Party Planning And Portion SIzes
I get this question a lot "I got roped into cooking for the church social next week because I made the mistake of having the preacher over on July 4 and he loved my pulled pork. What an honor! But I've never cooked for 100 people beforehow much should I cook and how do I do this fo so many people?"
This one's common too "My boyfriend love my ribs, and now he has asked me to cook them for his family, all 10 of them. What do I do?"
One gallon for every 10 guests
Beer, wine and cocktails
Two drinks per person, per hour
ccasion: Shower, bachelor, graduation, talgATER, CHURCH SOCIAL, business meeting, ofice party
Doubling or tripling a recipe
So be careful with this unless you've tried it before. It may be safer to cook two or three batches rather than doubling the recipe. Or look for recipes for large numbers. There are plenty on the Internet and you may even be able to find a recipe book meant for large crowds.
Plan a menu with dishes you can cook in advance or prep in advance
KISS, some people will sampleeverything
How much meat depends on a lot of variables:
Time of day
How long is the party
Ratio of males to females
Number of children
Number of teenagers (they can really pack it away)
How many other dishes
Is alcohol being served
In general, I recommend you buy 1 pound or meat per person, more for ribs since bones can be about half the raw weight. Shrinkage and trim wil be about 20% depending on what cut of meat you are cooking. If there are leftovers you can hoard them or give them away. Nobody will object. Better than running out.
Link to cambro
When entertaining, I always cook more than I know I will need. I usually figure half a slab or one pound per person for a mixed crowd of males and females. Remember, about half the weight is bone. If it a lot of big guys are coming over for the game, I'll make more. There will probably be leftovers, but folks love taking leftover ribs home, and they are great warmed in the microwave. If the crowd is rowdy, I'll just keep the leftovers for myself.
6 bites when preceeding a meal.
4 - 6 bites per hour when hors d'oeuvres are the meal.
The longer your party and the larger your guest list, the greater the number of selections you should offer.
The Main Meal
Poultry, meat or fish - 6 ounces when you have one main dish, 8 ounces when you offer two or more main courses.
Rice, grains - 1.5 ounces as a side dish, 2 ounces in a main dish such as risotto.
Potatoes - 5 ounces
Vegetables - 4 ounces
Beans - 2 ounces as a side dish
Pasta - 2 ounces for a side dish, 3 ounces for a first course, 4 ounces for a main dish
Green Salad - 1 ounce undressed weight
1 slice cake, tart or pastry
4 ounces creamy dessert such as pudding or mousse
5 ounces ice cream
When serving two of the above, reduce each by a little less than half.
Hors d'oeuvres Only Cocktail Party -- 12 Pieces per person for the first hour (8 hot; 4 cold) and 6 pieces per person every hour past the first hour.
(Example: 30 guests x 12 pieces = 360 hors d'oeuvres for the first hour needed.)
Hors d'oeuvres Before Dinner -- 6 to 8 hors d'oeuvres per person for 1-hour to 1.5 hours of service. When shrimp is served, plan on 4 pieces per person for the first hour.
(Example: 30 guests x 6 pieces = 180 hors d'oeuvres for 1-hour.)
Salads and Side Dishes -- 5 ounces per person if serving multiple salads and/or side dishes. If only a tossed salad or one side dish, calculate half a pound (.50) per person.
(Example: 30 guests x .30 (multiple side dishes) = 9 pounds needed.)
(Example: 30 guests x .50 (single salad/side dish) = 15 pounds needed.)
Entrees -- 6 ounces per person if one entree and 4 ounces per person if two entrees, including salmon, beef and poultry.
(Example: 30 guests x .50 (one entree) = 15 pounds needed.)
(Example: 30 guests x .25 (two entrees) = 7.5 pounds needed.)
Desserts -- The rule of thumb is typically 5 bites each per person. Dessert selections can vary. To simplify this calculation, round cakes usually serve 12 people and pies serve 8.
(Example: 30 guests divided by 12 servings = 2.5 or 3 cakes needed.)
(Example: 30 guests dividied by 8 servings = 3.7 or 4 pies needed.)
This article was revised 9/25/2011
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