HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What have you made lately? Get great advice

Ground Beef: Pound to Cup Conversion

icecone Jul 28, 2010 10:04 AM

Does anyone know the following:

How many cups in 1 pound of raw ground beef?

How many cups in 1 pound of ground beef after it's been browned and the fat drained off?

I am assuming that the 8 oz. per cup standard applies to water only.

  1. greygarious Jul 28, 2010 10:15 AM

    You assume incorrectly. The "A pint's a pound the world around" adage applies. 2 cups (1 pint) of most foods = 1 pound. Granted, once cooked and drained, a pound of raw ground beef becomes less than a pint. But a pint container filled with cooked, drained ground beef would weigh a pound, although it might have taken 1-1/4 pounds (guessing here, and the fat percentage would make a difference) raw to yield that amount.

    4 Replies
    1. re: greygarious
      icecone Jul 28, 2010 11:34 AM

      Thanks! So if I buy 1 lb. of super-lean ground beef and brown it, I should get 1 cup of browned ground beef (more or less)?

      1. re: icecone
        greygarious Jul 28, 2010 11:58 AM

        pound=pint=2 cups

      2. re: greygarious
        paulj Jul 28, 2010 11:58 AM

        Meat has roughly the same density as water. It has a high percentage of water, and barely floats. But ground meat can vary in density. Fresh out of the grinder it will be less dense than if it has been compressed into patties, or comes out of a plastic tube.

        In cooking it looses some water and fat, and can still vary in density depending on it is broken up, and how dry it is.

        But using the 2cups to pound equivalence for water, it is safe to assume that a pound of ground beef will cook up into something between 1 and 2 cups.

        But sort of recipe calls for cooked ground meat by the cup? How critical is the measurement?

        1. re: paulj
          icecone Jul 28, 2010 03:03 PM

          Thanks. See my reply to c oliver below.

      3. c oliver Jul 28, 2010 02:28 PM

        I'm curious why you're asking. Do you have a recipe that calls for a cup of ground beef?

        1 Reply
        1. re: c oliver
          icecone Jul 28, 2010 03:02 PM

          I am experimenting with meat loaves. All I have in the fridge is soy veggie burgers, which I will crumble up for ground beef. I wanted to record the amounts in such a way that I could substitute real browned ground beef later, and I wasn't sure if soy protein (or other veggie substitutes) have the same weight. Seemed that a volume measurement would work best.

        2. alanbarnes Jul 28, 2010 09:36 PM

          What kind of accuracy do you want?

          Raw ground beef will be about two cups per pound, but since fat's less dense than water and muscle is denser, it'll vary with the fat content. Once you've cooked the meat, fat has rendered out, but you have more air pockets. Squish it down, and you're getting close to the same density.

          Most of the time you won't go far wrong assuming that a pint of relatively wet stuff weighs about a pound. But if you want more than 10% or so accuracy, you'll need to be a little more careful and verify weights and measures.

          Show Hidden Posts