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Jan 30, 2010 10:52 AM

Measuring Cheese

Would someone please help me??? I am really confused about the correct way to measure shredded and grated cheese. When you purchase an 8 ounce bag of cheese the package does not say it equals one cup. Please explain in simple terms the correct way for me to measure cheese for recipes. I have been using dry measuring cups to add cheese to recipes but I now realize I am doing something incorrectly. I would appreciate any help in making sense of this puzzle. Thanks

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  1. I don't think you're doing it wrong. To measure grated cheese, put it into a measuring cup.

    The only thing I would advise you to change is don't buy pre-grated cheese. Buy a nice piece and grate it yourself. It will taste better no matter how much you use. ;)

    1 Reply
    1. re: visciole

      There's a considerable weight difference per cup in grated cheese depending on the coarseness of the grater. Large holes of a box grater give you a heavier "cup" than the feathery shreds of a fine grater or microplane. A good recipe will say "x ounces of cheese, grated" and will specify how finely or coarsely. In that case, you weigh the cheese first, then grate. If it says something like "2 cups of coarsely-grated cheese" you would scoop/pour it into a cup, shake it so it settles a little, then measure.

      Cooks Illustrated had a blurb on this a couple of years ago but I don't know which issue.

    2. Cheddar
      1 cup shredded= 4 oz (113g/3.99oz)
      1 cup diced = 4.65 oz (132g)
      1 cup melted = 8.6 oz (244g)
      source: USDA SR21

      4 Replies
      1. re: hannaone

        Hi thanks for your response. How did you know the number of ounces for shredded cheese. I appreciate everyone's response.

        1. re: tantan

          Maybe I'm off-base, but I'm interpreting from your original post that you thought 8 oz = 1 cup. An 8-oz bag of cheese is referring to its weight, not its volume. While it is true that 8 fluid oz = 1 cup, it is not true that an 8-oz bag of cheese = 1 cup.

          Again, sorry if you already had a beat on this but I figured it was worth mentioning just in case.

          1. re: tantan

            The USDA nutrient database has the figures.
            It's based on average weights so there will be some variance depending on shred size (per greygarious' post) and the type of cheese used. (Colby, jack, cheddar and like cheeses weigh nearly the same, mozzarella slightly less)

            Anyone interested in the SR22 database search program can download it from here:


          2. re: hannaone

            I need some help with the melted cheese. I have 16 ounces of Monterrey Jack and once it is shredded it will be 4 cups. How much will it be melted? I'm guessing <2 cups.

          3. I use a digital scale to measure cheese, in snacking too. A 1oz serving grated is a lot more cheese than it looks like!

            1 Reply
            1. re: k80k

              I do the same. Same with pasta. I always use a scale to measure.

            2. If the recipe states 1 cup, I would do 1 measuring cup packed. Otherwise you should weigh it if it states ounces. I don't think it needs to be so precise in most recipes.

              7 Replies
              1. re: letsindulge

                I know I need 4 cups of the cheese, I'm trying to find out when melted what will I have. Using the information from "hannaone", I'm thinking the end result will be just less than 2 cups.

                1. re: letsindulge

                  I too put it in an oversized measuring cup and then pack down lightly.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    I appreciate all the replies but you're all missing the point. When I take 16 ounces of cheese, what is the measurement when it is melted? 1 cup, 2 cups?

                    1. re: WickedStepMom

                      Yes, we have been missing your point. I suspect it's because few of us have seen a recipe where melted cheese is measured.

                      1. re: WickedStepMom

                        If you really are trying to measure a volume of melted cheese for something, you can use basic math from hanaone's post to calculate the conversion. Number of cups needed times 8.6 ounces. If cups are in fractions, convert fractions to decimals and do the same thing.

                        1. re: Bkeats

                          I appreciate all the answers and so sorry I had everyone so confused. Yes, I thought using HANAONE'S formula was the way to go but was hoping someone had already used it for fondue or something else and could confirm it worked for them.

                          1. re: WickedStepMom

                            If you have 16 ounces of cheese, that increases in volume to 4 cups, won't it just go back to 16 ounces when melted which would be about two cups?