Chicken thighs are a popular and versatile protein choice. They have a higher fat content than chicken breasts, which gives them a richer flavor. Many people wonder how many calories are in uncooked boneless chicken thighs to help guide meal planning and calorie tracking.
In this article, we will provide a detailed breakdown of the calories and nutrition facts for uncooked boneless chicken thighs. We will look at the calorie counts for a 3 ounce serving, as well as for a full chicken thigh. We will also examine how the calorie content changes when the chicken is cooked.
Calories in 3 Ounces of Uncooked Boneless Chicken Thighs
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 3 ounce serving of raw, boneless, skinless chicken thigh (with the fat trimmed off) contains:
- Calories: 184
- Protein: 26g
- Fat: 8g
- Carbs: 0g
So a 3 ounce serving of uncooked boneless skinless chicken thigh contains 184 calories.
To put this into perspective, here is how the calories in 3 ounces of raw chicken thigh compares to other common foods:
|3 oz raw chicken thigh||184|
|3 oz raw chicken breast||140|
|3 oz raw lean beef||180|
|3 oz raw salmon||156|
As you can see, the calorie count for a 3 ounce serving of raw boneless skinless chicken thigh lands right in the middle compared to other uncooked proteins. It contains more calories than chicken breast, but less than an equivalent portion of beef.
Full Nutrition Facts for a 6 Ounce Chicken Thigh
While the calorie count for a 3 ounce portion is useful for tracking macros and calories, chicken thighs are often larger than 3 ounces when preparing a full meal.
Here are the full nutrition facts for a 6 ounce raw chicken thigh according to the USDA:
As you can see, a full 6 ounce raw boneless skinless chicken thigh contains 367 calories. It also provides a significant amount of protein at 52 grams per thigh.
This calorie count is for a thigh without the bone or skin. Leaving the skin on significantly increases the calories and fat grams:
|With Skin||Without Skin|
|Calories: 417||Calories: 367|
|Fat: 23g||Fat: 16g|
So be mindful of removing the skin if you are trying to control calorie or fat intake.
Calories in Cooked Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Cooking chicken thigh without the skin will change the nutrition profile slightly.
According to the USDA, a 6 ounce chicken thigh cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F contains:
- Calories: 387
- Protein: 54g
- Fat: 16g
As you can see, the calorie count increases slightly to 387 calories when the chicken is cooked. The protein and fat grams remain nearly the same.
This small change in calories when cooked is due to loss of water weight. As the chicken cooks, the water evaporates, leaving behind a more concentrated source of protein and fat.
It’s important to note that the cooking method can further change the calorie content. Frying or breading the chicken thigh will add extra calories from oil, butter, or breading ingredients.
Here is a comparison of the calories for a 6 oz chicken thigh prepared by different cooking methods:
As shown, dry cooking methods like roasting, grilling, and baking have the lowest calorie count. Frying adds a significant amount of extra calories from the oil.
Tips for Serving Chicken Thigh
To keep chicken thigh as a lean, lower-calorie option, consider these serving tips:
- Remove the skin before cooking
- Use healthier cooking methods like baking, grilling or broiling
- Avoid frying or breading the chicken
- Pair it with non-starchy vegetables as a side dish
- Avoid high-calorie sauces and glazes
Chicken Thigh Calories Compared to Other Chicken Cuts
Chicken thigh has a distinct nutrition profile compared to other common chicken cuts:
Chicken thigh contains more calories and fat than breast or drumstick. But it offers more protein than drumstick or wings.
Many people find chicken thigh to be juicier and more flavorful than breast meat. It can be used in many of the same recipes as chicken breast, keeping in mind the differences in cooking time.
In summary, here is a quick recap of the calorie counts for uncooked boneless chicken thighs:
- 3 ounces uncooked boneless skinless thigh: 184 calories
- 6 ounces uncooked boneless skinless thigh: 367 calories
- 6 ounces cooked boneless skinless thigh: 387 calories
Chicken thighs offer an excellent source of protein and flavor. Monitor portion sizes and avoid frying or breading to enjoy their benefits without going overboard on calories. Pair chicken thigh with vegetables and whole grains as part of a balanced diet.