How Much Ham Do You Need Per Person?
If you're hosting your family's holiday lunch or dinner, your to-do list is likely long and growing. Come Easter, you need to boil the eggs, bake the rolls, and of course, prep the Easter cake. Don't forget to decorate the Easter eggs and assign hiding duties either. Around Christmastime, there are stockings to hang, white cakes to bake, and you can't forget to prepare cookies Santa.
One thing that certainly won't skip your mind but could get lost in the shuffle is the Easter or Christmas ham—or more precisely, the size of ham you need to buy for the holiday meal.
For many, the spiral ham is to Easter and Christmas what the stuffed turkey is to Thanksgiving: Everyone's looking forward to it, so the last thing you want to do is run out. Or worse—you might get a ham that's entirely too big and be left trying every leftover ham recipe in the book so none of it goes to waste.
If you're readying your list, go ahead and take the grocery store guesswork out of the ham size you need by calculating your crowd's likely consumption.
For a boneless ham, each person will likely eat between 1/3 and 1/2 pound per person.
6 people: 2 to 3 pounds
12 people: 4 to 6 pounds
20 people: 6 3/4 to 10 pounds
Bone-In Spiral-Cut Ham
For a bone-in spiral-cut ham, you need to account for the large bone that's making up a good bit of weight in the total you see printed on the label. (Save that bone to make the best soup.) Estimate 3/4 to 1 pound per person for a bone-in ham.
6 people: 4.5 to 6 pounds
12 people: 9 to 12 pounds
20 people: 15 to 20 pounds
If your clan prefers country ham, you'll likely need a smaller amount, 1/4 to 1/3 pound per person at most. The ham's saltiness and intensity will likely keep your guests' portions small.
Keep in mind, appetites vary. In a buffet presentation, guests may go for smaller portions than if they're serving themselves from the table. And if you want your guests to have some ham to take home—or you need it for a traditional morning-after breakfast casserole—go ahead and factor in the higher side of these estimates.
If you have a lot leftover, divvy that up among your guests, and send them home with a ham care package. Ham doesn't freeze well; the quality and flavor deteriorate quickly. It's better if you dole it out for a week of sandwiches and quiches than try to safe it for later.