We are planning on canning chicken breast and wondered what percentage of raw bone-in "split chicken breast" is meat (versus non-meat like bone and skin)?

1 Answer 1


The USDA NAL has this to say:

Refuse: 20% Refuse Description: Bone

In addition, you can compare the serving size weight of the breast with skin (145 g) to the weight of the breast with meat only (118 g), each derived from 1/2 chicken breast, so the skin accounts for about 18.6% of the deboned breast and 14.9% of the bone-in breast (accounting for the earlier 20%).

All in, it looks like a bone-in breast with skin is slightly more than 65% meat.

Breast meat is generally the most expensive part of the chicken to buy, even bone-in; if economy is really a factor here than you really should consider using the whole chicken.

  • Just from a math point of view you are doing your math slightly incorrectly. You are using two reference weights. If the bone is 20% of the weight then use 145 * 1.2 = 174g as the reference. This means 67.8% (118/174) meat rather than 61.4% meat(your implied total from 20 + 18.6).
    – Jay
    Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 18:55
  • @Jay: You're partially right and I've amended the answer to take that into account. However, if 20% of the original weight is bone, then you don't multiply by 1.2 to get the original weight, you divide by 0.8 (or multiply by 1.25), which is what I've done in the correction.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 19:39
  • Thanks! So basically, one pound of bone-in split chicken breast will yield two thirds pound of meat. Or one and a half pounds will yield one pound of meat. Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 0:22

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