How Much Protein In 4 oz Chicken Breast?

Written By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: January 22, 2024

Chicken breast is the leanest part of the chicken and contains the essential amino acids needed in a healthy diet. A 4 oz chicken breast typically contains around 25 grams of protein, although the exact amount may vary depending on factors such as the type of chicken and when it was weighed.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein

In this article, we will be discussing the various types of chicken breasts and their corresponding protein content. We will also compare them to other high-protein foods so you can determine how they fit into your weight loss or muscle gain meal plan.

Factors Affecting Chicken Breast Protein Content

It’s important to understand that the nutritional value of 4 ounces of chicken can differ depending on whether it’s weighed raw or cooked. Moreover, chicken breast can be bought with or without skin and bones, affecting its nutritional content. The protein amount may also vary from brand to brand due to water content.

  • Raw vs. Cooked
  • Bone-In vs. Bone-Out
  • Skin-On vs. Skinless
  • Retained Water %

Now let’s look at different chicken breast types to see how much protein is in a 4 oz portion.

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Chicken Breast Protein by Type

This section provides the protein and calorie content of four ounces of raw, cooked, skin-on, and bone-in chicken breast. These are the most popular cuts of chicken breast found in the grocery store.

Table 1. 4 oz Chicken Breast Protein By Type

Chicken Breast Type Protein Fat Calories
Raw, Boneless, Skinless 25.4 g 2.2 g 120
Cooked, Boneless, Skinless 33.9 g 1.1 g 146
Raw, Skin-On 23.5 g 10.5 g 194
Raw, Bone-In, Skinless 11.8 g 5.3 g 95

Bear in mind these numbers are based on measurements from the USDA food database. You should still check the label on your chicken breast to verify the macros and calories.

Protein in 4 Oz of Raw Chicken Breast (Skinless)

Raw skinless and boneless chicken breasts are commonly available varieties in supermarkets. Athletes and bodybuilders prefer this type because it helps build muscle mass without extra calories.

According to the USDA food database, a 4 oz raw skinless chicken breast contains 25.4 grams of protein, no carbs, and just 2.2 grams of fat, which amounts to approximately 120 calories.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein Boneless Skinless Raw

Protein In 4 oz of Cooked Chicken Breast (Roasted)

When you cook a chicken breast, it loses approximately 25% of its weight due to water loss. As a result, a 4 oz chicken breast will weigh only 3 oz after cooking. However, this weight loss is not due to protein degradation.

This means that cooked chicken breast contains more protein than the same weight of raw chicken breast. For instance, four ounces of cooked chicken breast contains roughly 34 grams of protein.

Additionally, certain cooking methods, like roasting or grilling, allow some of the melted fat to drain off. This can result in cooked chicken being slightly lower in fat unless cooking oils are added.

Knowing the protein content of cooked chicken breast can be helpful when you meal prep chicken and divide it up later. However, it’s worth noting that the amount of protein can vary depending on the cooking method, temperature, and duration used.

4 oz Chicken Breast Protein Cooked Roasted

Protein In 4 Oz of Skin-On Chicken Breast Protein

It’s essential to consider whether a chicken breast has skin or not. This is because the skin contains less protein and more fat than the meat itself.

According to the USDA, a 4 oz chicken breast with skin provides around 23.5 grams of protein. However, it also contains over 10 grams of fat and 194 calories.

Of course, you can reduce the amount of fat and calories by draining off the excess oil after cooking the chicken or removing the skin. But generally speaking, a chicken breast with skin will have more fat than a skinless breast.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein Boneless Skin On

Protein In 4 Oz of Bone-In Chicken Breast

It’s common for chicken breasts with skin to still have the bone in them, which affects the amount of meat you get. Typically, the breastbone makes up around half of the total weight of a bone-in chicken breast.

So, if you have a 4 oz chicken breast with the bone, you’ll only have around 2 ounces of actual meat. This means that a 4 oz bone-in, skin-on chicken breast should contain approximately 12 grams of protein.

4 Oz Chicken Breast Protein Bone In Skin On

It is possible to remove the skin from a bone-in chicken breast, and you can weigh a skin-on chicken breast after cooking. Below is a table that shows various combinations of chicken breast types and their corresponding protein, fat, and calorie content.

With this table, it’s easy to see why the boneless, skinless chicken breast is the best option for getting the most protein with the fewest calories.

Protein Equivalents To 4 Oz Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a great source of protein, but eating it every day may not be appealing to everyone. To help, I’ve compiled a table of serving sizes for other high-protein foods that contain the same amount of protein as 4 oz of chicken breast.

The table is sorted from lowest to highest calories to show which foods are the most efficient protein sources. Based on the protein-to-calorie ratio, chicken breast is an excellent choice and one of the best protein sources.

As a fun comparison, I’ve also included tofu, one of the highest-protein vegan foods, highlighting the challenge of achieving a high-protein plant-based diet without consuming too many calories.

Table 2. Food Amounts w/ Protein Equivalent of 4 oz Chicken Breast

Protein Source Weight Protein Fat Carbs Calories
Chicken Breast 4 oz 25 g 2 g 0 g 120
Lean Ground Turkey 5 oz 26 g 10 g 0 g 195
Salmon 6 oz 25 g 14 g 0 g 230
Sirloin Steak 4.5 oz 26 g 14  g 0 g 235
Tofu 11 oz 25 g 15 g  7 g 260

What Does 4 Oz of Chicken Breast Look Like?

In general, an uncooked boneless chicken breast weighs between 6 and 10 ounces. This means that a 4-ounce breast is uncommon and more likely you’ll be using a portion of a whole breast.

The suggested serving size for chicken breast is 3 to 4 ounces, which is about what most people consume in one sitting. To give you an idea, an 8-ounce chicken breast is about the size of an average person’s hand.

Therefore, a 4-ounce chicken breast is approximately the size of your palm.

8 oz Chicken Breast Compared to Fork

Here’s an 8 oz chicken breast on my kitchen scale next to a fork for size comparison. A 4 oz chicken breast is 1/2 the size of the one pictured here.

How To Measure 4 oz Chicken Breast

Most chicken breasts don’t weigh 4 oz, but there are a few ways to measure a 4 oz serving of chicken whether or not you have a scale.

Without a Scale

One way is to purchase packages of chicken breasts that come in 4 oz increments, such as 12, 16, 20, or 24 oz. Since chicken is typically sold by the pound, these amounts would be equivalent to 0.75, 1.00, 1.25, and 1.50 lbs.

Now, cook and divide the chicken into equal portions. So, if you bought 1.00 lb of chicken breasts, you would divide it into four equal portions after cooking (16 oz / 4 servings = 4 oz per serving).

Don’t worry about being precise since it will all balance out over a few days, even if one portion is 3.5 oz and another is 4.5 oz. As you can see, with a bit of math, you never have to weigh anything!

With a Scale

I understand that not everyone enjoys math as much as I do. So, if you want to avoid the math, you can use a kitchen scale to measure your chicken before or after cooking.

To measure your chicken before cooking, weigh a multiple of 4 oz of chicken breast on your scale (for example, 12, 16, 20 oz, etc.).

Alternatively, you can wait until after cooking to weigh the chicken. This way, you won’t have to handle raw meat. Just remember that chicken loses about 25% of its weight during cooking.

After cooking, you should weigh 3 oz portions to get the same protein content as 4 oz of raw chicken breast.

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How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein is a mere 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. For a 150-pound person, 25 grams of protein from a 4 oz chicken breast would represent 46% of the daily value for protein.

However, the RDA is only general nutrition advice. Growing research supports that a higher protein intake can decrease hunger, increase calories burned through the thermic effect of food, and maintain muscle mass. Therefore, ensuring you get enough protein in your daily diet is essential.

Your ideal daily protein intake depends on your body size, exercise habits, and fitness goals. Try my free Protein Intake Calculator to determine how much protein you need based on your body and fitness goals.

More High Protein Food Nutrition Facts

Chicken breasts could be the ultimate high-protein food. And now you know how different types of chicken compare to other protein sources.

But the protein content can vary depending on the type of meat you purchase and how you cook it. So check out these related articles to learn more about the nutrition in your favorite foods.

Chicken Breast vs Turkey Breast Protein

Tilapia Protein Raw vs Cooked

Steak Protein by Cut of Meat

Salmon Protein by Species

Pork Chop Protein per Ounce

Protein In Milk – Skim, Reduced Fat, Whole

Chicken Thigh Protein Boneless vs. Bone-In

Ground Beef Protein by Percentage

With this information, you’re on your way to being a meal prep master! But why stop learning now? Check out some of my other informative content below.

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By |January 22, 2024|Nutrition|0 Comments
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