How Many Pounds of Ham Per Person? If you’ve been tasked with cooking a ham supper but aren’t sure how many pounds of ham to buy per person, you’ll appreciate our comprehensive advice!
How many pounds of ham are required per person? In general, you should purchase around three-quarters of a pound of ham per person. A 9-pound ham should adequately serve 12 individuals.
Not only do we discuss how many pounds of ham per person you should purchase, but we also discuss things to consider while purchasing ham and whether or not you should cook it.
How Many Pounds of Ham Does the Average Person Consume?
In general, you can get away with estimating approximately three-quarters of a pound of ham per person, but if you want to ensure that you have enough ham for everyone – and leftovers, too! – you’ll need to consider the type of ham you’re purchasing, the type of ham you’re preparing, and a few other factors, as well.
When you want something basic, easy, and still tasty, boneless ham is always an excellent option.
With boneless ham, however, you can anticipate that there will be zero waste in terms of bones and a plenty of fat. Every component of a boneless ham should be edible, which will result in a far higher output than, for example, bone-in or country ham.
For these reasons, it’s a good idea to serve between one-third and one-half pounds of boneless ham to each visitor.
Therefore, if you’re having six people around for supper, you’ll need a boneless ham that weighs between two and three pounds. 12 people would require a ham weighing between 4 and 6 pounds, whereas more than 20 people would require a ham weighing 10 pounds or more, or numerous smaller hams.
Bone-In Spiral Ham
Bone-in ham (such as spiral ham) will have somewhat higher weight loss due to the bone that runs through the core of the ham.
For this reason, you’ll want to ensure that the bone-in ham you purchase is a touch on the porky side – with an average ham weight per person of roughly three quarters of a pound, on average.
It may not be a terrible idea to serve a single pound of ham per person if you’re going to be serving folks who are avid ham eaters or just huge eaters in general.
That additional quarter-pound of ham per person will, at worst, provide for delicious leftovers.
The Country Ham
Country ham is generally somewhat saltier than regular ham, so you can usually get away with keeping a bit less on hand.
Aim for around a half pound of country ham per person, or even somewhat less – often as little as a quarter pound per person – if you will also be serving sides and other dishes.
Numerous individuals who choose for a country ham slice everything beforehand and serve it buffet-style, which (often) also encourages guests to eat lesser quantities than they would otherwise.
If you believe that the guests you are feeding are likely to become ham-crazy, it may not be a terrible idea to increase the weight of country ham per person to three-quarters of a pound.
Ham appetizers, such as salted and cured ham such as prosciutto, are usually a favorite while entertaining.
Despite the fact that cured ham appetizers are sometimes a touch on the pricey side, you won’t need to stock up on nearly as many per person as you would have with main courses.
Typically, a couple of ounces of cured ham appetizers each person is plenty to ensure that everyone is satisfied.
Buying Advice for the Right Ham
Make a list of everyone who will be attending your dinner and presume that each person will consume three quarters of a pound of ham regardless of their actual appetite.
Yes, you will invariably purchase a bit more ham than you need, but that is always a far nicer “issue” to have than not having enough ham on hand for dinner.
However, if you will be entertaining more than 10 people, you should avoid the enormous store hams that are sometimes available.
Instead, choose many smaller hams that are around the same size (a couple of 5 pound hams, for example). That will definitely make things easier to cook, chop, and prepare, as well as easier to serve.
Should You Cook Your Ham?
When calculating how much ham to give each person, you must also consider whether or not the ham you intend to serve will be cooked.
Cured ham (such as prosciutto) may and should be served as is, straight from the box and ready to consume.
This implies that you will not lose any ham yield throughout the cooking process, making it much easier to calculate how much ham you need per person. Simply divide the amount of cured ham by the number of guests you are hosting to see whether or not your estimate is accurate.
On the other hand, if you are cooking a ham (which is typically the case), you need add 10% to the per-person weight to ensure that the yield is accurate.
Throughout the cooking and slicing process, ham will always lose some weight. It is usually preferable to go a bit beyond than to cut costs (and portion sizes) by not considering this.
Ultimately, as long as you aim for around three-quarters of a pound of ham per person (clearly across the board), you should be fine.
Clearly, you should adjust the amount of ham you purchase based on the number of guests, their affinity for ham, and the size of their anticipated appetites.
Just remember that you can always rely on the three-quarters of a pound per person and figure to create a delicious supper!