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How much to cook?

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Post Thu May 06, 2004 2:25 pm
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
Hey all… I’m new to the board. I have a quick question about portions…

I haven’t had to cook for a large group in some time now… (Just the usual 4-6 people). I’ve been volunteered to BBQ for my nephews H.S. Graduation. May Aunt asked if I would do Tri-Tip and Chicken. They are planning to have around 60 people. How much of each would be appropriate to cook?

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks,
JC

Post Thu May 06, 2004 2:32 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
BigDaddy wrote:
Hey all… I’m new to the board. I have a quick question about portions…

I haven’t had to cook for a large group in some time now… (Just the usual 4-6 people). I’ve been volunteered to BBQ for my nephews H.S. Graduation. May Aunt asked if I would do Tri-Tip and Chicken. They are planning to have around 60 people. How much of each would be appropriate to cook?

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks,
JC


There is no hard and fast rule for portions and I'm not fmialliar with tri tip but I figure about a quarter chicken a piece (so 15) also factoring more people will want breast meat maybe 20-25 chickens?

Post Thu May 06, 2004 2:41 pm
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
Opps… Yeah I just remembered that some people that don’t live on the West Coast are not familiar with Tri-Tip. I travel on a Race Team and whenever we cross paths with a couple teams from North Carolina they have us bring them Tri-Tip roast.

Tri-Tip is roast that butchers on the west coast cut. For years it was a “poor mans” cut, until people found out that it’s a great cut of meat if cook right. It’s widely popular now… If you ever get a chance to have “Santa Maria Tip-Tip”… DO. It’s done with a real simple rub and cooked over Santa Maria Red Oak.

Thanks for your advise.
JC

Post Thu May 06, 2004 2:45 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Yes thanks for the description for those that don't know. I know what it is, I'm just not familliar with cooking it to dare a guess as to how much of it you need was my intent. Sorry for the confusion. :)

Post Thu May 06, 2004 2:48 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Welcome to the board BigDaddy!

Same as Airfoils, a chicken feeds the four of us. We eat about a pound each. As for the beef I would estimate about 6-8 ounces per serving. If they're eating both in the same sitting portions may not need to be as big.
Image

Post Thu May 06, 2004 3:33 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Something else to remember if you are going to go by Bob's suggestion of 8oz, is how much fat one of these renders. If you know the precooked weight and the cooked weight you can determine the percentage it renders although this will vary some from cut to cut.

Post Thu May 06, 2004 3:35 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3056
Location: Atlanta-GA
I agree with the above. I usually estimate about half pound of red meat per person or 2 pieces of chicken. Since each chicken will yield about eight pieces, you’ll need about 8 chickens (8x8=64, 64/2= 32 servings). The average Tri-Tip roast weighs about 2-3 lbs. You’ll need 7 roasts totaling 15 pounds (1/2 lbs x 30 people = 15 lbs). I would do a little extra incase someone wants a second or an extra piece of each.
Good luck,
Let us know how it turned out.
Here is a good link on the Tri-Tip:
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/tritip1.html

Post Thu May 06, 2004 5:34 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Only 8 chickens? I wouldn't risk that I think its more like 4 people per chicken. Plus, most people want breast meat. Anyway, this can be a good thread. We could discuss portions of lots of things. :D

Post Thu May 06, 2004 5:51 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3056
Location: Atlanta-GA
Airfoils wrote:
Only 8 chickens? I wouldn't risk that I think its more like 4 people per chicken. Plus, most people want breast meat. Anyway, this can be a good thread. We could discuss portions of lots of things. :D


You don’t think 64 pieces of chicken can feed 30 people?
If you cut each chicken into 8 pieces, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 breasts and 2 wings, you should end up with 8 pieces per chicken. Multiple that by eight and you’ll have 64 pieces or 32 servings. That’s what most restaurants do. Now if you’re letting everyone help themselves to as many pieces as they want, you will need a lot more. It depends on what kind of function you’re having (self-service or otherwise). Most people end up putting more than they can eat on their plates. So you have decide how you’re going to run this thing.

Post Thu May 06, 2004 6:00 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3056
Location: Atlanta-GA
Airfoil,
I just noticed that we’re both saying the same thing. You said 4 people per chicken, that’s 2 pieces per person, which is exactly what I said.
Funny how numbers can mislead :D

Post Thu May 06, 2004 6:01 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
mmmk I thought you were saying 8 chickens for 64 people. :wink:

Post Thu May 06, 2004 6:18 pm
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
I agree this could be a good discussion. I’m also going to check with my Aunt to see what else she plans on serving (besides plenty of beer). I think that will also need to be factored in.

You guys have been a great… Thanks.

Also,
I’ve been looking at the CharGrill with the side firebox at Lowes the last few days. Does either of you guys know if that’s a good “every weekend” grill/smoker (I’m not looking at it for this party; I want to get a new everyday grill… I’m renting a trailer BBQ for the party). I really like the fact that it has cast iron grates. Currently I use a built-in brick BBQ… but I wanted something with a hood.

Thanks,
JC

Post Thu May 06, 2004 6:59 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
One little trick to help with portioning is to cut each breast in half widthwise after cooking.

Lotsa folks grab a leg and a breast and eat only half of the breast, wasting it.
If they want more, they can grab another half,

Are you cooking the chix whole, in half or in "piecesparts"?

For large groups halves have proven to be the easiest way to go.
Less flipping of small parts, the wings don't "fly away" or dry out and to serve you just pop off the wings, twist off and joint the legs, chop the breast in half and platter up!
You can always throw some extra breasts on the fire once you see how things are going.

At an event like this the only sin is to run short.
Leftover charcoal can go home undercooked bird can't.

Bring zip bags and a scale. I've always managed to sell off the overage (at cost or a little above).

Big cookin's can be fun!

I do a couple a year for church. 150 to 300 people.
Two 55 gal. grills and steam table trays set in cardboard boxes packed with crumpled newspaper to hold the heat. I stick a Polder probe in the lower tray to keep tabs on the heat. Place heated bricks or pavers in the bottoms of the box then cover with a layer of newspaper and they will help keep your heat around 140 to 150.

Just before serving everything goes back on the grill (if needed) to crisp up or be sauced.

Just plan out everything. Bring stuff you don’t think you’ll need. (you will)

Don't forget jugs of water and soap for those chickeny hands. Lotsa paper towels or shop wipe rolls as well.

Most of all have as much fun as you can.


YB

Post Thu May 06, 2004 11:44 pm
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
Thanks for all advice YB… I’ll use it. Do you use Briquettes or a combo of Briquettes and Lump? One great advantage I have here is the California Hot Wood plant is right down the road… They have great lump.
Image

Post Thu May 06, 2004 11:56 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Use what ya got. Lump is my preferred fuel for most things, especially chix or seafood where off flavors are more likely to be noticed.

I will use briq. if i have time to let 'em burn down a bit and I never add unlit briq. to a cook. Always lump. If you must add briq. light it in a separate grill using as many chimney starters as you need and then add to the fire. I feel almost all of the binder has burned away by the time it has a gray covering.

If you have a coal supplier that close by see if you can tallk them into a deal. Hang their banner athe reunion in exchange for reduced or free fuel. Never hurts to ask!

YB

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