How Much Deli Meat Should Be Bought for Sandwiches?

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You’ve decided on a menu of sandwiches for your upcoming party; however, you’re having some trouble figuring out just how much deli meat to buy. Before actually purchasing the cold cuts, there are many things to consider: what other food will be served, the type of bread, what items in addition to the meat will make up the sandwiches, whether the sandwiches will be pre-made or put together by your guests, and even the factor of whether guests will be mostly male or female.

Make-It-Yourself Sandwiches

If you are buying your cold cuts from the deli counter, have it sliced thinly, because thinly cut meats will usually go further than thicker slices. Pre-packaged cold cuts should be the deli variety because they are sliced thinner than luncheon meats. The size of the bread will also be a factor in determining how much meat to buy. It’s much easier to pile a lot of meat onto a large slice of bread than onto a smaller bun. The average consumption of sandwiches will be a bun and a half per person. For 25 people, you can count on 3 to 5 pounds of meat. Keep in mind that side dishes will help satisfy your guest’s appetites and cut down on the amount of meat you will need.

Men Only Sandwiches

Men tend to have healthier appetites than women and also tend to be bigger carnivores, so for a male-only gathering you’ll need to adjust the amount of meat needed to satisfy those big appetites. Men also tend to stay away from side dishes and head straight for the meat platter. A deli sandwich platter for 25 men should include 7 pounds of meat.

Women Only Sandwiches

When planning a party for women where deli meat sandwiches will be served, you need to take into consideration that women tend to go for the vegetable trays and side dishes. When women construct their sandwiches, they will tend to pile on more lettuce, tomato and cheese than their male counterparts. Women will be more likely to choose turkey and ham over salami and roast beef, and will often decide on meatless sandwiches if the choice is offered. On average you can probably count on 2 ounces of deli meat per female guest or about 3 pounds for 25 women.

References

  • Do It for Less! Tricks of the Trade from Professional Caterer’s Kitchens; Denise Vivaldo; 2005
  • Sandwiches, Panini, and Wraps: Recipes for the Original Anytime and Anywhere Meal; Dwayne Ridgaway; 2005
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