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.

  • You have a couple of options:

    1. 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. -- (enter in the 100g from your example)

    2. Cook, then weigh your lamb chop including the bone
      Search for "lamb chop, bone-in cooked" then choose one of the USDA foods that best describes your lamb chop (trimmed to 0" fat, 1/8" fat, etc.) (enter in the 200g from your example) 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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  • Suggestion to fix this? Cronometer could add a "Cooked Weight/Prepared weight" option. Then users could weigh the entire recipe after cooking, and easily enter exactly how much we ate.

    Much easier than having to weigh the whole recipe and then do division to figure out how many grams are in each serving, or having to type in that I had 1.45 servings or whatever.

    It would be so nice.

    This idea was hard to describe via text.. Basically, the process would be this:
    add ingredients. Chronometer does it's current thing. Give the user ANOTHER separate box where they can enter the prepared weight of the recipe in grams. Somehow make THAT the weight of the recipe, rather than the one that's automatically calculated because stuff changes while cooking.

    OK, thanks, bye :) :)

  • 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.

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