How Much Meat To Buy Per Person For A BBQ

people gathering around a BBQ grill

I think that a BBQ is a great way to spend time with friends and family and enjoy delicious food prepared on a grill.

However. when it comes to the planning part of a BBQ, There is one question that I always ask myself every time.

“How much meat should I buy per person?”

How much meat you should buy per person for a BBQ will depend on how hungry your guests are and if you don’t mind having leftovers, but the general rule is a third to half a pound of meat per person.

Figuring out the amount of meat you need for a BBQ gathering can be a bit tricky and you can end up with too much or too little meat, as it depends on a few factors, such as what type of meat you are serving How many guests, and what size you are servings.

My wife always wants me to cook for an army since there might be someone unexpected showing up.

Here are a few of my tips to help you figure out how much meat you need for your next BBQ party.

What Type Of Meat

Every type of meat has different cooking times and serving sizes. For example, a steak such as a ribeye will typically be served in a smaller portion than a chicken breast or pulled pork.

When calculating how much meat you need, consider what type of meat you will serve and the size of the servings you want to cook on your grill.

You can also consider serving one of my most popular fish into the equation.

Number Of People

How many guests come to your BBQ will also affect the amount of meat you need.

A general rule is that you plan on 1/3 to 1/2 pounds of cooked meat per person.

As an example, you can use this. For hosting a BBQ for 20 people, you will need about 10-15 pounds of meat. This is the uncooked meat and that is why it is more than the rule above.

Related read:

Side Dishes

Side dishes: You also must not forget to factor in all the side dishes when are planning to order the amount of meat you need. If you are serving multiple sides, such as salads, vegetables, and desserts, you might get away with smaller meat servings.

It is always good to have cooked more than the minimum and have some leftovers if you are hosting a large BBQ.

Plan on having some extra meat to account for people who go for seconds or maybe some unexpected guests.

big plate with grilled meat

By considering how much meat you need for your BBQ. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests for input or to bring a dish to share and offer it as a potluck.

Doing this can help in ordering less meat and will help you make the BBQ more affordable.

In general, trying to calculate how much meat you need for your planned BBQ can be a bit of a guessing game.

However, with some careful planning, knowing the size of your grill, common sense, a little bit of math, and knowledge about the most popular BBQ meat, you can be sure that you have enough to feed your guests and have some leftovers to enjoy.

How I Calculate How Much Meat Per Person.

  • Chicken thighs: 1 per person.
  • Pulled Pork: 2 sandwiches
  • Ribs: One quarter to Halve a slab
  • Pork Chops: 1 per person.
  • Hamburgers: 2 per person.

Remember that most of your guests will eat one or maybe two pieces of meat. I hardly ever cook fish such as Salmon on a plank unless I only have a few people coming over for dinner.

If you are having a BBQ party it is impossible to have exactly the amount of, and the cuts of meat you need to buy.

“I see nothing wrong with running out of pork chops and people have to settle for chicken as their second serving.”

If you have too much food left at the end of the party you can always offer people to take some home.

It is my experience, that many of them will, especially if you have cooked some great-tasting food.

For tips on this, you can have a look at my BBQ and Grill Recipes

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews and the outdoor cooking tips he is writing about. You can read more on the About page for Eddie van Aken

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