How Many Cups are in a Pound of Cooked Ground Beef? A Detailed Guide

Ground beef is a versatile meat that’s a staple ingredient in many classic dishes like hamburgers, meatloaf, chili, tacos, and so much more. But when it comes to cooking with ground beef, one common question always seems to come up – how much cooked ground beef does a pound make? Specifically, how many cups are in a pound of cooked ground beef?

As a home cook and food blogger, I’ve cooked with ground beef more times than I can count. And let me tell you, the answer isn’t always straightforward The amount of cooked ground beef you get from a pound can vary quite a bit based on a few key factors

In this detailed guide, I’ll break down exactly what affects the yield of cooked ground beef per pound and provide some simple tips to help you easily estimate the number of cups you’ll get. Whether you’re meal prepping doubling a recipe, or just cooking up some hamburger helper you’ll have the info you need to perfectly plan recipes with ground beef.

What Determines the Cups per Pound of Cooked Ground Beef?

When it comes to measuring cooked ground beef, the main factors that affect the final yield per pound are:

  • Fat Percentage – Fattier ground beef will cook down more and result in fewer cups per pound. Leaner ground beef usually gives you more cooked volume.

  • Cooking Method – How you cook the beef also impacts the amount of shrinkage and moisture loss. Pan frying, boiling, grilling etc. can all affect the final quantity.

  • How Well It’s Drained – Excess fat and moisture that’s drained off will decrease the final number of cups you get. Better drainage = less volume.

With those key factors in mind, let’s look at some general guidelines and ranges for how many cups to expect from a pound of cooked ground beef.

Cups Per Pound of Cooked Ground Beef

  • 80% Lean Ground Beef – 1 3/4 to 2 cups
  • 85% Lean Ground Beef – 2 to 2 1/4 cups
  • 90% Lean Ground Beef – 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups
  • 93% Lean Ground Beef – 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups

As you can see, the leaner cuts of meat usually result in slightly higher yields per pound. Just keep in mind these ranges are approximations. The exact amount can still vary based on cook methods and drainage.

For example, if you pan fry 85% lean ground beef and drain it very well, you may end up with around 2 cups for a pound. But if you lightly cook and drain the same beef, you may get over 2 1/4 cups.

Now let’s look at some simple tips to accurately measure cooked ground beef and get perfect results in your recipes.

Tips for Measuring Cooked Ground Beef

Use a Kitchen Scale for Precise Measurement

If you want 100% accuracy, your best bet is to weigh cooked ground beef directly on a kitchen scale. This will give you an exact measurement in ounces or grams rather than having to estimate cup amounts.

Pack It Into a Measuring Cup

For an approximate cup measurement, spoon the cooked ground beef into a dry measuring cup and pack it down lightly. Level off the top with a knife or spatula. This will maximize the full capacity of the cup.

Estimate Based on the Raw Weight

As a rule of thumb, ground beef loses around 25% of its weight from cooking. So 1 pound (16 oz) raw yields about 12 oz cooked. You can use this to roughly calculate the cooked amount if you know the pre-cooked weight.

Cook It Separately from Other Ingredients

Browning beef with lots of spices, veggies, or sauce can make it tricky to get an accurate measurement. When possible, cook ground beef on its own first.

Drain Fat and Moisture Well

The better you drain excess grease and liquids, the less your cooked ground beef will weigh and the fewer cups you’ll get per pound.

Adjust for Fat Percentage

Remember that fattier beef will cook down more while leaner beef retains more volume. Keep this in mind when estimating cups per pound.

Handy Ground Beef Conversion Chart

To make it easy, here is a quick reference chart to show common conversions for cooked ground beef. This can help you quickly estimate amounts for recipes.

Raw Weight Cooked Cups (Drained)
1 pound 2 to 2 1/2 cups
8 ounces (half pound) 1 to 1 1/4 cups
4 ounces 1/2 to 3/4 cup
1 pound 24 to 30 ounces
1 cup 5 to 6 ounces

With the knowledge of how to accurately measure cooked ground beef under your belt, you can perfectly plan for meal prepping, calculate recipe costs, and never have to wonder about the number of cups again. No more guessing how many pounds you need to make a big batch of homemade chili or how much cooked beef for 8 burger patties.

As you cook more with ground beef, you’ll get better at visually estimating amounts. But when in doubt, grab those measuring cups and kitchen scale to get it just right. Here’s to cooking with perfectly portioned ground beef for delicious recipes everyone will enjoy!

Bodybuilding Nutrition Tip: How to Accurately Weigh Cooked Meat


How much does 1 cup of cooked ground beef weigh?

Ground beef or patty, cooked, NS as to percent lean (formerly NS as to regular, lean, or extra lean) (cooked) weigh(s) 229 grams per metric cup or 7.6 ounces per US cup, and contain(s) 260 calories per 100 grams (≈3.53 ounces) [ weight to volume | volume to weight | price | density ]

How much does 16 oz of ground beef weigh after cooking?

portions, knowing that this package weights 16 oz., you can cook it, weigh it after, then just divide that by two. Remember, that after cooking it, it may only weigh 12 oz., making each of the portions now only 6 oz. However, the nutrition facts for each of these meals will be equal to that of an 8 oz.

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 of ground beef per meal?

1 Serving About 1.5 Cups Ground Beef.

How many cups of ground beef in a pound?

The general rule of thumb is that one pound of cooked ground beef is roughly equivalent to about 2 to 2 ½ cups. However, this can change based on factors such as the lean-to-fat ratio of the beef, the cooking method used, and how much moisture is removed during cooking.

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.

How much meat should a pound of ground beef yield?

A pound of ground beef should measure between 3 and 4 cups when it’s raw. Taking shrinkage into account, this means your total meat yield could be somewhere between 2-1/4 and 3 cups. Keep this in mind when you’re cooking off hamburgers, too. A single pound of 80-to-20 ground beef should yield 3/4 pound of cooked meat.

How much does a cup of cooked ground beef weigh?

When it comes to measuring cooked ground beef, 1 cup equals approximately 5.33 ounces. Therefore, 1 pound or 16 ounces of cooked ground beef equals approximately 3 cups.

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