A chicken breast is a versatile and adaptable source of protein that can be served in numerous ways across different cuisines. It is also one of the most universal cuts of meat in the world mainly because it supplies your body with enough protein while reducing your consumption of saturated fat and calories.
But to enjoy these benefits, you have to take the right amount of chicken breast. So, how much does a chicken breast weigh? Continue reading to know the answer.
What Is a Chicken Breast?
A chicken breast is the lean cut of meat obtained from the pectoral muscle on the underside of a chicken. A chicken has one breast with two halves that are usually separated during the slaughtering process and packed as individual breasts. Compared to chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings, boneless chicken breast is more expensive.
It also helps to strengthen bones, reducing the risk of fractures and other bone-related complications. Studies have revealed that protein works together with calcium to strengthen and protect bones.
The chicken breast will also help you to manage your cravings and avoid overeating because it makes you feel full for a long time. A recent study of obese men on reduced-calorie diets found that men who consume more protein presented an enhanced appetite control and fullness.
Varieties of Chicken Breast
There are different varieties of chicken breast that you can buy for your everyday culinary needs. For instance, you can choose pre-trimmed and ready-to-cook chicken breasts. Alternatively, you can choose frozen and individually packed chicken breasts that are commonly found in grocery stores and bulk food warehouses.
If you buy any of these convenient varieties of chicken breast, make sure to check its nutritional fact label because some of these chicken breasts contain large amounts of sodium. It is also common to find some labels on packed chicken breasts claiming that they are organic and antibiotic-free. You need to be careful because some of this information could be misleading.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), producers of free-range chicken must prove to the agency that their chickens are allowed to access outside. It also requires that natural chicken products should have zero artificial ingredients or added colors, and should be minimally processed.
This means that the products should be processed in a way that doesn’t fundamentally alter them. Also, the label must explain clearing the meaning of the word natural. For instance, it should include self-explanatory terms such as “no artificial ingredients” and “minimally processed”.
USDA also prohibits the use of the term “no hormones added” on chicken breast labels because the federal law forbids poultry producers to use hormones in raising poultry.
The agency also prohibits the use of the term “no antibiotics added” on chicken breast and other poultry products unless you have enough documentation indicating that the chickens were raised without antibiotics.
Chicken producers are also required by law to include the term “organic” on their poultry products only if their chickens are given 100 percent organic feed. These factors are important when you are searching for the best chicken breasts for your dietary needs.
How Much Does a Chicken Breast Weigh?
If you are using chicken breast to create a healthy diet plan, you need to be certain of the amount of chicken breast you are taking. This means checking the weight of your chicken breasts.
Although different types of chickens have different sizes of breasts, the average weight of chicken breasts should be somewhere between 3 and 8 ounces.
When cooked, this weight will decrease by about 1 or 2 ounces. While the sizes of chicken breasts vary, normally they do not exceed 12 oz. Most chicken breasts found in grocery stores are between 8 and 10 oz. However, the recommended serving size for chicken breasts is between 3 and 4 ounces.
Normally, grocery stores sell packaged chicken breasts, with each pack carrying four or five boneless pieces of breasts. The weight of each pack is a little different. Therefore, the packages are priced per pound.
How to Measure the Weight of a Chicken Breast
There are different ways of checking the weight of your chicken breast. The most common method of measuring chicken breast is the use of a scale. You just place your chicken breast on the scale and read the weight. Luckily, there are small electronic scales that you can buy for your domestic use. But what happens if you don’t have a scale?
If you don’t have a scale, you just check the total weight indicated on the package and divided it with the number of chicken breasts in the package. This might not give you the actual weight of each breast, considering the weight of the package, but it will give you a rough idea of what each piece weighs. You can also estimate the weight of your chicken breast after using a scale for some time.
You can also measure the size and weight of your chicken breast with the palm of your hand. The best serving of chicken breast should be a little smaller than the palm of your hand. Anything bigger than your hand is too much for one person because it will probably weigh about 10 or more ounces.
Chicken Breast Weight In Pounds
It is important to mention that two 8-ounces pieces of chicken breast are almost equivalent to one pound in weight. An 8 to 10-ounce chicken breast is equal to the biggest iPhone while a 4-ounce boneless chicken breast is the same size as a deck of cards. Since there are 16 ounces in a pound, you will need 4 pieces of 4-ounce chicken breasts to make one pound.
Chicken Breast Weight in Grams
Most grocery stores measure their poultry products in grams. But if the label on the package of your chicken breast shows the weight in pounds, you can easily convert it to grams. One pound is equivalent to 450 grams. And if the label doesn’t indicate the weight, you can use the deck of cards technique to estimate the weight of your chicken breast.
The serving size of a chicken breast that is equal to the size of a deck of cards is roughly 100 grams. In case, the package is using kilograms (kg), then you automatically know that it weighs more than a pound. Every package weighs differently, so pick through several packages to find the one close to your preferred weight.
The Weight Difference Between Raw and Cooked Chicken Breasts
When animal protein is burned, it releases juices that cause the meat to shrink. So, since a chicken breast is rich in protein, it is bound to shrink when it’s cooked. However, the extent of reduction depends on the amount of fat and moisture present in the meat. It also depends on how long you expose the meat to heat.
Generally, poultry meat shrinks by about 25 percent when cooked. Therefore, a 16-ounce piece of raw, skinless chicken breast will yield approximately 12 ounces of a cooked breast.
You will understand the 25 percent shrinkage rate when you compare the number of calories in a 4-ounce piece of raw chicken breast (134 calories) to the calories present in a 3-ounce piece of cooked chicken breast (139 calories). This simply means that a 4-ounce raw chicken breast is equal to a 3-ounce cooked chicken breast.
Therefore, it is important to keep this shrinkage rate in mind when purchasing chicken breast. For instance, if you want to eat 4 ounces of chicken breast, you have to purchase 20 ounces of raw chicken breast.
Now that you understand how much a chicken breast weighs, you should make sure that your diet has the right amount of chicken breast to get the right amount of protein. Measuring your chicken breasts will also help you to avoid taking excess amounts of protein.