How Much is Inside Cheetos

How much of a Cheeto is Cheese, and how much is air?

Cheetos puffs are filled with delicious cheese flavor.. and air.

Not only is the bag sealed with plenty of cushioning air, the puffs themselves are packed with air.

But how much air? The bag would have you believe that each one contains a "puff", but is that really true?

How much is inside Cheetos?

On Friday night, we decided to find out.

Cheetos are a Class 1 party snack. Puffs are better than chips because you don't need salsa or nacho cheese to enjoy them.

With a little ingenuity, you won't even need beer.

The first step was to start counting Cheetos. We dumped them out onto the table and lined them up in groups of 10.

Our test bag contained 240 grams of cheetos and a quick, greasy count revealed that the bag held 234 unbroken Cheetos and a small pile of broken ones (amputeetos) equal to 9 more puffs.

243 Cheetos in a 240 gram bag? Perfect! an average weight of one gram each!

Maybe normal people don't get excited about things like that...

In the process of obtaining the bag count, all of us noticed that some of the cheese powder was rubbing off onto our hands.

Alicia instructed the rest of us that this oily powder was known as "Cheetos Shame".

Built of corn, cheese, oil and air, the recipe is a modified version of big cat chow used in zoos during the 19th century.

The cheetahs still have a taste for Cheetos. Cheetos and horsemeat.


To eliminate the trapped air and get a good idea of their actual corn and cheese mass, we needed to crush them.

First Nick tried brute force.

He was successful.

In fact, he squeezed so hard that he made a tiny corn diamond.

However, some of the puff fragments got lodged into his skin, so we had to try something else.

A hammer worked, but it made the corn powder fly all over the room.

I assumed a cheese grater would work, but in practice it failed. We determined that Alicia was introducing too much skin and blood into the sample.

Finally, we tried this spinning blade machine. These machines are called "cuisinart", which is french for "robot heart".

I dumped in all of the remaining Cheetos and hit "pulse". This thing has a wicked pulse.

This was the way to go! Cheetos powder complete. 5 and a half cups of Cheetos had been reduced to a thin layer of granulated cheese.


Just like that, we had our answer.

There are two cups of cheese corn in an 8.5 ounce bag of Cheetos puffs. The rest is just air.

Because this orange powder is essense of Cheetos, a.k.a. flavor incarnate, it is excellent for use as a seasoning. I transferred some into a salt shaker for later use on french fries, pancakes, oatmeal, pizza, salmon, other Cheetos and in marijuana cigarettes.

Finally, it was time to clean up our mess...

...and to enjoy some frosty Mai Tais with just a hint of cheese.