How Much Protein is in Beef? A Complete Guide

Beef is one of the most popular sources of protein around the world. With its hearty, savory flavor and satisfying chew, beef has been a dietary staple for centuries. An excellent source of complete protein, vitamins, and minerals, beef can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

This article provides a complete overview of the protein content of different beef cuts and products.

Beef as a High-Quality Protein Source

Beef contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs from food sources. This makes beef a complete protein that provides optimal nutrition for muscle growth and maintenance.

Around 26% of the calories in lean beef come from protein. A 3-ounce serving of lean cooked beef provides around 26 grams of protein.

The protein in beef has a high biological value and net protein utilization compared to plant sources of protein. This means the body can absorb and utilize beef protein very efficiently.

Protein Content by Beef Cut

Different cuts of beef contain slightly varying amounts of protein based on their fat content and composition of muscles.

Here is how much protein is found in 3-ounce servings of popular beef cuts when cooked:

  • Ground beef (90% lean) – 22 grams
  • Top sirloin steak – 25 grams
  • Tenderloin steak – 25 grams
  • T-bone steak – 23 grams
  • Ribeye steak – 26 grams
  • Flank steak – 26 grams
  • Eye of round roast – 28 grams
  • Ground chuck – 22 grams
  • Brisket – 28 grams

As a general rule, an ounce of lean beef contains around 7 grams of protein. Fattier cuts will be closer to 6 grams of protein per ounce.

How Cooking Method Impacts Protein

Cooking method has minimal impact on the protein content of beef. However, extremely high-heat methods like grilling or broiling may damage some amino acids.

Here are protein amounts in a 3-ounce beef patty, based on cooking method:

  • Raw – 22 grams
  • Grilled – 21 grams
  • Pan-fried – 22 grams
  • Baked – 22 grams
  • Braised – 23 grams

While a minor amount of protein may be lost, the difference is usually negligible. Slow, moist-heat cooking like braising may even yield slightly more protein.

Protein in Processed Beef

In addition to fresh cuts of beef, many processed beef products can be excellent sources of protein:

  • Beef jerky (1 ounce) – 15 grams
  • Beef hot dog (1 link) – 5 grams
  • Beef salami (1 ounce) – 6 grams
  • Canned corned beef (3 ounces) – 18 grams
  • Beef sausage (1 link) – 6 grams

Check the nutrition labels, as protein amounts can vary based on the brand and exact product. Some processed meats may contain added fillers and extenders.

Daily Protein Needs

How much protein you need per day depends on many factors including age, gender, activity level, and goals:

  • Sedentary adult – 0.36 grams per pound of body weight
  • Active adult – 0.45-0.68 grams per pound
  • Athlete or bodybuilder – up to 1 gram per pound

The average moderately active adult needs 0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This equates to 50-70 grams per day for a 140-pound person.

A 3-6 ounce serving of beef can provide 21-42 grams protein to help meet your daily needs as part of a balanced diet. Consuming a variety of lean proteins is ideal for good health.

Health Benefits of Beef Protein

Consuming high-quality animal proteins like beef offers many benefits:

  • Maintains muscle mass as you age
  • Supports exercise performance and recovery
  • Provides satiety and fullness
  • Provides creatine to fuel muscles
  • Contains branched-chain amino acids to stimulate muscle growth

Beef can be included as part of a high-protein diet tailored for weight loss, building muscle, athletic performance, or general health.

Tips for Purchasing High-Protein Beef

Choose leaner cuts like eye of round, sirloin, or tenderloin to get more protein and less fat. Here are some other tips:

  • Select beef labeled “choice” or “select” grade for leanness.
  • Choose 90-95% lean ground beef.
  • Look for cuts with minimal marbling.
  • Opt for loin and round cuts over rib cuts.
  • Purchase grass-fed beef for higher quality protein.
  • Check labels for protein content.

In conclusion, beef provides an excellent source of complete, high-biological value protein to support strength, satisfaction, and overall health.

How much Protein in Beef cooked? (You’re probably not measuring correctly!)


How many grams of protein are in a 4 ounce piece of beef?

Protein (g)
Energy (kcal)
Sugars, total (g)
Fiber, total dietary (g)
Calcium, Ca (mg)

How much protein is in 100g of cooked beef?

Protein content in 100g of cooked lean beef is usually around 26-27%. In general, animal proteins are high-quality sources of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, which are essential for the growth and maintenance of your body’s functions.

How much protein is in 8 0z of ground beef?

The main meat used for a traditional hamburger is ground beef. Looking at an 8 oz. serving of 95 percent lean ground beef, the calorie count is 310 and a protein count of 48.41 g.

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