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How Many Cups is 4 oz of Ground Beef?

Ground beef is an easy way to add the daily value of protein to so many different meals like lasagna, spaghetti, salads, and more. It can also be a great base for meals like tacos, meatloaf, or sloppy joes. But how many cups is 4 oz of ground beef?

pile of ground beef the size of a checkbook on a board

The quick answer is 4 ounces of raw ground beef is 1/2 cup.

Ground Beef Weight

Ground beef is a staple in our house. I tend to buy in bulk and get the lean ground beef (93/7). I love it for quick meals because it is easy to cook and has 23 grams of protein per serving.

It’s a great way to add protein to your daily diet plans.

Ground beef is usually sold by the ounce, but I have found that some recipes measure the ground beef in cups. If you find yourself in this situation and need to convert cups to ounces or ounces to cups, fear not!

My tips and tricks for measuring ground beef will help you know exactly how to determine the right amount of ground beef for your meal.

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1 servings of ground beef in a metal bowl

How many cups is 4 ounces of ground beef?

Four ounces of lean ground beef is equivalent to about 1/2 U.S. cups. It is important to note that this measurement can vary slightly depending on the density of the meat.

A US cup of ground beef is roughly 8 ounces. One pound of raw ground beef is roughly 2 packed cups, before cooking.

The reason why this measurement can vary is due to the concept of weight versus volume. Weight measures how heavy something is, and volume measures the amount of space it takes up.

Measuring cups measure volume, so one-quarter cup of ground beef refers to volume, while four ounces of ground beef references its weight.

How do you measure ground beef?

The best way to measure ground beef is to use a food scale. This will give you the most accurate measurement in oz of meat.

To measure four ounces of ground beef using a food scale, first, place a clean container on the scale and zero out the weight. Then, add the ground beef to the container until the scale reads four ounces.

If you do not have a food scale, you can still measure ground beef using measuring cups. To do this, first, make sure the ground beef is packed as tightly as possible into the measuring cup.

Use a spoon or your fingers to press the ground beef down into the cup until it is level with the top edge of the cup. This will give you the most accurate measurement of the volume of the ground beef.

Ground Beef Basics

Want more tips on cooking with ground beef? Check out my Ultimate Guide to Ground Beef for measuring, cooking, and storage tips, along with some delicious recipes!

kitchen scale with common conversions

How to Measure Ground Beef with Measuring Cups

A food scale is always the most accurate way to measure ground beef, but not everyone has access to one. If you do not have a kitchen scale, you can still measure ground beef using measuring cups. 

To measure ground beef with an actual measuring cup, make sure the ground beef is packed as tightly as possible into the cup.

It is important that the meat is tightly packed because if it is loosely packed, the volume will be less, and in turn, it will weigh less than a tightly packed full cup.

You can use a spoon or your fingers to pack in the ground beef. Pack in the ground beef until it is even with the top of the cup to get the most accurate measurement of the volume of the ground beef.

Once you have measured out the ground beef using a measuring cup, you can then convert the volume to weight using a conversion chart or calculator to confirm your conversion.

In general, however, a packed 1/2 cup of ground beef will be about 4 ounces of meat.

Weight Differs with Fat Content

Volume to weight conversions can be useful, but it is important to note that it is not always an exact measurement. Weight can vary depending on the density of the ground beef.

For example, lean meat does not have as much fat, meaning it is less dense. Since it is less dense, it weighs less, so ¼ cup of lean ground beef might be slightly less than regular ground beef.

On the other hand, if you are cooking with a fattier type of ground beef, the fat makes it more dense, which in turn makes it weigh more.

This density results in a slightly larger measurement in ounces, so ¼ cup of fatty ground beef might weigh slightly over 4 ounces.

measuring us cups for dry ingredients with 1 cup value

How to Measure Ground Beef Without a Food Scale

Using measuring cups can be a convenient way to quickly estimate the weight of ground beef without using a scale. There are also a few other convenient methods to estimate the weight of ground beef.

One method you can do is to eyeball measurements using various reference points. For example, one serving of ground beef is equal to about the size of a deck of cards or palm of your hand.

This of course depends on your hand size. For meatballs, a 1-inch meatball is about equal to an ounce of ground beef.

Though eyeballing can be a quick and easy way to measure ground beef, if you are looking for accuracy, a food scale is still the best way to get an exact measurement.

The next best method if a food scale is not available is using measuring cups.

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4 oz portion of ground beef on wood board with text and white banner

Next time you are cooking with ground beef, remember these tips and tricks to properly measure ground beef!

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