How Much Ham to Feed 100 People: A Guide to Planning Ham for Large Groups

Planning a holiday meal, family reunion, or big catered event and wondering how much ham to buy for a crowd? Feeding 100 people is no small feat, but having the right ham quantities will ensure everyone gets their fill of this tasty entrée.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about serving ham to large groups of 100 or more. Follow our tips below for purchasing, cooking, carving, and serving the perfect amount of delicious ham for your next big gathering.

Estimating Ham Quantities for 100

As a general rule of thumb, plan on 3/4 pound of boneless ham per person, or 1 pound of bone-in ham per person when feeding 100 guests.

This allows for generous portions and usually provides enough for second helpings. For smaller appetites 1/2 pound of boneless ham or 3/4 pound of bone-in ham per person may be sufficient.

Based on 100 guests, you’ll need:

  • Boneless ham: 50 to 75 pounds
  • Bone-in ham: 100 pounds

Since hams come in a range of sizes, you may need to purchase multiple hams to serve 100 people. Combining bone-in and boneless hams can help you hit the target quantity.

Tips for Planning Ham for a Crowd

Here are some additional tips to ensure you buy the right amount of ham for 100:

  • Consider appetites – teen boys or manual laborers may want larger servings.

  • Add 10-20% if you want ample leftovers for sandwiches or take-home portions.

  • Double check number of guests as the event nears to adjust quantities if needed.

  • Have a vegetarian entrée option for non-meat eaters.

  • Let the number of side dishes guide you – more sides means less ham needed per person.

Cooking Multiple Hams for a Big Group

To cook ham for 100 people, you’ll likely need multiple hams to meet the total quantity required. Here are some tips:

  • Choose hams of similar size and type for even cooking.

  • Use multiple ovens or smokers to cook hams simultaneously.

  • Allow hams to rest 30-60 minutes before carving for juicy results.

  • Maintain hams at a food safe holding temperature until serving time.

  • Time it so all hams are ready shortly before guests arrive.

  • Keep some cooked ham warm in chafing dishes while carving additional hams as needed.

Carving Tips When Serving a Crowd

Carving several large hams for 100 guests can be challenging. Follow these carving tips:

  • Use an electric knife for faster, easier slicing.

  • Have 2-3 people carving at once to keep pace with demand.

  • Slice meat across the grain for tenderness.

  • Cut slabs or spirals of meat rather than paper-thin slices.

  • Set up a carving station away from the main buffet line.

  • Keep sliced ham warm in a slow cooker or chafing dish as you carve more.

  • Have platters ready to continuously replenish the buffet with fresh ham slices.

Serving Ham Efficiently for Large Groups

When it’s time to serve, having a plan will keep the ham moving smoothly:

  • Set up buffet lines with ham at the start of each line if possible.

  • Have guests form orderly lines rather than crowding the buffet.

  • Replenish ham platters frequently to avoid running out.

  • Offer condiments like mustards, chutneys, and pineapple garnish for extra flavor.

  • Provide take-home containers so guests can bring home leftovers easily.

  • Have plenty of serving utensils, plates, napkins, etc. to keep pace with demand.

Ordering Ham for Groups from Caterers or Deli

For ease, consider ordering pre-cooked hams from a caterer, deli, or food supplier rather than preparing yourself.

  • Order bone-in spiraled hams for easy serving.

  • Request hams be delivered properly cooled or heated to safe temperatures.

  • Have deli or supplier slice and platter ham for convenient service.

  • Ask about ordering ham bone broth or au jus for serving.

  • Inquire about carving services if you’ll need assistance.

Key Tips to Remember

To quickly recap, here are the key tips for serving ham to big groups:

  • Plan on 3/4 pound boneless ham or 1 pound bone-in ham per person.

  • Buy multiple hams to meet the total quantity needed.

  • Use multiple ovens or smokers to cook hams efficiently.

  • Allow hams to rest before carving; hold at safe temps.

  • Have 2-3 people carving at once for faster service.

  • Set up self-serve buffet lines with ham replenished frequently.

  • Consider ordering pre-sliced hams from a caterer or deli for convenience.

With the right planning and preparation, you can successfully serve a memorable feast featuring delicious ham to satisfy even the largest gathering. Your guests are sure to be impressed!

How much Honey Baked Ham is needed per person?


How many people will a 10 lb spiral ham feed?

Bone-In Spiral-Cut Ham Estimate 3/4 to 1 pound per person for a bone-in ham. No matter what size ham you purchase, save the bone to make the best bean soup or save some ham for sandwiches, casseroles, and other leftover dishes.

How many pounds of ham do I need for 50 people?

Plan to serve 1/3 to 1/2 pound per person for a boneless ham. If you have a ton of sides for your ham, you can probably lean more towards 1/3 of a pound, or make another main course, like a holiday pot roast.

How much ham will feed 40 people?

A whole bone-in ham (19lbs average weight) serves up to 30 or 40 people. Definitely the right choice for family reunions and other big get-togethers. A whole boneless ham (6.7lbs average weight) serves roughly 25 people.

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