Planning a big party with plenty of BBQ per person? Here’s what you should know about how much brisket per person and pulled pork per person you need to feed your whole team.
BBQ is a fan favorite food for a reason. It’s delicious and easy to order in bulk, comes in numerous different styles, and is appropriate for all different kinds of occasions. From a game-day tailgate to a professional conference, barbecued meats are always a win.
However, when ribs, brisket, and pulled pork are on the menu, it’s important to make sure you have plenty for the whole crew. Here’s what you need to know about how much BBQ per person you need for any event — meat and sides included — no matter how big or small.
BBQ per person: how much and how many?
While there are plenty of tasty foods served at a traditional barbecue, there’s always one pièce de résistance: the meat. Most people come — and stay! — for delicious barbecued meats, so it’s important you have enough for everyone.
According to a catering manager at Deep Run Roadhouse, around 1 pound of meat will serve three people. But one kind of meat is rarely enough; after all, variety is the spice of life, so it’s key to plan ahead. With these guidelines informed by the experts, you can make sure to provide plenty of food to keep your guests fed and happy.
Brisket per person
As outlined above, a pound of meat is a good fit for three people, but for a bigger event, it’s possible that half a pound per person would be a better fit, especially if you’re targeting to have leftovers. VooDoo BBQ & Grill advises that 9 pounds of a meat like brisket will feed around 20 people, and 12 pounds will feed 30 to 35.
Pulled pork per person
The guidance for pulled pork per person is similar to what’s outlined for brisket above: a third to a half a pound of meat will be satisfying for most diners, particularly when there are other options to choose from. As such, make sure you have plenty for each person to have a sandwich or a slider and lots of buns available.
Ribs per person
Ribs are a fan favorite, especially when sauced or seasoned with the perfect combination of spices. Around three ribs per person is a safe bet for ordering food.
Mixing and matching BBQ per person
Want to make sure there’s plenty of variety on your table? Be sure you’re ordering with enough mixing and matching to satisfy everyone. Per management at Smokey Bones, three meats tends to be perfect, giving people enough variety to build a perfect plate. And if you’re not confident that ribs, brisket, and pulled pork alone will be the best combination for your event, consider adding a white meat to the order. According to the R&R BBQ catering menu, their prime package, the Founder’s Buffet, includes slow-smoked pulled pork, brisket, and smoked boneless chicken thighs, ensuring a lighter alternative is available. Other potential options, depending on where you’re ordering from, include sausage, chicken wings, fried chicken, and turkey thighs.
Make your meal better with sides
Barbecued meats may be a fan favorite, but delectable sides can’t be missed. From mashed potatoes to creamy mac and cheese, there are plenty of options to consider for your upcoming event. To make sure everyone has enough to choose from, the team at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit recommends four to five options for your BBQ sides. With XL-sized sides — a gallon each — it’s possible to feed 20 to 25 people, and options can be scaled up from there.
Some of the side options you might consider include:
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Barbecued beans
- Macaroni and cheese
- Rolls or biscuits
- Green salad
- Fruit salad
- Sweet corn
Planning for different groups and appetites
The beauty in BBQ per person is its flexibility; easily served buffet-style with enough options to please just about everyone, managing BBQ per person is simple and straightforward. And due to the mix-and-match nature of barbecue, there’s something perfect for everyone.
For example, Smokey Bones has created a BBQ Party Pack for 10 just for ezCater, offering a variety of meats and sides for a team of 10 — three meats with two sides, a barbecue sauce of your choice, and the option to add on buns and breads — with the opportunity to scale up from there. And for truly large gatherings, accommodations can still be made; R&R BBQ helped host a gathering of over 2,300 guests with an impressive on-site setup.
Keep in mind that a meat-forward meal won’t be for everyone. Consider including vegetarian and vegan alternatives, like salads, bread, vegetable dishes, or even BBQ tofu. With the common nature of allergies and dietary restrictions, popular barbecue spots should have plenty of options to accommodate everyone, from meat-free to gluten-free.
BBQ restaurants featured in this article:
- Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (450+ locations nationwide)
- Smokey Bones (61 locations across 16 states)
- VooDoo BBQ & Grill (Florida and Louisiana)
- R&R BBQ (Idaho and Utah)
- Deep Run Roadhouse (Henrico, Virginia)
Make BBQ per person catering easy with ezCater
When you need catering solutions for your events, ezCater is here to make the process as simple and seamless as possible. Instead of calling each restaurant directly or visiting dozens of websites to find the food you need, ezCater streamlines those steps. With a wide range of restaurants and easy ordering, our online options can easily accommodate companies or departments from five people to 500, and we can grow with you as needed. Ready to order? Start by taking a look at ezCater’s BBQ restaurants in your area.