Chicken breast is the most common delicacy in the world of poultry and one of the most popular in the world of meat. The thing is, chickens grow different sizes from each other by the law of nature, but also due to various hormones, and you name it. This is especially noticeable between countries.
All of this leads us to different-sized chicken breasts, which can cause issues when trying to decide portion amounts and so on. In this article, I will tell the average chicken breast weight, variations between types of chicken, how to portion chicken for a person and group, and much more!
Before anything, what’s the average chicken breast weight?
The average chicken breast weighs 6 ounces (170g); however, the weight ranges between 4 ounces (113g) to +10 ounces (283g), depending on the chicken. The size and weight of the breast vary between the chickens themselves, living conditions, food they are fed, poultry companies, and countries.
Even when the chickens would be the same size, have the same living conditions, and eat the same food, the size and thus weight can still vary. Different countries have different regulations about growth hormone use, and poultry companies vary in how they use it. This can make a drastic difference in the size and weight of the chicken breasts.
Six ounces (170g) is the average chicken breast weight which is a great breast size for one meal. Not too much, not too little. Look at the table below for cooked skinless and boneless chicken breast nutritional facts at different weights.
Now, let’s examine different forms of chickens and how they affect their weight.
Related: Why Is Chicken Yellow?
- How Much do Different Types of Chicken Weigh?
- How Many Chicken Breasts are There In a Pound?
- How to Portion Chicken Breast?
- How to Weight Chicken Breast Without a Scale?
- Are Chickens Bigger Now Than Before?
- Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.
How Much do Different Types of Chicken Weigh?
There are big differences between regular chicken breasts from different farms, but so are there in different forms of chicken. Below you can find a comparison between the following chicken types;
- Bone-In & Boneless Chicken
- Raw & Cooked Chicken
- Thawed & Frozen Chicken
I’ll explain why there are differences between each form of chicken, how to prepare for it, and a table showing the weight differences set on a given weight. Now, let’s get started.
Bone-In vs. Boneless
The easiest weight difference to understand when It comes to chicken is bone-in and boneless chicken.
Bone-in chicken means that the bone is weighed with the chicken. Generally, when the chicken is cooked with the bone, it gives it a deeper flavor making it more delicious. These forms of chicken include chicken wings, drumsticks, and thighs where the bone is still intact.
Boneless chicken is generally easier to prepare, and you won’t need to think about weight differences between the edible meat and unedible bone. In contrast, boneless chicken means where the bone is removed, and only the meat remains. Chicken breast is a clear example of this, but so are chicken strips, tenders, and thighs.
Now, let’s look at how much bone-in chicken weighs and then its boneless counterpart. This gives you a clear idea of the difference.
|4oz (113g)||3.2oz (90g)|
|6oz (170g)||4.8oz (137)|
|8oz (227g)||6.4oz (182)|
|10oz (283g)||8oz (227)|
Generally, bone-in chicken weighs 20% more than the same piece as boneless. Major chicken parts, such as the thigh, have larger bones so that the weight difference can reach 30% or more. There will be the same amount of meat left, so the reduced boneless weight won’t matter.
Raw vs. Cooked
There is a significant weight difference between raw and cooked chicken as well.
Raw chicken is generally 25% heavier than cooked chicken because water evaporates from the meat’s surface during the cooking process, and water, fat, and juices leak from the meat. The actual weight difference depends on the cooking method, duration, temperature, and the doneness of the meat.
For example, if you were to cook the chicken in a vacuum bag, it would hold more fluids in it when compared to frying it in a hot pan. The chicken would shrink more on a pan, making it lighter in weight.
Now, look at the table below, and you can see how much 4, 6, 8, and 10oz chicken breast or other forms of chicken weighs, on average, after cooking.
|4oz (113g)||3oz (85g)|
|6oz (170g)||4.5oz (128g)|
|8oz (227g)||6oz (170g)|
|10oz (283g)||7.5oz (213g)|
Thawed vs. Frozen
The weight difference between frozen and thawed chicken is the smallest, but it’s still there.
When you freeze chicken or any meat, the small air pockets and water molecules will be frozen within the meat’s texture, adding weight. In contrast, when the meat is thawed, the excess water and juices will be removed from the meat, reducing its overall weight.
Although, the weight difference is so small that it isn’t even worth adding to a table for comparison.
In conclusion, bone-in chicken weighs more than boneless, raw chicken weighs more than cooked, and frozen chicken weighs more than thawed.
Related: Why Is Chicken Dry?
How Many Chicken Breasts are There In a Pound?
Given the average chicken breast weight, it’s important to know how many of them will fit in a pound, especially when preparing for a group of people. This aids you in faster and more straightforward calculations. It’s also important to consider the low and high ends of chicken breast weights.
Considering the average chicken breast weight of 6 ounces (170g), you will need 2 to 3 chicken breasts for a pound (454g). Depending on the real size of the chicken breasts, you may fit four in a pound or only one.
Remember when the lightest chicken breasts weigh around 4 ounces and the heaviest 10 ounces or more. You would fit four four-ounce chicken breasts in a pound, but not even two if the chicken breasts weigh more than 10 ounces.
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How to Portion Chicken Breast?
If you need to prepare a meal for a big group of people, it can be very difficult. However, you will find nothing but success by learning to portion right. So, how do you portion chicken breast?
Reserve 3 to 4 ounces of chicken per person to portion chicken breast. The right amount is approximately the size of your palm. You can portion chicken breast in bulk by calculating the weight by the box or using a scale and then dividing them into 3 to 4-ounce portions.
For example, look at the table below and see how much chicken breast you would need for different amounts of people.
|Amount of People||Amount of Chicken Breast|
|100||300-400 oz (8,5-11,3kg)|
How to Weight Chicken Breast Without a Scale?
Imagine preparing everything, putting your apron on, and getting busy with cooking. Everything is going fine when you notice the absence of a scale. Now, you’re in danger of under or over portioning your chicken breast, which wouldn’t be good. How can you weigh chicken without a scale?
The vast majority of chicken comes in a package with all the nutritional information and the overall weight.
For example, if you bought a pack with four chicken breasts weighing 1.5 pounds (680g), you need to divide the package weight by four, and you get the weight of a single chicken breast.
1.5-pound (680g) chicken breast package ÷ 4 chicken breasts = 6oz (170g) weight per chicken breast.
Are Chickens Bigger Now Than Before?
I have spent a lot of time in northern Europe and Scandinavian countries, particularly Finland. The size difference between Finnish chicken and American chicken is considerable. This makes you wonder whether chickens are bigger now than they used to be?
Chickens today are over four times bigger than before in the late 1950s. The reason for this is the drastically risen demand for protein that has the best value for the money. Thus, farmers started to overfeed the chickens to fatten them, and when that wasn’t enough, chickens were genetically altered.
Let’s take a journey through history and examine different areas and the amount of chicken weighted on average:
- The average chicken weight 2000 years ago was 900g
- The average chicken weight in 1957 was 900g
- The average chicken weight in 1978 was 1,8kg
- The average chicken weight today is 4,2kg
As research shows, the regular chicken weighed 900g for thousands of years, yet in the late 1950s, force-feeding and later genetic alteration began. This makes the chicken grow drastically faster, produce more eggs, and grow more from certain areas such as the breast, which is a highly demanded product.
Naturally, this causes ethical issues. First of all, these genetically altered chickens are specifically engineered for meat purposes, forcing them to live in inhumane conditions, often side by side with tens of thousands of other chickens. In addition, the chickens are over four-time heavier now than normally, but their legs are still the same.
A research study from 2003 also shows that certain breeds of chicken specifically manufactured for food purposes have issues with their immune system, causing disease among the chickens.
Even with these issues, a whopping 122.75 pounds of poultry, from there 96.4 pounds is chicken, is eaten by an American citizen each year. The trending upward trajectory hasn’t shown slowing down either, and Americans are expected to eat 101.0 pounds of broiler chickens per capita by 2030.
Remember to add some healthy carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice in addition to greens, fruit, and healthy fats to your plate. This way, we all can enjoy a more sustainable food production system!
Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.
Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.
- Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
- Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
- Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
- Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.