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How To Measure Ground Beef Without A Scale?

If you are looking to measure the weight of ground beef and don’t have a scale handy, there are a few other options available for you to get an accurate weight.

If you don’t own a scale, choose not to have one, or if your scale is broken, it’s very simple to use one of the following methods to weigh ground beef and other foods. 

Here are a few hacks for measuring ground beef without a scale

raw ground beef in bowl

How much does ground beef weigh? Raw and cooked

It’s important to note that ground beef does not weigh the same after it’s been cooked. 

The weight of 1 pound or 16 ounces of raw ground beef will be close to ¾ pound or 12 ounces when fully cooked. This is a reduction of about 25%. 

It can be difficult to get an exact measurement as there are several factors to consider.

The fat content of the beef plus the method you use to cook it will determine the weight reduction once cooked. But if you plan for a 25% reduction in weight, it will be very close.

If you are making a recipe that calls for a certain amount of cooked ground beef, you will need to plan ahead for the weight reduction to prevent excess or not enough beef. 

As the fat content of the beef is drained away and removed, the volume and weight of the beef will be reduced. 

One pound of raw ground beef will yield about 3 full cups once it’s fully cooked. 

If your recipe calls for 1 pound or 16 ounces of fully cooked ground beef, you don’t want to start with 1 pound of raw beef.

It’s would be better to start with 1-¼ pounds or 20 ounces of raw ground beef to yield about 1 pound when cooked. 

cooked ground beef in pan

How To Measure Ground Beef Without A Scale

Here are a few methods to use when measuring ground beef without a scale.

Use your hand 

One of the easiest and most convenient methods of measuring ground beef is to just use the palm of your hand. 

Many recipes will call for 2 servings of ground beef. This is equivalent to 6 ounces which is 3 ounces per serving. 

On average, an adult palm can hold about 3 ounces of ground beef which is 1 serving. 

Not every person has the same hand size so take this into consideration.

This will also work for measuring other meats like poultry and fish. 

If you need 2 servings or 6 ounces, just place the same amount of beef into your palm twice. 

Although this method will not be 100% accurate, it will be close enough if you don’t have a scale available. 

raw ground beef in hand

Use measuring cups

Most people will have measuring cups in their kitchen. They are a great tool to use for weight and portion size measurement if you don’t have a food scale

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As mentioned, 1 pound or 16 ounces of cooked ground beef will equal 3 cups. 

1 cup of ground beef will equal 5.33 ounces. 

To convert into ounces:

½ cup = 2.66 ounces

1 cup = 5.33 ounces

2 cups = 10.66 ounces

3 cups = 16 ounces

Keep in mind these numbers are for cooked ground beef which can be 25% less than raw ground beef. You will need to make adjustments depending on the amount you need. 

multi colored measuring cups

Measuring spoons

If you don’t have measuring cups available, you can also use measuring spoons to easily weigh ground beef and measure portion size. 

Measuring spoons are quite smaller than cups, so it will take longer to measure out the amount of ground beef you need. 

For example:

You can use tablespoons and teaspoons for measuring. 

1 tablespoon = 0.5 ounces

2 tablespoons = 1 ounce

4 tablespoons = 2 ounces

6 tablespoons = 3 ounces

One serving of ground beef is equal to 6 tablespoons. If you are looking for 2 servings, it would equal 12 tablespoons. 

6 teaspoons = 1 ounce

12 teaspoons = 2 ounces

18 teaspoons = 3 ounces

One serving of ground beef is equal to 18 teaspoons. If you are looking for 2 servings, it would equal 36 teaspoons. 

Use the following numbers if you want to convert to grams.

1 ounce = 28.35 grams

2 ounces = 56.7 grams

3 ounces = 85 grams

6 ounces = 170 grams

silver measuring spoons

Use a plate

If you don’t have either measuring cups or spoons available, another option is to use a plate. 

You can use a salad or dinner plate to measure the amount of ground beef. 

For example:

A salad plate is around 7-8 inches in diameter and can hold between 3 to 4 cups of ground beef. This is assuming the ground beef covers the plate and is fairly thin (less than an inch).

Therefore, if you have 3 cups of ground beef, this will equal 1 pound. If half of the plate is covered, it will equal 1.5 cups or 0.5 pounds. 

A dinner plate is around 11 inches in diameter and can hold up to 6 cups of ground beef. Again this assumes the ground beef covers a majority of the plate and is less than an inch thick. 

If you have 6 cups of ground beef, this is equal to 2 pounds. If half the plate is covered, you will have 3 cups or 1 pound. 

Using a plate is not as accurate as the other methods, but it can still be effective. 

raw ground beef on plate

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