The number of ounces in 2 slices of lunch meat depends on the type and thickness of the lunch meat. On average, 2 slices of lunch meat are about 1-2 ounces total. A typical slice of deli lunch meat is around 0.5-1 ounce.
Calculating Ounces in Lunch Meat
To determine how many ounces are in 2 slices of lunch meat, you need to know a few key details:
- Type of lunch meat (ham, turkey, roast beef, etc.)
- Thickness of each slice
- Weight of each slice
The type of lunch meat makes a difference because meats have different densities. For example, 2 slices of ham will weigh slightly less than 2 slices of roast beef in the same thickness.
The thickness of each slice is important because thinner slices will weigh less than thick slices. Sliced lunch meat can range from deli-thin slices around 0.5 oz each, up to thick deli slices around 1 oz each.
To find out the weight of a single slice, you can:
- Weigh a slice on a food scale
- Check the packaging label for slice weights
- Ask the deli counter for average slice weights of that meat
Once you know the average weight of one slice, you can easily calculate the weight of 2 slices.
Here are some common lunch meat slice weights:
|Lunch Meat Type
|Typical Slice Weight
|Deli-thin ham or turkey
|Average sliced ham or turkey
|Thick-sliced ham or turkey
Based on this:
- 2 slices of deli-thin ham or turkey = 2 * 0.5 oz = 1 oz
- 2 slices of average sliced ham or turkey = 2 * 0.75 oz = 1.5 oz
- 2 slices of thick-sliced ham or turkey = 2 * 1 oz = 2 oz
- 2 slices of roast beef = 2 * 1 oz = 2 oz
So in summary, 2 slices of lunch meat are typically between 1-2 ounces total, depending on the type and thickness of the meat.
Typical Serving Sizes
To put the weight of lunch meat slices into perspective, here are some typical serving sizes:
- 1 oz of lunch meat is considered a single serving
- A lunch meat sandwich often contains 2-4 oz of meat (2-4 slices)
- A club sandwich may contain 6-8 oz of meat
So 2 slices of lunch meat is on the lighter end for sandwich fillings, while stacking 3-4 slices would make a more generous sandwich.
Comparing Lunch Meat Options
When choosing lunch meats, you may want to compare the number of ounces or slices in different packages to determine the best value:
|Oz per Slice
|Brand A turkey breast
|Brand B oven-roasted turkey
|Brand C smoked ham
As you can see, the lunch meat with the lightest slices may give you more ounces per dollar spent. But you also want to consider the taste and nutrition values when choosing meats.
Nutrition Facts for 2 Ounces of Lunch Meat
From a nutrition standpoint, here are some facts about 2 ounces of typical lunch meats:
- Calories: 70-110 calories
- Total fat: 2-4g
- Saturated fat: 1-2g
- Sodium: 400-650mg
- Protein: 12-16g
So 2 slices provide a good amount of protein (about 25% DV) while limiting calories, fat, and sodium compared to larger 3-4 oz servings.
Going with nitrate-free, lower sodium, and leaner meats can help improve the nutrition profile. Consuming processed meats in moderation is recommended, even for nitrate-free options.
Healthiest Lunch Meat Options
If you’re looking for the healthiest lunch meat choices, consider these options:
- Turkey breast – Low fat and sodium
- Roast beef – Leaner than salami or bologna
- Ham – Look for lower sodium options
- Chicken breast – Very lean and protein-rich
- Tofu or seitan “deli slices” – Vegan protein sources
The American Heart Association recommends limiting processed meats to no more than 2 servings per week. So switching out deli meats for lean proteins like chicken breast, tuna, or salmon can provide healthier alternatives.
Low-Sodium Lunch Meat Options
To limit your sodium intake from lunch meats, choose lower sodium options whenever possible. Here are some better-for-you picks with under 400mg sodium per 2 oz serving:
- Applegate Naturals Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
- Boar’s Head Ovengold Turkey Breast
- Hillshire Farm Naturals Roasted Turkey Breast
- Oscar Mayer Carving Board Ham
- Hormel Natural Choice Carved Chicken Breast
Compare brands and read labels carefully, since sodium content can vary widely across different varieties, even within the same brand. Every little bit helps when cutting down on dietary sodium.
Making Your Own Lunch Meat
For the freshest taste and ingredients, another option is to prepare homemade lunch meats or meat slices. Here are some recipes to try:
- Baked turkey breast – Season turkey breast, bake, then slice.
- Slow cooker pulled pork – Shred and slice cooked pork shoulder.
- Roasted beef tenderloin – Thinly slice roasted tenderloin.
- Rotisserie chicken breast – Shred and slice roasted chicken.
Homemade meats may take more effort, but provide more control over ingredients like sodium, preservatives, and flavorings compared to pre-packaged deli meats.
Non-Meat Lunch “Meat” Alternatives
For vegetarian and vegan diets, there are many meatless alternatives to deli slices:
- Tofurky slices – Made from tofu
- Quorn deli slices – Made from mycoprotein
- Yves slices – Made from soy protein
- Simple Truth Meatless Ham Style Slices – Made from pea protein
These products mimic the flavor, texture, and sliceability of deli meats without coming from animal sources. They can make great substitutes in sandwiches, wraps, and other lunchtime staples.
Making Sandwiches with 2 Slices of Lunch Meat
While 2 slices of lunch meat may seem skimpy, there are plenty of tasty ways to make sandwiches with 1-2 oz fillings:
- Stack two types of meat like turkey + ham
- Add sliced cheese for more filling
- Use flavorful breads like ciabatta or dutch crunch
- Spread condiments/sauces for more moisture
- Add toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles
- Toast or grill the sandwich for more texture
- Pair with hearty side soup or salad
With the right ingredients and preparation, 2 lunch meat slices can still yield a satisfying sandwich experience.
Lunch Meat Storage Tips
To safely store lunch meats:
- Store unopened packages as recommended on the label.
- Once opened, rewrap tightly in original packaging or plastic wrap.
- Place in a sealed container or bag in the fridge.
- Use within 3-5 days for best quality.
- Freeze extras in usable portions if not using right away.
- Discard if mold develops or odors become unpleasant.
Proper storage keeps lunch meats fresh and reduces the risk of foodborne illness. Discard any pre-sliced deli meats after 3-5 days.
Is Lunch Meat Healthy?
In moderation, lunch meats can be part of a healthy diet, but there are some concerns to consider:
- Processed meats are associated with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- Even nitrate-free meats are high in sodium and saturated fat.
- Preservatives like nitrites have been linked to cancer.
- Meats can harbor Listeria and other pathogens if not handled properly.
The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends avoiding processed meats when possible and limiting consumption to no more than 3 ounces per week.
To enjoy lunch meats more safely, go for low-sodium, nitrate/nitrite-free options, and properly reheat cold cuts before eating. Limit processed meats and opt for healthier protein sources like fish, beans, nuts or tofu whenever you can.
In summary, the number of ounces in 2 slices of lunch meat depends on the specific type and thickness, but is typically 1-2 ounces total. Heavier meats like roast beef and thicker slices will be on the higher end while thin sliced turkey or ham will be closer to 1 ounce for 2 slices.
Compare brands for the best value, read labels for sodium content, and aim for healthier low-sodium options like turkey, chicken, or roast beef. While lunch meats should be consumed in moderation, 2 slices make for a reasonable serving size that can be part of a healthy sandwich or wrap when paired with veggies and condiments. Proper storage and handling is important for safety. Making your own sliced meats or using plant-based alternatives can also help control ingredients.