How Much Corned Beef Per Person: A Number’s Game

March 23, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

You should serve each person about half a pound of cooked meat. Due to this shrinkage this means that you should buy about three-fourth of a pound of corned beef.

As a professional chef, I have had to learn about proper serving sizes when working at a restaurant. I can help you figure out just how much corned beef per person you need!

In this post I will show you how to calculate the right serving so that you will always have the right amount. Let’s get started!

How Much Corned Beef Per Person_

What is a Serving Size of Corned Beef?

On average, you should plan on serving half a pound of cooked corned beef per person.

Now, I hope you noticed that I said cooked corned beef and not raw corned beef. The thing is like all meat, corned beef has a tendency to shrink during the cooking process.

There is some disagreement of just how much corned beef shrinks. Some say that today’s corned beef doesn,t lose much moisture at all while other people say that it does.

This can depend on the type of corned beef and how it was processed.

On average, you can expect the corned beef to shrink between 25 and 35 percent.

This means that when you buy corned beef, you always have to buy more. Then, there will be enough cooked corned beef for each person at the end.

I would say that you should buy about three-fourths of a pound per person. This will give you some wiggle room for when you cook corned beef.

If you really don’t want to take any chances, then I would suggest buying up to one pound per person.

Corned beef cut

How Much Corned Beef Do I Need for 7 Adults?

Based on the guidelines above, you will need three-fourths of a pound per person.

Therefore, you can calculate the math like this:

No. of people x serving size per person = amount of corned beef

7 x 0.75 = 5.25lbs of corned beef

How Many People Will 3lbs of Corned Beef Feed?

For this type of calculation, you will need to reverse the equation

No. of people = amount of corned beef / serving size per person

x = 3/0.75

x = 4

So, 3lbs of corned beef can feed 4 people

How Much Corned Beef Per Person for Corned Beef and Cabbage?

If you are cooking corned beef and cabbage, then about three-fourths per person will do. This is because the cabbage, corned beef, and other ingredients are cooked in water.

Due to this, the corned beef doesn’t lose nearly as much moisture. This is especially true if it is prepared in a slow cooker where all the moisture is trapped inside.

How Much Corned Beef Per Person for Corned Beef Hash?

When cooking corned beef for corned beef hash, however, the process is a little different. The corned beef is essentially fried.

This means that the meat loses much more moisture during the process. I would suggest buying about one pound per person in this case, especially if you are hosting a corned beef dinner or a similarly large meal.

Have a Trial Run

If you have never cooked corned beef before or haven’t cooked for a crowd, some experimentation may be in order.

As I mentioned, the shrinkage rate of corned beef can be quite different. This can largely depend on where you get your meat from.

This is why I would suggest having a trial run. Order a pound of corned beef and then cook it down.

At the end, measure the meat again using a food scale. This will show you just how much the corned beef can shrink while being cooked.

In turn, you will be able to determine how much corned beef you need to order if you hope to end up with a specific amount at the end.

sliced corned beef on a wooden board

How to Calculate How Much Corned Beef to Buy?

The numbers that I have provided above are estimates. In reality, it isn’t easy to determine how much corned beef everyone should buy.

The actual amount will be determined by the situation. So, here is how to calculate how much corned beef per person you should get:

Are You Hosting a Meal?

The last thing that you want is to run out of food for your guests. So, if you are hosting a dinner or another meal for others, then it is always a good idea to order more corned beef than you think is strictly necessary.

If it is a family meal, on the other hand, then you don’t have to go quite so overboard. In this instance, feel free to stick to the estimates that I have provided here.

Who are You Inviting?

It is a good idea to think about the appetites of the people that you are inviting. If you know that there will be some enthusiastic eaters in the room, then it is best to order a little bit more. You don’t want anyone to feel like they can’t eat as much as they want.

On the other hand, if there are some children, vegetarians, etc., then you can be a little bit more conservative with your calculations.

Are Other Sides Included?

Is the corned beef dish the star of the show or are you including lots of other side dishes in the meal? If there are plenty of side dishes, then you don’t have to worry about having quite so much beef. People will be able to fill up on other foods as well.

What Kind of Sides are There?

You should also consider what kind of side dishes you are serving. If it is just dinner rolls, salad, or other light fare, then you will need to have a good amount of corned beef as people will be reaching for this.

However, if you have lots of other meat items or heavy, creamy, or cheesy dishes then you can buy and make less. This is because it is likely that the attention will be equally divided among the other main dishes.

Are You Hoping for Leftovers?

If you want to make sure that there are no leftovers at all, then calculate about three-fourths of a pound per person.

That being said, corned beef can take several hours to make. So, if you want to be able to enjoy some without having to go through the entire process of cooking up another batch, then make extra.

This way, you will only have to heat up the meat when you want to use it.

Is It Better to Boil or Bake Corned Beef?

Well, there is no right or wrong answer here. It is all about which method you prefer.

The key to getting your corned beef tender and nice is to cook it on low heat for an extended period of time.

Personally I find that the best corned beef is either slow cooked on the stovetop or in a slow cooker but you can produce great results in an oven too. Just make sure it is cooked properly.

Corned beef sandwich with fries

Making Your Own Corned Beef – How Much Beef Brisket to Buy?

Making corned beef brisket from scratch? Then, how much brisket do you need to get?

In this case, about 5lbs of brisket for corned beef will be enough for about 6 to 8 servings. I like to always err on the side of caution and assume that 5lbs is enough for 6 servings.

Considering how long it takes to process and prepare corned beef brisket, I don’t want to take the chance of getting it wrong.

You should be aware that the larger the chunk of meat used that the larger the container as well as the space needed. And, it needs to be stored for at least seven days.

If you don’t have the kind of space needed, then it may be worth choosing a smaller cut of meat.

I would also suggest using a smaller cut for the first time that you make corned beef. If things don’t go according to plan, you will not have to worry about throwing away a larger cut of meat and wasting money.

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Wrapping It Up

There you have it – you now know how much corned beef to buy and cook for any number of people. This will guarantee that you are never short, regardless of whether you are cooking for your family or a party!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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