How Much Meat Per Person? BBQ Planning Guide

Rate this post

So you’ve agreed to host the annual workplace BBQ.

As the day comes, your excitement gives way to dread as you realize you have no clue how much meat to prepare.

Nobody likes to send their barbeque guests home.

Don’t worry, there are some tried-and-true standards to help you prepare the exact quantity of food, from the appropriate amount of meat per person to the optimal number of sides. Let’s go through them.

Meat planning guidelines

How Much Meat Per Person? BBQ Planning Guide

The first thing you should ask yourself is:

Is meat going to be the main course? Is it all of the food you intend to serve, including appetizers, side dishes, and dessert?

It is critical to consider your barbeque as a whole, since this will spare you the apparently hard process of calculating how much meat to serve each visitor.

  • If you want to offer three side dishes, aim for a pound of beef per person as a main course.
  • Children under the age of 12 should consume around half the quantity of an adult.

Having a general guideline in mind removes much of the uncertainty and anxiety from deciding how much meat to cook.

Of course, there are other factors to consider while fine-tuning your menu.

In terms of side dishes, consider how full they are likely to be. Will you eat mostly light salads and grilled vegetables, or will you have some potato or cheesy pasta dishes? Creamy, carb-heavy foods can fill your visitors up quickly.

You may also offer some dark and light meat, such as chicken wings and brisket. This allows visitors to stock up on the sort of meat they want.

When cooking for a smaller, more familiar group, preparing individual servings of meat is not as difficult.

Factors to consider

How Much Meat Per Person? BBQ Planning Guide

There are several variables that might affect how much food you need to prepare:

  • How many side dishes do you want to offer, and how substantial will they be? Will you be serving dessert?
  • Is this going to be lunch or supper, and how long will it last? A lengthy, lingering meal may indicate that visitors may graze. However, people will eat more at supper in general.
  • Who will be there? Will there be a large number of children? Are the majority of your visitors males or women? Are any of your visitors vegetarians? What are the ages of your guests?
  • What type of event is it? Is it official or informal? Should you sit or walk around? Is there going to be alcohol? Alcohol is often associated with increased food intake.

How much brisket per person?

A decent rule of thumb is to allow around a pound of cooked meat per person for a main course.

This number might range from pound if your guests are voracious eaters or you don’t have many sides to pound if your sides are plentiful.

It’s vital to note that the quantity of raw meat you purchase does not match the amount of cooked meat.

Expect the brisket to lose up to half of its weight after trimming the fat and liquid has been lost throughout the cooking process. Counting on a 50% loss may be an overestimation, but it will guarantee that no one goes hungry.

Plus, preparing brisket is a labor of love, so it never hurts to have some left over.

How many ribs per person?

A rack is made up of 12 ribs. However, not all ribs are of the same size. Baby back ribs, for example, are smaller than spare ribs, which are smaller than beef back ribs.

Consider if the ribs are the primary attraction of the dinner or a side dish.

If you want to make the ribs the primary course of your dinner, here’s a basic guide:

  • If you’re serving baby back ribs, plan on half a rack or six ribs per person.
  • If you’re providing spare ribs, aim for four or five ribs each guest.
  • If you’re making beef back ribs, plan on two or three ribs per visitor.
  • To fine-tune your numbers, consider the gender, age, and any inside information you have about your visitors’ appetites, as with all of these suggestions.

We offer a chart on how many ribs are in a rack to help you figure out how many racks you’ll need.

How much pulled pork per person?

As with brisket, expect to lose around half of the weight of your beef while cooking it.

As a main course, a third to a half pound of cooked pulled pork is a nice amount.

If you want to serve your pulled pork in a sandwich, around a pound per person should suffice.

Barbecue planning tips

Here are a few additional ideas to consider as you prepare your future event:

  • If you intend to serve your meal buffet-style, arrange all of your sides and secondary meats first so that everyone has a full plate before moving on to the main meat.
  • Other meats, such as chicken or sausages, should be sliced into bite-sized pieces if served. This will encourage visitors to sample all of your side dishes, allowing the main meat to be distributed more evenly.
  • Do some preparation the day before to prevent a frenzied rush on the big day.

Trim your meat, prepare sides that can be securely refrigerated overnight, and prepare and apply rubs and marinades.

Check the pantry and the grill to ensure you have everything you’ll need for the day.

The trick to making sure everything is ready at the right time

For inexperienced pitmasters, getting all of your meat ready to serve at a certain time is a headache.

This is where thefaux cambro will save your life.

A cambro is simply an insulated box in layman’s terms. If you often cook for a crowd, you may purchase purpose-built cambros, but for the casual chef, a nice beer cooler with a solid seal will suffice.

To use one:

  1. want your cooking time so that your meat is done at least an hour before you want to eat. That way, even if the meat takes longer to cook than intended, you’ll still be on schedule. This is where the fake cambro comes in if it is completed an hour early.
  2. Fill it with three litres of hot tap water and seal it for 30 minutes to warm up.
  3. Empty the water and put a towel in the bottom
  4. Wrap your cooked meat with aluminum foil. Place the wrapped meat on a cloth on a disposable metal tray.
  5. Seal the lid with another towel on top. Done.

Using a meat thermometer is a good idea. Keep the probe in the meat and the wire dangling out so you can check the internal temperature from time to time to ensure it remains within the safe temperature range.

You might alternatively bake your meat at a low temperature. However, if you are cooking side dishes or desserts in the oven, this may not be a realistic alternative.

Wrapping it up

Aside from the conventional rule of a pound of cooked meat per person, there are a few factors to consider while answering the question. How much meat is there per person?

How many individuals are expected? How many side dishes do I intend to serve? What is the age range of the visitors? When is the event scheduled to take place? All of these are important topics to consider.

Do you have any good ideas for feeding a large group that you’d like to share? Or are there any questions we haven’t addressed?

Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. And, if you found this information useful, please spread the word.


How many pounds of meat do I need for BBQ per person?

While a lot will depend on how hungry your diners are and how many leftovers you want, the basic guideline is to count on a third to a half pound of total meat per person. Meredith Dean, the catering manager at Deep Run Roadhouse, discovered that one pound of meat often feeds three people.

How much meat do I need for 25 people BBQ?

A decent rule of thumb is to allow roughly 13 pounds of cooked meat per person for a main course. This number might range from 12 pounds if your guests are big eaters or you don’t have many sides to 14 pounds if you have plenty of sides.

How many pounds of BBQ meat to feed 20 people?

How much BBQ do you need for 20 people? 8 pounds (128 oz) total meat (2 meats suggested)

How many pounds of barbecue meat do I need for 50 people?

Allow 8 ounces of boneless meat, such as steak, per person, so purchase around 25 pounds. Add roughly 10 pounds if you’re purchasing meat with some bones, such as pork chops, and double the amount if you’re using meat with a lot of bones, such as spareribs.

How much meat do I need for 10 adults BBQ?

As a general guideline, we suggest 8 to 12 ounces of raw meat per adult and 4 to 6 ounces per kid during a BBQ.

How do you calculate meat for a party?

Children should consume 2 pounds per person.Children’s portions are 4 lb. per person.
Adults should have 1 pound of bone-in meat each person, while children should consume 12 pounds. 1A often asked question is “How much meat do I need?” As a beginning point, consider:
1 pound boneless meat

How much meat will feed 20 people?

In other words, if you’re feeding ten people, you’ll need at least five pounds of meat. Plan to buy 10 or more pounds of meat for 20 people.

How many pounds of barbecue meat do I need for 40 people?

Plan on 12 pounds of pulled pork for a lunchtime party of 30 to 40 people. If you’re hosting a large group for supper, increase the serving size and prepare at least 13 to 17 pounds of cooked beef.

How many pounds of BBQ will feed 10 people?

Adults. In average, one pound of BBQ serves three to four people, particularly if you provide sides. Most adult guests will consume 14 to 13 pounds of meat throughout your event.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *