What Does 5 Ounces of Ground Beef Look Like? A Helpful Visual Guide

Ground beef is a kitchen staple used in everything from burgers to tacos to meatloaf. Many recipes call for 5 ounces specifically. But what does 5 ounces of ground beef actually look like?

As a visual learner in the kitchen, I decided to find out. Keep reading for a complete guide to identifying a 5 ounce portion of ground beef both raw and cooked.

What 5 Ounces of Raw Ground Beef Looks Like

When in its raw state 5 ounces of ground beef is about the size of

  • A hockey puck or baseball
  • The palm of an average man’s hand
  • A deck of playing cards

It’s approximately a 1⁄2 inch thick patty that’s around 4 inches wide in diameter

To put it in exact measurements, 5 ounces of raw ground beef is:

  • 141 grams
  • 1⁄4 pound
  • 3⁄4 cup loosely packed

So if you divide a 1 pound package of ground beef into quarters, each quarter pound section would be 5 ounces.

Here’s a simple visual representation:

![Raw ground beef 5 oz][]

When eyeballing it, using the palm of your hand as a reference is a helpful trick. Weigh with a kitchen scale for true accuracy.

How Much 5 Ounces of Ground Beef Cooks Down

When ground beef is cooked, it loses moisture and reduces in volume. You’ll end up with around 3-4 ounces of cooked ground beef from a 5 ounce raw portion.

So if your recipe calls for 5 ounces cooked, you’ll want to start with at least 6 ounces raw to compensate for the shrinkage that happens during cooking.

Here’s a simple comparison:

  • 5 ounces raw = Palm of hand sized patty
  • 5 ounces cooked = Baseball sized patty

Knowing how much ground beef cooks down is useful for proper recipe portioning.

Common Uses for 5 Ounces of Ground Beef

Here are some of the many ways 5 ounces of ground beef can be used:

  • Burger patties (makes 1 average patty)
  • Meatballs (makes around 5 standard sized)
  • Tacos (enough for 2-3 tacos)
  • Chili (base for a hearty pot)
  • Spaghetti Bolognese (sauce for 2-3 servings)
  • Cottage pie or sloppy joe filling
  • Lasagna layer
  • Soup base like chili or minestrone

Both raw and cooked 5 ounce portions of ground beef work for different recipes. Adjust accordingly if your recipe specifies raw or cooked weight.

Cooking and Handling Tips

Follow these tips for working with 5 ounces of ground beef:

  • If browning raw, use a hot pan and don’t overcrowd. Work in batches.
  • Break up the meat thoroughly with a spoon as it cooks.
  • Drain excess fat after browning to reduce calories.
  • Cook to an internal temperature of 160°F to eliminate bacteria.
  • Add spices, herbs, aromatics during cooking to boost flavor.
  • Chill cooked ground beef within 2 hours and use within 3-4 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze cooked ground beef for 2-4 months.

With proper handling and cooking, 5 ounces of ground beef can be safely transformed into any number of delicious dishes.

Nutrition Information in 5 Ounces of Cooked Ground Beef

A 5 ounce cooked portion of ground beef packs over 30 grams of protein and a range of vitamins and minerals:

  • Protein: 32g
  • Vitamin B6: 15% DV
  • Vitamin B12: 59% DV
  • Zinc: 48% DV
  • Selenium: 44% DV
  • Iron: 15% DV
  • Niacin: 59% DV

However, it also contains around 300 calories and 22 grams of fat depending on the fat percentage. Choose lean or extra lean ground beef to reduce calories and fat intake.

Alternatives to Ground Beef

For those looking to lower their red meat consumption, here are some alternatives to ground beef:

  • Ground turkey or chicken – has a milder taste but can be substituted 1:1
  • Lentils or mushrooms – provides a plant-based substitute in dishes like tacos
  • Soy-based vegetable crumbles – mimic the texture of ground beef
  • Bison or venison – often leaner than beef with a distinct flavor
  • Beyond or Impossible plant-based meat – formulated to replicate ground beef

Many dishes calling for ground beef can be made with a healthier, more sustainable protein swap. Get creative with the possibilities!

The Takeaway

Knowing what 5 ounces of ground beef looks like makes portioning recipes much easier. A 5 ounce raw portion is about the size of your palm. It cooks down to around a baseball sized amount. This versatile ingredient can be used in burgers, tacos, pasta sauce, and endless other dishes. With proper handling and cooking, 5 ounces provides enough meat for 1-2 servings depending on the recipe. Next time your recipe calls for 5 ounces of ground beef, you’ll know exactly how much to use.

A Serving Size of Meat versus What You Get at a Steakhouse


What do 3 ounces of ground beef look like?

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. 3 oz of grilled fish is the size of a checkbook.

What does 2oz of meat look like?

A serving of meat, poultry, or fish is 2 to 3 ounces. This looks like the size of a deck of cards or the palm of the hand. A serving of natural cheese is 1½ ounces. This looks like the size of 3 to 4 dice.

How big is 4oz of meat?

4 oz is a quarter pound. Sizewise, it’s about the size of your palm, or a bit less, depending on how big your hands are.

What does 4 oz of ground beef look like in cups?

One heaping cup of crumbles, it’s about 4 ounces of ground beef. So if you’re someone who’s cooking for one. or trying to keep track of your protein intake, it’s perfect. About one heaping cup, 4 ounces.

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