When cooking chicken thighs for dinner or preparing chicken thigh recipes, it’s helpful to know how much 4 chicken thighs weigh. The weight of chicken thighs can vary depending on a few factors, but there are some general guidelines for estimating chicken thigh weights.
On average, 4 chicken thighs weigh around 1 pound or 16 ounces. However, the exact weight can range from 14-18 ounces depending on the size of the thighs.
Calculating Chicken Thigh Weights
To get a more accurate estimate, you’ll need to know the average weight of a single chicken thigh. Here are some common chicken thigh weights:
- Small chicken thigh: 4-5 oz
- Medium chicken thigh: 5-6 oz
- Large chicken thigh: 6-8 oz
Using these estimates, here are the total weights for 4 chicken thighs:
|Chicken Thigh Size||Weight per Thigh||Total Weight for 4 Thighs|
|Small||4-5 oz||16-20 oz|
|Medium||5-6 oz||20-24 oz|
|Large||6-8 oz||24-32 oz|
As you can see, the total weight of 4 chicken thighs can range from 1 to 2 pounds depending on whether you’re working with small, medium or large thighs. The average weight comes out to approximately 1 pound or 16 ounces.
Factors Affecting Chicken Thigh Weight
There are a few factors that account for the range in chicken thigh weights:
The breed and sex of the chicken impacts thigh size. Larger chicken breeds like Plymouth Rocks will produce heavier thighs compared to a smaller Cornish hen.
Chickens fed a diet higher in protein will generally have more muscle mass and larger thighs.
Chicken thighs will weigh slightly less after cooking as some moisture is lost during the cooking process. For example, roasted chicken thighs may weigh around 5-10% less than raw.
Bone vs Boneless
Boneless chicken thighs only contain the skin and meat, so they will weigh less than bone-in thighs with the femur bone.
Differences in how the thigh is separated from the chicken during butchering can impact the amount of additional meat left on or around the thigh.
How to Estimate Chicken Thigh Weights
If you need a more precise weight for planning recipes or calculating nutrition information, there are a few options:
Weigh thighs individually
You can weigh each thigh separately on a kitchen scale to get an exact weight in ounces or grams.
Weigh thighs together
For a quicker option, place all 4 thighs on a plate and weigh them together, then divide by 4 to get the average weight per thigh.
Reference USDA data
The USDA provides data on the average weight of chicken thighs based on testing. This can provide a good guideline for estimating chicken thigh weights.
Chicken Thigh Weight per Ounce
Knowing the weight per ounce of chicken thigh meat can also be helpful for recipes and nutritional info. Here are some general estimates:
- 1 oz raw chicken thigh meat = 28-30g
- 1 oz cooked chicken thigh meat = 28-32g
There is little difference in weight per ounce between raw and cooked for chicken thighs. The cooking process results in some moisture loss, but chicken thighs tend to retain moisture and fat better compared to chicken breasts.
Chicken Thigh Weight on the Bone vs Boneless
Chicken thighs are often sold bone-in with the femur bone attached or boneless without the bone. Here is how this affects their weight:
- Bone-in chicken thighs weigh 3-4 oz more per thigh compared to boneless
- The bone accounts for around 20-25% of the total weight
- 4 bone-in thighs weigh 20-25% more than 4 boneless thighs
So if you need 1 pound of thigh meat, you’ll need to get 20-25% more if purchasing bone-in thighs vs boneless thighs.
Chicken Thigh Weight with Skin vs Without Skin
Chicken thighs are typically sold with the skin on, but the skin can removed prior to cooking. Here is how the skin affects the weight:
- The skin accounts for about 15% of the total weight
- Thighs without skin weigh approximately 15% less
So if you need 1 pound of skinned thigh meat, plan on getting approximately 15% more in weight if the thighs have skin on initially.
Average Weight of Chicken Thighs with Different Cooking Methods
Cooking chicken thighs results in some moisture loss, so cooked chicken thighs will weigh less than raw. However, chicken thighs tend to retain more moisture than chicken breasts.
Here are some estimates for the weight change with different cooking methods:
|Cooking Method||Percent Weight Change|
|Roasted||-5 to -15%|
|Grilled||-10 to -20%|
|Pan fried or sautéed||-5 to -10%|
|Poached or simmered||-0 to -5%|
|Slow cooked or braised||0 to +5%|
Dry heat methods like roasting and grilling result in greater moisture loss so cooked weight decreases. Moist-heat methods like braising or poaching minimize moisture loss.
Nutrition Information for Chicken Thighs
Knowing the total weight of chicken thighs is also useful for calculating nutritional information. Here are some key nutrition facts for 100g of chicken thigh meat (approx 3.5 oz):
Chicken thighs are higher in fat compared to chicken breasts, with more saturated and unsaturated fat. They are also slightly higher in calories and lower in protein per gram.
Chicken Thigh Cooking Times based on Weight
Knowing the weight of chicken thighs is also helpful for estimating cooking times. Heavier thighs will take longer to cook than smaller thighs.
As a general guideline, here are estimated cooking times based on thigh size:
|Chicken Thigh Size||Estimated Cooking Time|
|4 small thighs (16-20 oz)||25-35 minutes|
|4 medium thighs (20-24 oz)||30-40 minutes|
|4 large thighs (24-32 oz)||40-50 minutes|
Keep in mind cooking times can vary based on the recipe, temperature, and cooking method. Always use a food thermometer to confirm chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
Typical Uses for 4 Chicken Thighs
Knowing the approximate weight of 4 chicken thighs makes it easier to plan recipes. Here are some common uses for 4 thighs weighing around 1 pound:
- 2 servings of chicken entrees like roasted, grilled, or pan seared thighs
- Chicken salad or wraps with about 3 cups shredded or diced meat
- Chicken soup or stew with 4 thighs simmered in broth
- Meal prep lunches for the work week
For larger families, you can simply double the amount of thighs for 4-6 servings. Two pounds of chicken thighs can provide meals for a family of 4 throughout the week.
Cost of 4 Chicken Thighs
Chicken thigh prices vary by region and store. On average, expect to pay:
- Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs: $3-4 per pound
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: $4-5 per pound
So 4 fresh chicken thighs (around 1 pound) typically costs $3-5 depending on the type. Cuts sold in larger packs may cost slightly less per pound.
Frozen chicken thighs are often a cheaper option, usually $2-3 per pound depending on promotions and sales. Just be sure to account for any added water weight from the freezing process.
Organic, free-range, and air-chilled chicken can cost 50-100% more than conventional chicken. But these premium choices have added benefits like no antibiotics, more humane farming practices, and better flavor.
Where to Buy Chicken Thighs
Here are some common places to purchase chicken thighs:
- Grocery stores: Look for fresh or frozen packs in the poultry section
- Warehouse clubs: Offer bulk family packs for cost savings
- Butcher shops: Provide customized cuts and quality specialty poultry
- Farmers markets: Source locally raised chickens for peak freshness
- Online: Order chicken for delivery through services like Amazon Fresh
For the best taste and texture, look for thighs within 2-3 days of the pack date. If buying frozen, make sure the packaging is intact to prevent freezer burn.
Knowing how much 4 chicken thighs weigh can take the guesswork out of meal planning and prepping recipes. Keep in mind that weights can vary based on size, bone-in vs boneless, and cooking method.
For everyday cooking, you can estimate 4 average-sized chicken thighs to be around 1 pound or 16 ounces. Weighing the thighs directly or using reference data provides the most precision.
Understanding the weight per thigh makes it easier to buy the right quantity for your recipes, calculate nutritional information, and estimate cook times. With versatile flavor and texture, chicken thighs are budget-friendly option for tasty family meals.