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How many cups is 8 oz of cooked ground beef?

Ground beef is a versatile and commonly used ingredient in many recipes. Knowing how to accurately measure ground beef is important for following recipes correctly. When a recipe calls for 8 oz of cooked ground beef, it’s helpful to know how to convert that into cups for easy measuring.

The Quick Answer

8 oz of cooked ground beef is approximately 1 cup in volume. However, the exact amount can vary slightly depending on how dense and compact the cooked beef is.

Explaining the Volume of Cooked Ground Beef

To understand how many cups 8 oz of cooked ground beef is, it’s helpful to break this down step-by-step:

  • 1 oz of uncooked ground beef is about 1/8 cup in volume. So 8 oz of uncooked ground beef would be 8/8 = 1 cup.
  • When ground beef is cooked, it loses some of its volume due to fat and juices being released. The amount it reduces depends on the fat content.
  • For a typical 80/20 or 85/15 lean/fat ratio ground beef, the cooked volume is about 20-25% less than the uncooked amount.
  • So if 1 cup of uncooked beef reduces by about 20-25% from cooking, the resulting cooked amount would be around 3/4 to 4/5 cup.

This means that 8 oz of cooked ground beef (which started as 1 cup uncooked) results in a volume of approximately 1 cup cooked, depending on the precise fat ratio and cooking method.

Volume Comparisons

Here is a table to summarize the approximate volumes in cups of uncooked vs cooked ground beef:

Uncooked Ground Beef Cooked Ground Beef
8 oz = 1 cup 8 oz = 1 cup
12 oz = 1 1/2 cups 12 oz = 1 1/4 cups
16 oz = 2 cups 16 oz = 1 1/2 cups

As you can see, for 8 oz the uncooked and cooked amounts are both equal to 1 cup. But when larger amounts are cooked, the volume decreases compared to the uncooked starting point.

Factors That Impact Cooked Ground Beef Volume

There are a few factors that can influence the final cooked volume of ground beef and cause it to differ slightly from the 1 cup per 8 oz estimate:

  • Fat content – Fattier ground beef will render out more fat and liquid during cooking, reducing the volume more.
  • Compaction – Densely packed cooked ground beef will have less volume than loose crumbles.
  • Cooking method – Pan frying causes more fat rendering vs oven roasting.
  • Cooking time – The longer the cooked, the more juices are released.

Due to these factors, the exact volume of 8 oz cooked ground beef can range from around 3/4 cup for densely packed, long-cooked lean beef up to 1 1/4 cups for loosely packed, short-cooked fattier beef.

Volume to Weight Conversion

You can also use the general guidelines of 1 cup of ground beef = 8 oz cooked or raw to convert between weight and volume measurements:

Volume Weight
1/2 cup 4 oz
3/4 cup 6 oz
1 cup 8 oz
1 1/4 cups 10 oz
1 1/2 cups 12 oz
2 cups 16 oz

This conversion works for both raw and cooked ground beef as long as you keep track of which state it’s in. Just remember that cooked ground beef will have a more condensed volume compared to raw.

Example Recipe Conversion

To put this information into practice, consider a recipe that calls for:

12 oz cooked ground beef

Based on the conversions above:

  • 12 oz raw ground beef would be approximately 1 1/2 cups in volume
  • When cooked, 12 oz will reduce to about 1 1/4 cups

So if you need 12 oz cooked ground beef, you would begin with 1 1/2 cups of raw beef and then expect it to reduce to 1 1/4 cups after cooking. This conversion method allows you to easily measure out the correct amount.

Tips for Measuring Ground Beef

Here are some useful tips for working with ground beef measurements in recipes:

  • Weigh raw ground beef on a kitchen scale for the most accurate measurements.
  • Use lightweight containers like liquid measuring cups to scoop and shape the meat.
  • Pack meat lightly and evenly into the cup to fill the volume.
  • Record the cooked ground beef measurement right after cooking, when it is still hot and hasn’t been broken up or compressed.
  • Adjust recipe instructions to account for expected volume loss after cooking.


In summary, here’s what to remember about converting ounces of cooked ground beef into cup measurements:

  • 8 oz of cooked ground beef is approximately equal to 1 cup in volume.
  • However, the exact amount can vary from 3/4 – 1 1/4 cups depending on cooking method, fat content, and compaction.
  • In general, you can use the guideline of 1 cup = 8 oz for both raw and cooked ground beef.
  • Cooked ground beef will have around a 20-25% reduction in volume compared to the raw starting amount.
  • Use a kitchen scale for most accurate measurement and adjust recipes for expected volume changes after cooking.

Knowing the relationship between ounces and cups for ground beef is helpful for easily following any recipe. With some simple volume conversions and measurement tips, you can get perfectly portioned amounts of cooked ground beef every time.


To measure 8 oz of cooked ground beef in cups, the general conversion is that 8 oz of cooked ground beef equals approximately 1 cup in volume. However, the exact cup measurement can range from around 3/4 cup to 1 1/4 cups depending on the fat content, compaction, cooking method and time. Your best bet is to use a kitchen scale for weighing raw ground beef and then measuring the cooked volume immediately after cooking for an accurate conversion. Adjusting recipes to account for about a 20-25% reduction in volume from raw to cooked ground beef will also help get the right cup measurement. Knowing the relationship between weight in ounces and volume in cups is useful for successful ground beef recipes.