How many deli meat slices is 2 oz?

Quick Answer

In general, 2 ounces of deli meat is equivalent to about 8 to 12 slices, depending on the thickness of the slices. Thinner slices will have more per 2 ounces, while thicker slices will have fewer.

Calculating Slices per Ounce

To figure out how many slices are in 2 ounces of deli meat, you’ll need to know:

  • The weight of each slice (in ounces)
  • The total weight you want (2 ounces)

Then you can use this formula:

Total weight needed (ounces) / Weight per slice (ounces) = Number of slices

So for example, if your slices are 0.17 ounces each:

2 oz / 0.17 oz per slice = About 12 slices

The weight per slice can vary quite a bit based on the thickness cut, type of deli meat, deli you go to, etc.

Here is a general guideline for the weight of common slice thicknesses:

Slice Thickness Typical Weight per Slice
Thin Around 0.15-0.17 oz
Medium Around 0.25-0.3 oz
Thick Around 0.5-0.6 oz

So with thin slices, you’ll usually get 12-13 slices per 2 ounces. With medium slices, about 8 slices. And with thick slices, just 4-5 slices.

But to know for sure, you’ll want to weigh a single slice on a food scale to get the exact weight per slice from your deli or meat counter.

Factors That Affect Number of Slices

Several factors can affect the number of deli meat slices in 2 ounces:

1. Type of Deli Meat

Some deli meats tend to be sliced thicker or thinner than others. For example, roast beef is often sliced thicker than ham or turkey. Pastrami also tends to be cut thicker.

So if you get 2 ounces each of roast beef, ham, and pastrami, the pastrami will likely have the fewest number of slices.

2. Deli Slicing Preferences

Some delis will custom slice to your preferred thickness. It’s common to request thin, medium, or thick slices.

If you get the same deli meat sliced thick versus thin, the thick will have considerably fewer slices per 2 ounces.

For example, 2 ounces of thick cut ham might be just 4 slices, versus 8-10 for thin cut.

3. Water Content

Meats with higher water content tend to be softer and slice thinner, while drier, cured meats often slice thicker.

For instance, turkey and chicken breast have high water content and can be sliced very thin, so you may get more slices per ounce compared to salami or prosciutto which are dryer.

4. Portion Packs

Many delis now offer pre-portioned packs of meat in 2 ounce, 4 ounce, or 6 ounce sizes. This makes it easy to know exactly how many slices you’re getting.

The number of slices in a 2 ounce portion pack can range from about 4 thick slices up to 12+ thin slices, depending on the deli meat.

Estimating Slices When You Don’t Have a Scale

If you don’t have a food scale at home, you can still estimate the number of slices in 2 ounces:

– Start with the average slice weights from the table above as a guideline. For a medium thickness deli meat, assume around 0.28 ounces per slice. For thin, around 0.17 per slice.

– Take the deli meat out of the packaging and try to eyeball and compare the thicknesses. Does it look closer to thin or medium? You can also ask the deli counter what the most common slice thickness is.

– For a medium sliced meat, 2 ounces would be roughly 7-8 slices. For thin sliced, estimate 10-12 slices per 2 ounces.

– Pick out what you think is 2 ounces worth of slices and do a visual comparison. Double check that the fold thickness doesn’t look way off.

– Purchase a small food scale to take home next time ($10-$15). Weigh a single slice so you know the exact weight per slice.

While these visual estimations won’t be exact, they can get you in the ballpark until you can weigh the slices and calculate precisely.

Common Uses and Servings For 2 Ounces of Deli Meat

Now that you know how many slices are in 2 ounces of deli meat, here are some common ways that amount is used:


Two ounces or 4-8 slices is a typical single serving of deli meat for a sandwich. Stack the slices between two pieces of bread along with cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, mayo or other favorite toppings.

Roll-ups and Wraps

Wrap 2 ounces of sliced deli meat around a cheese stick, pickle spear or breadstick for an easy roll-up snack. You can also use deli meat as a wrap for veggies, cream cheese, hummus or other spreads.

Salads and Bowls

Chop or shred 2 ounces of deli meat to top salads or grain bowls for an extra protein punch. Some good options are ham, turkey, chicken and roast beef.

Snacks and Appetizers

Cut deli meat into cubes or strips for quick snacks or appetizers. Serve on a pick with cheese cubes or olives for a fun presentation.

Omelets, Frittatas and Quiches

Chopped deli meat makes a tasty addition to egg dishes like omelets, frittatas and quiches. Try ham, bacon or sausage.

Pizzas and Flatbreads

Use 2 ounces of sliced pepperoni or salami to top homemade or store-bought pizzas and flatbreads. Or get creative with ham, prosciutto or chorizo.

Pasta Dishes

Deli meats like salami, prosciutto, pepperoni and soppressata add nice flavor and texture when chopped up in pasta dishes, from spaghetti carbonara to ziti bakes.

Nutrition Information Per 2 Ounces of Deli Meat

The nutrition facts for 2 ounces of deli meat will vary by the specific type, brand, fat content, sodium level and any other ingredients added.

But on average, 2 ounces provides:

  • Calories: 80-110
  • Protein: 10-15g
  • Fat: 2-6g
  • Carbs: 0-2g
  • Sodium: 450-800mg

Here is a comparison of the nutrition facts for some popular 2 ounce servings of deli meats:

Deli Meat (2 oz) Calories Protein Fat Sodium
Turkey breast 70 13g 2g 480mg
Ham 98 12g 4g 910mg
Chicken breast 90 16g 2g 500mg
Roast beef 116 15g 5g 670mg
Salami 128 10g 9g 750mg

As you can see, leaner deli meats like turkey, chicken and ham generally have fewer calories and less fat and sodium compared to beef and cured meats like salami. But all provide a good amount of protein per serving.

Price Per Pound of Deli Meat

On average, deli meat costs $3 to $8 per pound. However, premium and gourmet varieties can run $10 to $15 per pound or even more.

Here are some estimates for the price range of common deli meats per pound:

  • Turkey: $3.50 – $7
  • Ham: $3.50 – $6
  • Roast beef: $5 – $12
  • Chicken: $3.50 – $6
  • Salami: $5 – $10
  • Prosciutto: $15+
  • Mortadella: $5 – $10
  • Pepperoni: $5 – $8

The per pound price can vary depending on the deli, quality of the meat, whether it’s pre-packaged versus freshly sliced, and any specials or deals. Some delis may mark down meat nearing its expiration date.

When comparing prices, also look at the total weight or number of slices you’re getting for the price. A lower per-pound cost doesn’t mean a better deal if the packaging or portions are really small.

Estimating Deli Meat Cost Based on Weight

You can use the per pound prices above to estimate the cost for other weights of deli meat:

For example, if ham costs $5 per pound:

– 2 ounces of ham would be about 0.125 pounds
– At $5 per pound, 2 ounces would cost approximately $0.625

So when ham is $5/lb, you can expect to pay around $0.60 for enough slices for a sandwich.

For a higher end deli meat like prosciutto at $15/lb:

– 2 ounces = 0.125 pounds
– 0.125 * $15 per pound = $1.88

So prosciutto would cost close to $2 for a 2 ounce serving.

Knowing the typical per pound prices makes it easier to compare deals and value when shopping for deli meats. Just take note of the prices at your regular grocery or deli and use them to estimate costs for the amount you need.

Tips for Getting the Best Value

Here are some tips to get the most for your money when buying deli meat:

1. Check Unit Pricing

Compare the unit price on the shelf tags rather than just the total price. Unit pricing shows the cost per ounce or pound. This makes it easier to find the best deal when sizes vary.

2. Buy Pre-Packaged Slices

Pre-packaged stacks or bags of presliced deli meat often cost a bit less per ounce compared to custom sliced at the deli counter. The downside is you can’t choose your thickness.

3. Look for Sales, Coupons, and Loyalty Discounts

Watch for weekly deli meat sales, coupons, and ask about any loyalty card discounts to save money. Offers vary week to week.

4. Purchase Store Brands

Opt for the store brand or generic deli meat to pay less for the same 2 ounce serving compared to big national brands.

5. Consider Lesser-Known Cuts

For roast beef, try top or bottom round instead of pricier prime rib. For ham, go for boneless hocks versus honey glazed.

6. Buy Bulk Packages and Freeze Extras

Buying larger quantities often lowers the per pound price. Freeze additional packages to prevent waste.

7. Understand Thicker Isn’t Always Better

If paying by the pound, keep in mind thicker slices mean you get less meat by weight. Thin slices may save money and stretch farther.

8. Don’t Overpay for Extras

Plain sliced deli meat is most affordable. Skip fancier additions like premium bacon or imported cheeses that raise the price.

Safely Storing and Freezing Deli Meat

Follow these guidelines to safely store deli meat:

– Refrigerate deli meat immediately and use within 3-5 days for best quality.

– Freeze extras if you won’t use within a week. Portion into quantities you’ll use like 2 oz servings.

– When freezing, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, foil or bags to prevent freezer burn.

– Thaw frozen deli meat overnight in the fridge or for a few hours in the microwave on defrost setting.

– Don’t refreeze deli meat once thawed. Cook or eat within 3-4 days.

– Discard deli meats if they develop an off color or odor. Do not taste.

Proper storage keeps deli meats fresh and safe to eat. Follow the expiration or “use-by” dates and your senses to determine if deli meat is still good.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does deli meat shrink when cooked?

Yes, deli meats can shrink slightly when cooked due to loss of water content. The amount varies but expect around 10-15% shrinkage. Weigh meats after cooking for a more accurate nutrition count.

2. What is the healthiest deli meat?

Turkey, chicken, and ham are considered the healthiest lunch meats. They tend to be lower in fat, calories, and sodium compared to beef, sausage, salami and bologna. Lean roast beef is also a good option.

3. Can you freeze deli meat? Is it still good when thawed?

Freezing deli meat is safe for 3-4 months. Thawed deli meat retains its texture and flavor well if properly wrapped to prevent freezer burn. Use thawed meat within 3-5 days.

4. How long does deli meat last after opening?

Once opened, refrigerate deli meats and use within 3-7 days for highest safety and quality. Discard any discolored, dried out, or foul smelling deli meat.

5. Can dogs eat deli meat?

In moderation, deli meats are generally safe for dogs to eat as an occasional treat. Avoid meats high in nitrates, salt and sugar. Check with your vet if giving regularly or if your dog has dietary issues.


Estimating deli meat slice counts can require some weighing, measuring and math. In general, 2 ounces of sliced deli meat equals about 8-12 slices depending on thickness. Thinner slices will have more per ounce, while thicker slices will have fewer.

Check the weight per slice or purchase a food scale to get exact portioning. Consider the typical uses, nutrition, pricing, storage and food safety when incorporating deli meats into your diet. With some smart shopping and proper storage, you can make the most of each slice.

Leave a Comment