In any event, food serves a very important part, this is because, people do not only need to socialize, but they also need to have something to eat. So, in this guide, I will be discussing how much meat per person is okay and fortunately, this will also be applicable for any event.
A BBQ cookout is get ruined faster and quicker when the food available is not enough for everybody present.
This is a problem or issue that most homey outdoor cooks face and the truth is that, all this can be solved and avoided.
All you need to do is have the simple knowledge of how much food you will need to prepare and cook and particularly how much meat for each person.
And, the importance of knowing how much meat per person is that meat can serve two purposes which are either serving as the main course or alongside other platters.
In this guide, you will have good and recommended lists of the estimated average meat for each person and this will be done for a good number of types of meat.
This is done for you to have a successful event but, you should remember that even though food has an important part to play in any event, it is also not the only determinant of whether the event will be a successful one or not.
So, dive in to get more of what I have for you in this guide, and do make sure to read it through to the end to get every bit of the important details in the guide.
Factors to consider in knowing how much meat you can take
Standard Portion Sizes for Meat
The fact here is that there are standard portion sizes for meat and also for fish and poultry which are other proteins.
These standard portion sizes for meat and other proteins are what we will use as a guide for getting the right and appropriate quantity of meat when you are out purchasing some.
And, below will be some calculations that are only for the feeding of adults;
- Firstly, half a pound or 8 ounces of raw meat is a standard portion size for any protein.
- And, when serving meat alongside two or three side platters, you should make use of ¾ pound or 12 ounces of raw meat.
- People like the athletes, teenagers, and the likes are considered to be big eaters so, you are to set aside a pound each for them.
You should also understand that the weight of cooked meat is different from that of a raw one and the difference is referred to as the yield.
Averagely, after being cooked, meat loses about 25% of its overall weight and this happens due to the evaporated moisture and melted fat during the cooking.
And, also due to the trimming off of some of its fat and even the removal of bone in the case of beef brisket and pork butt respectively.
After all this, all you have is the yield which is the shrinkage and this can also be calculated using the USDA formula;
Yield (%) = (Cooked Meat / Raw Meat (in weight)) × 100
There’s a little standard to this and what I will call a simple trick, the fattier the meat, the lower the yield.
And, below are some examples of yields of different meats after cooking;
I’m telling you all this and especially about the yield because you must know these numbers when you are preparing for your event or party particularly when you are planning a big event or party.
- Steak (NY Strip) – 84%
- Baby Back Ribs – 50%
- Brisket – 50%
- Pork Shoulder – 62%
- An Entire Turkey – 50%
To avoid losses before and after cooking for your event or party, it is advisable for you to buy more meat than what you planned, or estimated.
The Role of the Meat
It is also important for you to decide the role of the meat in your event or party, whether the meat will serve as the main platter or just as a side to be alongside other platters.
And, if the meat will be serving as the main dish of your event, I will recommend you make use of the above standard portion size.
To give your guests a good and amazing experience, make sure you mix different kinds of meat to make options available for your guests.
Set your standard portion size based on what you know about your guests when you are to guess how much meat will go for each person especially, in this case.
Afterward, go for the division of the number of meats to get the number you are to buy per person.
Lower portion size is also still required even though you decide to serve the meat alongside other platters or bigger platter.
For each adult, you should focus on ¼ Ib to 1/3 Ib which is also 4oz to 6oz or 113g to 170g.
How Much Chicken Per person?
It is quite easy to calculate when it comes to how much chicken goes to each person, all you need to do is rather than the weight, count the parts and pieces.
The size of boneless chicken ranges from around 4 ounces to 8 ounces and while that of boneless thighs which is an example of bulk meat is calculated by the pound.
If you plan to serve other meats and platters, 1.5 pieces of boneless chicken breast for each person is appropriate.
And, ¼ of a chicken or two pieces for each person is okay for bone-in chicken which will either be the drumstick and thigh or a wing and breast.
For the cooked portion, 6 ounces each is appropriate for boneless thigh meat and since it has a 70% yield, it is advisable you get a half-pound of raw thigh for each person.
How Much Turkey Per Person?
8 ounces for each person will be appropriate especially when it is just for a holiday dinner.
Sadly, Turkey has a 50% yield because almost all the meat in it will be gone after the removal of its bones and skin.
So, what will be a good plan is to go for a pound of raw turkey for each person at the minimum.
You should also get an additional pound or two to give your guests a nice experience because nobody would be happy getting just wings or legs.
How Many Ribs Per Person?
The number of ribs is preferable to the weight and you should not forget that there are numerous kinds of pork ribs same with beef ribs.
So, for pork ribs, there are baby backs and spares. And, around 10 ribs to 12 ribs per rack will be okay for baby back ribs which are smaller in size.
That is about 6 ribs for one adult which means 1 rack can feed 2 people and while spare ribs are bigger compared to baby back ribs.
And, which can approximately feed up to 3 people, your calculations should be around 4 ribs to 5 ribs for each person.
Now, coming to beef ribs which are not the same as pork ribs, and also using the beef back ribs as the sample here.
It is advisable to go for 2 ribs to 3 ribs for each person, this is so because they have quite some meat compared to pork ribs.
How Many Steaks Per Person?
Steak is considered to be a crowd-pleaser but, only when it’s cooked well and properly as cooking it can be tricky.
And, when it comes to cooking steaks, it is 8 ounces per person when it comes to calculating the number of pounds of meat for each person.
But, you should also know that the standard portion size for each person, in this case, is dependent on the type of steal you intend on cooking.
The yield for this is around 70% especially a cut like a bone-in steak, you should plan for about 16 ounces to 17 ounces or even one pound per person and this is an estimation for an adult person.
And, while for boneless steak, on average, 14 ounces per person is quite appropriate.
How Much Fish Per Person?
The right estimation for fish fillet and fish is around 5 ounces to 8 ounces per person.
And, if you will be having big eaters as explained above in this guide, you should go for 8 ounces per person.
8 ounces to around 12 ounces per person is appropriate if you intend on serving pan-dressed fish.
And, you should also remember that these fish are likely to have about 30% yield which means on average, go for around 2 fillets per person or probably just 10.5 ounces to 12 ounces of raw fish for each person.
Final Thoughts on How Much Meat Per Person
There is also another portion size that you need to consider aside from meat like appetizers which should be around 4 bites each hour, and hamburgers which should be 2 per person and that should be around 4oz of meat per burger.
You also have vegetables which should be around ¼ Ib for each person, also equivalent to 4oz or 113g per person, the pastry should be 1 slice per person, and lastly for this guide, beverages which should be 2 for each person per hour.
And, some secondary factors are also variables that you need to consider and they include, the type of the event, the time of the event, the gender and age of the guests, dietary restrictions, side dishes and beverages, and leftovers.
So, with all that has been discussed in this guide, I’m certain you will now be able to estimate quite well how much meat per person will be okay for any of your events or party.