How Many Cups are in 1 Pound of Ground Beef? A Handy Guide for Measuring Meat

As a busy home cook, I rely on ground beef as a quick and tasty way to whip up favorites like burgers, meatloaf, and chili. But when a recipe calls for a pound of ground beef, how do I easily measure that out without a scale? This is where knowing the cup equivalents comes in handy!

In this article, I’ll provide a definitive answer on how many cups are in 1 pound of ground beef. You’ll learn about key factors that affect the conversion, find detailed cup measurements, and get tips for precisely measuring ground beef at home. Let’s get cooking!

Key Things That Impact Cups per Pound

Before looking at the numbers, it helps to understand what influences the cups of ground beef in a pound. Here are two key factors:

Raw vs. Cooked

  • Raw ground beef contains more natural juices and fat so it compacts into fewer cups per pound.

  • Cooked ground beef shrinks as the fat renders out and moisture evaporates The remaining cooked meat fluffs up and fills more cups

Fat Content

  • Fattier ground beef like 70/30 shrinks more during cooking as extra fat melts away

  • Leaner beef like 90/10 doesn’t lose as much fat and retains close to its original volume after cooking.

So 1 pound translates to fewer cups if the meat is raw and higher fat Keeping those factors in mind, let’s look at the numbers

Cups of Raw Ground Beef Per Pound

When measuring straight from the package, here is how ground beef typically breaks down:

  • 1 lb raw 73/27 ground beef = 2 cups
  • 1 lb raw 80/20 ground beef = 2 1⁄4 cups
  • 1 lb raw 90/10 extra lean ground beef = 2 1⁄2 cups

As expected, leaner raw beef fills slightly more cups per pound. But in general, 2 to 2 1⁄4 cups is reasonable for 1 pound of raw ground beef.

Cups of Cooked Ground Beef Per Pound

After cooking, ground beef decreases in density and fills more cups:

  • 1 lb cooked 73/27 ground beef = 2 3⁄4 cups
  • 1 lb cooked 80/20 ground beef = 3 cups
  • 1 lb cooked 90/10 extra lean ground beef = 3 1⁄4 cups

The extra fat renders out of fattier beef, decreasing its volume. So for cooked ground beef, you can estimate about 3 cups per pound.

Helpful Tips for Measuring Ground Beef

To easily and accurately measure ground beef:

  • Use a kitchen scale for precise weights.

  • Pack meat lightly into a dry measuring cup.

  • Weigh the cup on a scale and make adjustments to get an exact pound.

  • Start with 2 1⁄4 cups raw or 3 cups cooked as a guide.

  • Add or reduce slightly depending on fat content and cooking loss.

  • Replace some meat with veggies or rice in recipes to reduce calories and fat.

With these tips, you can precisely portion ground beef for any recipe.

Sample Recipes with 1 Pound Ground Beef

To put the cup measurements into practice, here are some recipe ideas that traditionally use 1 pound of ground beef:

Juicy Burgers

  • 1 lb (3 cups) cooked 80/20 ground beef
  • Burger buns, favorite toppings

Form beef into 4 patties. Grill to desired doneness. Add cheese, veggies, condiments.

Hearty Lasagna

  • 1 lb (2 1⁄4 cups) raw 90/10 ground beef
  • Lasagna noodles, ricotta, tomato sauce, mozzarella

Brown beef, assemble lasagna, and bake 40 minutes.

Taco Night

  • 1 lb (3 cups) cooked 73/27 ground beef
  • Taco shells, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa

Cook beef with taco seasoning. Build tacos with desired toppings.

Classic Meatloaf

  • 1 lb (2 cups) raw 80/20 ground beef
  • Onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, ketchup

Mix ingredients and bake meatloaf 1 hour.

Get the Most Out of Your Ground Beef

I hope these cup measurements help you easily portion ground beef for any recipe using pounds. With the handy approximations for raw versus cooked and different fat contents, you can ditch the scale and quickly measure out exactly what you need.

Remember that the leaner the beef and cooking method, the more cups per pound you’ll get. So start with the 2 1⁄4 raw or 3 cups cooked baseline then adjust from there based on your specific ingredients.

Now you have the knowledge to get cooking and make the most of every pound of healthy, tasty ground beef in your kitchen creations. Dig in!

How Many Cups in a Pound?


How to measure 1 lb of ground beef?

Measuring Cups & Spoons: Ounces to Cups: Each cup contains eight ounces, so you can use measuring cups to estimate the weight of ground beef. For example, 1 lb of ground beef is approximately equal to two cups [1].

How many cups is 16 oz of ground beef?

A ‘pint’ deli container holds 16 oz or about 2 cups. 3 oz portion is similar in size to a deck of cards ▪ 1 oz of cooked meat is similar in size to 3 dice. A 1-inch meatball is about one ounce. 4 oz of raw, lean meat is about 3 ounces after cooking.

Is 16 oz of ground beef 1 lb?

Example 1: Raw to Cooked Ground Beef Step 1: When determining the yield of raw, ground beef, check the USDA Food Buying Guide (FBG) ( to determine how many ounces of cooked product will come from 16 ounces (1 lb.) of raw product.

How much will 1 pound of ground beef feed?

One pound of ground beef can typically make 4 to 6 servings, depending on how much you use per serving. Here are some popular ground beef dishes and how many servings they typically yield: Skillet meals: These one-pan meals are great for busy weeknights. They typically use 1 pound of ground beef and serve 4-5 people.

How much does a cup of ground beef weigh?

The weight of a cup of ground beef depends on whether it is cooked or raw. If raw, it will be heavier than when cooked. A cooked cup of ground beef will weigh approximately 5.3 ounces. That is equivalent to 150.25 grams or a third of a pound. On the other hand, a cup of raw ground beef weighs around 25% more than the weight of cooked beef.

How many cups of cooked ground beef in a pound?

1 pound or 16 ounces of cooked ground beef equals approximately 3 cups. – Other measurements: 1 cup of cooked ground beef equals approximately 5.33 ounces, 1/2 cup of cooked ground beef equals approximately 2.66 ounces, and 2 cups of cooked ground beef equals approximately 10.66 ounces.

How do you convert a pound to a cup of ground beef?

1. Converting between pounds and cups for cooked ground beef: From pounds to cups: Multiply the number of pounds by 2 to 2.5 (as 1 pound of raw ground beef yields approximately 2 to 2.5 cups of cooked ground beef).

How much is a pound of cooked ground beef?

As such, while a pound equals three cups of cooked beef, the same pound would be equivalent to approximately 2¼ cups of raw ground beef. Raw ground beef is heavier than cooked ground beef. Why Is Cooked Ground Beef Lighter Than Raw Ground Beef? Cooking beef is a chemical process that leads to new substances.

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