How Many Slices of Roast Beef Can You Get from One Pound?

Roast beef is a delicious and versatile deli meat that can be used to make sandwiches, roll-ups, or snacks. But when shopping for roast beef at the deli counter or grocery store, it can be tricky to estimate exactly how many slices you’ll get from a 1 pound package.

The number of roast beef slices in a pound depends on a few key factors, mainly the thickness at which it is sliced Read on for a detailed breakdown of how many slices to expect and tips for maximizing your roast beef pound

What Impacts the Number of Slices per Pound?

There are a few variables that affect the number of slices yielded from a pound of roast beef:

  • Slice thickness – Thinner slices mean more per pound, thicker slices mean fewer. Slices can range from 1/16 to 1/4 inch thick on average.

  • Type of roast – Top round makes the most even, tender slices. Chuck or rump roast may have more irregular shapes.

  • Pre-packaged vs deli-sliced – Pre-packaged roast beef is often shingled while deli meats are stacked, impacting slice counts.

  • Moisture content – Dryer roasts may appear to have more slices since moist roasts shrink more during cooking.

  • Scale accuracy – Deli scales may have slight inaccuracies affecting weight and thus total slices.

How Many Slices of Roast Beef in a Pound?

On average, you can expect 12 to 18 slices of roast beef per pound. Here are some guidelines based on thickness:

  • 1/16 inch slices = About 18-22 slices per pound
  • 1/8 inch slices = About 14-16 slices per pound
  • 3/16 inch slices = About 10-12 slices per pound
  • 1/4 inch slices = About 8-10 slices per pound

Thinner roast beef slices are often used for sandwiches, while thicker cuts work well for hearty roll-ups and snacks. Pre-packaged roast beef labeled “thin” or “extra thin” will be on the higher end of slices per pound.

Tips for Getting the Most Slices from a Pound

Here are some helpful tips to maximize the number of roast beef slices you can get from a pound:

  • Ask the deli clerk to slice it thinner. Request 1/16 inch slices if making sandwiches.
  • Choose top round roasts for the most even, consistent slices.
  • Opt for low-moisture or dry roasted roasts which shrink less during cooking.
  • Weigh the package yourself to ensure accuracy. Deli scales can be off.
  • For pre-packaged roast beef, choose “thin sliced” or “extra thinly sliced”.
  • Stack slices evenly when storing leftovers to prevent sticking.
  • Fold larger slices in half if needed to stretch a pound further.
  • Calculate total sandwich needs and order accordingly, rounding up to the nearest pound.

What Impacts the Price per Pound?

Several factors impact the price per pound of packaged or deli-sliced roast beef:

  • Brand – Premium brand names often cost more than generic store brands.

  • Roast type – More expensive cuts like tenderloin cost more than rump or chuck roast.

  • Pre-sliced vs deli-sliced – Pre-packaged is often a bit cheaper than freshly deli-sliced.

  • Organic – Organic roast beef costs more due to specialized feeding and standards.

  • Aging – Dry-aged roasts undergo a longer aging process increasing costs.

  • Imported – Imported, high-end roasts from Europe, like Italian Chianina, cost more per pound.

  • Quantity – Buying larger quantities, like 2+ pounds, typically lowers cost per pound.

Which Roast Beef Cuts Make the Best Slices?

For evenly cut, tender slices, look for these top round roast beef cuts:

  • Eye of round – Lean cut from the hind leg, makes very tender slices.

  • Top round – Economical roast with good flavor, can be sliced thin.

  • London broil – A flank steak often sold pre-sliced as roast beef.

  • Tri-tip roast – Small triangular cut, tender yet budget-friendly.

  • Sirloin tip – Lean and tender, with decent grain for slicing.

Thinner cuts from the hind legs or loins have the best texture and grain for deli-style roast beef slicing. Avoid chubbier cuts from the chuck or shoulder which have more sinew.

Storing Leftover Sliced Roast Beef

To maintain freshness, store leftover roast beef slices:

  • In an airtight container or zip-top bag. Remove excess air.

  • Layer slices between parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking.

  • In the refrigerator for 3-5 days maximum.

  • In the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Proper storage keeps roast beef slices fresh for making quick sandwiches and snacks!

Delicious Ways to Use Roast Beef Slices

Roast beef slices add hearty flavor to sandwiches, roll-ups, and more. Some delicious options include:

  • Roast beef and cheddar sandwiches with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

  • Roast beef roll-ups with sliced cheese, pickle, and mustard.

  • Arugula and roast beef pinwheels in a tortilla.

  • Roast beef and Havarti quesadillas.

  • Roast beef lettuce wraps with peppers and horseradish sauce.

  • Italian-style roast beef sandwiches with banana peppers and balsamic vinaigrette.

With so many possibilities, your leftover roast beef slices will never go to waste!

Getting the most slices from a pound of roast beef takes a little planning, but is worth it for the delicious sandwiches and snacks you can make. Follow these guidelines on expected slice counts, pricing, storage, and recipe ideas to enjoy roast beef without the waste.

The Perfect Roast Beef – Medium Rare


How many slices of meat are in a pound of deli meat?

That means if you order a pound of lunch meat, which is 16 ounces of meat, you should have 32 slices.

How much sliced roast beef per person per pound?

When determining how much cold cuts to buy for a party consider 1/3rd pound for each person. For 25 people that amounts to about 8 pounds. If you are adding cheese and other additions to the sandwhich you may want to cut the amount of meat down to 1/4 pound per person.

How many sandwiches do you get out of a pound of roast beef?

Each pound of roast beef will make about 2 sandwiches.

How many servings in a pound of beef roast?

Bone-in roasts: Figure about one-pound per person. A 10-pound roast will feed 8-10 people. Boneless: Allow about a half-pound per person, which should yield about a 6-ounce piece. A 3-pound tenderloin would feed 6 people.

How much roast beef is needed per person?

For sandwiches with roast beef as the main course, consider serving 1/2 to 1/3 pound per person. For buffets or appetizer selections, calculate 1/4 to 1/6 pounds per person. Adjust the quantities based on your event and guests’ appetites.

How long do you cook a pound of roast beef?

To properly cook a pound of roast beef, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and cook it for 20–25 minutes. Monitor the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.

How much boneless rib roast should a person eat?

Generally, it is recommended to plan for 1/2 pound of boneless cooked meat per person. If you’re serving a bone-in cut such as prime rib or standing rib roast, figure 3/4 pound per person. For large parties, count on at least 1 pound of cooked meat per guest. This will ensure that everyone has enough food to enjoy without having too much left over.

How much bone-in roast should a person eat?

First, determine the type of meat you will be serving and whether it’s a bone-in or boneless cut, as this will affect the yield. For bone-in roast, plan for 1/2 pound per person. For boneless roast, plan for about 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person.

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