You may find that most recipes will call for chicken breast meat that is measured in ounces or pounds. Unless you’re whipping up a dish that leaves the breasts whole, you may be asking yourself how many chicken breasts do I need? How many chicken breasts in a pound?
Average Chicken Breast Weight
There are two very distinct types when looking at chicken breasts, aside from boneless and bone-in.
Store bought & farm raised.
Everyone nowadays has become more aware of the food that they eat, and local organic farms are happier than ever to provide farm-to-table boxes for happy customers.
Lets look at the average weight of store bought chicken breasts, compared to local farm raised. Keep in mind that there will be quite a difference depending on where you source your chicken.
Store Bought vs Organic Farm Raised
|Grocery store bought||4 oz – 8 oz|
|Local farm raised||3 oz – 6 oz|
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You’ll see that a traditionally farm raised chicken breast (think organic) is typically 25% smaller than the factory farmed counterparts. In some cases, an organic chicken breast could weigh half as much as a grocery store one.
Large-scale factory farms use refined genetics, optimum feed and environments to create very very large birds. This results in chicken breast sizes that would seem completely outlandish just a couple decades ago.
Our local farmers rely on old-school farming methods, and a more natural approach. A true organic raised chicken will always be smaller than what you will find in your average grocery cooler. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping for your chicken.
I myself buy both grocery chain and local sourced chicken, as it just depends on what is available when I need it. I love to support the local farmers when I can, but I won’t ignore a good deal at the grocery store when I see it.
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How Many Chicken Breasts in a Pound?
So has that recipe called for 2lbs of sliced chicken breast? Not sure exactly how many to prepare for the dish?
It’s not always easy to quickly judge exactly how many you may need. Sometimes it comes down to a bit of math, use of a kitchen scale or just look at the package!
Below I’ll cover 3 simple ways to quickly figure out how much chicken breast meat you have.
Calculate How Many Breasts in a Pound
This requires just a couple bits of info, a little bit of quick math and is really easy. I promise!
We will use the average weight of a local sourced organic chicken breast for this calculation; 4 ounces.
When calculating ounces to pounds, always remember that there are 16 ounces in a pound.
So here we go;
16 oz ÷ 4 oz = 4 breasts per pound
I kept this easy, and sometimes it wont be quite so simple. You’ll have chicken breasts that are not a uniform size, or you may not even know their weights at all.
Don’t worry if you are not sure, there is no need to guess. It brings us to our next section . . .
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Weigh Your Chicken Breasts with a Kitchen Scale
Here is the method to use if you’re super OCD, need to follow a recipe to a ‘T’. Just kidding, but not really.
Not everyone has a kitchen scale, but if you do, this is your absolute best way to get the right amount of chicken for your dish.
Using a kitchen scale to weigh the breast only requires a couple steps and helps you to:
- Control food consumption/waste
- Accurately portion multiple meals
- Easily know total weights before cooking
First off, before you get the chicken breasts near your scale, go grab your roll of plastic wrap. You will want to cover the entire scale from the platform over the base. This keeps the scale safe from any wayward raw chicken juices. We all try to be careful, but this step is worth it, I promise. Limiting the potential spreading of raw chicken in the kitchen is very important as it can harbor harmful bacteria.
Next you’ll want to choose a proper sized bowl to place on the scale. The bowl will help you to contain all the chicken pieces or whole breasts, whatever you need to weigh.
Make sure to zero your scale once your bowl is on!
Measure out your chicken and once done, keep the chicken in the bowl until needed. Remove your plastic wrap from the scale and give everything a wipe down with a warm soapy dishcloth or paper towel and disinfectant spray.
So what if you don’t have a kitchen scale, or is there an easier way to know the weight of your chicken breasts? Yes there is!
Check Your Chicken Breast Packaging for Weights
So simple, yet so over-looked.
Every time we buy our raw refrigerated chicken breasts in the grocery store, there will always be a total weight for the package. You’ll find this right above or below the price on the label.
If you buy your chicken breasts frozen, you’ll find that they typically have a very uniform size of 5oz to 6oz, and the box will also have a total weight. Very easy to then estimate without using a scale how much is needed for your recipe.
I hope this helped, take a look at some of our delicious recipes before you go.