Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Proportion of Meat in a Chicken

Last week I posted about the proportion of meat in a lobster. We also made my family's traditional Christmas Eve dish of chicken and noodles. Since I had meat to purchased weight proportions on the brain, I couldn't resist weighing the chicken too. These numbers come from two whole fryers that were stewed for two hours. Here's the breakdown:

Raw weight for 2 chickens: 11.59 lbs
Raw weight for 2 giblet bags: 0.75 lbs
Raw chicken w/o giblets: 10.84 lbs
Stewed weight of meat and bones: 6.77 lbs
Stewed weight of bones: 2.55 lbs
Stewed weight of chicken: 4.22 lbs

Raw to stewed weight ratio: 62%
Stewed meat to purchased weight: 36%
Stewed meat to total stewed weight: 62%
Raw giblets to purchased weight: 6%

First thing I noticed was how much weight loss there was from the cooking process. The cooked bird was less than two-thirds the weight of the raw bird.  With the meat representing less than two-thirds of that, we were left with just over one-third cooked meat to purchased weight.  Remarkably, that is just about the same ratio as the meaty lobsters we measured.

Working backwards, I estimate 6.75 lbs of raw meat.  So including the giblets, the ratio of raw meat to purchased whole fryer weight (including the giblets) is 58%.

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