How Many Pounds of Ham Per Person?

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This comprehensive guide is going to be perfect for you if you’ve been given the task of cooking a ham supper for a group of people but aren’t sure how many pounds of ham you should buy for each individual.

How many pounds of ham are served to each individual? As a matter of thumb, you should purchase around three quarters of a pound of ham for each individual. It should be possible to serve 12 people with a ham weighing 9 pounds.

Not only do we discuss how many pounds of ham you will need to purchase for each individual, but we also discuss what you should keep in mind while making your purchase, as well as whether or not you plan to cook the ham that you have already bought.

Let’s dive right in!

How Many Pounds of Ham Per Person, On Average?

You can generally get away with estimating about three quarters of a pound of ham per person as a general rule of thumb. However, if you really want to dial in your portions and guarantee that you have plenty of ham for everyone – and leftovers to boot! – you are going to want to think a little bit harder about the type of ham you are purchasing, the type of ham you are preparing, and a few other factors, as well.

Boneless Ham

When you are looking for something easy, something uncomplicated, and something that will yet taste excellent, boneless ham options are always a nice go-to pick to have available.

When you buy boneless ham, on the other hand, you can be certain that there won’t be any waste whatsoever, both in terms of the bones and the substantial amount of fat. When compared to other types of ham, such as bone-in or country ham, a boneless ham should have no inedible parts, and as a result, the overall output will be much higher.

Because of these factors, it is a good idea to aim for anything between around one-third of a pound and one-half of a pound of boneless ham for each individual attendee at the party.

That translates to the fact that you need a boneless ham that weighs anywhere between two and three pounds if you plan on having six people around for supper. For a group of 12, you will need a ham that weighs between 4 and 6 pounds, but if the number of guests exceeds 20, you will need to get a ham that weighs 10 pounds or more – or you will need to buy several hams of a lesser size.

Bone-In Spiral Ham

When you take into account the bone that is embedded in the ham and runs through its core, bone-in ham, like spiral ham, will have a little bit more weight waste than boneless ham.

Because of this, you will want to make sure that the bone-in ham you purchase is on the meatier side of things (no pun intended) – with an average ham weight per person that is around three quarters of a pound or so, on average.

If you are going to be serving folks who are serious ham connoisseurs or who are simply large eaters in general, it would not be such a terrible idea to serve each person one pound of ham.

At the very least, adding an additional tenth of a pound of ham to each serving will result in delicious leftovers.

Country Ham

Because country ham is often quite a bit saltier than regular ham selections, most of the time you will be able to get away with having a little less of the salty ingredient on hand.

If you are planning on serving a variety of sides and other dishes in addition to the country ham, you should aim for around a half pound of country ham per person, or perhaps a little bit less – often as low as a quarter of a pound per person.

Many individuals who want to have a country ham prepare all of the food in advance and serve it in a buffet format, which (often) also encourages attendees to accept lesser quantities than they otherwise would have.

Nevertheless, if you get the impression that the individuals you are serving are likely to go ham crazy, it would not be a bad idea to increase the weight of the ham served to each individual to three quarters of a pound if you are using country ham.

Ham Appetizers

When it comes to entertaining guests, ham appetizers, such as salted and cured ham such as prosciutto, are almost certain to be very well received.

In spite of the fact that cured ham appetizers are often on the more pricey side of things, you will be relieved to learn that you won’t have to stock up on nearly as much of them per person as you would have had to in order to cover the same amount of people with main entrées.

In most cases, serving only a couple of ounces of cured ham appetizers to each individual will be more than sufficient to ensure that everyone consumes the appropriate amount of food.

Tips for Buying the Right Ham

Make a list of all of the individuals who are coming to attend your dinner, and assume that they will each consume three quarters of a pound of ham no matter what. This will be the simplest method to ensure that you have purchased enough ham for everyone.

It is inevitable that you will purchase a little bit more ham than you really need; but, having a little bit of extra ham on hand for supper is always a lot nicer “issue” to have than not having enough ham on hand for evening.

However, if you are going to be hosting more than ten guests, you should avoid purchasing one of the enormous hams that are occasionally sold in grocery stores. You may locate these hams on occasion.

Instead, you should go for a few hams that are on the smaller side but are around the same size (a couple of 5 pound hams, for example). That will undoubtedly make the cooking, chopping, and preparation of the food much simpler, as well as the serving of the food much less difficult.

To Cook or Not Cook Your Ham?

When determining how much ham to offer each person, you are going to have to take into consideration a number of factors, one of which is whether or not you are going to cook the ham that you want to serve.

Cured ham, such as prosciutto, for example, may be presented exactly as it is and should be served this way; that is, straight out of the packaging, all set to go.

Because of this, you won’t lose any ham yield throughout the cooking process, which makes it a little bit simpler to calculate how much ham you need to serve each individual. Simply divide the total number of persons who will be attending the gathering by the quantity of cured ham, and you will have an accurate estimate of how many hams you will need.

On the other hand, if you are going to be cooking a ham (which is often the case), you will need to add roughly 10 percentage points on top of the weight per person that you are calculating in order to ensure that the yield is calculated accurately.

It is inevitable that some of the weight of the ham will be lost as it is being cooked and sliced. It is usually preferable to go a bit extra with something rather than discover that you slashed corners (and portion sizes) because you did not take this into consideration.


How many will a 5 pound ham feed?

Therefore, in order to accommodate a meal for ten people around Easter, you will want either a bone-in ham weighing between 7.5 and 10 pounds or a boneless ham weighing 5 pounds.

How much ham do I need for 10 adults?

To put it another way, if you want to serve 10 people, you should buy a boneless ham that weighs between 2 1/2 and 5 pounds, or a bone-in ham that ranges in weight from 0.5 to 7 1/2 pounds.

How much ham do I need for 12 guests?

Let’s put this hypothesis to the test by cooking a meal for a household that has 12 members in it. Therefore, we need 5.4 pounds of boneless ham, or: 12 individuals times 0.65 pounds is 7.8 pounds; therefore, we should purchase 7.8 pounds of bone-in ham.

How much ham do I need for 8 people?

Ten people may be fed with a single serving of bone-in ham that weighs an average of 7.5 pounds. Excellent for serving to a large group of people at a dinner party or for a meal with the family, with plenty of leftovers for things like sandwiches. Six to eight individuals may share a quarter ham, which typically weighs two pounds. The way to go if you want to have a nice supper with your family or fantastic sandwiches for the week.

Should I cover my ham with foil while baking?

Make it a goal to purchase at least one pound of meat for each individual in order to ensure that there will be plenty for leftovers. Cook the ham over low heat with at least a half cup of water, wine, or stock in the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil to prevent the ham from drying out while cooking (the foil may be removed after the glaze has been applied). Give some of that handmade love to your ham!

How big of a ham do I need for 20 people?

When selecting a bone-in ham (which is heavier), you should expect to serve around half a pound of ham per person, whereas serving a boneless ham requires just a third of a pound.

Final Thoughts

If, at the end of the day, you aim to serve around three quarters of a pound of ham to each individual (this is a good rule of thumb to follow in general), you should be OK.

It goes without saying that you should adjust the quantity of ham you purchase according to the number of guests you will be hosting, the degree to which they like ham, or if they have no opinion either way, and the types of appetites you anticipate.

You should keep in mind that you can always rely on the three quarters of a pound per person and figure in order to make a supper that is out of this world.

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