How Many Pounds of Ham Per Person? If the task of cooking a ham supper has landed on your shoulders and you’re not sure how many pounds of ham per person you should buy, you’ll appreciate our informative instructions!
How much ham do you eat per person? As a general guideline, buy around three-quarters of a pound of ham each person. A 9-pound ham should easily serve 12 people.
Not only do we discuss how many pounds of ham you should buy per person, but we also discuss things to consider while purchasing and whether or not you want to cook the ham you’ve purchased.
Let’s get started!
On average, how many pounds of ham do you eat each person?
Though you can usually get away with estimating about three quarters of a pound of ham per person as a general rule of thumb, if you really want to dial in your portions and ensure that you have plenty of ham for everyone – and leftovers! – you’ll want to think a little bit harder about the type of ham you’re purchasing, the type of ham you’re preparing, and some other factors, too.
Ham with no bones
Boneless ham options are usually a terrific go-to when you want something easy, basic, and tasty.
With boneless ham, on the other hand, you know there will be virtually no waste in terms of bones and a lot of fat. Every component of a boneless ham should be perfectly edible, resulting in a far higher yield than bone-in or country ham, for example.
For these reasons, aim for anywhere between a third of a pound and a pound of boneless ham for each visitor.
How Many Pounds of Ham Per Person
That implies that if you’re having six people around for supper, you’ll want a boneless ham weighing between two and three pounds. A 4 to 6 pound ham will enough for 12 people, and once you get past 20 people, you’ll be looking at 10 pound hams and higher – or many, smaller hams.
Spiral Ham with Bone
When you consider the bone that runs through the middle of this ham, bone in ham (like spiral ham) will have a little more weight waste.
As a result, you’ll want to make sure that the bone-in ham you buy is a touch on the porky side of things (pun completely intended), with an average ham weight per person of approximately three quarters of a pound or so.
If you’re feeding folks who are big ham enthusiasts or just large eaters in general, a single pound of ham per person would not be a terrible idea.
At the very least, that additional quarter-pound of ham per person will make for delicious leftovers!
Ham from the country
Country ham is often saltier than regular ham alternatives, so you can usually get away with keeping a little less on hand.
Aim for half a pound of country ham per person, or even less – often as little as 14 of a pound per person – if you plan on serving any of the sides and other dishes.
Many individuals who choose for a country ham slice everything ahead of time and serve it buffet style, which (typically) encourages people to eat lesser quantities than they would otherwise.
Still, if you suspect that the guests you’re feeding may go ham crazy, it could be a good idea to increase the per-person ham weight to three-quarters of a pound with country ham.
Appetizers with ham
When hosting, ham appetizers – salted and cured ham, such as prosciutto – are usually a favorite.
Although they can be a little pricey, you’ll be relieved to know that you won’t have to stock up on as many cured ham appetizers per person as you would with major entrées.
A couple of ounces of cured ham appetizers each person is usually more than enough to ensure that everyone has their fill.
Advice on Choosing the Right Ham
The simplest method to ensure that you have enough ham for everyone is to prepare a list of everyone who will be attending your dinner and assume that they will consume three quarters of a pound of ham regardless.
Yes, you’ll certainly buy a little bit more ham than you really need – but that’s always a nicer “issue” to have than having too little ham on hand when dinner time comes around.
If you’re going to be entertaining more than 10 people, you’ll want to avoid the massive hams that may sometimes be found in supermarkets.
Instead, choose a couple of smaller hams that are almost the same size (a couple of 5 pound hams, for example). That will undoubtedly make things a lot easier to cook, chop, and prepare, as well as serve!
Is it better to cook or not to cook your ham?
Another factor to consider when calculating how much ham to serve is whether or not you intend to cook the ham that you intend to serve.
Cured ham (such as prosciutto) may and should be presented just as it is — right out of the packaging, ready to eat.
This means you won’t lose any ham yield throughout the cooking process, which makes estimating how much ham you need per person a little easier. Simply divide the amount of cured ham by the number of guests you’re hosting to see whether that figure is correct.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be cooking a ham (which is generally the case), you’ll want to add roughly 10% on top of your per person weight to ensure that the yield is proper.
During the cooking and slicing procedure, you will always lose some ham weight. It’s usually better to go a bit overboard than to discover that you cut corners (and portion sizes) by failing to account for this.
At the end of the day, as long as you aim for three-quarters of a pound of ham per person (across the board), you should be OK.
Obviously, the amount of ham you buy should be tailored to the individuals you’re entertaining, their love or ambivalence for ham, and the types of appetites you’re anticipating.
Just remember that you can always rely on the three-quarter pound per person and figure to knock a meal out of the park!
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