How Much Protein In 4 oz Chicken Thigh?

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: January 18, 2023

Chicken thighs often take a backseat to the more popular chicken breast and chicken wings. But the thigh provides some of the flavor of wings with the high protein of breasts.

So just how much protein is in a 4 oz chicken thigh? The answer depends on how you purchase the chicken and when you weigh it.

So read on to find out how much protein is in every kind of chicken thigh. Plus, see how that compares to other high-protein foods.

4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein

4 Oz Chicken Thigh Protein

First, it’s essential to realize that 4 ounces of chicken can have different nutritional values depending on whether you weigh it raw or cooked.

In addition, a chicken thigh can come with or without skin and bones. And protein content can vary between brands due to other factors such as water content.

Factors That Affect Chicken Thigh Protein Content:

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

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

4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein Skinless vs Skin

Boneless Skinless 4 Oz Chicken Thigh Protein

The boneless and skinless variety is one form of chicken thigh you’ll find in most supermarkets. And it’s generally a healthier choice due to the lower fat content.

According to a review of nutrition labels and databases, a 4 oz raw boneless skinless chicken thigh has 22 grams of protein. With no carbs and around 8 grams of fat, that comes to about 160 calories.

However, you should still check the label when buying chicken thighs because nutrition varies by brand. For example, cheaper brands fatten up their chickens to increase profits, which translates to more fat in your meat!

Boneless Skinless 4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein

Skin-On, Bone-In 4 Oz Chicken Thigh Protein

Some chicken thighs are sold with minimal processing. In other words, they still have bones and skin.

According to multiple database listings, a 4 oz chicken thigh with skin has about 19 grams of protein. And, with 19 grams of fat, this chicken thigh has about 250 calories.

Of course, you can always remove the skin from the chicken thighs after cooking. If you don’t eat the skin, you can subtract roughly 10 grams of fat per 4 oz serving. But you’ll also lose 2-3 grams of protein.

4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein with Skin

4 Oz Chicken Thigh Protein After Cooking

Another factor that affects the protein in a 4 oz chicken thigh is whether you weigh it before or after cooking. The reason is that meat loses about 25% of its weight during cooking (i.e., raw chicken thigh weight x 0.75 = cooked chicken thigh weight)

So if you start with 4 oz of chicken thigh, it only weighs about 3 oz after cooking. And that 3 oz of cooked thigh would still have the original amount of protein since the weight lost is from water evaporation, not meat degradation.

Furthermore, you can divide by 0.75 to find the amount of protein in cooked chicken thighs. For example, a 4 oz piece of cooked skinless chicken thigh would have 22g ÷ 0.75 = 29g of protein.

Knowing the protein content of cooked chicken thighs is beneficial when you meal prep large quantities of meat to divide up later. But remember that the protein amount can vary depending on the cooking method, temperature, and duration.

4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein Cooked

If your head is spinning from all those different preparations, here is a table showing all the different combinations of chicken thigh types with their corresponding protein, fat, and calorie content.

This table makes it easy to see why the boneless, skinless chicken thigh is the best option for getting the most protein with the fewest calories.

Table 1. 4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein By Type

Chicken Thigh Type Weight Protein Fat Calories
Raw, Boneless, Skinless 4 oz 22 g 8 g 160
Cooked, Boneless, Skinless 4 oz 29 g 11 g 215
Raw, Bone-In, Skin-On 4 oz 19 g 19 g 250
Cooked, Bone-In, Skin-On 4 oz 25 g 25 g 325
Cooked, Bone-In, Skin Removed 4 oz 23 g 15 g 230

Bear in mind these are numbers are approximations based on averages from a nutrition database. You should still check the label on your chicken to verify the macros and calories.

How Big Is a 4 Oz of Chicken Thigh?

An uncooked boneless chicken thigh generally weighs between 3 and 5 oz. That means a whole skinless chicken thigh is close to a 4 oz serving.

By comparison, a bone-in, skin-on thigh usually weighs 5 to 7 oz. So a 4 oz serving would only be a portion of a typical unprocessed thigh.

As a reference, a 4 oz chicken thigh is about the size of your palm. But it’s slightly thicker and heavier when it has bones and skin.

How To Measure 4 oz Chicken Thighs

You’ll find that most chicken thighs don’t weigh precisely 4 oz. So how do you measure a 4 oz serving? I have a few different ways to do it – with or without a scale.

With No Scale

First, you could try to buy packages of chicken thighs in 4 oz increments such as 8, 12, 16, 20 ounces, and so on. However, most of the time, chicken is sold by the pound, which would be 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, and 1.25 lbs.

Next, cook all the thighs and divide them into equal portions. For example, if you bought 1 lb (16 oz) of chicken, you would divide it into four equal portions after cooking (12oz / 4 servings = 4oz per serving).

Don’t worry about being perfect. Like if one portion is 3 oz and another is 5 oz, that’s okay! Because, over a few days, it all evens out.

As you can see, with some math, you never have to weigh anything!

4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein Cooked

With Scale

If math isn’t your thing, you can also measure chicken thighs with a kitchen scale. And you can do this before or after cooking.

First, you can weigh 4 oz of uncooked thighs on your scale. Or you can weigh multiples of 4 oz to divide up after cooking (8, 12, 16, 20, etc.)

You can also wait until after cooking to weigh the chicken. That way, you don’t have to mess with raw meat. Remember that meat loses about 25% of its weight during cooking.

After cooking, you should weigh 5.33 oz portions to get the same protein content as 4 oz of raw chicken thighs.

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Chicken Thighs Compared to Other Protein Sources

While chicken thighs are a good source of protein, certain types are also relatively high in fat and calories. So it may not be a perfect fit for your diet.

In addition, you would probably get sick of eating the same meal over and over! So the table below shows the protein, fat, and calories in other popular protein sources.

I’ve sorted the table based on the calorie-to-protein ratio to show which foods are the most efficient protein sources. As you can see, boneless skinless chicken thighs are second only to chicken breast as a lean protein source.

Table 2. 4 oz Chicken Thigh Protein vs Other Meats

Protein Source Protein Fat Calories Protein:Calorie
Chicken Breast (skinless) 25.4 g 3.0 g 128 0.198
Chicken Thigh (skinless) 22.0 g 8.0 g 160 0.138
Pork Chop 23.3 g 10.6 g 189 0.125
Ground Turkey (93%) 21.1 g 9.4 g 169 0.125
Atlantic Salmon 23.0 g 15.2 g 229 0.101
Sirloin Steak 22.5 g 16.2 g 236 0.095
Ground Beef (85%) 21.0 g 17.0 g 237 0.089

More High Protein Food Nutrition Facts

Now you know the calorie and protein content of chicken thighs. And you’ve seen how it compares to other protein sources in terms of nutrition.

You also got a snapshot of the nutrition facts for some other high-protein foods. But like with chicken thighs, protein content can vary by the cut of meat, presentation, and even the source.

So check out these related articles to learn more about the nutrition in your favorite foods.

Salmon Protein by Species

Steak Protein by Cut

Ground Beef Protein by Percentage

Pork Chop Protein per Ounce

Chicken Breast Protein With or Without Skin & Bones

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.

Share with your community and get the conversation started!

By |January 18, 2023|Nutrition|0 Comments
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