How Do You Measure Cheese?

January 14, 2020

How Do You Measure Cheese?
Here in Wisconsin, we firmly believe there is no such thing as too much cheese. While we’d happily enjoy a pungent Limburger with nothing but a sturdy cracker for crunch, sometimes cheese needs to share the spotlight with other foods.

Cheese is a team player and can elevate any dish without overpowering it when measured correctly. But how do you convert between ounces of cheese and cups of cheese? Fret not, Cheese Lovers. It’s simpler than you think.

Weight vs. volume

If you love cheese as much as we do, you’ll want the most accurate measurements possible. For cheese, that measurement is weight.

When you measure by weight, you’ll know exactly how much scrumptious cheese is going into whatever delicious treat you’re cooking up, leaving no room for confusion.

But what if your recipe only gives a volumetric measurement like cups? What if you don’t have a food scale? In that case, we have some useful rules for you to follow depending on the type of cheese you’re using.

Measuring Different Cheeses

The cheese matters

All cheeses are equal in our hearts, but when it comes to measuring cheeses accurately it’s all about the type of cheese. Soft cheeses are heavier per cup, while hard cheeses are lighter. Here’s what we recommend:

Soft or crumbly cheeses (e.g. feta or blue) 1 cup = 6 ounces

Semi-hard cheeses (e.g. cheddar or Havarti) 1 cup = 4 ounces

Hard cheeses (e.g. parmesan or asiago) 1 cup = 3 ounces

Grated hard cheese measurements

Another common question we get from fellow cheese fans is about grate size.

Many delicious recipes that use hard cheeses will also dictate the grate size, ranging from coarse to medium to fine.

In these cases, refer to the following:

Coarse grate: 1 cup = 4 ounces hard cheese

Medium grate: 1 cup = 3 ounces hard cheese

Fine grate: 1 cup = 2 ounces hard cheese

A careful eye will notice that in the first section, we outlined that 1 cup of grated hard cheese generally converts to 3 ounces, which also corresponds to a medium grate. If not otherwise stated, a medium grate on a standard box grater is a good default to use.

Ready, set, measure!

Although measuring cooking ingredients can be a stressful affair, rest assured that your cheese measurements don’t have to be too precise. Using a little too much or slightly too little cheese will rarely be the downfall of a recipe.

We always recommend getting more cheese than you think you need. After all, no one has ever complained about having too much cheese. Not any sane person, anyway.

Looking to test out your cheese measuring skills with some delicious recipes? Try our Ultimate Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese, or pick something else that suits your style from our selection of over 300 handcrafted recipes featuring Wisconsin cheese. Share your creation with us on Instagram or Facebook and become part of the largest cheese community in the world.

FAQs: Measuring Cheese

How do I measure cheese without a scale?

You can use a measuring cup to estimate how many ounces of cheese you have. For soft or crumbly cheeses, 1 cup is equivalent to 6 ounces. For semi-hard cheeses like cheddar, 1 cup is equivalent to 4 ounces. Finally, for ungrated hard cheeses like parmesan, 1 cup is equivalent to 3 ounces. For smaller amounts use ½ a cup and divide the corresponding ounces by half. 

How much is a serving of cheese?

If it was up to us, a serving size would just be the full block of cheese. While there is no official recommendation on cheese serving size, the USDA recommends about 3 cups of dairy intake per day for healthy adults. Roughly 1 ½ ounces of cheese converts to about 1 cup of dairy, so 4 ½ ounces of cheese will have you hitting your daily dairy goals. (Great job, you health icon, you.) You can visualize this amount as nine to twelve dice-sized cubes of hard or semi-hard cheese like cheddar or parmesan. In “queso” emergency, though, we recommend erring on the side of too much cheese rather than not enough cheese.

How do you measure an ounce of cheese?

For semi-hard or hard varieties of cheese, an ounce is roughly the size of two dice-sized cubes. But we’re not sure why you’d only want to measure out an ounce. Who only eats an ounce of cheese? Not us. You “feta” believe that the more cheese you have on your plate, the happier you’ll be.

How many cups is 8 oz of shredded cheese?

Cheddar cheese commonly comes in 8-ounce blocks. This will be equivalent to about 2 cups when grated.


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