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How Much Meat Per Person

How much meat per person? Ultimate BBQ Planning Guide

How much meat per person

So you already have a grill ready and you want to take advantage of it finally and organize a party, Hosting a party is unlike any other task. You have to take care of literally everything from selecting a suitable place to arranging food to make sure your guests enjoy their time. But when it comes to hosting parties whether at home or outdoors, even the seasoned organizers find it hard to figure out how much meat to cook per person. in case you didn’t already have a grill check this review for the best pellet grill under 500$

If you find yourself in this dilemma, then this guide is prepared for you. After going through this article, you will be in a good place to decide for yourself as to how much meat per person you should cook for your guests.

Why Bother with Meat Measurement for Parties?

When planning for something, you need to be absolutely clear why you are doing what you are doing. In this case, why you are planning for the amount of meat per person? If you already have the answers, then you are free to skip this section. But a brief read won’t hurt either.

When hosting a party, it is your responsibility to take care of your attendees and ensure their satisfaction. This is especially true if it is a formal party where not all of the attendees are your close friends or family members. This can be a business party or a wedding party. So, in that case, running out of meat in the middle would be the last thing you’d want. The instant arrangement of meat can be tough and expensive. Therefore, the proper measurement of the amount of meat you are going to cook is important.

Secondly, while you should cook an adequate amount of meat on the best grill, you shouldn’t exceed the amount by huge margins. This would lead to wastage and eventually increase your budget. As a moral responsibility, you should keep food wastage to a bare minimum.

Factors to Consider

While figuring out the exact answer to how much meat per person you need to cook for your party might not be possible, getting as close to it as possible certainly is. When planning meat preparation for a party, there are a few important factors you need to keep in mind. This will guide you through the overall organizing process and keep your team members organized. Those factors are:

Number of People

number of people

The first factor which will directly influence the amount of meat you cook is the number of people who will be attending your party. This is the most basic question any event organizer will ask you. The higher the number of people, the more amount of meat you will be cooking. The fewer the guests, the lower the amount of meat.

So, it’s important that you have an accurate number of the invites you have sent out and the number of people you expect to attend. Also, take into account are they all adults or children are involved too. This will help you in planning as well.

Role of the Meat

main side dish

When organizing a party or an event, the role meat is going to play is an important factor to consider. When saying “role”, is meat going to be your main dish, a side dish, an appetizer, or part of a salad. This will largely determine the quantity of meat you need to purchase for the party. Here are the possible scenarios:

  • Meat as the main dish. When the meat is the main dish, it is served to all people in a larger amount. When you’re cooking steak, roast, pork, or chicken, then the meat is often the main dish to feature on a plate. In such cases, ½ pound of meat per person is recommended.
  • Meat as a side dish. When the meat is the side dish, then you’ll cook a considerably less amount of it. When the meat is part of another dish, like pasta, curry, sandwich, then it can be termed as a side dish. We are also including meat appetizers in side dishes category since they are served in lesser amounts. In such cases, an amount of ¼ pound is recommended.

Type of the Meat

type of meat

Meat is derived from animals, and there are different types of animals. Consequently, there are different types of meat and not all meat is created equal. What type of meat you choose to include in your menu will help you determine how much meat you need to cook for each person. Roughly speaking, all the meat you find in the supermarket can be classified into three categories. The three categories are:

  1. Red Meat
  2. White Meat
  3. Seafood

Red meat is the meat derived from livestock and is red in color when procured. This includes beef, pork, etc. White meat is white in color when obtained and refers to poultry like chicken and turkey. Seafood is derived from water animals like fish and crabs.

Find out how to grill meat on the right way

Time of the Day

While maybe not as important as the previous three factors, but is still worth taking into consideration. The time of day will help you determine the amount of meat to cook. As a rule of them, if it’s a lunch party, then you should cook more meat.

If it’s a dinner party, then you should cook comparatively less meat. This is because people tend to eat less during the night time and bit more during afternoons. So prepare accordingly.

How Much Meat Per Person Should You Cook?



Now that you have a better understanding of how much meat per person, it’s time to actually plan your meat. Use this guide for approximation and not the absolute amount.

Plan Your Menu First

Before setting out to purchase your meat, it’s necessary that you prepare your menu first. This should detail everything that you wish to include as food items and the budget you have set. What will be served as the primary dish, what will be a secondary dish, what will be offered as an appetizer, or dessert? Then select the slots where the meat will go in. As mentioned above, this will directly influence the amount of meat you’ll be purchasing. So grab a pen and paper and start writing down. Also, write down the particular meat(s) you will be including in your menu and in which dish they will be used for. Following that, use the below guide for purchasing the amount of meat from the market:

How Much Steak Per Person?

how much steak per person

Steak is generally the first-choice meat, especially for outdoor events and gatherings. As tricky as it is for cooking and dressing, it is equally tricky when it comes to getting the right amount. If steak is part of your main dish, then you should aim for around 8 ounces per person. This can vary depending on the kind of steak you prepare and the time of the day. If you’re serving steak as side dishes or an appetizer, then go for 3-4 ounces per person, if not more. For a cut that consists of 70% bone-in steak, aim for a portion size of around 16-17 ounces. If it’s a boneless steak, then 14 ounces would be a safe bet.

Pork Per Person?

pork per person

Pulled pork, especially pulled pork, is always a favorite among many organizers for parties and events. If pork is your first-choice meat and you want to include it in your menu as a main dish, you need to have around 6 ounces of pork per person. After cooking, you will get around 35% to 50% of the raw amount. read more about pork

So, you will be left with 2-3 ounces portion size per person, which is sufficient. But you can increase the amount slightly if you want to be on the safe side. If the pork has a smaller role to play, then 4 ounces should be the ideal amount.

Chicken Per Person?

chicken per person

Chicken is another popular meat finding itself in most parties and events. If chicken is going to be your primary meat, then go for 4 to 5 ounces per person. But this will vary largely depending on the chicken meat pieces you select. 10 ounces of uncooked chicken will yield about 6 ounces after it is cooked. Boneless parts will yield around 5-6 ounces. Chicken wings will give about 4-5 ounces. The yield also depends whether you are roasting, stewing, or cooking in the oven. If chicken will be served as side dishes or appetizer, then 1.5 pieces per person are going to be enough.

Seafood Per Person?

sea food per person

While seafood is not as popular in parties as some of the other meat, including it, can set your party apart. Seafood is mostly served in themed parties. Getting the amount of seafood per person can be tricky. But a good range is between 6-8 ounces per person for both fish fillet and fish. If pan-dressed fish are your idea, then you’d have to buy at least 10 to 12 ounces since most of the parts will be removed from the fish once it is organized.

For fillets, it should be 2 and no more than 3 fillets per person which translates to 10-15 ounces of raw fish per person. Crab, shrimp, and shellfish will have different measurements.

Lamb Per Person?

lamb per person

Lamb estimation is different than other types of meat. This is because the amount you will get after cooking depends on the choice of cut. You will get around 5 ounces of lamb meat from 11 ounces of raw chops. You will get around the same ounces from 8 ounces of raw lamb leg pieces. If it’s bone-in lamb leg, then it will yield less than 5 ounces.

Generally, you will require about 8 ounces of lamb meat per person for the party. This is for the primary main course. Chances are you will not plan for lamb as an appetizer. But if that’s the case, then 3-4 ounces per person would be ideal.

Turkey Per Person?

turkey per person

Turkey and chicken share a lot of similarities, except for the fact that it is never served on its own. The meat from turkey finds itself on the sides, as a dressing, or in gravies. So, you’ll be requiring a lot less when compared to other meats. Given the recipe, you’ll be buying around 1-2 pounds per person.

Since a raw turkey will be providing 50% of the original size, so buy 4 ounces of turkey meat per person. Turkey goes well with leftovers, in which case you’ll be good with 1.5 pounds of turkey meat per person.

Along with meat, chances are you’ll also be planning for other ingredients and recipes. But if the meat is going to be your primary offering at the party, then keep the others to a minimum. Try to prepare on the spot to get the best and freshest result. Whatever and however cooking mechanism you opt for, make sure to balance under-serving and over-serving.


This article is written by Noam Shahar the founder of Limited-Red, Noam is a serious carnivore, And he has a strong passion when it comes to meat and cook, He Decided to review the "BBQ world" 9 years ago after discovering how many people struggle with choosing their dream grill.

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