You’re only a good BBQ host if all your guests are served enough food and drink on the day. If you’re planning a barbecue, then you have better make sure everyone leaves stuffed to the maximum, barely walking, otherwise, your next one will get a bunch of excuses instead of RSVPs!
Now, most barbecue events end up with a handful of guests, no matter how strict you try to be about inviting a certain small number. As such, this is a great guest number to consider when planning your barbecue. We are going to explore a bit how best you can determine just how much bbq to feed 30 people. If you don’t have a electric smoker or pellet grill, better hunt for the best gas grills with searing burner for the best results.
Can’t I get food orders?
Well, many BBQ hosts have made the error of relying on food orders, letting people note in advance how much of which type of food they’ll be eating. Now, this plan can work perfectly for weddings and other formalized events but, just wait until that ‘no pork for me’ guest smells the tantalizing smoke wafting from your pulled pork grill and goes; ‘I’ll have some of that’!
Better to be safe than sorry, right? While you can ask for orders to get a general idea of what your guests will be expecting, it’s really not that necessary. It’s safer to just prepare adequately for your guests and have leftovers at the end. After all, what if the Barbecue is a surprise?
SO, HOW MUCH BBQ DO I NEED PER PERSON?
This is the best approach to calculating just how much meat will be decimated on the day. This way, you can adjust your meat supply depending on the actual guests confirmed, with some extras of course! BBQ supplies’ stores often have handy serving suggestions per guest for each kind of meat to be served so that’s a great start. However, the amount of actual BBQ to be consumed by any individual guest will depend on several key considerations such as;
What else is on the menu?
Given that we all have some sort of ‘eating capacity’, its safe to conclude that the amount of barbecue consumed on the day depends on what else is being served. Hard-core BBQ fans often choose to have a strictly meat-only feast, in which case the demand for the meat itself is quite high. This is, however, not ideal and not just for cost reasons. Since every grill session deserves several kinds of meat, it’s only sensible to have some form of appetizers or side dishes to interspace the different meat being grilled.
Having some extra items on the menu is also great for your budget of course instead of just cooking one type of meat! Introducing some pretty heavy side dishes will reduce the voracious meat appetites of your carnivorous guests and ensure that there’s much food to fill everyone up. Potato or egg salads are a great choice in such a case, while fruit and vegetable salads are more ideal if you’re going for a grill with meat as the main serving.
Now, to the important part when wondering how much meat per person to serve. With meat as the main dish, expect each guest to eat a total of ¾ pound of meat. I know, that’s a lot, but trust me, with some beers flowing and the right kind of music, that amount of meat will be gone before you know it! If you’re planning to stuff the guests with some heavy side dishes, then ½ to 1/3 of a pound should do the trick!
How old are my guests?
The prevalent age group on your guest list also affects the amount of barbecue for each guest. Consider the 3/4 pound of meat per guest to be an average total for the ‘regular’ guests without any sides and ½ with the sides, regular being the average adult who is at least 21. Now, children younger than 12 barely eat much so you can peg their volume at 1/3 of a pound in total, each.
If you’re entertaining some pimply teens, however, you might witness some shocking appetites that can easily consume over a pound of meat each on one occasion. I wouldn’t recommend supplying them with more than 1 pound. Instead, avail a lot of heavy side dishes and some ‘cool’ beverages such as fizzy drinks or perhaps even some light beer so that you distract their appetite a bit.
Naturally, people’s appetites differed depending on the time of the day. Consider whether our guests are going to be eating the spread as lunch or dinner. If its lunch, appetites will be kind of low, so you can get away with half the ‘regular’ quantities mentioned earlier. For a dinner-time barbecue, expect them to consume the whole3/4 pound quite easily!
While still on timing, the duration matters too. If it’s an all-day event and you’re not serving meals at intervals then you’ll need at least a pound of meat for each guest. Typical ‘outings’ where the grill is the only food source can easily have guests consuming over 1 pound. To avoid unhealthy portions of such a nature, try to add a few hotdogs and burgers if salads and other fancy sides aren’t your favorite.
Quick barbecues will however need the minimum amounts. For 3 – 4 hours, a total supply of 1/3 pound is enough meat per guest. This may change depending on how many friends are coming and the serving meat per person size.
Type of crowd/event
Lastly, let’s consider the type of people in attendance. Your chummy buddies from work hanging over informally will probably bring their sharpest teeth and chew through the grill like wild dogs. If it’s a leisurely weekend barbecue then you’ll surely need a pound per person, at least! More if you have beers as part of the beverage array because that beer-meat combo tends to just down the throat!
If your friends are more on the conservative side or the occasion super formal, then you can expect as little as 1/3 of a pound to be consumed by each guest. I’m talking about church events and formal business BBQ interactions where no one wants to stuff himself/herself with loads of meat in front of an ‘uptight’ audience (no offense ha-ha)!
SO, HOW MANY POUNDS OF MEAT DO I NEED TO FEED 30 PEOPLE?
Now that we have established the expected consumption per guest, summing up your total pounds of meat per person for your guests is much easier. For the carnivore squad that hates greens and salads, thirty pounds is a safe quantity. Regular barbecues which may have more food, however, with the salads, hot dogs/burgers, and beverages will need just half of that.
Note that this total should incorporate all the different kinds of meat being served. Now, a good number for this would be 3, meaning you’ll need 5 pounds of each kind of meat. Don’t waste your time trying to weigh each serving. Rather, estimate the whole raw component into three lots then, with your best knife set for home cooking, cut each lot into 10 individual pieces. If you feel like each piece is still too big to serve it whole, further slice it into two portions. Let’s take a quick look at the 3 most popular BBQ types of meat to consider and how much meat of each type to prepare; these are also important details to remember when deciding how much meat per person to cook.
Wondering how much brisket to serve? With many friends on the list for a regular barbecue with enough sides and beverages, and the suggested minimum of 3 kinds of meat being served, 5 pounds of ‘cooked’ brisket should be enough. Since brisket loses weight during grilling, you will have to buy at least 40% more of the required weight, bringing the total to 7 pounds. This will help decide how many pounds of meat per person and exactly how much brisket per person is needed.
Is it really a BBQ without some sizzling pulled pork? Definitely a favorite, your friends will love you for it! Wondering with your pulled pork how much per person? For our list you may need, 5 pounds of grilled pork should be sufficient but, this time, expect a yield as low as 40%! That means you’ll have to buy at least 8 pounds of raw pork to achieve the ideal serving. This is how you decide how much pulled pork per person you may need at your party.
Our third choice is the rib, another barbecue favorite. Due to the lower meat yield, ribs are a bit trickier to estimate quantity but an average of 6 ribs should do the trick for each guest, assuming you opt for the more popular, yet smaller, baby back ribs. For the larger spare ribs, 4 should be enough per guest while only 2 of the giant beef back ribs will be enough per guest.
Remember, these portions are for the regular BBQ with sides and all those extras. For a meta-only spread, you’ll need to up your quantities by at least 50% to avoid shortages.
HOW MANY BURGERS PER PERSON?
The beauty of burgers is that they appeal to both the meat cravers and the more conscious/picky eaters. This makes them an invaluable addition to any barbecue, to curb people’s appetites as well as to provide a tasty serving variety. The ideal supply for a party of of this size is at least 60 burgers, or thirty burgers + thirty hot dogs. Of course, chuck in some extras for those with double appetites, 10 at least.
Most people prefer the ready-made patties, but making your own is a great idea, less costly too! Each burger will take at least 1/5 of a pound of ground beef, that’s 5 burgers per pound! You can reduce the number to 4 for a meatier burger. So, that takes us to 12 pounds of ground beef. This time, however, you don’t have to factor in weight losses.
The success of your BBQ depends on your attention to detail during preparations. Overlooking the smallest details can easily ruin the experience. For instance, I’ve heard of many tales of how a host ran out of salt, imagine! Here are 2 essential questions to ask yourself as you create your shopping list;
How many does a pint of BBQ sauce serve?
The sauce is a commonly overlooked element. Find the best commercial bbq rubs and treat your guests to a saucy spread. Each pint should be enough to serve 5 guests, and a total of 1 gallon should be enough for your thirty guests. Of course, don’t pic a whole gallon of one type of sauce, have some cool options for a good variety!
What allergens should I watch out for?
This is easily the trickiest part of the preparations. There are so many ingredients to watch out for if you’re having guests over for any meal. The ideal approach would be to get everyone to notify you about their allergies beforehand. If not possible, keep track of all possible allergens and warn your guests before they munch away!
Ready to send out the invites and fire up your grill for a bbq party? Remember, you can achieve the best compact bbq with gas grills rather than charcoal ones. If you’re wondering how much BBQ Do I need to feed 50 people, or something similar, simply modify our serving suggestions and get the ideal quantities. Enjoy!