How much meat do you need to feed the whole family?

Planning your Christmas dinner can sometimes feel like a giant puzzle. Deciding how much meat to buy per person is all part of the game. How do you figure it out?

Whether you’re cooking for four people or forty people, there’s an easy way to solve this math puzzle.

In country areas, the serving size of meat for an adult is generally 200-250 grams. Now, this amount is higher than recommended on most health websites - but it’s Christmas!

Plan ahead. 

Plan how many types of meats you might be serving for the meal, whether you’re having ham and turkey, chicken, or pork, or maybe all of them! Then divide the quantity by the number of meats.

But be warned with buying raw meats, as they do shrink when they’re cooked. So how do you end up with the right amount of food for your guests? And do they want leftovers for another meal?


If you buy a four-kilo raw piece of pork leg, boned, rolled and cooked it, you should end up with approximately 2.6-2.4kgs of cooked meat. If you are only serving pork then this should feed 9 to 10 people.

Here’s a general guide for shrinkage during cooking:

  • Pork: 35-40%
  • Beef Brisket: 45%
  • Lean Rump: 30-35%
  • Lamb: 30-35%
  • Chicken and turkey: 25-35%