# How in the world to measure.....

Posts: 31 Member
Ok. So if I make a homemade cake and add up all ingredients (calories) then cut the cake into servings, I know that I take the number of servings of cake divided by the total amount of calories to get my calorie count per piece.

My problem is something like over the weekend when I made a huge pot of chili. There's no way for me to even guess how many servings that would make unless I stood there and scooped out a cup at a time until it was gone, which I am just not going to do.

How do others here figure out your calorie count for items like this, that are not easily measured out or on sight you can't figure out how many servings it would be?

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## Replies

• Posts: 17,945 Member
I pour it into a bowl on my food scale, get the total weight and divide it up into however many servings seems appropriate. Then when I want a serve, I chuck my bowl on the scale and measure out the correct weight serving.
• Posts: 31 Member
But I made a huge stock pot full because we have it for dinner for 2 nights then freeze the rest (plus our kids come and of course, they take some home) so I always make this huge pot full. I guess the only way to really do it is to actually measure out the whole pot. Wow..... Makes me think chili is something I'll have once per year. LOL
• Posts: 2,942 Member
Weigh each of the ingredients when you're measuring them (which you're probably doing anyway to get the full calories). I'm going to make up some numbers.

150 g beef = 200 cals
300 g tomatoes = 50 cals
200 g beans = 300 cals

So if that was the entire thing (I know, it's not even close, bear with me), your WHOLErecipe is 650 grams and 550 calories. No mass is lost or gained if you're cooking (except maybe some water if you cook uncovered. I always cook soups covered for that reason).

Now all you have to do is a simple ratio. Let's say you want your chili and you zero out the weight of your bowl and you measure in 50 g. All you do is a simple ratio.

50 g ??? calories
_____ = _____
650 g 550 calories

Cross multiply and divide. 50*550 /650 = 42.3 calories in the small bowl of chili.

Alternately, divide it out into 2 cup portions when you make it. That's what I do when I freeze liquidy foods. That way I don't need to measure later.
• Posts: 3,134 Member
edited October 2014
I use a ladle that has 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup and 1 cup increments. I usually pour out what I make into a large 8 cup measuring cup with a lid (so I can wash the pot). Then ladle out the rest into another container, counting how many cups one pot made. We all have different schedules, so food that I cook, usually gets put right away into a storage container to cool, before ending up in the fridge. In other words, there's no 'serving dish' per se

That gives me the amount of servings. Don't forget, you decide how many servings a recipe would total.

Using the recipe builder, you get the macro break down as well as the calories & you can log it directly from there.
Easy peasy.

• Posts: 781 Member
edited October 2014
Could you figure out the volume of whatever you're storing it in? Like I usually store stuff like that in Mason jars. I know a quart is 4 cups so I can figure out about how many cups I have total. If you don't know the volume of something, you can fill it with water then measure the water with measuring cups.

Alternately you can weigh an empty container, zero the scale, then add the chili to see how much the contents of each container weighs then add it all up.
• Posts: 631 Member
Weigh the empty stock pot, then subtract that amount from the weight of the finished product. Divide total calories by number of grams or ounces. Multiply per ounce or gram calories times however much you eat at a time.
• Posts: 1,537 Member
mmmm.. chili
• Posts: 3,018 Member
edited October 2014
hookilau wrote: »
I use a ladle that has 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup and 1 cup increments. I usually pour out what I make into a large 8 cup measuring cup with a lid (so I can wash the pot). Then ladle out the rest into another container, counting how many cups one pot made. We all have different schedules, so food that I cook, usually gets put right away into a storage container to cool, before ending up in the fridge. In other words, there's no 'serving dish' per se

That gives me the amount of servings. Don't forget, you decide how many servings a recipe would total.

Using the recipe builder, you get the macro break down as well as the calories & you can log it directly from there.
Easy peasy.

I do the same thing. I love my ladle for measuring especially chili and soups.

• Posts: 2,411 Member
Best guess - best you can do.
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• Posts: 370 Member
I don't think I'm ever going to bother making chili after reading all this.....good thing I'm not really fussed on it anyway.....whew!!!
• Posts: 85 Member
I have a tupperware container that I know holds 12 cups of fluid, and otheres that hold 8. After that, I just use a 1 cup ladle (you'll find that a lot of ladles are this size) to portion it out later. It gets you pretty darn close!
• Posts: 561 Member
Sometimes I'll just portion out chili, dish out two bowls for dinner (my husband & I), dish out two pyrex's for leftovers and dish the rest into freezer bags, and then just try and have them fairly even.

If I'm not going to portion it all out right away, I'll weigh everything, pick a weight (say 4 oz) divide the weight of the food by 4, that is how many servings it makes. Then weigh out each portion by increments of 4.

OR scoop it into a different container using a liquid measuring thing, and measure it by cups, that is how many servings it is. Then each time I take some, I measure it in cups and log from there.
• Posts: 7,714 Member
Make it. Put a big mixing bowl that can hold all of it on a kitchen scale, zero the scale and pour in the whole batch. That will give you the total weight. Since I think in grams I would divide the total weigh by 100 which would give the number of 100gram servings. Divide the total calories by that number which will give you the number of calories per 100 grams. When you eat it, weigh the portion you are eating and if it is say 150 grams, you have 1.5 x the calories/100grams you figured out earlier. This way you can make servings as large or small as you want, simply modify the calories based on that base amount.
• Posts: 17,890 Member
I am going to make pea soup today. I will weigh the pot empty, weigh all ingredients, and then the pot with contents when it's ready. Subtract the weight of the pot. That number is number of servings. One gram is one serving. If I take 250 grams, that's 250 servings.
• Posts: 7,337 Member
This takes just a little more time, but it is better to record the total weight of cooked one-pot food. Some large pots plus contents will exceed the maximum capacity of your kitchen scale, so you will have to weigh and record it in batches. Just keep a piece of paper and pen/pencil with you. When cooked, and prior to serving, take a smaller pot and tare it on your kitchen scale. Add how many cups of chili/stew/casserole (about 8oz or 227g per cup serving) that you think your family will eat for that meal, record the net weight of that batch of food. You can put the smaller pot back on the stove to keep it warm. Let everyone know to take food only from the smaller pot. When the large pot of food is cool, weigh that in batches if needed, then add all of the weight of the individual batches to get the total. Later you can calculate the per serving values.
• Posts: 369 Member
I don't put nearly that amount of thought into it. Searching here and a few other sites gives me a reasonable average for the amount of calories in a cup of chili and I go from there. I tend to go with the highest estimate just to be on the safe side, but I'm not going to measure the beans and the meat individually, etc. I think I am in the minority!
• Posts: 2,667 Member
The beauty of the power of making an educated guess.......
• Posts: 26,373 Member
Honestly I don't do huge pots for this reason... the crockpot pot is too heavy for my scale so it sucks. Last time I counted the ladles and added them back when it was all gone it was off by 2 servings...

I really want to make some chili though .
• Posts: 265 Member
I pour it into a bowl on my food scale, get the total weight and divide it up into however many servings seems appropriate. Then when I want a serve, I chuck my bowl on the scale and measure out the correct weight serving.
This is what I do too.

• Posts: 48 Member
digginDeep wrote: »
I don't think I'm ever going to bother making chili after reading all this.....good thing I'm not really fussed on it anyway.....whew!!!

My chili is not only delicious, but comes out to 175 calories per cup, 1 g fat, 24 g carbs and 28 g protein. Friggin monster super food!