is loss of water. Using this assumption, I created a custom food for Pure Water. After weighing the cooked recipe, add negative amounts of pure water to adjust the total weight of the recipe without adjusting any other nutrients (the analyzed versions of water include some mineral content that I don't want to remove from the recipe).

  • @OldHobo genius workaround!
    I make a lot of soups, so I'm mostly dealing with added water weight, but the brilliance of this system is that it works either way since cronometer keeps the proportions of nutrient levels in each "1g serving" of an entree

  • I've also now created a custom food that just adjusts weight (no nutrient values in the food at all) for use in recipes containing ingredients without values for water.

  • Sometimes we just have to remember that a kitchen is not a scientifically controlled laboratory. Today I'm braising a 9-pound pork butt. Almost half that weight is going to be lost as fat liquifies and cartilage breaks down. Some of that is fat at 9 calories per gram; some are proteins with half the calories. Exactly how much of each remains in the meat, becomes part of the sauce, or later gets turned into stock is, so far as I can tell, impossible to precisely quantify.

    In this case, I'll probably log the meat with cooked weight using:

    Pork, Fresh, Shoulder, Boston Butt, Blade Steaks, Separable Lean and Fat, Cooked, Braised
    Food #4078, Data Source: USDAsr:10081
    Last Updated on Dec 12, 2019

    The sauce, gravy, and stock are always problematic to log. I do the best I can, trying to err on the side of calorie overcount.

    "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Michael Pollan

  • First day using the forum and first post here, so sorry if this has been explained elsewhere. Came to this thread because of difficulty entering a recipe. Once I've entered all ingredients by weight, is there a way to change to finished total weight to ounces, rather than grams?

  • Welcome aboard @KnotDreams.
    First of all, if this doesn't make sense, just let it roll off your shoulders. Lot of stuff I say doesn't make sense, sometimes even to me.

    1. On the "New Recipes" data entry page, I always change "weight-based" to "servings based."
    2. Then I would add "ounce" or whatever relevant unit to "serving sizes."
    3. Then, after any cooking, drying, macerating, or anything else that changes the finished weight, I change the number in the "nutrients in" box to the measured/weighed qty of my preferred unit of measure.
    4. Change the second box after "nutrients in" to my chosen unit.
    5. Add "per [MyChosenUnit]" to the end of "Recipe Name" to help keep track of everything.

    My preferred unit is most often ounces but could just as well be grams, teaspoons, or buckets.

    Reading through this post. If I was new to logging food and recipes, I'd probably just skip it, thinking it might make more sense later.

    "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Michael Pollan

  • Thank you, OldHobo.
    I ran through your steps with some random ingredients as a test recipe, and it made sense. Would have taken me quite awhile to figure that out on my own.

  • What about if I am tracking cooked food by teaspoon/tablespoon rather than by weight? Would I enter the total mass amount before it was cooked or after?

  • edited July 2020

    Cronometer is going do the math with grams. If you have chosen to use shovelfuls as the unit of measure, it works because you also told Crono how many shovelfuls are in the entire recipe. So Crono says to hisself, I know it weighs x grams but Be223_ thinks its y shovelfuls so I'll just humor her by doin' the arithmetic.

    And you'd want to count the shovelfuls after you'd done all the cooking and other kitchen stuff that changes mass and or volume.

    "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Michael Pollan

  • Am I doing this incorrectly. For my imported or personal recipes I measure the raw ingredients individually add add them to the recipe, make the dish, determine what is a reasonable portion of the dish for a single serve and divide the dish accordingly. So, my Tuna casserole will serve 6 therefore I allocate 6 servings to the recipe and when recording the meal on my diary I list it as Tuna Casserole, 1/6 or 1 Serving. Is there going to be a huge macro discrepancy because I am not measuring everything as a cooked ingredient. I really like to operate on the KISS principal and my method seems to be working but is it really the right way to be doing it. Thanks,

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