Barbecue for 100 or more people

ilovepinkApril 28, 2006

Today I have started to freak out over this.

This is for our family. I need to figure out do I buy the food and do it myself. This is only a barbecue. Or do I cater with a drop off?

I don't quite even know how much to buy.

We need burgers, brats, all the fixings. Salads. Chips. Will have dessert. Then beer, water and soda.

Do I need to have wine too? Or can we skip it?

Paper products.

There could be 150 people.

Any food calculators out there?

Or do we deal with catering?

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I've done it many times.
At best it's a crap shoot as to amounts of food. You don't want to run out of food, but running out of brats while you still have burgers left is not a bad thing.
What time of day? How many kids...little kids?
Are they big beer drinkers? many tea totalers?
thoughts....figure 1/4 pound of meat per person....but for those 5 and under.
Have almost as many buns as burgers and brats....some won't eat a bun.
5 pounds of potatoes made into salad with 1/2 dozen eggs will serve 30...I know....doesn't sound like enough....but it is!
4 big heads of cabbage will make enough slaw for 150.
Beans made from 2 food service cans of baked beans....and 2 more, same size of BBQ beans, with onions, bacon, catsup and brown sigar will serve 100 easily....likely 130.
Chips, 20 people per bag with a meal....10 people per bag if you are using as chips with dip.
Figure 1 1/3 buns per person....women and children included.
Have wine too.....why not?
Figure 4 pounds of pasta made into salad will serve 100 and a few more.
What else? You need recipes?
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 10:35PM
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So how many brats do I need?
How many burgers?

We will have mostly adults. But, I am sure there will be some kids. Not that many though.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 11:05PM
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For 100 people? 75 brats and 70 hamburgers....
Figure 3 1/2 burgers to a pound of meat....about 20 pounds of burgers....figuring 7 burgers per 2 pounds of meat.....
That;s about 1 1/2 sandwiches per person....many will eat only 1 and many will eat 2.
And I would buy 25 to 30 pounds of brats....because leftovers keep better than burgers!
In above message I meant 1 1/3 sandwiches per person....not buns.
Plan on want more than enough....but not a lot more!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 11:42PM
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I would cater it, and ask the caterer for advice. You may be able to do some extra sides yourself. Usually for this big of a group, it's somewhat of a pot luck. Is it too late to consider that? How long do you have to plan?

If you do it yourself, I would think burgers would out do brats by about 2 to 1. You could pick up a few packs of hot dogs, though. Some like those better (especially kids), they are really cheap, and you could always fall back on them if needed.

You may want to offer some other drink in bottles otherwise you'll have to mess with wine glasses or those plastic things they call wine glasses.

Is this at a park, a residence, outside, inside?
Do you have a budget? And, don't miss count the kids. I would bet with a possible 150 people, you're going to have quite a few kids unless it's specifically adults only.

And, linda, this cracked me up..."4 big heads of cabbage will make enough slaw for 150". Is that before or after slaw shrinkage? You know when you make enough for 10 and then a couple hours later you look at it and it seems like there's only enough for two. And, seems like 4 heads shouldn't be able to feed 150. Is it because no one really seems to like slaw, or is it some "fish and loaves of bread" type of miracle? LOL

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 12:35AM
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That's after slaw best have a swimming pool ready to mix 4 big heads of shredded cabbage! And yes, it's enough for 150....doesn't seem like it but it is. My recipe is a shredded big head of cabbage, one medium onion and the dressing which is sugar, a little salt oil, vinegar, mustard and celery seed. One head will make about 2 gallons of shredded will fill my cuisinart 5 times.....then that will shrink to about 15 cups which will provide 45 1/3 cup servings...
Yes 4 big heads will do it with leftovers!
As for the brats to burger ratio....that rather depends on where you live. In the mid-west it'll be just the opposite.
And if you can boil your brats in beer of broth before grilling and just brown on the grill it will ba a lot easier.
Precook the brats in a big roaster. Borrow every picnic cooler you can find. put the potato salad in those foil food service pans and put them in the cooler....get some new pieces of plywood and put them down and stack 2 more pans on top of that. I agree that some hot dogs woiuld be great too.
Cook your beans in an electric roaster. stack the burgers on cookie sheets in another cooler.
Rent tables and a tent or clean out your garage in case of rain...or just pray for good weather.
I think it's better to do it yourself than pot luck.....but asking people to bring things like brownies and cases of pop and beer is fine.
But if you have a pot luck for that big a crowd, you will have to have huge tables just for the food everyone brings and no one dish will be enough for all....and you may have lots of pea salad and not enough beans and someone may bring something like chicken salad which will have to be kept cold...
Easier to do it all your self! Just make it simple...burgers brats, dogs, buns and all the fixins, potato salad and beans and slaw....perhaps chips ( but they very quickly get soggy) and cut up veggies.
You can do it! Just tell everyone to stay out of your way....and don't let anyone talk you into making it more having chicken too....because some may prefer that....or having a fruit salad because lots of people like that. Tell them if you are going to make fruit salad, then you won't be making slaw! Keep it simple.
I bought a lot of a cheap cotton plaid fabric years ago.....and I made cloths to fit those large folding tables that seat 10.....and a few smaller ones and 2 big round ones. Having cloths all alike on the tables really makes it look festive, and true to my rules of using as little disposable as possible, they are reusable!
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 10:33AM
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Cooking burgers and brats for that large of a crowd is a full time job for at least two people, and that is with a large grilling system. Once I pass the 50 person mark, I go with precooked food. I can prepare brisket the night before, slice it in the morning and have it warm in the oven ready to serve. The family always insists that I make a brisket as they love my recipe. The last large party I did (last summer), I had several briskets (one seasoned, one barbeque) and then did a couple of turkeys on the spit in the morning. When food time came (1 PM) I sat out sliced turkey, brisket, and bread. Pickles, condiments, etc. were there if one wanted to make a sandwich. Many carb watchers do not want bread. Sides were baked beans (from a can), store bought potato salad, cole slaw, and chips. We had a fruit tray and chips and salsa to munch on earlier.

If you have a local barbeque house that sells brisket or pork by the pound, that can be a good deal. Do not buy their catered package. The will give you way too much bean, slaw, etc.. Buy the meat only by the pound from them. Then go to the grocery deli for potato salad. Most have very good potato salad as cheap as you can make it, and a LOT less work. Cole slaw is easy to make, and the prechopped cabbage is usually cheaper than buying the heads and doing it yourself. Open the bags and add your favorite dressing, put in the fridge and it is done.

For your very large group, I would do brisket and maybe pulled pork, or maybe brisket and consider cooking brats to give some variety. Or, again, do several turkeys. Then do the sides. I would look into renting or borrowing some large hot servers (chafing type) to keep food warm as that many people eat. I have also been surprised at the reasonable rate to rent chairs, tables, and other party needs. We even rent for christmas dinner as we do not want to have to store the chairs, etc from year to year.

The party sounds like great fun, as I truly do enjoy entertaining.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 1:50PM
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WE had a BBQ this past summer for 40 people and we had to shut off the grill because all the grease drippings caused a huge fireball. This was the first batch to go on the BBQ!

If you try to grill over 100 burgers, it's going to take you a loooong time and you will have to allow for breaks so the grill doesn't overheat in terms of the grease drippings.

I used to do a BBQ for about 100-150 people during the Calgary Stampede. We had a large deck and yard to entertain.

I did a huge batch of potato salad, baked beans in the crockpot made from canned and dressed up with bacon, onions, brown sugar, cumin and a bit of salsa. I could do the beans ahead of time and put them in the freezer, thaw the night before and reheat in the crockpot the morning of. I also did a cucumber salad that if you have a food processor to slice them, it's easy peasy. The dressing is rice vinegar/sugar/dill weed. The dressing can be made ahead too.

OUr neighbour worked for Schneider's meats. He got us boxes of the pre-made burgers and hotdogs. That's what we grilled. They weren't as greasy, they tasted great and they didn't over flame the grill.

Instead of buying cases of beer, why not get a keg or two? Have a selection of pop, both regular and diet, water and maybe a non-alcoholic punch. I have a recipe for a great alc punch if you want it. For a BBQ, I'd skip wine unless there's alot of wine drinkers in your group.

Get your husband to peel 10-15 pounds of potatoes the night before, cook, let cool overnight and whip up potato salad. Boil the eggs the night before too.

If you want any of the recipes, email me through my profile. If you plan your menu just so, you can do alot of it ahead of time. You can do it!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 4:13AM
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Having a 60th bday party on Aug 4th. I want to serve burgers, hotdogs and chicken. I want my side dishes as pasta salads and fruit bowls. How much do I buy of everything? And how early do I start to buy? I sent out invites with RSVP and so far I have 38.... but I am thinking around 100 people. Hope you can help me. Thx!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 4:34PM
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See the above about grease. I would bake the chicken the day before with a glaze of BBQ sauce and then put the pan on the grill to char them just before serving. For 100 people, I would have about 75 pieces of chicken. Count on about 60 burgers ( Don't forget that some will want cheese burgers).

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 2:59PM
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Having a toddler birthday with about 24 adults and 16 kids( 10 of those over 9 years old and the other 6 2 years old.) Wanted to know how much ground beef 95% lean do I need to make hamburgers? I will not have anything else to go with it. I also wanted to know if you have a good pasta salad recipe and simple. That kids will also like? Thanks
I am a little hesitated about hotdogs because of the 2 year olds- choking..., but I think I will just do chicken nuggets, corn and mashed potatoes for them.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 10:36PM
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I usually figure 4 burgers to a pound of meat for adults; you could get more if you make small ones for children. I would probably make regular sized ones and cut them in half to reduce waste.

My mother-in-law never cooked much, but she did have a very easy and tasty macaroni salad that children like and that goes nicely with burgers and hot dogs. It's not creamy even though it contains mayonnaise, because it melts. Just cook some elbow macaroni and drain but DO NOT RINSE. Put it in a bowl or back into the pot and stir in some mayonnaise; it will melt onto the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste and grate a little carrot into it, mostly for looks. That's it!

When my kidz were little, I seem to recall that the trick with hot dogs to avoid risk of choking was to cut them the long way (so that there isn't a smooth cylindrical shape) before serving them. Kids do love hot dogs, and with such a big crowd, I would try very hard to have one simple menu.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 12:32AM
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Hello there,

What in heaven's name are "brats"??

thank you for educating me!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:50AM
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I think "brats" are bratwurst.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:16PM
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I grew up in Milwaukee and can confirm that "brats" are indeed bratwurst.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:48PM
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What do you suggest for baked beans for about 130 people?
We are doing pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, baked beans, and possibly side salads. Does that seem like too much?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 6:47PM
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Kim, look at it this way. If you were having 4 people, would pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, baked beans, and side salads be too much?

If you're just asking about number of items on the menu, doesn't matter if it's 2 or 200 people.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:19PM
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Baked beans for will need 4 food service cans of baked beans....I buy Bush's....2 regular, one BBQ beans and one hot....if they have it. Add brown sugar....about 2 cups, 2 finely chopped onions, 1...or 2 pounds if you are feeling like splurging... of bacon cut up, 1 cup dijon mustard, and 2 cups of catsup.
Mix all in a large roaster....the electric ones are easy and cook about an hour with the lid off. Replace lid and keep warm for serving.
I would add potato salad rather than a side salad....or a salad like cut up tomato, onion, cucumber and green pepper with a light vinaigrette.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:47AM
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Re reading this....regarding grease from burgers and a fire on your grill when cooking a large amount of meat.
You don't do it all on your little ol' propane grill....or even your Weber kettle. Either you borrow several Webers, or rent a large party grill...made from an oil drum or a hog trough if you really want to grill a lot at once.

When you are having a big crowd....40 or more....having too many things is too much...takes too much space to set up and too ling for people to serve themselves....
I would have more different food items for 10 than I would for 50...
Linda c

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:47AM
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