Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Ask Roni Weighing Food

Posted by 10 years ago 11 Comments

I have tried searching the internets for this answer…but no dice. Do you measure food BEFORE or AFTER it is cooked? I tested this with some ground turkey, and it was 4oz pre cooking, and then it shrunk to around 3 after cooking.


This is a GREAT question. I see a lot of people get confused over this.

The short answer is it depends! Either works as long as you use the correct nutritional info for what you have choosen.

For example, you mentioned ground turkey. I weigh it raw, I weigh all my meats raw. Then when I look up the nutritional information for it I make sure I’m looking at the raw values. Take a look at NutritionData’s entries for ground turkey, they give you the choice between raw and cooked.

My advice, you have to find what works for you. Some like to weigh post cooking I tend to weigh everything before cooking in it’s raw state. So when I give ounces or grams in my ingredient lists it’s raw and I use those figures to calculate the nutritional info for the dish.

But it really comes down to personal preference.

I should add, I think most recommendations in serving size are precooked.

I hope that helps a little.

P.S. How do you guys weigh your food?

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There are 11 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    May 8, 2008

    Usually the recipe will tell you. If it does not tell you then I would look at the instructions. For example, ground turkey. I have a recipe for BBQ Turkey Joes (sloppy joes). It calls for 1 pound of ground turkey. Then in the instructions, it tells you to brown turkey in a nonstick skillet so I would say that this recipe wants you to use 1 pound of raw meat. If all else fails, I just weigh it pre-cooked -- it's less food that way. Food shrinks when you cook it so you would have to add more cooked food to get the same volume of non-cooked food.

    Laura Brandon

    May 8, 2008

    I measure everything raw too, especially meats. i just feel more comfortable that way.


    May 8, 2008

    I usually weigh meat raw (though not always!); but usually weigh pasta & rice once it's been cooked, since I rarely cook one portion at a time.


    May 8, 2008

    I love nutrition data! so much great info there. M.


    May 8, 2008

    Depends what it is. If I am making a recipe than I weigh things raw. If I am eating something like chicken from a whole roasted then I weigh it cooked.


    May 8, 2008

    So you guys all measure your whole grain pasta pre or post-cooked?


    May 8, 2008

    I measure it pre-cooking. It' easier for me.


    May 8, 2008

    If I am making a recipe I use NI for raw meat. However if I am making a recipe that calls for cooked chicken and I am starting with leftover cooked chicken I use the NI for cooked. I weigh my pasta uncooked.


    May 8, 2008

    i am glad this question has come up. I was wondering too is it weighed raw? or cooked? But after reading the postings i guess it depends on the recipe. Or like a whole chicken has to be weighed after. ( the beer butt are excelent but i use soda pop) Thanks again for the good web site with all the helps on our journey to control our weight and be healthy.


    May 11, 2008

    When making a recipe, I weight everything out in its raw form and find the calories. Then I add up the calories for all the raw ingredients. Once the dish is cooked, I weight out the WHOLE dish and calculate how many grams it is (or ounces). Then I divide the calories for the ingredients that went into the dish by how much it made in its cooked form. Then, I calculate calories for 100 or 200 grams of that dish. I think as long as you are consistent, that's all that matters. Irene


    January 9, 2009

    Roni, can you do a video on how to use a digital food scale? The more I watch your videos the more I think I want a scale. But how do you know how many grams are in everything? I watched you & Ryan make the chocolate oatmeal cookies & I keep thinking about the scale...I would love to know more about weighing food!!! Keep up the good work, your recipes are all wonderful & you are an inspiration!