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Cook Talk

Meat for large crowd
Craig
csphoto@epix.net
11/17/04
We're serving 170 people this weekend and aren't sure how much meat to buy. We are planning on turkey and ham. I've already purchased 55 pounds of raw boneless turkey and planning on 50 pounds of boneless ham as well. I'm concerned if this will be enough turkey.
ellen

11/18/04
Allowing for cooking loss, after cooking the turkey you will have around 45 pounds of cooked meat, which is one serving per person. You will have a bit more than that of the ham, it doesn't shrink as much. With all your side dishes it should be way plenty.

Use a roasting method that is low temp to reduse shrinkage.

Craig

11/19/04
Thank you Ellen
Sandy
lala_64@hotmail.com
11/27/04
I am cooking turkey for 200 people. i know how much to cook but someone told me there is a way to cook the turkey ahead of time and wrap it in some special way to keep it moist. I am serving it hot.
Kim

12/08/04
I am needing to know how many pounds of prime rib will I need to feed around 20 people?
Kim
jkhongs@gpcom.net
12/09/04
I really need to know soon, how many pounds of prime rib do I need to feed around 20 people.
ellen

12/09/04
A minimum of 1 pound per person raw with bones. It costs a mint, You will need more than one. A very clean oven roasts meat better becsudr iy does allow the action of infrared heat.
kay

12/15/04
I will be serving prime rib to 12 this weekend. I will have to transport it after before putting it on a bufeet to serve. Can I cook it ahead of time and reheat it just before I place it in the Cambro to be transported to buffet line? It is probably 20 minutes to destination.
ellen,

12/15/04
The IDEAL time to carve a prime rib is 1/2 hour to 40 minutes after it comes out of the oven. So time it so you pull it out of the oven just as you go out the door.

Definitely do NOT try to reheat if you want a perfect roast- and at the cost of prime rib, of course thats what you want!

Angela

01/02/05
I will be cooking pork loin for about 200 people should I assume that I will need a pound of meat for each person? Is it okay to cook ahead? Eventually it will be sliced and put into chafing pans.

Thanks
Angela

ellen

01/03/05
Unlike turkey or standing rib roase, pork loin is usually boneless, you need only 1 pound raw boneless pork loin for each 3 persons for a comfortable serving with ordinary side dishes. You will have the best if you do not reheat. If you are makong ahead do not microwave, pork doesn't tolerate it. Be sure to let it cool 30 minutes before slicing. Also, low heat roasting with a thermometer to 160, then remove fromm oven, it continues to cook.
Barbara
bsmclane@yahoo.com
03/12/05
how many pounds or Easter ham do I need to feed 30 people?
ellen

03/13/05
Check the very first question for your answer, or see the quantities for 100 button.
jody
jwozniak@adelphia.net
03/28/05
I am cooking roast beef and ham for 200 people.
How much of each do I need to fix?
Thanks.
jennife ward
princessjemini@aol.com
04/08/05
i am having 200 people for my wedding reception and would like to know how much tri-tip and how much chicken I should have? we will also be having baked beans and potato salad and green salad and rolls. is there a website i can go to to read up on all this?thankyou!!
ellen

04/09/05
Please check out my "Planning your reception" page and the related links in the Big Pots section. When you have more than one meat entree, you need a bit more than with a single entree, because some people eat both. I discuss how to estimate mixed entrees in the brisket and BBQ page of the Big Pots section.
In the quntities for 100 page in the same section, there is very extensive info on meat quantities.
DOLORES

05/12/05
I am have a barbeque and planning to serve Tri-tip. About 30 to 40 people. How much meat should I have?
ellen

05/16/05
This is lean and boneless. Assuming you are having some heavy sides, potatoes or potato salad, for example, you cen figure 1 pound lean raw boneless to serve 3 very nicely after roasting and shrinkage. This assumes you slice it- when people slice their own, they tend to take more!
Maureen
gfmc@telus.net
06/05/05
I'm cooking a boneless ham for 30 - 35 people. How much ham will I need and can I cook it ahead of time. Could you also give me directions to do this?

Thanking you in advance.

ellen

06/05/05
Boneless ham is usually already cooked, you need only to reheat it- 140 or higher on the meat thermometer.
3 people per pound for ample servings10-12 pounds cooked, which is 12-15 precooked.
I make a rub for this by moistening dark brown sugar with a few tablespoons of good mustard and a pinch or two of ground clove. Mix and pat a thin layer all over before baking.
Beth
sherrybss@yahoo.com
06/15/05
I am have a barbeque and planning to serve Chicken pieces (breasts, wings, drumsticks) and tri-tip for between 30-40 people. I figure more people will be interested in the tri tip than the chicken. How much chicken and meat should I have? Thanks in advance
ellen

06/15/05
BBQ caterers allow 4-5 ounces cooked beef (= 1 1/4 pound raw lean for 3 people) and 3 ounces cooked shicken (= 6 ounces whole raw chicken) per person for bbq type meals.
joe

06/22/05
i am cooking baby backs and chicken pieces for 200 people, how much chicken and ribs should i have and how could i keep the ribs warm without drying them out
ellen

06/23/05
expensive; 1 pound ribs per person, 1 chicken for each 5 persons. Chicken comes in 40 pound boxes, get 4. See the brisket and BBQ page for a good jerk ribs recipe that starts in the oven and finishes on the grill.
joe

06/23/05
thanks ellen, would you suggest cooking the ribs the day before, if so how much time does it take to reheat them
ellen

06/24/05
If you use the jerk recipe, you can do the oven part the day before. Just observe the caution of refrigerating quickly in single layers and making sure the fridge stays under 40 degrees. The recipe tells about finishing on the grill allow maybe 15 minutes on a good hot grill.
karen
bellakrh@aol.com
06/28/05
having bbq for 70-80--serving tri tip & want to serve bone in chiken thighs as well. can we cook chicken ahead and reheat in the oven?

what oven temp and time?

ellen

06/28/05
Lots of good recipes for tritip inder the "Santa Rosa barbecue" or "California baubecue" google search. Suggest you consider a simmered in sauce recipe for the chicken and use an 18 quart nesco roaster to prep a 40 pound case of bone in thighs on the day of the even- tastier and more interesting and SAFER than trying to reheat the chicken. Use a recipe such as the crockpot sticku cheidjen or dump chicken variations found all over the web.
karen

06/29/05
thank you so much, ellen!! the nesco roaster is the perfect idea. the sticky chicken sounds great and will complement our tri tip!
Beverly
FloridaMouse@cfl.rr.com
06/30/05
How many pounds of pork shoulder do I need for 15 hungry people?
ellen

06/30/05
3 pounds bone in, for each 4 persons, or you could get really ectravagant and figure 1 pound each, for leftovers.
Heather

07/07/05
I will be BBQing Tri-tip for 15 people this weekend. How many Tri-tips should I get, or how many ounces for each person.
Thank you!!
ellen

07/08/05
Tritips vary a lot in size, get all the same or nearly the same to make grilling easy. My favorite tritip griller says those over 3 pounds are harder to find but much the best. About 9 pounds raw should be great, but you know, leftover is mighty good cold...
Lori Beckert
lbeckert@lisco.com
07/28/05
I am helping a friend plan an anniversary reception and need to know quantities of food to buy. They are figuring on 250 people and want a menu of bbq pork, half bbq sauced and half plain, potato salad, and baked beans. Also probably some veggie platters.

We thought we'd use boneless pork butts. I need to know how many pounds of pork to buy and how many gallons of potato salad and baked beans to make.

Thanks!

sharron jensen
jensensl@msn.com
07/29/05
I want to cook pork loin at the 4-h food stand at county fair. I want it to be simple--plan to cook in an electric roaster. It will be sliced thick about 1/2 inch.I need tokeep fresh tasteing for several hours.
ellen

08/03/05
Lori please go to the Big Pots section quantities page and BBQ and Brisket page, all info included.

Sharron, pork shoulder or butt is juicier and holds better, it is also cheaper. Uuse a recipe with sauce or gravy or you will be having dry loins. Food safety requires you hold above 140 degrees and loin will dry out completely.

una
gmomma@aol.com
08/19/05
How much ham bone in do i need to feed 50 peopl
ellen

08/19/05
Hello, depends on whether it is shank, butt or whole ham, but 1 25 pound whole bone in ham is about right.
ellen

08/19/05
PS about the ham- if the guests will be slicing their own at a buffet, you need at least 5 pounds more.
nola
w8tbrass@frontiernet.net
08/28/05
I'm in charge of roasting 300lbs of boneless pork loin for a church dinner. I plan to roast the bulk of it in 4 large ovens, with the overflow in roasters. I estimate that I can get between 50 - 70 lbs of loin in each oven. If I cook them long and low at a temperature of 275 - 300 how much time should I allow for cooking?
ellen

08/29/05
Oh my, this could be many hour proposition. Are these convection ovens? And about how large are the individual pieces? Let me check further and get back to you.
nola
w8tbrass@frontiernet.net
08/29/05
No, the ovens aren't convection and they are notoriously slow. They are relatively old Southbend gas ovens. The pieces are whole loins about 6-8 lbs each (~5"x3"x18").
Megan
mmazzocco@sortimat.com
09/02/05
I am planning an Oktoberfest for about 40 men, at lunchtime. A pound of brats has four brats; how many pounds of brats should I order? I will also serve beer, buns for brats, saurkraut, potato salad and three desserts: German Choc Cake, Black Forest Cake and Apple Strudel
ellen

09/02/05
1 pound (4) for every 3 people, round up.
Don
spikezlove232000@yahoo.com
09/11/05
My soon rto be wife and I are planning a reception and figuring on approximately 250 people. We are planning on turkey and Ham as our main course. How much meat do we need to figure perperson?
ellen

09/12/05
Hi, Don,

Congratulations on both the wedding and being involved in the planning. First please read my article on planning your wedding reception in big pots, and consider having your wedding at a time of day that will not involove a sit-down meal. If you are planning to self-cater an event this size, you will be hard-pressed to enjoy your wedding!

That said, you generally allow six ounces cooked, ready to eat for a served plate and eight ounces for a buffet, as people often take some of both. More info about how to figurse from raw to ready to eat on the quantities for 100 guide in Big Pots.

Tracy
tracybailey1000@hotmail.com
09/15/05
I am planning a birthday party and there are about 40 guests I am planning on serving Roast Beef Potatoes and corn on the cob how much of this should I have I don't want to run out of food that would be embrassing. I will also have Macaroni salad a vegetable tray cheese and crackers. A 5Lb lasange and a 5Lb macaronic and cheese dish. please give me your advise right away as it is Thursday and the party is Satyrday thanks again. Tracy
marcy

09/15/05
I'm having 12 people for a bbqed lamb dinner, we are having potato salad, chulupa beans, pyrenes bread, blue cheese also. how much potato salad should I prepare?
ellen

09/15/05
If this is nuffet style but you preslice the meat,, allow
1 pound boneless meat for each 3 adults (14 pounds, usually two pieces USE a meat thermometer in the smaller one and take it out of the oven at around 135 unless everyone likes well done.
1 ear corn
1 small baking potato (I would peel, half, and roast with the roast)
1 1/2 gallons mac salad total
see veggie tray page in Big Pots for veggie and dip amounts, this is the cjeapest thing to have extra of and it keeps if left over.
5 pounds cheese (at least 3 kinds) and 3 pounds crackers
Pam
bljulisa@aol.com
09/22/05
I have accident(ly) volunteered to cook pork for a group of approx 300-500 people....I'm told that now it is 30 - 8# loin and 200 pieces of chicken....(am i nuts ??? you might ask?) I am supplied with one 8 foot propane cooker and one very large charcoal cooker....I've put together rubs for half the pork and basting for the entire amount of pork....Can you PLEASE offer me some help on cooking times and ANY other advice that you might have ???

THANK YOU, desperate in the mountains

ellen

09/24/05
Hmm, I have accidentlay done the same thing from time to time...
The good news, is, it is probably enough meat for this crowd.
You need an outdoor cooking expert to advise on this and I am not it. But It is usual to plan on 3-4 hours for a grill full of pork.
Lea
lstokes11@aol.com
10/18/05
I'm roasting 20 lbs of rump roast for a party. I have a Nesco. Any idea how long to cook it for and at what temperature?
ellen

10/19/05
To get a really tender rump roast, I would do it 1 hour at 350 and 15 hours at 180-200, with a meat thermometer. It will be tender and you can get thye desired degree of doneness including medium rare.
Kevin
kstaker@adelphia.net
10/22/05
i am cooking 50 lbs of tri tip then 50 pounds of chicken for a party today. i am cooking the tri tip this morning and then will cook the chicken just before the party. do I let the trip tip cool and then reheat or keep it warm all day long?
ellen

10/22/05
DO NOT "keep it warm all day long", it will both overcook and be in the danger zone for food germs! You would do better to do the chicken in an electric roaster, oven, or crockpots with a "sticky chicken" type recipe and cook the tritrip fresh.

Still, probably too late for that today. The tritip needs to be kept below 40 degrees once cooked.

Kay

10/27/05
I'm planning on making biscuits and sausage gravy for about 15-20 people. How much sausage and gravy do I need to make?
Kay

10/31/05
I'm surprised I never got a reply back regarding my question. Thank goodness we had other food and all did not eat biscuits and sausage gravy, because I wouldn't have had enough.
ellen

10/31/05
Dear Kay,
ellenskitchen.com is a one person operation; in addition to a regular full time plus job, I have been in bed with a fever and the flu since October 28. Your post came in after I had checked the bulletin board on the 27th and further, did not include an email address or indicate a time limit, so I was unaware of your urgency until your rebuke bumped it to the top today. It sounds like you had plenty of food.
FYI, if you are looking for an immediate response, either start a new thread or email at the address given at the bottom of every page. And don't be rude.
Ellen
Julianne
gloertli@hotmail.com
11/08/05
I am cooking roast beef for 120 servings, how do I cook 50 lbs.? It's for the 11th of November. Thank you ahead of time and I hope you are feeling much better by now.
ellen

11/08/05
First, try to get all the chunks as close as possible to the same size. Either all boneless or all not boneless. I like top round for thin sliced, medium rare beef.
Second, get a good instant read thermometer and a good meat thermometer.
Decide whether you will do it in one oven-full or two. If two, sort all the smaller ones into one batch, the larger ones into the other.
If you are doing NOT pot roast, preheat the oven to 350. Weigh the smallest roast. Season the roasts, put them in in shallow pans not covered, insert the meat thermometer into the middle of the thickest part of the smallest roast, not touching fat or bone, and into the oven. Roast 1 hour at 350 and turn down to 200. Estimate that you will cook 1 hour at 350 for the first pound of the smallest roast PLUS 1 hour at 200 for each additional pound of the smallest roast PLUS 30 minutes per each extra roast.
Example: 4 roasts, smallest is 7 pounds, 6 ounces.
1 hour at 350 PLUS
6 hours 20 minutes at 200 Plus for the first roast
1 hour 30 minutes at 200 for the 3 extra roasts.
TOTAL cooking time 8 hours 50 minutes, approximately

Your meat will be tender with an internal temp around 135- medium rare. Very little shrinkage with this method, but also not too much drippings. Get some extra beef bouillon or consomme for the gravy.

Don't open the oven very often. Check the internal temps on the thermometer starting when the first roast would have been done by itself.

If you want a pot roast and gravy type roast, I would stick with the old tried and true golfer's special- double foil, can of mushroom soup, package of onions soup mix or dried onions and beef bouillon pwder, handful fresh chopped parley, can of drained mushroom stems and pieces, cup of red wine if appropriate for the diners; seal all up; bake 6 hours for the first plus one additional hour for each additional roast at 275-300. Open very carefully over a large pan or platter; package will be FULL of steaming hot gravy, tender and tasty.

Julianne
gloertli@hotmail.com
11/09/05
Dear Ellen,
Thank you so much. All this meat is for
our Bench Supper at our Church on Friday
night. We feed our homeless and all the won-
derful families that can't afford to go out. It's so much fun for all.Not desperate anymore. St. Vincent de Paul, Sacred Heart.
Brenda
palmerbb@bellsouth.net
11/10/05
I am in charge of the turkey and dressing for our church Thanksgiving luncheon. How much turkey will I need for 1 serving each/100 people. I have bought 48 lbs. thus far. Do I need more?
ellen

11/10/05
Definately. If it is whole turkeys, you need AT LEAST 63 pounds and 100 would be more usual, unless it is mostly ladies and seniors. I am posting a bunch of pages on prepping large amounts of turkey this weekend. Check the new pages page on Monday.
Karen
thecedfamily@yahoo.com
11/12/05
I am in charge of the food at a banquet at my church. We are expecting aprox 140 people and we are serving standing rib roast and ham how much of each do you think we need?
ellen

11/12/05
Well, you could probably pay off the mortgage for what the beef may cost you.

It is usual to allow 1 pound raw bone in per person with a standing rib! Even with the ham, I would not go below 12 ounces/3/4 pound per person, or 3 pounds for every 4 persons.

For the ham, 1 pound boneless cooked, ready to eat for every 5 persons.

Please do look into alternatives. A top quality bottom round (choice grade or higher) is a fine oven roast, you have to get them from a real butcher. It is boneless, costs less per pound and you only need 1/2 pound per person, so the total is half or less what the stnding rib will cost.

Consider contracting with a restaurant or other professional kitchen that has an "Autosham" roasting oven to cook these for you, it is done very slow (overnight) and there is much less shrinkage than in any regular of convection ove. to

wendy
rblunier@verizon.net
11/12/05
we are hosting a large family christmas and were hoping to serve individual ham balls/ loafs for aprox. 120 can you possibly give the amount of meat and recipe for such a large number ? please include a basting sause recipe if you have one. Also I wish to prepare ahead and cook in a Roaster.? how much time should I allow , and how much help should I seek?

May your days be blessed as we go into this wonderful holiday season.

wendy

ellen

11/12/05
You want to allow about 4 meatballs per person, 4 ounces, which is 3 ounces cooked ham ground, which is 360 ounces or 23 pounds. The ham slices and ends, such as Jonson Brothers, is fine for these. Use any good meatball recipe, minimum spice, maybe a bit of pumpkin pie spice and dill. A pineapple and mustard dipping sauce would be a grand choice, with BBq also.

Make a month ahead, bake in the oven on cookie sheets; freeze in a single layer and then bag up, defrost in the refrigerator 2 days or more.

Hugo

11/14/05
im feeling nice today... mind a little --? we should mee up some time
Jennifer
Jennifer.Brooks@nellis.af.mil
11/14/05
I am having 15 people over this weekend, and am cooking a ham. How big of a Ham should I buy?
ellen

11/14/05
boneless, 1 pound for every three people, big bone 1 pound for every 1 1/2 people, little bone, one for every 2 people. A lottle more if you want extras of leftovers.
Cori

11/16/05
We are having my husbands office over for a christmas dinner and would like to serve beef tenderloin. How many pounds should I account for 45 people?
ellen

11/16/05
Unfortumately people eat a lot of this, especially if it is buffet style. You want at least 2 poiunds for everty 5 people, and 2 poynds fo every 4 may be metter. I suggest a big dish of whole mushrooms just before the meat dish, and be sure YOU slice the meat. Use a fork and not a spatula to serve this.
Karen

11/17/05
Can I make a prime rib in the nesco?
ellen

11/17/05
Definitely, but unless you have the one with the fan inthe lid it will not get that crispy roasty crust that is so delicious. The cooking space is moister than a regular oven. Use the same temps as a regular ovem if youu want rare take it out at an internal temp of 120-125, and lbe sure to let it rest at least 30, and up to 50 minutes before carving.
Kelsey

11/18/05
How long should you cook a turkey that weighs 23 pounds
ellen

11/18/05
Kelsey, without being amart alecky, you cook it till done; it depends completely on whether it is stuffed (longer) or unstuffed (shorter), whether it is brined (shorter), whether you use a bag (shorter), open roaster or grill (shortest), and the temperature you use. You can cook this turkey safely done in about 2 1/2 hours at 475, but at 325 it may take 5 to 6 hours.
Use a real meat thermometer, not the pop up thingie, and bring the breast to 150. Yes that is lower than most people say, but it is perfectly safe, as the temp continues to rise during the 50 minutes a bird this size needs to "rest" before you carve it.

Next time you may want to cook two 12-14 pounders, it is easier...

ellen

11/18/05
Here is a site for roasting a 20 pound plus turkey using the faster high heat method:
www.stillwatersgroup.com/recipes/roast_turkey.htm
MaryAnn
mshee523@yahoo.com
11/18/05
My family and I are having a beef and beer benefit for approx. 250 people. Could you let me know how many lbs. of roast beef we need and also how many kegs of beer and soda?
ellen

11/18/05
I am not familiar with this event, but assume you want a pot roast or Italian beef type recipe using chuck roast on boneless short ribs, also that you will have big buns for sandwiching, potato salad baked beans and other heavy sides to reduce the beef consumption, If YOU serve the beef, you wnat to start with 1 pound raw boneless for each three people. If they serve themselves or get unlimited refile, one pound for 2 persons.

As for the beer, it depends VERY MUCH on whether the eaters pay by the glass or it is inclded in the ticket cost. By the glass, they drink less and your profit will be better. Write back and let me know.

Shelia A
sdavis1002@aol.com
11/18/05
Green beans & Potatoes
Hello, I am in charge of a Thankgiving Dinner and I am trying to determine how many ozs. I should give out for 200 people.

1 Large Can of Green beans is 103 ozs. Help Please :)

ellen

11/18/05
I allow 3 cans for 60 people for plain green beans. If you are using canned small potatoes, replace each 1 can of green beans with 2 cans of small potatoes, for howver much potatoes you want:

11 cans green beans, straight or 9 cans green beans and 3-4 cans tiny potatoes.

kala
funky_chick_babe@yahoo.com
11/21/05
how long should you cook a turkey that weighs 23 pounds?
Spring
springayala@sbcglobal.net
11/21/05
Cooking a ham in between going to 2 different home
My mother-in-law asked me to make a ham. I'm going to my parents home in the afternoon and my mother-in-laws after that. I can't bring the ham to my mother's. Is there a way I can low cook it at home and pick it up on the way to my mother-in-laws without ruining it?
ellen

11/21/05
Kala, check the roasting turkey thread. It should be thawing in the regrigerator already.

Spring, you don't identify the size or type of the ham or the amount of time involved in the firdt visit. Boneless takes longer than bone-in of the same weight.

Ypu can set the oven at 325 for an uncooked hame and let it cook 20-25 minutes per pound before cone, So you just pick the right size ham for the time you need; for example, 3 hours at your mom plus 1 hour travel time= 4 hours,; 3 pound psr hour= 12 pounds. Put in right before you leave, done and ready to transport when you get home. It needs to be out of the oven at least 1/2 hour before you carve it, anyway.

Really great "How to cook a ham" with lots of phoyors at Hotmel:
hormel.com/templates/knowledge/knowledge.asp?catitemid=106&id=749&floater=disabled

christina
cjw1@persona.ca
11/22/05
cooking turkey
how many pounds of uncooked turkey do i need for serving 175 people
ellen

11/22/05
Here is the page you need:

www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/planshop.html

Get the smaller turkeys if possible, it is very late to start safely thawing 20 pounders. Or you can cook from frozen- see the thread on roasting frozen turneys.

paula mitchell
mitchell4501@comcast.net
12/01/05
I will be serving boneless prime rib roast for 120 people and I need to know how much meat I should buy. My recipe calls for a 10# roast to serve 12 people. Can this possibly be? Does the roast shrink a lot when it is cooked? It seems like such a large portion of meat per person.
ellen

12/02/05
Yes Paula, you lose at least 40% up to 55% of the weight in cooking, so a pound raw becomes 7- 10 ounces cooked. Bone-in (and it cooks better bone in) and trimmed, I recommend at leats 1 pound per person.

The safest and least loss cooking is tio use an Autosham roast and hold oven, a special oven found in meat-cooking restaurants. Yo0u might be able to have this done for you, and if uyou have never cooked this for this many people, you might save a LOT of grief, and maybe some money, by subcontracting out this task.

This is why many dinners have steamship round with a carver- it costs less than the plated prime rib...n

Alan
athurston@cyberportal.net
12/02/05
I have a 22 pound bone-in prime rib to cook. How long does it have to be cooked to reach medium to medium rare? Prefer closer to medium.
ellen

12/03/05
Yummy. Did you take out a mortgage?

I like a recipe on recipe.com: /83431, T.M. perfect prime rib. You MUST invest in a good meat thermometer. You want an internal temp around 150 for "cloder to medium" I would go 140, myself...

louise

12/07/05
Ellen _ i am cooking a 20# top round roast in a convection oven. have you any tips on the perfect way to cook this and about how long it would take to get to medium rare? I am assuming I should cook it to that so that people may have Well Done from the sides and rare from the middle? Also have you any tips on keeping it warm on a buffet line. I do not have access to on one of those meat warmer lights you see at a resturant. Thanks for your help and Web site!
Marie
mhacljda@aol.com
12/08/05
Potatoes for large crowd
How many potatoes would I need for a group of 30-35 people? Could I make them up the night before I need them? THANKS
Kristin
parksideproperties@earthlink.net
12/08/05
I am cooking a roast beef for christmas for what 14 adults. How much roast beef should I purchase? What temp should I cook for how long?
Stephen
stjujohn@yahoo.com
12/09/05
I will have 20+- people and wondering how much bone-in-ham i would need.

thanks much.

Shontelle
dmoshomo@cox.net
12/09/05
I am serving pot roast for 40 poeple. How much should I buy and also garlic mashed potaotes.
ellen

12/11/05
Louise, a meat thermometer is critical/ I would cook 1 hour at 350 after rubbing all over with garlic and spices and sprinkling with flour, then about 40 minutes per pound at 225-250 degrees to an internal temp of 135-140 for medium rare all the way through. Less shrinkage and it will be very tender. Let sit at least 40 minutes out of the oven before slicing.

Marie. depends on the dish, but about 13 pounds. To prepare mashed ahead use my freezabale holdable mashed potato recipe in the big pots section.

Kistin, you need 1 pounds per person for bone in standing rib roast, but only about 2 pounds for evry three persons for choice bottom round. Write back when you decide what kind of roast and how big.

Stephen, about 14 pounds would be just enough if YOU carve and serve, but if it is buffet or self serve you want 20 pounds.

Shontelle, I buy 1 pound of boneless chuck roast for eac 2 people and cook it very slowly (oven baked in gravy, or crockpot). Use the freezable holdable mashed potatoes for 25 on the big pots page fpor your potatoes.

Stephen
stjujohn@yahoo.com
12/12/05
For the bone-in-ham ratio, is it the same as the boneless ham?
Diana
dianawolf99@hotmail.com
12/14/05
Ham for a buffet
I am serving buffet for Christmas. Baked ziti, ham and meatballs as main dishes. For 16 people (2 vegetarians) I bought a 7.5 lb. bone-in ham. I also have about 40 meatballs and 2 large trays baked ziti. Is this ham too small???
Darlene
dar1994@adelphia.net
12/15/05
I am serving Fresh Polish Sausage for Christmas dinner. We have about 20 people coming. About how much meat do we need to buy?
ellen

12/16/05
Stephen, about 1/2 of the raw weight of the bone-in ham is bone or cookuking loss, you only end up with 2 modest 3 1/2 ounce cooked servings from your starting pound. Boneless, you can be sure of 3 of these servings, sometimes more.
Diana, you won't have leftovers, but you should have enough. Slice it yourself, very thinly, and spread across the tray.
Darlene, if this is fresh unsmoked, at least 1 pound for each 2 1/2 people. I would get at least 10 pounds...
Patricia Shoemake
patricia.shoemake@firstcitizensonline.co
12/19/05
Cooking a Rump Roast
What is the best way to cook a rump roast that is 7 1/2 pounds? I would like to cook it with dry heat and I want it well done. Can this be done?
ellen

12/20/05
This is a good roast for this task. Start with it at room temp for 1-2 hours. You rub it all over with your chosen spice or seasoning rub and sprinkle with flour. Cook in an oncovered pan, 1 hour for the first pund at 325 then 50 minutes for each additional pound at 200-225, so aoout 6 1/2 hours all together. Check internal temp with thermometer, you want 150 for well done, pull it out and let sit under a foil tent for 30 minutes to reabsorb its juices while you make gravy, etc.
clemente
blacky@awesomenet.net
12/20/05
need to know how many brisketm, beans, potatos,
bread, pickles, onions, and bar nb que sause would i need to server aboout 100 people.

thank you for any advice that you can help me with

clemente sanchez

ellen

12/22/05
You need to check the directions for amounts on the BBQ page and the quantities for 100 page in the Big Pots planning section. It covers all these foods-
Nicola
nicolaking67@hotmail.com
12/22/05
I've purchased a 14 pound rump roast to serve approx 18 people, and wish to know, for a roast that large, at what temp and how many hours should I roast? (I have great recipe including dijon mustard and thyme, shallots and cabernet) Thanks for any help
ellen

12/22/05
Nicola, it must be the season for rump roast, I just answered that question about 4 lines up in this thread.
sherle
sherle33@aol.com
01/05/06
how much roast beef would i need for a beef and beer for 250 people there will be meatballs too
Jim Honberger
BigJtravel@aol.com
01/08/06
Hi Ellen...
We have our daughter's wedding comming up and she wants BBQ chicken and tri tip. There will be 200 people there. Please give us some help as to how much to buy of each? How much in pounds of meat to figure? Thanks for the advice.
ellen

01/10/06
Sherle, assuming chuck roast, I would get 1 pound raw boneless for each 3 people, andf about 3 ounces meatballs per person.

Jim, you want abvout 8 ounces total cooked meat per person, If someone is serving and carving the tritip, you will use less than if it is self serve. Allow 1 piece of chicken per person, which is 1 chicken for every 6-8 persons, and 1 pound raw tritip for each 3 persons. More chicken is cheaper than more tritip.

polly

01/29/06
Ellen Hi, We are feeding 50 people Boneless Prime Rib. How much Meat do I need. And how do I prepare it?
Jeff

01/29/06
Hello Ellen...Great site...I've offered my help for a good friend of mine's wedding reception. I make a mean pulled pork, but I need to know how much bone-in pork butt roast I am going to need to feed 175 people. Thanks so much for any help.
Mattie D. Scott
02/01/06
I plan to serve roast beef au juis, roast pork with apple dressing and chicken stir fry as the main entrees at my daughters wedding reception. I need to know the quantity amount of each item I will need to purchase when planning for 200 people.
Narita
02/02/06
I am fixing a meal for our doctor's office. I am having BBQ meatballs - so far I have made 9 l pounds how much would I need to feed 48 people. Also how many potatoes would I need to buy for mashed potatoes. They will be serving themselves. I have an electric roaster to keep the meatballs warm in, as the lunch will be over a 2 hour period. I am putting the vegetables and mashed potatoes in crockpots on low. But I am also baking fresh yeast rolls, is there a way to keep them warm in an electric roaster for that long without crisping them? One roaster has direct heat and the other is an older one where you fill the bottom with water and the pan sit on top in contact with the water. Thanks!
ellen
02/03/06
Polly, if you read up the thread you will see some comments. Cook carefully, this is so expensive. And without fail, let stand 30 minutes before carving.

Jeff, if this is the ONLY meat, you will want at least 1 pound well-trimmed raw for each 2 people. I would consider adding some sausages or smoked sausages.

Mattie, estimating multiple entrees is the toughest item on the caterer's list, and 3 is much harder than 2, and buffet service much harder than plated service. If it is plated, you can ask for and RSVP with the wedding invitation. If you have a carver/server for the beef you will use quite a bit less than for a self service buffet. I discuss this on the barbecue planning page, with examples. Most likely, half the people will want roast beef, 30 percent pork, the rest chicken, but the only thing I can tell y9u for sure is allow 8 ounces cooked, bneless meat total for each person. Also, 10-20 people will want a vegetarian entree due to health or religious reasons.

Narita, 18 pounds of potatoes. About the same of meatballs. Rolls could go in another large crockpot on low, they don't crisp up or dry out if covered, and don't forget the real butter.

Heather
02/06/06
Lunch meat for 30 people ?
Hi Ellen,
My daugter has commited to brining a meat & cheese tray for an event for school and to save some money we would like to make our own platters. Could you help us out with how much we would need. Thank you!
ellen
02/06/06
2 ounces of cheese slices and 4 ounces of deli (thin) sliced meats per person is a generous amount. You can reduce costs by making a really good chicken salad from scratch for part of the meat.
Linda
02/15/06
Menu for a large Crowd
I am hosting a 40th bday party for 150pp. Am unsure of how much food to serve. I am planning on 10 hot entrees and cold buffet as well. Is two full half deep trays of each entree enough? Please help! Thanks!
ellen
02/15/06
I have never planned for 10 entrees for this size crowd. If you are talking the cafeteria style 4 inch deep pans, 2 half pans is enough for 25 servings and you are planning 250 entree servings plus cold buffet? Sounds like too much...

Remember the basic idea per person- 6-8 ounces cooked ready to eat meats, total, is a generous amount. About 1 1/2 cups side dishes such as slaws, beans, salads, etc. 1/2 cup serving for each vegetable, 3/4 to 1 cup for potatoes or rice. So total up all your planned food and then go to the quantities for 100 tables and compare.

Jeff
02/16/06
Thanks for the help with the pork roast...I really dig your site.
Julie
02/27/06
Help!! I have agreed to fix the food for my sons bowling banquet this Saturday 3/5. I would like to cook pork loin & chicken brest for 150 people. Can you please tell me how many pork loins i might need and how long they should cook, also the same with the chicken. Were also going to fix cheezy potatoes. I really need help. Thanks
ellen
02/27/06
Roasted pork loin- You want to get the same size for each oven full. Hours cooked based on the cooking tme for the smallest plus about 20-30 minutes for each additional roast in the oven. Use a thermometer.

Plan on 90 servings of each meat, see the plan for 100 guide for amounts raw.

You want to start with 50 pounds raw potatoes. Suggest you use Nesco roasters or crock pots for this. Time depends on size of cookers.

Rita
03/13/06
I will be hosting a Beef & Beer fundraiser. I plan on having roastbeef, roastpork & meatballs. How many pounds of each shoyuld I plan on having for 150 people?
Wendy
03/13/06
I'm planning on cooking for 100-120 people for my 25th anniversary. Social Hall we are using has a full kitchen. I'm planning on serving port roast and Turkey. I want to cook the meat in my Rival BBQ slow cooker. If I cook the meat ahead of time and freeze will that be oaky?
ellen
03/16/06
Rita, you would allow 8 ounces of cooked boneless meat per person for a dinner, but for a fundraiser you should consider having some heavy side dishes such as potato salad or beans to get down to about 5 ounces cooked ready to serve. See my plan for 100 page for raw equivalents.

Wendy, the meats will be safe to freeze, but do see my instructions on reheating turkey. You want a good amount of sauce or gravy in the pan for reheatingto keep the meats moist.

Tina
03/17/06
I am having 13 people over for dinner. I plan to start with cocktails and horderves. I am making two pork tenderloins and a london broil. Does that sound like enough meat?
ellen
03/17/06
Assuming the meats are about 3 pounds each, you will have plenty, even some left over if you serve at the table- people eat more at buffets than served sitting.
Erin
03/18/06
I am cooking tri-tip for about 75 people and would like to be able to cook it in crockpots. How long should I plan on cooking it to have it well done but still able to slice, not falling apart too much? Will it be as good as when you grill it? I am going to marinate the meat overnight. Should I just put the meat in the crockpot or add some of the mariante as well?
jason
03/24/06
I am having a party for about 50-60people, 45 adults, the rest children give or take.

Is this enough meat: 18-lb Whole Ham with Bone, 10-lb picnic and 9-lb picnic. How long to cook in oven and what tempature so it falls off the bone so I can shred it for serving pan? I do have a convection oven.

Thanks!

Ruth
03/24/06
I've been ask to caterer a graduation party for 150 people prime rib and chicken cononblue
I get mix up how much of the meats do I need.I know i allow 1lb. of beef to a person but I'm fixing to meats thats where I get confuse I want to make sure I have enough. She also wants hot crab dip how much crab meat do I need
Sue
03/25/06
Meat and Cheese Platter
I am making a deli lunch meat and cheese tray for about 38 people. How much of each do I buy? Thank you.
ellen
03/26/06
Erin, it will make pot roast, it's good pot roast, but is that what you want?

Jason, I assume these are all bone in, it is enough meat, but you can't cook these different sizes all the same time. Also, it is not clear if any are pre-cooked?

Ruth, this is a very expensive meal, are you getting paid at least $24 per person? You need to email me at the updates email address below to give further information.

Sue, allow at least 4-5 ounces of deli meats and 2-3 ounces of sliced cheese per person.

Lori
04/03/06
I am having about 40 people for a party. I am planning to serve fajitas (beef and chicken). How many lbs of each do you think I should prepare? What would be the best cut of beef to use?
Thank you for your help!
ellen
04/04/06
People like fajitas and eat a lot of them. Start with 1 pound raw boneless meat total per person. You would use a bit less if you only had one; people eat some of both when both are available. Use chicken thighs cut across the grain for juiciness/moisture and better chicken flavor. Flank steak or skirt steak is traditional, but now that it is premium priced, you could consider top sirloin or top quality top round.

You know the trick of partially freezing the beek so yu can cut the thin shredds across the grain. Fajitas means rags, and the meat is sxpected to be thin, not really stips as often seen.

Both chicken and beef should be marinated overnight before grilling.

Leanna
04/12/06
I'm having 50 people (all adults except for approx. 10 children)--- I'm having fried chicken---How many pieces of fried chicken per person should I estimate?? Thank you!!
ellen
04/12/06
2 pieces per adult, 1 piece for kids, 3 for teens and any really big eaters- you want around 30-35 pounds total depending on the sides.
Jeanna
04/15/06
We are having 20 people for dinner. We have a 10 lb prime rib and 6 pound leg of lamb. Is it enough meat for the group?
tracy
04/16/06
hi i bought a bone in ham i need to know how long to cook it. its a bottom piece and its enought to feed four people so its not real big thank you
ellen
04/16/06
Jeanna, yes, as long as you have some nice side dishes and preferably you carve-

Tracy, raw smoked ham? 20-25 minutes per pound, you don't say the weight. Use a thermometer, cook to 160 internal temp.

Peggy
05/08/06
Ellen, what a great and helpful site. I have offered to cater a class reunion for 140 people. I am planning on roast beef and chicken. I can' t come up with a recipe for the chicken, I am leaning to a cream sauce? I am unsure of the best way to keep it warm without drying it out, or the best time to start cooking it. any suggestions would be appericated. Thanks Peggy
Alice
05/08/06
My son is getting married in July. Caterer is leaving town and I just found out. How can I cook roast beef( what cut?) ahead and possibly cut and freeze...I have a roaster oven, can I use it to reheat? the reception will be buffet in our backyard...this is for 150 people. H E L P...frazzled mother of the groom
ellen
05/08/06
Peggy, just lately I am on a coq au vin kick for chicken, tender, juicy, plenty of sauce, can be made a day or two ahead and reheated with only improvement in the flavor... I will try to get a recipe posted tis weekend.

Alice, bad luck! Do check around for other caterers, and remenber that some churches have a group of ladies who can be hired to manage the kitchen for wedding dinners. Suggest you consider a potroast type beef such as beef bourginon or beef with mushrooms if you want to cook ahead and reheat. You will need 2 to 3 roasters for this many people.

Chuck roast is juicier for pot roast, sirloin tip roast is leaner. Get a real butcher to cut for you, roast LARGE pieces covered in the oven.

Read about reheating in the section on reheating turkey, link at the top of the Big Pots page.

Peggy
05/09/06
Thanks I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again
Larry Zalewski
05/09/06
veggies
Need to make 60-80 baked potatoes, going to make at home and then reheat in two nescos for a potatoe bar at work.....foil or no foil, cook all the way at home and then re heat or just cook partially, or cook the whole time from scratch at work??
Bill
05/28/06
We volunteered to host my father's 90th birthday party for 60 people. We were going to have it catered but by the time we rented a tent/tables/chairs etc. the budget is blown. Now we're feeling a bit overwhelmed since we've never cooked for this large a crowd before.
We plan on a buffet of Penne Pasta w/vodka sauce, Pork loin, roasted potatoes, polska kielbasa and peppers. How much food do we need and can we cook any of this a day ahead. HELP. Thanks.
ellen
05/29/06
Larry there is a whole new page on baked potato bars with how to's, transport- should be all you need.

Bill, First of all, remember this is going to be a great day- 60 people is VERY POSSIBLE in a family kitchen. You are going to aim for 1 1/2 pounds total of food per adult; a bit less for over 60, especially women, more like 1 pound.

You can use my quantity tables for 100 and make 6/10 or 60% of idividual items.

This is not a complete menu, and also not an inexpensive one, rather on the high side of medium. Three entrees for 60 people adds about 20% to costs, because it is quite difficult to get the right amounts, so you have to add a fudge factor, plus people take some of everything, so they eat more.

Also, are these foods your dad especially likes? Because if the party included quite a few elders, this is not a menu I would select to please either for taste mix or convenient eating- rather greasy, spicy, heavy, etc., and everything has to be cut and eaten with two hands. Please think about altermatives and write back with more info.

Peggy
06/03/06
Ellen I was wondering if you ever found the chicken recipe? Also what adjustments if any need to be made if I am giing to say 10 x a recipe without losing taste texture? (mashed potatoes, Cream Sauce)
ellen
06/03/06
Sorry, Peggy, here is the page:
www.ellenskitchen.com/recipebox/coqauvin.html

Cream sauce, no change. Mashed potatoes, just remember not to add any liquid until you have the potatoes completely smooth- they get gluey the longer you beat them after the liquid is added.

Bill
06/05/06
Ellen, Thanks so much for your quick response..I really appreciate it. Over the past week my wife and I have gone back and forth on what to do about my dad's 90th and since it will happen on the 17th of June I'm getting a little stressed. (I'm the chief cook and bottle waher in the family).

We've figured out a better menu...we think....Appetizers to start will be...melon wrapped prochutto....puffs stuffed with spinach/artichkes...shrimp/coctail sauce....mozzorella sticks.... humus/carrots/pita chips..and misc dips/chips for the kids.

We planned the main menu as polska kielbasa(lite version) cooked on bbq with just enough yellow/red peppers for color..(I figure we can do this the day before and reheat)...Penne pasta with vodka sauce...roasted pork loin and a green salad with strawberries/mandarin oranges and very light balsamic vinegar dressing. On the east coast you can never go to a party without baked ziti (we tried to lighten it up using a bottled vodka sauce we tried from Costco and adding petit fourse diced tomatoes, no meat and not bake with cheese). My dad likes lamb chops but I already let him know I'll cook these for him another time but couldnt handle that for a party. He's tired of chicken and turkey which he eats all the time so thats why we picked the pork loin. My family eats pretty basic bland food, his wife's family is from Jamaica and they like it a little spicier. DILEMA.
Should we add a cold deli platter for those that might want to make a sandwich? And if so would we need to add potato salad or something like it?
Dessert is a sheet cake and brownines..coffee and tea.
Thanks Ellen.....Bill

ellen
06/06/06
Hey Bill,

Sounds like you need a few deep breaths- you are doing fine.

This looks very nice, especially the appetizers. Have you considered ham instead of the pork loin? Easier to handle and heat, kids like it better, doesn't dry out as quickly and solves the sandwich problem- just add good bread or rolls to the table. You could make a honey-mustard sauce that would spice it up as a side dish.

The best compromise for the taste gap is with your side dishes and condiments. I suggest you look at the spicy Nepalese potato salad near the bottom of the slaws, mac and potato salad page. It is beautiful and very delicious. The artichoke condite marinated artichoke hearts wth olives and other vegetables) can be made ahead, keeps well and is great. And you might consider making a gallon of the spicy garlic dills on the chili page (doctored from store-bought, so very simple, and great with sausages, etc)

You could also consider doing the sausage and peppers in a Nesco roaster instead of the grill and reheat method.

Don't forget your coffee and beverages...

Gwen
06/07/06
We are having a family reunion and need to know how much meat to buy for 150 people. We are having barbeque pork ribs, pork steak, hot dogs and hamburgers.
ellen
06/07/06
The ribs and steaks are bny and fat, allow 1 pound raw per person served. Burgers, 1.2 to 1.5 patties per person served. Hot dogs (let me encourage you to consider gatting kielbasa, Polish sausage, or another grown up sausage instead- even kids like them better), 5-8 ounces per person served. You have to decide about how many will want each thing, then just multiply.
Jamie
06/22/06
WE are having a graduation party for aprox. 50 people and will be having nachos (with taco meat) and hot wings. Help!!!! I am clueless as to how much hamburger, chix wings and cheese sauce to get.
ellen
06/22/06
For teens,I allow 3 hot wing pieces per hour per person- maybe two different flavors- they like them and eat a lot. The nachoes are very similar to tacos in amounts, check a recipe for 100 and use 1/2 to estimate your quntity. They eat more if the party replaces lunch or dinner than if it is after dinner or after lunch.
lisa
06/24/06
hi i am planning a dinner for 70 people would like to serve bonless rib roaoat mashed pototes hw many lbs of meat should i get and how many pounds of potatoes do i nee thanks lisa
ellen
06/24/06
Lisa, most quantity questions are answered in the plan for 100 tables on this site. For example, potaoes for 100 are 35 pounds, so you want about 3/4 for 70. You do not say if you mean prime rib/standing rib, top round, or what exactly for the leat, and the amounts differ vastly. There is a thread on prime rib (April 2006) below this one in cook talk and there are several questions and rsponses for prime rib in this thread. If you need further help after reading them please write further.
Angie
06/25/06
baked ziti 75 people
How much pasta, cheese (mozarella/ricotta) and meat do I need to make baked ziti for 75 people? It's my first time cooking for so many people. Please help ASAP! thank you for your help.
ellen
06/25/06
Hi, you have picked a good recipe to start with.

The baked mastaciollli and sausage for 120 on the lotsa pasta page will give you a quantity guide. If you are omitting meat/sausage, make 3/4 of the recipe approximately, for this size group. The only trick is to remember that baking times change as the amount in the oven changes- if you put casseroles on two racks, you need to rotate a few time top to bottom; if the depth is over 2 1/2 inches, add about a half hour per inch; and if the casseroles go from the refrigerator to the oven, instead of being assembled and baked immediately, add another 30-40 minutes. Remember as the time gets longer that you may need to cover the dishes for most of the cooking time to keep the top from drying out.

andy
07/07/06
i am cooking 20lbs of bbq ham. i need to know how many buns i need to buy to serve all of the ham.
ellen
07/07/06
If boneless, this will make 70 to 100 sandwiches- more if you preslice thin, less if people are slicing their own.
Leisa
08/08/06
I am having 120-150pp, 20- 30 years old for light snacks and apps. The food is free, how many dips wpuld you prepare with hot dogs and either wings or Quesadillas? How many wings or Quesadillas would you prepare? I plan on 160 hot dogs.
Thanks Leisa
ellen
08/08/06
I like to prepare one "bulk type" appetizer (platter, dip, etc) for each 25 people.

The amount of food depends on the time of day and the length of the party, and whether or not alcohol is served. For 1 hour not over a meal time, 6 bites/items per person. Add 4-6 more for each hour for each person.

If over a mealtime, people will eat as much as for a dinner, you will need at least 3 times as much food, more if alcohol is served.

janice
08/13/06
potato salad
how much potato salad do i need to feed about
100 to 110 people.thanks
ellen
08/14/06
Make with 40 pounds of fresh potatoes, there are MANY recipes on site for this amount.
Jenny
08/17/06
How many loins would I need to feed 150-200 people? We are also having baked beans, cole slaw, and buns for our wedding in September? Thanks!
ellen
08/17/06
If for pulled pork sandwiches, you need 1 pound raw boneless for each 5 sandwiches. Sliced and roasted 2 pounds raw boneless for 5 persons.
BELINDA (WENDY) ZEIG
08/26/06
not cooking for large crowd.i thought you could send me some advice or an answer asap to my delimea.what is a picnic shoulder & do you cook it like a ham or a pork roast.???? do you have any reciepes,please.you can just e-mail as i want to cook it tomorrow (sunday) but can wait till monday. can't seem to find any help any where!!!!
ellen
08/26/06
Hi, Belinda,

You did not leave an email address!

Picnic shoulder is the same as chuck on a cow. It is a moist, rather fatty meat, much less dry than ham or loin and my favorite piece of pork. To roast, use a meat thermometer, cook it to 160 internal using a low and slow roast for slicing. Go to 200 for pulled pork.

You can use any flavoring or marinade recipe for pork loin for this piece.

Or cut it up for stew. Very popular here in Texas.

M. Gil
08/31/06
How many pounds of large shrimp to feed 75 people?
I am having other foods. How many pounds of large shrimp would I need to feed 75 people?
ellen
08/31/06
If these will be an appetizer-type, allow 3 per person- figure the pounds based on the number per pound for the size you buy. If an entre5 to 8 per person.
ella
09/06/06
I am serving a top sirloin roast for 22-25 people. do you have any suggestions as to how many pounds my roast should be and any cooking tips? I will be using a convection oven.
Thanks for all your help, you are a wonderful resource!
ella
09/06/06
P.S.

There will also salmon as an entree as well. It's a buffet.

ellen
09/06/06
When serving beef and another entree for a party buffet, I allow for 5 ounces cooked beef and 3 ounces of the other entree per person. Top sirloin is a lean, boneless cut, so I would allow 3 pounds for each 10 people if you cook it low and slow so it doesn't shrink much, so 8 pounds all together. 1 pound raw salmon for 5 people, so 5 pounds all together.
tina
09/21/06
I need help we are having a retirement party for about 100 people and i am doing the cooking , we are having ham and shredded roast beef sandwhiches, how long should i cook 3 picnic hams in my 18qt roaster and a 23 pd sirloin tip roast . please help the party is the 30th of september.. Thank so much Tina
ellen
09/21/06
Of course you cook the two meats separately.

FOR THE BEEF IN THE ROASTER
Cooking a roast medium rare to medium is a safe bet for a large group of people, especially if reheating. The end pieces will be well done and the middle will be more rare which will give your guests a variety to choose from. That is an end temp of 130-135 degrees, and since the temp goes up AFTER it comes out of the oven, you should take it out around 125 degrees. As you remove from the oven, tent roast with aluminum foil; let stand 60 minutes. Temperature will continue to rise 5°F to 10°F to reach medium doneness.

Slice when cooler if storing for later. Using meat slicer, slice rested roasts thinly across the grain for optimum tenderness. If no slicer, you want a VERY SHARP knife.

Trim most fat from beef roasts; season. Place on rack. Do not cover; do not add liquid unless you do the gravy below. The thermometer needs to go in the middle of the piece in a nice thick muscle.

Rup in any spice or rub you want to use. If you are a garlic family, stab with a thin knife and slide in bits of garlic to taste.

For a slightly more potroasty effect, you seal it all up in a foil package with the tight multifolded closures that don't leak. If you do it this way and want saucy gravy, put a cup of dried onion flakes, about 6 cans of cream
of mushroom soup on top the roast before sealing.

For a more roast beef type texture, rub in your dry rub, paprika, etc and roast it on a rack in the bottom of the roaster.

Preheat roaster to 350. Put in the roaster at 1 hour at 350 degrees, then turn down to 200-225. For a single piece, allow a TOTAL of 10 to 12 minutes per pound, but use the meat thermometer- depending on the shape and thickness
of the roast it DOES vary. If dry/open roast, place the thermometer at the beginning. If it is in the foil packet, do not pierce the foil and put in the temp probe until the last hour.

Warning!!! The reason the beef gets tender is the SLOW roast. Cook it fast and it will be done but not tender. If you are serving Sunday, you could even turn the temp to 200 and increase the cooking time, just "cook until done".

Your 23 pound roast is 230 to 290 minutes, about 5 hours roasting at 250, 6 at 200. I would allow 7 total, to allow for extra roasting time and standing time before slicing.

If serving the same day, crockpots on low are an option. Seem to do better than returning to the roaster. But if you use the roaster, at least 180 but no more than 200 degrees.

If serving the next day or later, it needs to be kept refrigerated to store/ keep after slicing. Reheat by covering tightly, adding some beef consomme or beef broth, and reheating in the oven.

FOR THE PORK
Use a similar technique, but use 350 and 250. Place the thermometer in the smallest roast, be careful not to put the tip against bone. Remove when the temp hits 155-160. Transfer thermometer to the next smaller and repeat until all are done. Let stand at least 1/2 hour before slicing.

Joe
09/23/06
How long does it take to cook 60 beef hots dogs in a roaster? I dont want to under cook them or over cook them and let them absorb to much water. By the way, your web site is pretty neat, I will show these great suggestions to my wife. Thanks Ellen!
ellen
09/23/06
Are you going to boil them? You might consider instead putting in a rack with water underneath and bring to 300, then steam. They will not get waterlogged and will hold better.
shirley
10/02/06
I have to cook for 70 this weekend. I planned to slow cook beef. I bought 20 pounds of sirlion tip roast and 8 pounds of bottom round roast. Can I cook them in nesco's? How much at a time? Do I need to marinade? I'm cooking in a beer,wine mixture(to cover meat) and italian seaning pkg at the last two hours. Secondly, I'd like to cook pasta. Can I cook it using a nesco to serve? It is penne, but I'd just like to use a red sauce. Is that ok? Should I bake it first, or just loil it?
ellen
10/02/06
Shirley, the two cuts are just not the same- sirloin tip is juicier and more tender, bottome round really needs braising or pot roasting. If you will email an address to the contact email below, I will send you my Nesco roaster directions.

For the pasta. see my lotsa pasta page. Yes you can preook with a Nesco to serve.

jill
10/04/06
confused on baked potato bar
I'm planning on doing a baked potato bar for 35 high school football players. I am having all the regular toppings and then chili. I 'm wondering how much chili to cook, I"m worried some may just want chili does that happen often? I've read all your potato site but I'm also confused on how many potatoes I can fit in my 18 qt roaster. The chili will go into crock pots. Any help will be appreciated I'm so lost here. Thanks
ellen
10/04/06
Ok Jill, the first thing is, a few deep breaths. This is not rocket science.

Count your 30 players as about 50-60 for toppings, add the coaches, staff, parents that will be eating with them to arrive at a number for toppings. If you add a second hot topping, you will have less chance of chili running out. I would use chopped broccoli in cheese sauce.

Now you need to know something about potato buying. They are packed by the case, and the restaurant type ones are also counted- "80" means there are 80 in the case. For the potatoes, if you buy regular ones at the store, allow two medium size ones per guy. Better yet, there is a mammoth potato available through your local produce wholesaler, a 65 or 80- your local grocery could also order for you- that would be perfect for this, they are really big and one each plus about 10% extra would be plenty!

I suggest you bake in a regular oven, using the ice chest storage method, then keep hot in the Nesco. One Nesco will not bake enough potatoes for this size group.

Sue
10/08/06
I am cooking bbq (made w/hamburger and served on a bun) for 35 teenagers for a church dinner. How much should I prepare?

Thank you.

ellen
10/13/06
For teens, I count 2 sandwiches apiece and 5 sandwiches per pound, so 70 sandwiches= 14 pounds. You will probably have some left, but it freezes and that is way better than running out.
Pam Jones
10/16/06
I am doing Ham, Roast Beef and Turkey with rollsfor a wedding reception for 170 people how many lb. of each will I need.
ellen
10/16/06
Assuming this is sandwich style at a meal time, you want 5 ounces of cooked ready to eat thin sliced meat per person. The plan for 100 shows how much raw cooks down- the loss is 30-40%. I would figure out the amount, then do 1/2 roast beef, 1/3 each turkey and 1/4 ham. Yes that adds up to more than 100%- people eat more and usually take some of each when there are several offered. You will use a little less if a server serves the meat.

It will help to have 2 ounces of sliced cheese per person available. If it is between meal- reception- timing, you can use about 1/4 less.

Valorie
10/20/06
Hi Ellen. Your site is a great resource. I am catering a wedding reception for 220. I am preparing two entrees: roast baron of beef and chicken breasts with spices(undecided). What temperature and length of time do I use for (2) 50lb baron's of beef to be at medium doneness.? I read your information on slow cooking and would like to do it this way. The reception starts at 5pm. Thank you for your help.
ellen
10/21/06
Here is a picture of someone cooking a baron of beef:

www.collectbritain.co.uk/personalisation/object.cfm?uid=005ADD000015538U00232000

Please send an email address to the "contact for updates" address below so I can email you my suggestions. Also, are you planning to carve these at the dinner? Also, is it the double sirloin with the backbone in, or a full round? Both are sold as a baron in the USA?

ellen
10/21/06
You might want to look at my recipe for wedding chicken (in a citrus glaze) on the big pots page. Can be made ahead, frozen, and reheated.
Brad
11/06/06
Hi Ellen,

I am preparing a dinner for 55 adults and 57 children. We're having chicken and beef fajita tacos, so I was wondering how much meat to purchase? Also, if you have any idea on the amount of beans, salsa, etc. that would be helpful.

Thanks.

ellen
11/06/06
This depends on the ages of the children- 12 and under, count each 2 as 1 person, teens count as adults. You will get a number somewhere between 80 and 112. Then use the baked potato bar quantities for salsa, sour cream, diced tomatoes, etc. For side dishes of rice and beans you can use the table, plan for 100, on Big Pots.
Maggie
11/16/06
I am cooking pulled pork for 150 people, how much meat do I need?
ellen
11/17/06
for pulled pork sandwiches, you need 1 pound raw boneless for each 5 sandwiches. You want to allow 1.2 to 1.4 sandwiches per person, depending on sides and whether it is a mixed crowds, such as mostly teens, or all guys, which uses the larger amount. Sliced and roasted, pork requires 2 pounds raw boneless for 5 persons.

Picnic shoulder is the same as chuck on a cow. It is a moist, rather fatty meat, much less dry than ham or loin and my favorite piece of pork for sandwiches. To roast, use a meat thermometer, cook it to 160 internal using a low and slow roast for slicing. Go to 200 for pulled pork.

You can use any flavoring or marinade recipe for pork loin for this piece.

marilyn
11/18/06
I need to know how many turkeys I needto feed 150 people. I am planning a Christmas dinner for apartment residents, along with guests I calculate 150.
ellen
11/18/06
Go to the big pots section, read the shopping instructions for large turkey dinners. All will be revealed.
Chris
11/21/06
Turkey
I want to cook my turkey in my electric roaster and I want to cook it slowly at about 200-250 degrees. How long will it take to cook?
ellen
11/22/06
My recommendations for roasting time and temps are in the holiday cooking section, you don't give a weight on your turkey. See also the electric roaster and GE roaster forum threads. Don't stuff the turkey if you want to use lower temps, it is not safe. DO wash/rinse the turkey very well. If you want it browner and crisper skin, finsh in the regular oven
Margaret
11/25/06
Help! I have been drafted to feed 200 people an Australian Christmas dinner at our church Christmas party--don't ask; I don't know how they came up with the theme. We have a tentative menu, and some helpers. Roasted Lamb (hot or cold) and cold Ham are the main dishes, but I have never cooked lamb.

We assume more people will eat ham, and many will not even try the lamb. How much lamb should I plan, and do you have a simple recipe? Leg of lamb on the bone would probably be cheaper, but boned would be much easier to work with, wouldn't it? We will have to farm out the cooking to church members so prep instructions should be for amounts that fit in home ovens. The church oven is home-sized, and is for re-heating only--NO "cooking"!

Thanks for helping.

Margaret Johns
missmargaret58@mac.com

ellen
11/26/06
By now you should have my emails with recipes and roasting guide. Hope you enjoy that Aussie "tucker" (food).
Carol
11/26/06
Dear Ellen,

Planning a christmas luncheon for 100 mature adults

How many pounds of boneless ham will be needed

Thanks for your help

Johnnie

ellen
11/26/06
About 25 pounds thin-sliced ready to eat if the side dishes are holiday level. If the diners get to slice their own, add about 8 pounds.
Dawn
12/01/06
We are having tacos for about 50 people. How would I find the right amount of meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoe for this occassion? Thanks
ellen
12/01/06
I have a couple of large taco recipes on site, but a convenient secret is- taco toppings take almost exactly what the baked potato bar does per person, making either chili or taco meat as your meat. There is a very good table posted under Baked Potato Bar in Big Pots.
Duane H. Coan
12/04/06
8 Pound Whole Boneless Pork Roast
Hello,

I bought an 8 pound whole boneless pork roast and have never fixed one before. Could you give me any help with how to prepare this. I have both an oven and I have a large roaster. Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

Duane

ellen
12/04/06
Hi, did you double post? I just answered this under pork. Don't overcook it!
Louise
12/11/06
Ellen- I am serving a Top Round Roast and Roasted Turkey for 60-70 people as part of a buffet. In your experience about how much of each should I plan on buying - raw weight?
Thank you
ellen
12/11/06
5 ounces cooked boneless ready to eat beef, 3 ounces ready to eat turkey. That translates into 2 1/2 persons per pound of boneless raw beef and 2 persons per pound of whole raw bone-in turkey, approximately.
susan
12/18/06
I am having 10 big eaters. How big of a boneless rib roast do I need to buy?
ellen
12/18/06
8 pounds ready to cook is good, will be plenty but not much leftover- or more as the budget allows. Really good side dishes, such as Yorkshire pudding and twice baked or scalloped potatoes, will slow them down a bit- and don't forget to roast small onions and carrots around the roast.
Juanita Monjaras
12/21/06
We are having a company cookout. We were wondering how many pounds of fajita meat will it take to feed about 50-60 people. Please let me know as soon as you can.
ellen
12/22/06
It depends- less if you have rice and beans as sides, more with just tortillas and toppings. But you want 1 pound raw boneless for about every 2 to 2 1/2 persons.
Lisa
01/05/07
left over ham recipes
left over ham recipes
Sonja
01/12/07
I would like a tri tip, shredded pork, and kielbasa roast dinner, with a few side salads, and beans. Should I sub something for chicken? We are all coming from multi states. Ther will be more than 100. We are at a campsite, and over half of the invites are within 4hrs. What would your menu include?
ellen
01/14/07
Sona, is this to be cooked on site or brought in? If cooked on site, what is the kitchen or cooking arrangements, and do you have electricity there? The baked potato bar tells how to cook baked potatoes ahead and tote them over several hours- Write back, OK?
Julie Titus
02/20/07
I'm cooking 55 lbs of pork loin for a party and I'm wondering how long it will take if I use 2 reg ovens. How do I increase the time for that much meat in an oven? If I have to I can use three ovens.
ellen
02/20/07
Juli, try to get pieces about the same size in each oven, put the meat thermometer in the smallest one, use that for the initial time estimate. Allow up to an extra hour for the extra pounds. Time depends on temp. I do them at 300 degrees as pork loin tends to be a little dry if cooked at high temps.
Tanisha
02/26/07
I'm having a family cookout with appox. 250 people, I plan to supply the chicken (wings, legs and boneless chicken breast, ribs burgers and hot dogs. Family members will bring many side dishes. My question is How much meat do I need to buy? Thank you
Tanisha
02/27/07
Thank you, I found a link on your website that answered my question. Have a Blessed day.
ellen
02/28/07
Total 8 ounces uncooked boneless meat- you will have to decide how much of each based on family preferences. Bone in chicken, 1 pound is the same as 8 ounces boneless. Ribs 1 pound is the same as 8 ounces boneless.
tammy
03/02/07
I have a small cafe and need to reheat bbq ribs. probably only 1-2 servings at a time. What is the best way to do this without over cooking the ribs? I have already cooked the ribs but not added the bbq sauce yet.
ellen
03/03/07
Tammy, you will be hard pressed to get the quiality you want- moist, meaty and flavorful. Use a salamander broiler, not a microwave, which doea bad things to pork. Keep at 155 (safebacteriologically but not overcooked), dip into the boiling hot sauce, watch and baste under broiler. Consider doing only on certain days a s a special, so you can keep them hot and not deal with reheating.
Amanda Evans
03/13/07
Hello i am baking steak and ale pies for 20 people how much meet should i buy thanks
ellen
03/15/07
You can follow your recipe. I would expect about 5-6 pounds.
Shari
03/23/07
Prime Rib Roast
Hi Ellen,

Not sure if you'll get this responded to in time but thought I'd try, :). I am cooking a 14 pound prime rib roast for prom dinner tomorrow. I have a nesco roaster or can use the oven. Which would be best? And, I need it to be simple but good. Any suggestions? Thanks!

ellen
03/24/07
Oven, for sure. Here is the excerpt from the soon to be posted roasting beef page:

Preparing to Roast

1. Preheat the oven at least 1/2 hour, especially if doing more than one roast. Place rack in the lowest position so the the middle of the roast will be in the middle of the oven.
2. Remove roast from refrigerator 1/2 to 2 hours before cooking.
3. Trim most fat from beef roasts, leaving an even layer over the top to self-baste while cooking; season. If you are a garlic family, stab all over with a thin knife and slide in bits of garlic to taste.
4. Place on rack fat side up in shallow roasting pans. Do not cover; do not add liquid unless you are making a covered pot roast type roast.
5. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer into center of roast so that tip is not touching fat or gristle. Place your thermometer in the middle of the piece in a nice solid muscle.
6. For a more potroast-y effect, you seal it all up in a foil package with the tight multifolded closures that don't leak. If you do it this way and want saucy gravy, for a 20 pound roast put a cup of dried onion flakes, about 6-8 cups (6 cans) of thick cream sauce or cream of mushroom soup on top the roast before sealing.
7. Conventional oven; 325F. Convection oven: 275F. Roast in preheated oven 8 to 23 minutes per pound (see table below) or until internal temperature of the smallest roast reaches 125F to 155F. Remove from pan at desired temperature.
8. Transfer thermometer to next larger roast and repeat procedure until all roasts are cooked. This usually takes no more than 1/2 to 1 hour additional if the roasts are close to the same size.
9. As you remove each roast from the oven, tent it with aluminum foil; let it "rest" at least 15, up to 60 minutes to redistrubute juices and finish cooking. Temperature will continue to rise 5F to 10F. Allow for this further cooking when calculating what temperature to pull out the roast at.
10. Use a meat slicer to slice rested roasts thinly across the grain for optimum tenderness. An experienced carver with a good sharp knife is a second option. Most beef roasts taste better thin-sliced, and except for prime rib, thin sliced is MUCH more tender.

Start at 425 for 15 minutes if you want a crispy outside, subtract 2 minutes or so per pound. If the roast is refrigerated just before going into the oven, add 2 or 3 minutes per pound.

6 ribs 14 to 16 pounds 450/325 F 3 to 3 1/4 hours 120 F

7 ribs 16 to 18.5 pounds 450/325 F 3 1/4 to 4 hours 120 F

Roast Beef Rub

about 1 cup

4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
OPTIONAL 1-2 teaspoons Accent (MSG)
OPTIONAL 1 teaspoon dry mustard
OPTIONAL 1 teaspoon garlic powder
OPTIONAL 1 teaspoon onion powder

Mix all ingredients together in a 1 gallon plastic zip top bag. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Store away from heat or light for up to six months.

ellen
03/24/07
use a meat thermometer!!!

allow for standing time!!!

enjoy!!!

Shari
03/24/07
Thank you so much, Ellen!! I was just on my way to the store to get a thermometer and all the other items I need for tonight'd dinner. I appreciate your answer!!

Wish me luck!
shari

Jo
03/25/07
Ellen,
I am attempting a Family Reunion,> We have not had one in 50 years. I would like to cook Pork Loins and let it make its on gravy. For my family of 5 I can handle. My Question is how many pounds of pork loins will I need for 75 people. Also serving other meats and sides.

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions

ellen
03/26/07
See the plan for 100 page for salads, meats and side dishes. You will want around 30 pounds of boneless pork. See the veggie tray and the fruit tray pages if you decide to add these. Use 3/4 of the amount for 100.
kj
04/16/07
wedding cake for 250
I am makeing wedding cake for a friend i have 3 inch round cake pans and i need to know what is the percentage of cake to guest so i have 250 people how many servings of cake will be needed
ellen
04/17/07
H, KJ, you need to go to my favorite baking site, baking911.com. She has really realistic cake estimates- many estimates for wedding cake size only allow a tiny piece.
elain
05/08/07
Need to know ,please,how much sirloin tip roast to buy to make beef tips for 25 people.Thanks
ellen
05/08/07
8 pounds would be fine, you could get by with 6 1/2 with mushrooms and onions and good sides if it is not buffet service.
Debbie
05/09/07
I am serving italian beef at a party for 40 people, how much should I order?
ellen
05/10/07
if it is the only entree, you want 6 ounces per person for plated or 8 ounces per person if it is buffet.
claude
05/12/07
pork loin
I PLAN ON COOKING A 6LB PORK LOIN USING INFRA RED HEAT WITH MY GRILL WITH ROTISORY I CAN'OT FIND ANY INFO ON THE NET IF THIS IS ADVISABLE OR HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE??please answer asap please i'm doing it for mother-day.thank you claude
ellen
05/12/07
Claude, I have never cooked with infrared. If you don't have the manual for your grill, try going to the manufacturer's website for help.
Aurora
05/14/07
We are having a graduation party and are serving 170 people. We will be having a taco bar and we have no idea how many pounds of meat to order.
ellen
05/16/07
Aurora, the amounts for taco topppings are the same as for a baked potato bar, there is a whole section on this including quantity tables.
TERRY
05/21/07
i am having a bbq for apprx 60-70 people. i want to have chicken breast,boneless, steak tips, burger and dogs. i know it is 1/2 pounf od meat pre person, but how do i figure it to include the burgers and dogs? thank you
DALE
05/22/07
SLAW FOR 65 PEOPLEMeat for large crowd
i need to know how many pounds of pototoes i need to feed 65 people and cole slaw
DALE
05/22/07
SLAW FOR 65 PEOPLEMeat for large crowd
i need to know how many pounds of pototoes i need to feed 65 people and cole slaw
ellen
05/24/07
Terry, if this is adults, you will have everyone wanting some steak tips, much less burger and almost no dogs. Allow raw weight 4-5 ounces beef, 3 ounces chicken, 2 ounces burger patty, 1/2 dogs. And I would recommend Polish sausage instead of hot dogs.

Dale, use the plan for 100 page salad section, make 2/3 the amount for 100.

Crystal
05/31/07
We are making meat and cheese trays for 200 wedding guest with crossiants, Turkey, Roast Beef and Ham and was wondering how much meat and cheese should I buy. I know you said 2-3 ounces for cheeses and 4-5 ounces for meat. I'm going to buy them whole and then slice them my self, but I was wondering how many to buy whole? We are going to have veggie trays and salads with the sandwiches and the weddding starts at 6:00pm. Thank you for your help, love this site,it's great.
ellen
05/31/07
Crystal, 1/4 ham and divide the rest between turkey and roast beef; deli-sliced, you need 1 pound total for each 3 persons. Thicker-sliced, 2 pounds for each 5 persons. If you don't have a slicer, it might be worth your while to borrow or rent one.

Cheese about 15-18 pounds total, have two or three kinds, Swiss, cheddar and jack.

For condiments, see the sandwich event page. You will want to add pickles, 1 gallon per 100 (see my garlic pickle chunks on the chili page) and olives, 3-4 quarts per 100. I have added an olive and pickle tray to the veggie tray page.

You will want to add chips or corn chips, too.

larry
06/03/07
i am going to cook pork for pork barbacue for 150 people at our church outing . how many pound of pork shoulder but roasts
ellen
06/03/07
Hi, Larry, I use pork shoulder and I allow 2 pounds boneless trimmed for each 5 people for sandwich type service, MINIMUM, and add about 10% added on for self service or for plate service or men, 20% for teens.
ellen
06/03/07
This will make 1 good size sandwich apiece, so I assume you are adding heavy sides.
Nancy
06/04/07
I want to keep my fried chicken warm in my 18 quart roaster. How many pieces will fit in it?
Carole
06/05/07
I want to buy chicken salad and then make sandwiches , (small bread)How many pounds do I need to serve 50 people?
There will be some other food.
ellen
06/06/07
Nancy, it will lose a lot of its crisp, but you can fit about 30 pounds. Smothered (fried that is simmered in gravy) would be a better keeper.

Carole, I actually give these numbers for 100 on the sandwich event page, in gallons. You will need to have the deli weigh a pint of their chicken salad (they differ), then order enough to make the right volume- for 50, 1/2 the amount for 100.

Nora
06/06/07
I am planning a BBQ for a group of 36. How many pounds of butt pork roasts do I need for pulled pork. I am also planning to serve BBQ chicken. How many pounds do I need.
ellen
06/07/07
Nora, see the plan for 100 page for meat estimates and the BBQ and brisket page for a very comprehensive guide to how to estimate quantities for more than one BBQ meat. Use 2/5 or 40% of the amounts for 100. For pulled pork specifics, see 6/3 right above your question.
Sylvia
06/07/07
How many turkeys do I need to purchase to feed 200 people. How many hams do I need to purchase to feed the same amount?
theresa
06/15/07
I need something new for my church they got the same old thing and i think people got board sooo please give me some fun chicken or hamburger ideas for 200 people with side dishes we are on a cheap budget i donate my time to help and we do it with love for christ!!! thankyou
ellen
06/15/07
Theresa, Have a look at my several budget entree sections in big pots. For a bit fancier, look at the wedding chicken recipe.

Sylvia, turkey meal planning is covered exhaustively in the holiday cooking section, first section on the Big Pots page. Ham is covered on the plan for 100 page, except cold cuts for sandwiches which are covered on the sandwich event page.

Kim
06/23/07
beef tenderloin reheating
I have a beef tenderloin that needs to be reheated for dinner tonight. It was cooked to med rare which is how we like it so how do I reheat it without overcooking?? Please help!! It's urgent! Thanks! I think you have great advise on this site...
ellen
06/23/07
Put in reheatable boiling bag and reheat by placing in simmering water, is the only way I know to reheat rarish beef without drying out. Assuming you don't have the boiling bags, thin slice, wrap tightly in foil in a thin layer, reheat in the oven and remove as quickly as possible.
ellen
06/23/07
This is like, a 400 degree PREHEATED oven for 3-4 minutes. If you heat it all the way through, it will overcook.
Rebecca
06/24/07
I am planning a wedding BBQ for 60. we will have pork shoulder (boneless ribs)and chicken breast. can I BBQ the meat half way through in the morning, put it in the fridge and then reheat (cook all the way through) in the evening ?
ellen
06/24/07
No, it is not safe, because the meat does not get above 140 during the first cooking, so it stays in the 40-140 danger range for many hours. See the jerk ribs recipe on the BBQ and brisket page for a safe way to pre-prep the meat. Consider making a chicken with sauce recipe in an electric roaster for the chicken, such as the wedding chicken recipe in Big pots- chicken breasts should really be grilled over a low heat for 40-50 minutes to be done but juicy- and you will have enough to do (and enough grill space used up)grilling the pork.
shirley
07/09/07
I need to make 160 meatballs...help
How many pound of meat do I need and,
how many cans of crushed/pureed tomatoes do I need....oh...
ERIC
07/12/07
I am cooking a steamship round Friday and need to know the best way to cook it. It's about 25 pounds and there will probably be around 50 people for a little neighborhood gathering. It's boneless and will be cooked inside with an oven. The party starts at 6pm.

THANKS

ellen
07/12/07
160 Meatballs
Shirley, this is not a big deal at all. You will bake the meatballs in the oven in trays with nice sides (they have a lot of juice/grease) then put them into a great sauce and let them simmer very gently for , oh, about an hour, and they will be delicious. Here is a current favorite meatball recipe of mine, the soft bread is very important for texture, don't skip any steps:
Mama Iuliucci's FAMOUS MEAT-A-BALLS (Italian Meatballs)
.
This recipe has been scaled.
144
meatballs
time to make: under 1 hour

8 lbs lean ground beef
32-40 (2 pounds)slices white bread, broken into small 1/2 inch pieces (or you can use rolls or any stale bread you have and want to use up)
8 eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons garlic powder (I use fresh crushed garlic)(or to taste)
4 teaspoons italian seasoning (or to taste)
8 teaspoons parsley flakes (or to taste)
1-2 cups grated parmesan cheese (or Locatelli)
1 1/2-2 taplespoons salt
1-2 teaspoons black pepper
olive oil or vegetable oil (for frying)

Proceed with caution: References to ingredient amounts, cooking times, and temperatures in directions below have NOT been adjusted (only the amounts in the ingredients list were updated).

1. Mix all ingredients gently in a large bowl until well combined.
2. Roll meatballs 1 1/2- 1 3/4" in diameter.
3. Heat about 1/4" of oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
4. Fry meatballs in oil, rolling frequently, until evenly browned and juices run clear.
Tip: You can also bake or broil these if the frying part is too much of a hassle. Bake them in a single layer at 400 for 20 minutes-- I use my broiler pan if I bake them, so the fat drips down and away from the meatballs.
5. Drop meatballs in your favorite sauce and let simmer for awhile to flavor sauce or just serve with your favorite pasta and sauce.

You want 4-8 quarts of sauce for a small amount, double that for juicy.

ellen
07/12/07
Eric, I posted a whole section on roasting beef, your item is covered. Get up early, cook it low and slow...

www.ellenskitchen.com/faq/roastbeeftable.html

Eric
07/12/07
Clarification
I looked on that page and am confused. What I actually have is a Beef Inside Round weighing 23 pounds. What cut of been should I follow on that page? Thanks again.
ellen
07/13/07
Use the round/rump numbers for this rather lean and slightly chewy piece, plan at least 12 minutes per pound at 250. If it reaches your temp ahead, turn the heat all the way down to 150 to hold in the oven- be sure to take it out of the oven 40-60 minutes before you want to slice it, to let it "rest" and finish tenderizing.
Deb
08/04/07
I am serving boneless pork loin for 40 people. I am planning 25# of pork and would like to cook it in a 18qt electric roaster, slow. Do you think that I can cook it all in one roaster and what temp and time would your recommend?
ellen
08/05/07
YOU HAVE ENOUGH. iT IS AT THE OUTSIDE EDGE OF WHAT MOST 18 QUART ROASTERS CAN HANDLE. Preheat, and do use a meat thermometer, this cut goes from tender and juicy to tough and dry rather quickly. Use the beef chuck numbers (see the beef roasting page) for slow roasting, do be sure to preheat. Let it finish, take out of the oven and let stand for at least 20 minutes before slicing..
Rosemary
08/07/07
I am having a bbq with 12 adults. I am planning on serving spare ribs, New Zealand lamb chops, sausages, and marinated skirt steaks. Not sure how much meat I should purchase and prepare. Also having salad and corn.
ellen
08/08/07
OK, this is a lot of different meat for 12- I would get 1 chop, 3 ounces sausage, 2 ribs and about 5 0unces raw (3 ounces cooked) skirt steaks per person. You will probably have a bit left, but this is the best way to not run out of anything.
kay
08/19/07
shrimmp creole and rice for 75 people
need amounts to buy to make shrimp creole and rice for 75 people also tossed salad how many heads of lettuce thank you so much
ellen
08/19/07
Please see the plan for 100 page- make 3/4 of the amount for 100. In particular, on the shrimp; you need to notice whether it is head on, shelled, raw, ready to eat, etc. You want about 4 ounces cooked, ready to eat shrimp per person, which is easy if you are buying frozen, shelled salad shrimp, but a bit more complicated if you have fresh or partially processed frozen.
kay
08/21/07
ellen thank you for responding to my shrimp creole request but i'm still not sure how much tomatoe sauce and tomatoe pieces to buy.thanks so much kay
michelle
08/24/07
tacos
My husband has offered to bring tacos for his team at work. Well tacos rice and beans the rice and beans i can do its the tacos i'm haveing a problem with. there for 10-12 people i son't know how many shells to prepare or how much meat either. it tommorrow and he just told me. thanks
ellen
08/24/07
Well, after you get done frying his backside...

No, seriously, send 3 shells, or two crunchy shell and 1 soft corn tortilla for each person, 2-3 quarts each of rice and beans and about 3 pounds of hamburger cooked up and seasoned as taco meat. a quart of sour cream, chooped lettuce (1 head just barely enough, 2 great)your salsa, and you should be golden.

kay
08/24/07
shrimp creole i am feeding 75 people not sure how much can tomatoe or tomatoe pieces to get, thank you so much kay
ellen
08/24/07
Kay, I posted you info and a recipe on the other thread you started on August 20, please check it.

ellenskitchen.com/forum/messages/10530.html

Anna Marie
08/28/07
I am preparing the food for my step daughters wedding. 150 people. As for the sides they are garlic mashed potatoes & green bean cass. There will also be 5 different main dishes to choose from. How many pounds of sides do you think would be appropriate. Thanks
ellen
08/29/07
You can check this on the plan for 100 page, but you want 45-50 pounds of raw potatoes and about 30 pounds of ready to cook beans to start.
Carol
09/15/07
I will be feeding 150 people a meal of baked ziti, tossed salad, and meatballs.
Could you tell me how much of each I need for
150 people?
I plan on buying tossed salad in bags, and frozen meatballs. I will be making pans of baked ziti myself. Thank you.
ellen
09/16/07
You want about 4 ounces of meatballs per person.

There is a recipe, mostaciolli and sausage for 120 on the spaghetti/lotsa pasta page. If you made 1 plus 1/3 you would be fine for 150 people. You can use this recipe for basic quantity guidelines for your own recipe, substituting meatballs for suasage.

You can check the salad amounts at the top of the plan for 100 page.

kathryn
09/19/07
I will be serving nachos to a group of about 30 to 40 teenage kids. How much hamburger meat and cheese should I plan on?
ellen
09/19/07
They eat like locusts. Two patties per person, and that is 3 to the raw pound. If you use the prefrozen ones, the boys tend to make doublemeat burgers. 4 ounces sliced cheese per person, you may have some left. The rest of the condiments are on the sandwich event page condiment table. Allow 8 pounds chips per 100 instead of the usual 6.
Marie
09/28/07
Pork roast for 25 men
I am cooking for 25 men. What is best cut meat for boneless pork roast? How many pounds do I need? How long to cook?
Thanks!
ellen
09/28/07
For slicing nicely, loin. For 25 men, I would make 12-13 pounds raw boneless. Time depends on size (get all the same size). cook just as if one, use a meat thermometr, with this samll number you do not need extra time for the second roast.
Marlarrie Smalls
10/16/07
Is 24lbs. of chicken wings, 25 lbs. meatballs, 4-7lb hams, 2-10lb. hams enough meat to feed 150 people?
ellen
10/16/07
Hi Marlarrie,
You don't say if these are cooked, ready to serve boneless or raw bone-in hams or whether this is a cocktail/reception type function or a meal. Both things matter- send me a little more info and I will try to answer your question.
Marlarrie Smalls
10/16/07
Additional info about my previous question: It's a wedding reception, buffet style(with someone supervising portion size) and the quantities of meat given are not cooked. Hams are bone-in.
Marcella
10/16/07
I am catering a church event this weekend for about 200. The menu is: Garlic Roasted Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Rolls and butter,corn, vege tray with dip and chocolate cake with pnut butter frosting.
I am concerned about the amount of chicken breasts to purchase. I am thinking about getting 45 to 50 pounds. Does this sound like enough?
Marcella
10/16/07
cake for a crowd
Do you have a good recipe for a large crowd of 200 for Homemade Chocolate Cake with Pnut Butter frosting? The recipe I use is:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup oil
2 cups cold water
6 TBSP cocoa
2 TBSP vinegar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Thanks for your help.
ellen
10/16/07
Marlarrie, you want 6 ounces minimum cooked ready to eat meat, and the chicken wings count as appetizers (3-4 pieces per person), not as meat. Figure out the meatball coverage, about 65 people-worth. Then look on the plan for 100 page for info on uncooked bone-in ham and its shrinkage, and fill out the rest of the servings that way.
Mafrcella, for whole, bone-in, skin on pieces that is not nearly enough. I allow 63-65 pounds per 100 people for chicken pieces.

I have a few large sheet cake recipes in the big pots section, take a look at them for quantities. A full sheet, 18x26, will cut 100 modest pieces.

Marcella
10/16/07
Thanks for the info. But I plan on buying boneless skinless chicken breasts. Any clue how much of that I will need.
I will check out the cake recipes. Thanks.
ellen
10/17/07
1 piece per person plus 20%- weight depends on size.
ellen
10/17/07
Have someone serve the chicken. Some people forget how many more folks are behind them in line...
Marcella
10/17/07
Thank you Ellen. This helps out a great deal. I usually serve the first round so that I can keep an eye on things and then if there is enough left after that I invite people to go thru the line again. Great minds think alike!
Thanks again.
Marcella
10/18/07
Desserts
Ellen, I tried to find your recipes for Chocolate Cake with Pnut Butter frosting but was not successful. I looked in the big pots section.
ellen
10/18/07
Go to this page, use the icing from the first recipe and the cake from the Texas sheet cake recipe.

allrecipes.com/Recipe/Peanut-Butter-Sheet-Cake-2/MoreRecipesLikeThis.aspx

Sara
10/20/07
Tacos for large crowd
Ellen, we are trying to plan a gathering and would like to make tacos for around 50 people. Could you please tell me how much meat, cheese, salsa, shells etc that I would need to purchase to do this.

Thank you
Sara

ellen
10/20/07
The toppings for a taco bar are almost exactly the same quantities as a baked potato bar for the same number, plus about 2-3 cripy shells, 1-2 soft corn tortillas and some rice and beans. You can also use 2 times the Out of the trash bag taco salad recipe for approximate quantity guidelines.
Marcella
10/22/07
Well, I made it thru another big catering. We had plenty of chicken, mac n cheese and chocolate cake with pnut butter frosting left over. I served and kept an eye on portion control. The one lady who was an assistant pastor did not like the idea of us serving the people and wanted to have two lines going down the table and I tried to explain to her about portion control and she was not nice at all about it. What would you have done in this case? I feel that if they are only paying for 179 people, then I should have the right to serve the food. Please give me your advice. THANKS!
ellen
10/22/07
There are several things for the future- you can quote two prices, one served and one free choice. Many experienced caterers write into the contract about who owns the "extra" food; some clients, especially the less experienced, think that all the food you bring belongs to them, not realizing that good caterers always bring more than ordered to cover emergencies.

But in this situation, I think I would have said to the lady, We are dedicated to true hospitality, and our service is a part of this dedication. Never mind portion control! If she was coming from a place of want or greed, that would not help. Also, for this size group, two serving lines IS a good idea- you can actually set up two lines or you can set up a two sided table with the meat at the end and serve just the meats- usually, this is the only problem area.

It would be great if you would post (or email me)your recipes and pass on the help- Ellen

jeni
11/06/07
how many people does a 15# turkey feed?
ellen
11/06/07
Fifteen or 16 with a little left over, 20 with bones left over if you have plenty of stuffing and gravy.
Sue
11/16/07
I am cooking 17# of bnls. pork roast. How long would this take and at what temp? They are the long stips, not a thick roast. Thanks
Sue
Michelle
11/25/07
I had to cook 3 steamshiprounds for a huge event. But only used 2 how could or can I re-heat the steamship weight is about 65# and is med rare? Thank you for any help
ellen
11/26/07
You can't reheat the whole thing- unsafe and will overcook. Slice up and see the "how to reheat turkey safely" article. Then use beef broth instead of turkey/chicken broth. Hot roast beef sandwiches is an option.
Sue
11/27/07
I am cooking 17# of boneless pork loin. Two long strips. Would two hours be right for these? Thanks for any help..I am not sure if they take a shorter time since they are a long thin roast.
Thanks
ellen
11/27/07
These have such variations in shape that the only way to get a really perfect finsh is a meat thermometer- assuming this is party food, do treat youreself to one. That said, assuming they are the same sizeweight, two hours is about right.
Renee
12/03/07
How many pounds of shrimmp would I need to feed a hundred people?
ellen
12/03/07
Renee, it depends on whether they are appetizers, salad, main course, boil and peel, etc? Also, whole, peeed, head on or off, etc.

For example, for peel and eat, you allow a pound whole per person, but for salad, 4-5 ounces frozen meat is fine.

Keva
12/11/07
I will be feeding 60 people for a Christmas party and I would like to know if a 10lb 1oz box of meatballs will be enough or should I buy two boxes; also I will be fixing pasta salad and I have already bought 6lbs of pasta. How many more lbs do I need, if any.
ellen
12/11/07
If this is a full party meal, a 6 ounce meat serving is usual, which would be 3 people per pound for the meatballs- I would definitely get two if that were my main course. 6 pounds of pasta is plenty for 60 people for salad, I only use about 6-7 for 100 people.
kristy Sebring
12/16/07
trimming of the excess fat
I just puchased 6lbs of beef brisket for bbq brisket. I just trimmed off 1.59 lbs. of fat!! I paid 3.99 per lb for fat!! Is this normal? I want to call the store and complain for paying for fat.
wllwn
12/16/07
Rhis is a pretty normalamount of fat for a whole untrimmed briket, byt that is way overpriced at 3.99 a pound.
kristy Sebring
12/16/07
trimming the excess fat
it was beef brisket flat cut boneless, does that make a difference? What is a reasonable price for this? Does location make a difference? I am in Indy.
ellen
12/17/07
That goes for about 2.49- 3.49 a pound here (Texas) when not on sale. Have you had problems with the trim at this market on other pieces/ cuts?
kristy Sebring
12/17/07
trimming the excess fat
I am in Indiana. I got this cut from Costco and ususally get pretty good cuts there.
ellen
12/17/07
Yes they are pretty reliable for fresh foods. Next time, ask them to open it for you and check it- they do have meat cutters there.
Carol
12/23/07
10lb Rib Eye Roast
Hi Ellen,
I have a 10Lb.Rib eye roast to be cooked in a convection oven for Xmas! How long should I cook it for and what temperature do I put it on. Have a great holiday and thank you in advance.
ellen
12/24/07
Carol, the roasting beef page in the holiday cooking section of big pots (top) will give you several options. Just remember for convection, turn down 25 degrees from a regular oven, and start checking the temp at 3/4 of the estimated time, then be SURE to let it stand at least 20 minutes before carving. The very best is to go buy that in-oven termometer today and cook to temp-m especially if you like rare or medium rare- and why cook a rib roast any other way.

Ellen

Gari
01/08/08
We are hosting a celebration with approx 200 people. How much pork loin roast should I buy. I will also be serving potatoes (quartered and baked), pounds?
Thanks
ellen
01/08/08
Gari, the meat is covered in the plan for 100 page, with and without bone- you just double for 200. 35 pounds of potatoes per 100 is a good base figure. Add 10% if self service buffet type service- people take more when they serve themselves.
Stacey
02/20/08
I am making meatballs as an appetizer for a wedding. There will be about 500 people in attendance. There will also be cheese and crackers and cheeseballs being served as appetizers. How many meatballs per person and how much per meatball (i.e how much meat will I need)?
Eric
02/20/08
Dear Ellen:

We're having a children's birthday party for 90 people (adults and children), and we're trying to determine how many cases of soda to buy. Is it fair to estimate that each person wil drink 1.5 cans of soda, so if we buy 135 cans would that be enough?

Thanks.
Eric

ellen
02/23/08
Stacy, you want at least 1 pound ground meat for each 4 people, as the shrinkage is about 1/4-1/3. If this is appetizers only, you want more (double would not be way too much); if it is appetizers before a meal, this will be plenty.

Eric, this depends partly on if you will serve in glasses over ice (uses less) or by the can (uses more). Small kids waste a lot if given whole cans. You probably need more than 135, depending on the menu and the length of the party. Please see the beverage planning page. Thise days, bottled water should be one of the choices and dinner coffee is not our of the question.

Anna
03/14/08
Hi Ellen,
We are going on a mission trip to Mexico. I am in charge of feeding 130 people(90 high school students and 40 adults)3 times a day for 5 days. I will have 2 other women helping me...thank God! We have a very limited kitchen and have to use bottled water for all our cooking and cleaning. We will have 5 BBQ's, so I was hoping you could give me some good ideas to converting recipes so that we can cook them on the BBQ's? Or just some basic recipes to cook on a BBQ that are crowd pleasers, outside of basic hamburgers and hotdogs?
Thanks for your help.
ellen
03/15/08
You should count this as 150 people, teend eat a lot.

You don't discuss the budget or whether you are taking food or buying locally, and I need to know both those things to make good recommendations. Also, what is the refrigeration situation? And what kind of work will the teams be doing?

You need clorox, not bottled water, for the cleaning- discussion on making water safe to drink/ wash dishes with is in the article on flood safety. You can also use Clorox solutions for disinfecting fruits and vegetables.

Send more infromation and write back.

Linda
03/21/08
I would like to know how much meat (boneless pork loin) I will need for 7 adults (3 men, 4 women) 3 children?
Thank you
ellen
03/22/08
Small childre, the three count as one, school age, 1 1/2 to 2, teens about 4.

For a generous party type dinner portion, allow 8 ounces raw boneless per person.

Chris
04/09/08
Baking 160 potatoes in a convection oven
Could you tell me how long it would take to bake 160 baking potatoes in a convection oven
Mary comy
04/09/08
Wedding banquet for 130 people. How much roast beef, chicken (legs, thighs, possibly some breasts), pasta only. Lettuce for salad and vegetable (mixed). Cooking is no problem. Thank you.
ellen
04/09/08
Chris, you don't say what size or type oven (commercial? countertop?), temperature, or size potatoes. 50 pounds of large potatoes bakes in about 2-2 1/2 hours in a 350 oven.

Mary, go to the tables for "plan for 100". Prepare an initial estimate and post it. I will check it for you.

Kara
04/09/08
I am catering a lunch for 30 people and want to serve smoked turkeys from a local BBQ Restaurant. I was told their smoked turkeys are 8-10lbs. To serve 30 people will I need 3 or 4 turkeys?
ellen
04/09/08
3 would be fine. Cosider getting a roasted, non-smoked breast in addition for those who don't care for smoked.
January
05/06/08
I am planning a luncheon for about 75 adults. We are going with a luau theme of beef shish kebabs, rice a roll and pineapple upside down cake. I want everyone to have 2-3 smallish kebabs. How much meat should I purchase, it will also be alternated with some veggies? Also any ideas on the amounts of rice and cake?
ellen
05/07/08
See the plan for 100 tables, the dessert planning tables, and the recipes on site for the rice and cake amounts. For the meat, you want to end up with 5-7 ounces cooked ready to eat meat, which means you need 8-9 ounces lean boneless raw beef per person, or 35 to 40 pounds. You can reduce costs by making one beef and one chicken breast skewer. I like to swewer the veggies separately, as it keeps them from getting over or undercooked. You could add a big dish of mixed grilled veggies, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, yam or carrot slices, and pineapple, for example, to fill the plate and reduce the meat costs.
Jeannie
06/14/08
I am having a going away party for my daughter with approx. 150 guests (to include about 20 kids and the remainder is adults, mostly mid 20's). I am serving lemon pepper chicken, sausage/peppers, meatballs and parsley potatoes. I was planning on buying 30lb boneless chicken breast, 30lb sweet ital. sausage, 3 meatballs pp and not sure of the amount of potatoes (using canned new potatoes). Can you please tell me if the meat amounts sound like enough and how much should I buy of the potatoes? Thanks so much!
ellen
06/14/08
Jeannie, you should get 1 breast per person for the adults, 1/2 for small kids, even with the other meats- so you probably need some more chicken, depending on the size of your pieces. Sausage is fine, meatballs are OK if they are 1 ounce; if smaller, get 1 pound for each 5 people.

#10 canned potatoes holds 25 half cup servings, which serves 18-20 eaters. Consider a rice pilaf as an alternative- better for the sauces of the chicken and meatballs, and very easy to prep in the oven or electric roaster. About 10 pounds dry rice.

Jeannie
06/14/08
Thanks very much for your quick response! I actually have 40lb each of the chicken and sausage (I originally had 30 of each). I already bought the potatoes....4 cans, 108 oz. each. Based on your response, I'm thinking I need to buy a few more of those. I have 500 1/2 oz meatballs (I may do a little more of those) and now have someone making fruit salad as a dessert. I think I should be OK?? Your website is wonderful!
ellen
06/14/08
Sounds about right. Consider making a couple of sheets of bar cookies or browninrs to go with that fruit.
Melissa
07/09/08
how do you celculate how much hamburger will fit in a roaster.
ellen
07/09/08
By the recipe. Most recipes involving about 20 pounds of meat, serving 60 if sliced (roast, meatloaf, stew) or up to 100 sloppy joe type ground beef sandwiches, just fill one roaster. You should not have more than 14 quarts stew type food in a single 18 quart roaster.
robert
07/20/08
i want to cook a 10lb boneless pork loin in the oven what are some quick and easy recipes to use with it i mean simple recipes with basic spices around the house also should i put water in the roaster pan thank you
ellen
07/21/08
See the bbq and brisket page for a great spicy rub for pork in the Jerk ribs recipe. I cook my pork at a low temp to 150, take it out and let stand 20 minutes before cooking. See the article onn roasting beef- this type pork is the the same as a boneless beef bib roast.
lisa
08/14/08
we are planning a birthday party for about 80 people and we are making hamburgers, hot dogs and sausage. How much do we need to buy?
ellen
08/14/08
Get 1 (4 per pound) burger PLUS 1 sausage or hot dog per person, plus 10% Everyone will get their choice and you will not have too much left over.
janice
08/22/08
I am having a party for 100 people and thought
I would plan ahead
Can I put the ham in rolls with a little
butter and frezze them for a week ahead of
the party
ellen
08/22/08
Yes, but ham rollups with flour tortillas, cream cheese spread to the edges, thin deli ham layer, a bit of mustard and maybe a thin stick of cheese or pickle to wrap around, freeze better and thaw better in the refrigerator overnight. Cut into pinwheels to serve. If you do use rolls, butter completely to the edges, and reheat in the oven to serve warm.
Adam
08/26/08
I am planning to grill lamb shish kebabs for my friends, but my question is, how many pounds of cubed lamb meat (from leg) should I order per person?

Thank you very much.

ellen
08/26/08
It depends on how much you serve, which in turn depends on side dishes, other entrees, etc. If this is your one meat, 8 1 ounce cubes is a nice serving- two skewers- so you would order 1 pound boneless for 2 people. 6 ounces per person would be a minimum for a party type serving.

If you use bamboo skewers, remember to soak them for an hour in water before loading, to reduce the likelihood of them burning through.

Adam
08/27/08
Perfect! Thank you very much Ellen!

I am also serving chicken shish kebab, but that's easier to find and half the price of the lamb, so I just wanted to make sureI wasn't going overboard. (I noticed, guys generally go for lamb and girls go for chicken!)

Yes, there will be other dishes like hotdogs (for kids), rice, potato salad & stuffed grapeleaves (dolmas). This is a once a year event so I don't want anyone to leave hungry.

Kathie
09/07/08
I have a large roast that I would like to brown first and them "slow cook" in my rival 18 quart electic roaster. Can I do it the same way that I slow cook a pot roast?
ellen
09/07/08
Yes. In the roaster, 200 is low, 280-300 is high.
penny
09/07/08
cooking for 200 pulled pork along with tri-tip how much pork to buy?
ellen
09/08/08
Quite a difficult estimate, as both are very poular, with the balance shifting in different regions. If it is self serve, you want 5 ounces ready to eat beef (2 pounds raw for 5 people) PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat pork (1 pound raw boneless for 4 people) per person. If you are plating and serving, you have to prepare extra to give everyone their choice; about 150 servings of beef and 80-100 servings of pork.
Bettylynn Covington
10/09/08
Cooking a boneless prime rib
We are going to purchase a boneless 5-6 lb. boneless prime rib and have it for Christmas. I don't have a rotisserie so can you tell me the best way to cook it in a regular oven and is there a way to cook it so that the end are more done and the center is more rare? Also, is there any extra special seasoning that you would suggest?
Thank you so much for you expertise
ellen
10/09/08
Bettylyn there is a whole article on roasting beef in the holiday cooking section, times, rubs, etc. Although it is possible to cook "more done on the ends". it will shrink quite a bit less if you cook to medium rare throughout and then microwave or pan-sear the ones that want it more done.

This will be the very best if you purchase it fresh a few days before Christmas and do not ever freeze it.

stacey
10/16/08
I am planning on preparing BBQ pulled pork for about 38 people. How much pork should I purchase and what cut should I get?
ellen
10/18/08
Pork shoulder or butt is the meat for this. If it is on a bun and you want to allow 1 1/2 sandwiches per person, you need 1 pound boneless for 2 people or about 3 pounds bone in for 5-6.
CC
12/12/08
ordering hot wings
Hi. I'm having a suprise party for my husband tomorrow and rather thank cook, I've decided to order hot wings and pizza. I was wondering if you could help me decide how many wings to order for a party of 15? Thank you for any help you might be able to give me.
ellen
12/12/08
6 pieces per person is sort of standard when served with another item, so about 8 dozen. Happy birthday.
BCB
01/15/09
Deli meat for subs
Hello, How much deli meat should be bought for approx. 55-60 people (25 kids; 30 adults), to make sub sandwiches? There's going to be Roast Beef, Turkey, Ham and Salami? Many condiments to go on the sub, but, nothing other than chips and dessert on the side. Thank you!
ellen
01/15/09
See the sandwich event page for excellent help on both sandwiches and condiments. I would do about 1/3 beef, 1/4 each turkey and ham, and the rest salami
susanne
01/21/09
Ellen,
I bought three 5 lb. chickens to feed 10 people for tomorrow night. I want to roast them in the oven all at once (the chickens, not the people!). How long will I need to roast them for in my oven? I can use convection, or not. Also, what are the pros and cons to roasting them whole or in pieces?
Thank you,
Susanne
ellen
01/21/09
See the recipe called "roast chicken melee" in the big pots section. Whole is juicier.
Wanda
02/08/09
My daughter is getting married and wants to have 2 kinds of meat at her wedding. One is chicken, meatballs. We are expecting around 200. Can you help me with the amounts I will need to purchase?

Thank you

ellen
02/09/09
This depends somewhat on the type of meatballs- those in a cream, sour cream or brown gravy are more popular than a tomato gravy. Since I don't know the rest of the menu, this is a very loose estimate; 4 ounces of ready to eat meatballs PLUS 1 piece of chicken per person to be served.
Wanda
02/12/09
There will be cheesey potatoes, 2 vegetables,
potatoe salad, cheese and cracker tray, pickle and olive tray, veggie tray, chocolate fountain with pretzels, marshmellows, and various fruits to dip, and of course the cake.
I know I am forgetting something but that is the biggest part of it.
Thank you
ellen
02/13/09
OK, then those quantities should work. Do read my article on chocolate fountains.
Wanda
02/13/09
chocolate fountain
Wow! Really good advice for the fountain. I will talk with my daughter about someone attending the fountain. Or doing something different. I sure dont want to spend my time doing it.
Thank you
kim
02/19/09
We are having a banquet for roughly 40 adults and 30 kids ranging from 8 - 11. We already have 35 pounds of brisket (weighed raw untrimmed) and various sides. We need help determing how much polish sausage to purchase.
Thanks!
ellen
02/20/09
You already have a lot of meat for this size crowd . I would do no more than 1 pound sausage for each 5-6 people, counting 60-70 people (kids usually like sausages).
cathy
02/26/09
I'm planning on purchasing pre-sliced roast beef by the pound for my daughter's first b-day party. I need to feed approx 70 people, including children and was wondering how many pounds I should buy?
Thanks!!
ellen
02/28/09
Depends a little on what it is for (sandwiches? plates). You want 5-6 ounces ready to eat per adult/teen (1 pound each 3) and 3 ounces per preteen child (1 pound each 5) for plates. For sandwiches, with cheese available, 4 and 2.
Mary
03/10/09
Food for soup kitchen
I just got handed a huge undertaking and I am a rookie. Our 25 year old soup kitchen's top chef has retired suddenly due to illness. I have the job of feeding 120 hungry souls on Saturday. have chicken breasts, mushroom soup and tons of bread. Can I make a casserole? Somebody needs to help me and quick.
thanks
Roger
03/11/09
How many pounds of boston butt will I need to prepare 1 gallon of hash for 50 people I know I will gallon of rice please advised
ellen
03/12/09
Mary, see this recipe:

www.ellenskitchen.com/turkey/turkoamccass.html

Roger, 1 gallon of hash will not serve 50 people. 1 pound boneless raw meat makes about 2 cups chopped cooked. You need 3-3 1/2 pounds dry rice.

Karole
04/06/09
cooking ham and tri-tip at the same time
Silly question for you. I need to cook a ham at 325 degrees and a tri-tip at 400 degrees. What is the best way to do this?
ellen
04/07/09
Put the ham in an electric roaster if you want to serve hot, or cook ahead and serve cold. You need the oven for the tritip preheated to 400 at least 20 minutes and it will blast the ham.
Read
04/09/09
I'm nervously anticipating cooking three 50# steamship rounds in a convection oven. For carving purposes, they will be one piece each and have the bone in. The meat goes in the oven April 18. Do you have some wonderful advice for me? I appreciate your help.
ellen
04/10/09
Not in one convection oven, I hope...

Consider having it roasted at a beef restaurant= you would save a lot of worry.

Alondra
04/14/09
will 50 LBS of Carne Asada Be enough for a party of arounf 40 people???
ellen
04/14/09
Eek, 25-30 pounds would be sufficient with the usual sides.
Linda
04/16/09
I am having a graduation party for about 200 ppl,I will be serving walking tacos. I was wondering if 30lbs of hamburger and 15lbs of cheese will be enough.
Also how much would you say for the lettuce and tomatoes
ellen
04/16/09
see my walking taco/ taco salad recipe for 25- make 8 times the amounts.
Alexander
05/28/09
Howdy, great site!

I'm going to be cooking a 35 pound Baron of beef for 150 people.(Plus a couple whole turkeys)
I used to put it in an Alto sham for about 10 hours at 225. Don't have alto sham available now.
Just have regular commercial oven, not convection. Was thinking 250 for about 8-9 hours.
Sound about right?

Thanks for your time.

ellen
05/28/09
You will be displayed at the difference in shrinkage with the regular oven. Allow 10-11 hours, use a thermometer, when it gets to your 125, turn down to 170 and hold.

Also unless they are very large turkeys two is not enough. You will only have about 85 beef servings.

Alexander
05/29/09
Thanks for the fast response.

Turkeys are 25lbs each, and we have good side dishes, salad, and dessert.
I'll be slicing the baron per person at a station, this is for an older crowd at a 50th anniversary.
Think I can stretch it a bit?
I didn't realize the shrink difference between using an alto sham and regular, but it makes sense not being sealed.
Perhaps another 15lbs of beef?

ellen
05/29/09
Well, the thing is, if you run out of beef, no one will ever forget it- I would add the 15 pounds. If it cooks up nice and tender, they will eat it with enthusiasm.
Paula
05/30/09
I am planning on 140 for a Graduation Party. I am serving a Spiral Boneless Ham cut and put into smaller sandwich buns - how many lbs of boneless ham do I need to feed 140 people, if they eat 2 sandwiches each?
ellen
05/31/09
See the sandwich event page, use about 1 1/2 times the amount for 100.
Stanley
06/03/09
Any idea how much Italian dressing is needed to marinate 40lbs. of chicken breast that is going to be grilled?
ellen
06/04/09
You need about a cup for 2 pounds, but just about a gallon for 40. Put it in baggies not bowls for best coverage with less dressing/marinade.
KATHY
06/13/09
i am going to have a barbacue party for 50 people. ribs and steak (carne azada) how many lbs of steak meat and ribs do i need
ellen
06/13/09
Minimum is 1/2 pound rib per person (3/4 pound if there are large bones or minimal trimming) PLUS 2 pounds lean raw boneless beef per each 5 persons. Because of the beef shrinkage and the boniness of the ribs, this is about the least for a party dinner situation.
Missy
07/08/09
My church group is feeding about 85 adults ... I would like to do pulled pork/chicken sandwiches, with baked beans and fruit salad and dessert. We are splitting up the duties so I would like to know how many crock pots of BBQ I would need to plan for. THANKS!
ellen
07/08/09
1 pound which is about 2 cups makes 3-4 sandwiches. So if you fill a 6 quart pot to 4 quarts, you get about 15 sandwiches- you want 6 or 7 pots.
Sarah
07/16/09
I'm cooking pulled pork BBQ sandwiches for about 50 people. I'm buying pork roasts for this and will be adding in BBQ sauce and chicken broth, how many pounds of raw meat do I need to buy?
ellen
07/16/09
Depends on what side dishes are also offered. I use boneless porki shoulder- juicier and cheaper than loin- 1 pound raw boneless for eaxch 3 sandwiches needed. I make it at least a day ahead and refrigerate in the sauce, which add both flavor and bulk to the meat.
Kerry
08/24/09
Alto Sham
Ellen:
Have you ever used an Alto Shaam as a regular oven? Need to cook 4 large pans of hash brown casserole and 4 large pans of california medley casserole but I don't have enough regular oven space. I have a dual Alto Shaam that would hold all 8 pans but only want to cook - not cook and hold. Any ideas?
ellen
08/24/09
Lucky you to have an altoshaam. It is a low heat oven, so you have to trick it a little.

If you have lost the manual or cookbook, go here:

www.alto-shaam.com/cookbook.asp

You need a thermometer. You want

DETERMINING IF PRODUCT
IS SUFFICIENTLY COOKED
A. Allow COOK timer to cycle to the
OFF position.
B. Before opening the oven door, leave the
product in the HOLD cycle for a minimum of
one hour. This time period will allow the
oven temperature to decrease from the COOK
setting to the selected HOLD temperature.
During this one hour period, the product will
continue to cook.
C. Insert a thermometer into the center of the
product to determine if the correct internal
temperature has been reached.

ellen
08/24/09
Ooops, hit the send button before I finished.

Let the oven think of them as if you wanted pans of WELL DONE Meat. Go by the weight you are cooking. Because it is a low temp oven, move the casseroles directly from the fridge to the oven, no sitting around on the counter, and use the highest temp setting available on your oven to cook.

ellen
08/24/09
Allow the oven to preheat for AT LEAST 1/2 hour. Set the oven to 325. Cook for 3 hours. Does not need to hold. Internal temp, 195.
Kerry
08/24/09
Thanks much!! I have the cookbook from Alto Shaam but doesn't say much about using as a regular oven. Any idea what the internal temp needs to be for Hash Brown Casserole or California Medley Casserole? I just usually cook them for 4 hours at 375 and they get done!!
ellen
08/24/09
In the alto sham because of the "halo of heat" and 1/2 hour preheating 3 hours at 325 is usually plenty. The USDA says internal temp 180 is safe (middle of the pan, not touching the bottom).
ellen
08/24/09
This assumes the hash browns were not frozen when they went into the oven. If frozen, 4 hours is probably about right!
Gretta
09/12/09
I am in charge of making a Boneless Beef Round Roast for a serving of 160 guests. I have a total of 66 pounds of the Boneless Beef Round Roast. Would this serving be enough? Each roast is around 11 to 12 pounds each. Thanks for your assistance.
ellen
09/12/09
If you are doing the plates, you cook low and slow to reduce shrinkage, and you have an extra side dish, you might manage, but you won't have a scrp left. I would start wuth at least 75 pounds raw and add another 10 if it is self serve.
Connie
10/18/09
I am serving a church dinner with approximately 200 people expected. We are serving pork loin with dressing and pork loin with sauerkraut. I plan to have the pork all pre-sliced and then cook it with the dressing and kraut. My question is how many pounds of pork and how long should they cook in roasting pans in the oven so they are fork-tender?
ellen
10/18/09
I allow 50 pounds boneless raw for roasting for 100 people for party meals. I would probably make it all with stuffing and make the sauerkraut on the side, as it would be quite difficult to estimate the split.

See the article on roasting beef, except for the end temp, good technique is the same for both. Let stand at least 1/2 hour after roasting before slicing, this makes it both more tender and more juicy.

Lisa
10/21/09
I am cooking a pork roast dinner for 100 people. What is the best cut of pork to use and what temperature should I roast it at?
ellen
10/21/09
Pork loin is the most elegant. For this large a dinner, I would stuff it with a fruit stuffing, roast, slice serve with gravy over the panned slices. Side dish of spiced crab apples or peach halves. Use the same raosting techniqu as for beef above, but the higher end pont temperature.
joanne
11/11/09
hi ellen i hope you can help me. i am planning a spongebob birthday party for my 3 year old next week and we wont be able to ues a grill where we are having it and we are looking at having about 30 - 40 people and i am trying to go with the theame and have krabby pattys (BURGERS) and i want to know if there is a way of keeping them in a nesco to keep warm throughout the party
ellen
11/12/09
Yes, but they will not be juicy and delicious, just OK. Put the rack in the cookwell, add a couple of cans of beef broth or consomme (stays below the rack), preheat to 250, layer in the burgers. and keep them tightly covered.
joanne
11/12/09
well how do you recomend doing it if you dont mind me asking
ellen
11/12/09
Here are some ideas from a spongebo site:

* Jelly Fish Finger Sandwiches (use strawberry jam)
* Pink Patrick Lemonade Punch
* Gary Goop (Blue Jello Jigglers)
* Krusty Krab Mini Burgers (traditional hamburgers),
* Jumbo Jumping Fishy Crackers
* Plankton Kabobs (fresh fruit arranged on skewers)

Do you have the frozen white castle type "sliders" mini burgers? This type sandwich does reheat pretty well and might be an option...

Susan
11/21/09
I am going to put several pork roasts (or tenderloins) in the oven at a time. How does this change the cooking time? (I am cooking for approximately 32)
ellen
11/21/09
Get them as close as possible to the same size. Put the thermometer in the smallest one, pull it when done, insert into the next larger etc, until all are done. Remember you want to pull them about 10 degrees below the final temp, as they continue to cook for about a half hour asfter being pulled.
If you do tenderloin, consider brining for seasoning and juiciness.
Speedy
12/07/09
I love your sense of humour. Received info I was looking for just by reading a few "repetitive" posts. Enjoy the upcoming Holidays.
Cristina
12/09/09
Help! I am catering a lunch for 300 young adults (ages 18-30)this weekend (Dec. 13). We are serving a variety of deli meats, cheeses and rolls with all the sandwich fixings. Also serving green salad, potato salad and chips. I'm having nightmares about not having enough food (it's my first time catering a group this large). How much meat, cheese and potato salad should I buy for such a huge hungry crowd?
ellen
12/10/09
Use the plan for 100 tables and the sandwich event planning tables and plan for 325-350 (3 1/4 to 3 1/2 times the amount for 100, using the larger amount if the crowd includes more men or tends toward the younger end.
Alvina
12/16/09
I need your help Ellen. How much meat do you serve for a family gathering of 85 people for lunch. The family is having 2 meats, ham (bone in) and meat balls (16 lbs of meat). so how much ham would they need.
Then for a cold lunch after, at 5pm they are having more bone in ham and sausage ring for about 75 people. So how much ham and sausage do they need.
We know they are making 16 lbs of meat into meat balls.
So if you want to look at it in a different way ,it ends up being 160 people with 3 kinds of meat and of course potatoes and salads and desserts
I have always thought that for anything boneless you go 1/2 lb per person and bone in you serve 3/4 -1 lb per person, because of the waste with the bone.
ellen
12/17/09
Lunch, 85 people
meatballs, 16 pounds meat plus add-ins- would almost be enough for this group just by themselves- it would feed about 60. But with 2 meats everyone will take some of each, and so you would need to add about 20-25 pounds of bone-in ham. That works if it is spiral sliced or you slice it; if it is carve yourself they will use more.

Cold/ sandwich supper
You want to end up with 5-7 ounces of ready o eat meats per person, I would probably do 2-3 ounces sausage and 3-4 ounces ham per person. You need good rolls. I would definitely add a sliced cheese latter, 1 1/2 to 2 ounces per person, mixed swiss, cheddar/colby and jack. I would offer sandwich condiments, see the sandwich event article.

Assuming this is the sausage ring the type served sliced thin cold like a mini salami?

Debi
02/23/10
How many people does 5 pounds of raw, boneless lamb roast serve after it is roasted?
Also, I must cook the day before a luncheon, what is the best way to do this without drying out the meat?
1. Cook the whole 5 lb roast, cool & store overnight. Next day, slice then reheat in oven.
OR
2. Cook the whole 5 lb roast, cool & slice. Store overnight. Next day, reheat covered in oven.
Thanks!!
Cindy
02/23/10
Luncheon for 30 people
I am planning a luncheon for 30 people, all of whom are adults with the exception of about 3 children.

I am having fried chicken, country ham, string beans, sweet potato casserole, maccaroni and cheese, hash brown casserole and a bowl of fresh fruit. How much of each should I prepare?

ellen
02/24/10
Debi, either is OK, it slices better the next day.

Cindy, you want 1 piece of chicken plus 10% PLUS 3 ounces ready to eat ham per person. For help on the rest, either use the plan for 100 page and use 1/3, or see the article on planning and shopping for large dinners in the holiday section at the top of big pots; it discusses amounts per person. If you then want to post your estimate, I will check it for you.

Jean
03/23/10
We are cooking for a crowd of 100 and are fixing chicken breast. Can we cook them in a roaster? And can we cook bake potatoes in a roster? How long does it take? What can we use to cook the chicken in to keep it moist?
ellen
03/23/10
Yes, you can do these in roasters but you need at least 2 for the chicken and 3 for the potatoes, as one roaster only holds enough for about 50.

For the chicken, I suggest a dish such as my orange dijon wedding chicken or coq au vin, which can be made ahead and reheated, with the delicious sauce keeping the chicken moist. There are specific directions for preparing large amounts of this recipe in the recipe.

Baked potatoes, you would do 12 pounds in each roaster, preheating for at least 20 minutes covered, then add about 20 minutes to the usual time (depends on the size of the potatoes), then turning down to 180 to keep warm. However, with most chicken dishes, a rice pilaf such as my baked rice recipe is preferred to potatoes- it is easier, too.

PGH Maid of Honor
06/05/10
Hiya Ellen!

I am planning a bridal shower for 60 people, how many pounds of deli meats should I buy to make sure I have enough deli meats and cheeses for lunch meat/cheese trays for 60?

Thank you!!!

PGH Maid of Honor

ellen
06/05/10
Go to the sandwich event page, use 2/3 the amount for 100.
Shell
06/13/10
Hi Ellen
I am cooking food for a wedding and I have no idea how much to cook. We are having Prime rib and chicken breast in a tomato sauce, roasted potato and tortellini with salads and buns. Could you give me an idea how much to cook and prepare. Thank you!!
P.S this was the only place that even helps with large quantity cooking. It's much appreciated
ellen
06/13/10
Shell, I am concerned that you are in way over your head. This is an expensive meal (meat alone is around $5 per person), and not easy to prepare. You don't say how many people, time of day, and I need this information at a minimum.
Karen Mulderig
06/29/10
I am making chicken tenders in butter and garlic sauce and penne pasta w/vodka sauce and meatballs and porketta sandwiches made from pork loins for my grandsons graduation party next week. How much of each do I need for 50 people? Thank you.
ellen
06/30/10
Hi, Karen,

The kids will eat the penne as a side dish, even if they have another meat.
I would get 1 pound of raw boneless pork for each 4 PLUS 1 pound of raw chicken tenders for each 4-5 PLUS 1 pound of meatballs for each 5. That way everyone will get some of their first choice and there will be some seconds.

lisa
08/05/10
Cooking for 80 people,2 baron of beef 18 lbs. each, won't fit in my large roast pan, can i cut in 2 to make 4 roast. Also how should i cook them,temp, and how long. thank you. need answer soon please, cooking them in 2 days.
ellen
08/05/10
Yes, you can cut, but be careful to keep all the same size.
See the beef roasting article on big pots for help on time and temp.
lisa
08/05/10
Sorry to bother you again, love this site thank you. But couldn't find the part that tells me the cooking time and temp.....
ellen
08/06/10
Near the bottom of this page:

ellenskitchen.com/faq/roastbeeftable.html

Randae
08/28/10
How much hamburger for Spaghetti Sauce for 35 Football Players?
ellen
08/28/10
Food-wise, I would count them as 50- see the plan for 100 page meat section, or use the spaghetti dinner for 50-60 on the bottom of the spaghetti page.
Debbie
01/11/11
How much pork or beef would it take to make BBQ sandwiches for 250 people?
Also, how many gallons of potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans?
ellen
01/11/11
1 pound raw boneless chuck or pork shoulder makes 3 great or 4 modest sandwiches. The rest are covered on the plan for 100 page.
Tina
03/14/11
100 person buffet
I am cooking for a 40th birthday celebration this weekend. There will be approximately 100 people. I never cooked for this many people before. I was planning on making the following:

Brocolli & Cavetelli
Penne alla Vodka
Chicken Francese
Meatballs
Sausage and Peppers

However, I am not sure on the quanity to purchase in macaroni or in the meats. If you can please help.

ellen
03/14/11
This is what I would do with that menu for 100 normal eaters.

Brocolli & Cavetelli- 7 pounds dry
Penne alla Vodka- 8 pounds dry
Chicken Francese- 1 piece per person (about 4 people per pound raw skinless)
Meatballs- 1 pound per 4
Sausage and Peppers- 1 pound sausage per 4-5 plus equal weights peppers

Deanne
04/20/11
pulled pork sandwiches
I am making pulled pork sandwiches for a wedding. Serving 450 people. I am using 112 lbs of pork. How many gallons of bbq sauce do i need for that amount of pork? I do wnat it to be moist.
Thank you,
Deanne
ellen
04/20/11
I allow 1 quart per 6 pounds raw to cook plus 1/4 cup per person for the table.
Jenna
05/02/11
I am doing pulled pork for my daughters baptism. There will be able 20 people. How many pounds of pork should I purchase? Along with how many ounces of BBQ sauce?
ellen
05/02/11
If it is for sandwiches, allow 1 pound raw boneless for 3 people, and as above, allow 1 quart sauce for each 6 pounds to cook, plus 1/4 cup per person on the table.
Claudia
07/08/11
I am having a gathering for 125-150 people. I want to serve grilled chicken and grilled pork lion for small slider sandwiches with a multitude of side dishes. Trying to figue how much of each meat to buy.
ellen
07/08/11
I would allow 5 ounces of cooked meat per person, plus the sauces. 2 pounds raw boneless meat for 5 persons, total, probably 3 pork 2 chicken.
Joann
07/09/11
I am cooking for a benefit for 250 people. The menu will be meatballs, sliced roast beef in gravy, chicken thighs, baked ziti,potato salad, green beans and salad. I am estimating 2 meatballs per person, about 175 pieces of chicken, about 6 deep trays of ziti but not sure about the potato salad, roast beef or green beans.
Kelly
07/17/11
We are having a wedding for 250-265 people We want to serve pulled pork, roast beef roasted and sliced, and ham how much of each of the meats should I have. We are having toss salad, colw slaw or macaroni salald, rolls, roasted potatoes, don't know about a veggie yet.Please help.
kelly
07/17/11
should have reread my above post before posting....roast beef sliced, and cole slaw and or macaroni salad. Thanks
ellen
07/17/11
Kelly, I need some more information. What is the time of day and the length of the party? Is there a reason to have 3 meats? And is the pulled pork for sandwiches?

I would definitely do both slaw and pasta, and maybe a third starchy salad (3 bean, potato).

You need 4-6 serving tables, at least 3 people and a manager in the salad, about 12-15 servers to set up, serve and cleanup. That is not counting bartenders or beverage servers.

This is from an upcoming page:

A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, including a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests

-So write back. You can start a new thread.

Kelly Allen
07/20/11
We have decided to do just roast beef and pulled pork, we are having the appetizer table with what you stated. I would like the two meats with on the side horseradish sauce and bbq sauce, also potatoes small boiled,dinner rolls, toss salad with cukes, tomatoes, cheese, croutrons, two dressins i'm thinking ranch and italian.what elsa should we offer.
ellen
07/21/11
250-265
Roast beef- about 90 pounds ready to serve (around 120 boneless raw, if cooked low and slow to reduce shrinkage)
pulled pork- about 5 gallons

I would consider adding 2 good veggie dishes, maybe a corn and a broccoli/ Italian mix.

Gordon
07/24/11
Hello Ellen,

How much Prime rib (boneless) do I need to feed 170 people. Chicken legs and thighs are also on the meat menu...Urgent...Thank you in advance.

ellen
07/24/11
Hi, Gordon,
This is an extremely popular meat, if it is self serve you will need a pound raw for each 2 people, even with the chicken; a little less if carved and served by a server. Good luck.
Eric
10/12/11
I need to cook and transport enough beef tenderloin for 100 people(carved-1 of 2 meats)any ideas of how much I should get? i was thinking 30 pounds...I need to move to the site and get the rest of the food in chaffers that will be already pre-heated....from my kitchen to the site will be about an hour.The beef is to be thin sliced by myself, and they will also have a chicken cordon-blu entree on the line. thanks..no hurry...event in Feb.

0

ellen
10/12/11
Eric, tenderloin is so costly, I suggest you post to the pro boards;

chef2chef.com

cheftalk.com

I would not do less than 40 pounds

stephanie
10/17/11
cooking for 500 people, I would like to know how many pork butt roast I need to cook.
can you help me?
ellen
10/18/11
For what? Sliced plates, pulled pork sandwiches, self serve or plated? More info, please.
Pat
10/19/11
We are doing a hospice fundraiser next month, and serving baron of beef dip sandwiches with green salad on the side.... for approx 60 people , what size of roast should we buy? and what kind of roast would you recommend .... should we have more side dishes than the green salad and possible cut the baron of beef sandwiched in half... any suggestions please
ellen
10/19/11
You would be wise to add a potato or pasta salad (pasta is more interesting and easier).

For the sandwiches, top round, cooked low and slow as discussed in the beef roasting article, chilled thoroughly and then sliced very thin- borrow an electric slicer- 1 pound raw will make 3 sandwiches.

Cutting the sandwiches is a good idea for serving, and makes it look like more but a half sandwich is not an attractive portion. Besides, pricing is such that you can only take about a dollar off, even though it is a half sandwich.

tony
10/22/11
I am batch cooking tri-tip roasts in a convection oven. I need to know estimated time it will take to cook to a medium rare temprature.
MARLENE
11/07/11
we are doing a roast beef dinner for 300 how much of each this is for a church dinner beef mashed potatoes vegetables cabbaage salad please e-mail me and tell me many thanks
ellen
11/07/11
Use the plan for 100 tables, all these are covered, do 3 x the amount for 100.
ellen
11/07/11
Tony, tri tip cooks fast, there are several sites devoted strictly to tri tip online. DO preheat the oven thoroughly, at least 20 minutes, and DO use a meat thermometer. You might also find the tips on the beef roasting page helpful.
Trudy
11/22/11
For our church Christmas party on Dec. 3 we are making skinless boneless chicken breast HALVES in a 22 quart electric roaster. We plan on making 75 halves which we buy frozen in bags. Last year they turned out horribly because we used a "broth" that was made with a huge quantity of salt and vinegar plus butter and water. They were almost inedible (spelling?). At our meeting last night it was discovered that this "recipe" is the one our men's group uses when they barbecue chicken halves. I was given the task of finding out how to go about doing this properly, specifically how to keep them moist without killing everyone with salt and vinegar. We want just a plain, moist piece of meat, no gravy. I know this is a busy season, but really would appreciate an answer as quickly as you can. Thank you.
ellen
11/22/11
The orange Dijon wedding chicken on this site is really delicious, freezes well and holds beautifully. I encourage you to make a batch and try it with your committee.

I would do this amount of meat in two roasters, not one, and braise with real chicken broth and probably some pearl onions and mushrooms, if I were dead set on no gravy. Still, previously frozen chicken breasts that are going to be held really do benefit from a gravy or sauce.

Use the 2 roasters so you can keep the heat lower (325), for tenderness. Preheat the roaster bases for 20 minutes before adding the cooking pans with the chicken.

Haleigh
11/28/11
Hi there, I need to cook enough pot roast to feed 200 people this Saturday. Many of them are children (it's a church party), and potatoes, salad, beans, and rolls are on the menu as well. How much meat should I purchase? Thanks in advance for your help.
ellen
11/29/11
At least 85 pounds raw boneless chuck, and more would not be too much. Have someone serve the meats for the first round (with 200 people, you want about 4 lines), or you may run out.
pat
12/02/11
please help I need to prepare roast beef for christmas and with 3 kids hard to do day of... can I cook add gravy , freeze and day of remove from freeezer and put on sternos? please help
pat
12/02/11
ellen, it's just me again...re; roast beef how can I do it ahead and heat it up day of> Roast beef is too demanding... thanks....Pat
The Go2Gal
12/02/11
Hi! I'm trying to help a friend plan her wedding reception & I was wondering how much pot roast would be needed for approximately 50 people? Also what type of chicken would be best to serve for those who do not like beef? There will be appetizers before hand & side dishes to complete the meal. Thanks for your time.
ellen
12/03/11
Pat,
Assuming you are making a moist heat/ braised roast such as a pot roast in mushroom gravy or a beef daube, freeze it sliced in gravy in foil, and reheat in the same package. It will be fine, as long as it is not overcooked to start with.

Fine roasts such as rib roast do not reheat well.

Go2,
25 pounds raw beef PLUS 6 chickens cut in pieces, if it is buffet/ self service.

The Go2Gal
12/03/11
Thanks Ellen. Would you happen to have any suggestions on how to flavor the chicken to compliment the beef which will be flavored with brown gravy and onions? Also would you suggest cutting the chicken before cooking or not? Thanks again.
ellen
12/03/11
The tasty, easy wedding chicken to make in advance is the Orange Dijon Wedding chicken on Big Pots.
lynne
12/09/11
how many pounds of boneless ham for 30 people
ellen
12/09/11
If this is the only meat, at least 1 pound for each 3 people- 2 pounds for each 5 if you want leftovers.
Laurel
12/11/11
Hi Ellen, what a great service you offer! I've got two groups of people, 20-30 folks. This is Texas and they want grilled ribeye steaks.

Is it possible to keep steaks warm while I'm cooking them all? How do i cook that many individual steaks and keep them fresh and at a medium-rare point?? Is it even possible?

Thanks so much for any advice..

ellen
12/11/11
Talk to the hosts. You would be MUCH better off doing rib roasts, which hold perfectly at medium rare. Steaks for a crowd are MUCH harder.
Bams
12/17/11
I am feed 250 people. We are serving boneless ham. How many pounds to feed everyone and approximate how many roasters will I need to cook them?
ellen
12/17/11
If this is the only meat, 125 pounds boneless raw. 6-8 roasters, depending on the size of the pieces.
Bams
12/17/11
How much would I need if it was pre cooked and needed only warming?
mimmie
12/19/11
i have a 25 london broil roast. what's the best wsay to bake it and how long
ellen
12/19/11
Bams, 100 pounds- be sure there is a side dish suitable as an entree for the non-ham eaters.

Mimmie, London Broil is different cuts in different parts of of the country, so cooking varies, also I am not clear about 25 what? If you mean 2.5 pounds and it is top round (common) it needs to be marinated and then cooked quickly (high heat) to just medium rare in a thoroughly preheated oven, allowed to stand 10-20 minutes and sliced very thinly across the grain.

Laurel
12/20/11
Hi Ellen. Thanks for replying. I thought I would follow up on my experience. Hosts weren't budging--it HAD to be steaks. Had a lot of trouble with them lighting on fire on the grill, also. But, tonight I successfully cooked 30 medium rare ribeyes, and here's how: I had two baking sheets with 15 steaks each. I seared the steaks on the grill in two batches. Then I cooked them in an oven (convection) at 400 degrees for about 20-24 minutes. Had the grill marks, smokey flavor, and all came done at the same time.......
ellen
12/20/11
Congratulations!! Great problem-solving.
cassie
12/30/11
I will be cooking two top sirloin roasts, each in its own pan, together in the same oven for a dinner party of 35 to 40 guests.
One roast weighs 15.07 pounds and the other 16.24. I sure could use some input on how long these big boys will take to cook and what temp I should use. Thanks ever so much.
ellen
12/30/11
Use the info on the beef roasting page. The total time will be for the bigger one; take the smaller one out when it is done, using the thermometer, and it will be done about 30-40 minutes before the larger.
Anita
01/05/12
My husband informed me yesterday that he killed a wild boar that he wants to cook on the grill and that his friend had to put down a calf that will be cooked also (just a leg or baron of beef, I guess?) Also, about 50 people have been invited and I know how to take care of that, no problem. We'll have meat coming out the ying-yang, but my question is; how long will it take to cook? The pig will be whole, minus the the undesirable parts and cooked on the grill. The baron of beef is about 25-30 lbs and I'm thinking of cooking it in the oven, but am unsure how long this will take. I'm guessing a fairly low temp will be best, but have no clue how long it will take.

This is late notice, so I understand If you can't get to this, but I had to ask because I'm stressed out about this, and madly doing research!

Anita
01/05/12
By the way, I forgot to mention that this is for tomorrow! And do you have any seasoning recommendations? I have all the sides covered, but any advice regarding the meat is appreciated.
ellen
01/06/12
Full temp and time info for the beef is on the beef roasting page. The wild pig will not do particularly well on the grill; it is tough and gamy and needs marinating. Go here:

www.texasboars.com/articles/recipes.html

Tessa
01/27/12
Beef Tenerdloin
Hi Ellen!

I love your threads, so much helpful information! I have a plated dinner Monday night for 50. Beef Tenderloin and crabcakes. My location is less than a mile from the facility where the event will be held. I thought I would trim, tie, and sear the beef in the am then transfer to the cooler. About an haour and a half before we need it at the facility we would finish cooking it and pull it out of the overn at 125 degrees, transfer uncovered to cambros and transport. Then slice and plate on site. I would apprecitae your thoughts and feedback.

thanks

ellen
01/27/12
If you preheat the cambros, it will probably be OK. Watch your temps, it is VERY easy to overcook whole tenderloin. You might post at these two pro sites for more info:

chef2chef.com

cheftalk.com

jessica
02/13/12
how to make jamaican beef patties for 100 girls
hi im a girl scout and every year my unit gets together and represents a the culture of a certain country along with how they dress up as girl scouts/girl guides. This year my troop is dioing jamaica which is the homeland of my family but the only problem is how in the world are we gonna be able to cok jamaican beef patties for at leadt 1000 girls!!???!!!
Any way, my real question is can u give me a recipe that has the right quantity of certain ingredients so that we can make enough for such a large crowd? i really neeed ur help. thnx
ellen
02/13/12
Jessica, is it 100 or 1000? And are you serving a full burger or a taste? Write back.
Phil
02/26/12
I;m cooking 32 Eye of round roast that the total weightis 100 lbs . If cook 16 roast = 50 lbs what would be my cooing time and internal temp for med . I have the use of a comercial steamer to keep the finished beef warm .Function is on Sat should I start cooking Friday night ?
ellen
02/26/12
You only cook to the size of the individual roast, not the total weight. The eye of the round is a fairly tough roast, cook very slow, to around 140. The steamer may overcook, have au jus or gravy. Read the beef roasting page.
jackie
03/13/12
slow cooker hash brown potatoe recipe for 50 peopl
Hi.
I have found some recipes, but they are only for 6 people. I am not sure how much time I would have to add if i times these recipes by 10 in order to feed 50. Hoping there is a recipe for at least 50. Thanks
ellen
03/13/12
The cheesy potatoes at the end of the festive family brunch page, can be done as as roaster full. One roaster for 50.
Roger
03/31/12
Low heat cooking for cooked ham
The meat manager at our local store recommended that I cook my Cure 81 hams in a roaster oven, wrapped in foil and heated at 200 degrees for however long it takes to reach 120 degrees of internal temperature. Claims he always does this and they stay very moist that way. Everything I read says internally to 140 degrees but he says that will dry the hams out. What are your recommendations as to all the above. Dinner is April 8th, 2012. Yes, I am a man and I am also the cook in our house. Thanks
ellen
04/03/12
I do 140; 120 does not kill any bacteria present. If the foil is securely sealed (fold over "butcher wrap" seams), the juices will not run out. Be sure to let the hams stand for 15-30 minutes wrapped out of the oven before unwrapping them.
Mary Beth Germann
06/13/12
I am cooking for a graduation party this weekend.
We will be having between 35-40 guests. The menu is:
pulled pork
bbq short ribs
shrimp kabobs
and bbq chicken breasts with red onion marmalade.
Sides will be:
corn on the cob
baked beans
potato salad
macaroni salad
fruit salad and
cole slaw.

I am not sure how to figure out how many pounds of each type of meat to make or do I just make enough for 35 servings of each? If that the case could you give me the approx. # of pounds of each I would need?
Thank you

ellen
06/13/12
This is what I would do for 40:

pulled pork- 6-8 pound
bbq short ribs- 10 pounds
shrimp kabobs- 2 short per person (people take 2 regardless of size)
and bbq chicken breasts with red onion marmalade. split the breasts, do 1 small piece per person
Sides will be:
corn on the cob
baked beans
potato salad
macaroni salad
fruit salad and
cole slaw.
For the sides, do 1/3 the amount for 100 in the plan for 100 tables

Erma Laxton
06/19/12
HELP- We are having a cook out for 180 guest and will be having hamburgers, hot dogs and baby back ribs. There will be 4 sides and dessert also. How much of each food should we plan for to have some left over for munching on later into the evening? We also will be baking the ribs wrapped in foil the day before (6 rib racks in vertical racks at a time)and transferring them to a refrigerator over night. What temp.and time should they bake, and will they be safe to eat if left in foil wrap over night? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
ellen
06/19/12
180 guest and will be having
hamburgers, 150 consider meatball subs, which can be done ahead and are more interesting
hot dogs- switch to polish sausage or kielbasa? 1 pound per 5
baby back ribs- 2 pounds per 5.

There will be 4 sides and dessert also.

Ribs must be refrigerated at once and reheated to 160 wrapped

rita
11/10/12
I am cooking a 3 1/2 lb boneless roast pork loin and a 3/12 lb bonless rib roast for 24 people. Both will be sliced for sandwiches and will be accompanied by green bean casserole, au gratin potatoes and cole slaw.
How can I cook both meats to be sliced and ready to be served at the same time?
ellen
11/10/12
Rits, I would not cook less than 10 pounds for this dinner, adding one additional roast, or a couple of chickens, or a turkey breast. 7 pounds raw is less than 5 pounds cooked, and rib roast is VERY popular.

The pork needs to cook to at least 150 inner temp, while the beef goes to 120 for med. rare. So, you have to use a quick read thermometer. And you will need about 20-30 minutes longer in a preheated oven for the 3 pound pork roast. The saving grace is. they will slice best if they stand at least 20 minutes after cooking, so if one gets done a little early, it just stands a bit longer.

Hope this helps.

Dee
12/16/12
Ellen,

I have to prepare enough sausage gravy for a breakfast we're doing for a friend later in the week. Can you give me an idea on how much to prepare or a quanity to purchase for an "all ready made" product? I have to shop for the items by this Tuesday. Sorry for the short notice.

Thank you

Martha
03/15/13
hi ellen im doing a dinner party for 120 people i was planning on doing roast beef and salmon darns not everyone will eat salmon so how do i judge how much of each will i need plz could you tell me the best cuts of beef to get
ellen
03/15/13
Dee, I need to post this recipe, it is a frequent request.

You MUST use the black pepper. You MUST use whole milk. And yes, you actually add the bacon grease to the sausage grease. It's just a heart attack waiting to happen...

This is for 200 people:
* 25 pounds ground pork sausage
* 4 cups bacon grease
* 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 5 gallons whole milk
* 1/4 cup salt OR to taste- do taste while adding
* 2 tablespoons and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Brown sausage in a roasting pan over medium-high heat. Set aside, leaving the drippings in the skillet.
2. Mix bacon grease into the sausage drippings. Reduce heat to medium, combine with flour, and stir constantly until mixture just turns golden brown. This take at least a half hour. If you burn it you have to throw it away and start over, so do not turn your back.
3. Gradually whisk milk into skillet. When the mixture is smooth, thickened, and begins to bubble, return the sausage to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 25 minutes, stirring, covering.

The sausage gravy recipe has a LOT of sausage. You can decrease the sausage by 1/3 or increase the gravy by 1/3 to 1/2 and still have plenty of chunks.

Use good sausage, of course; sage or hot is nice. If you have no bacon grease, butter is a possibility, but for heavens sake, if it is a feast, get the bacon grease. Some people add a little garlic or sage, or Tabasco, but die-hard sausage gravy fans will notice.

Also, it tends to separate if served standing on a buffet line-
You made need to do this in two or three roasting pans, it is a LOT of sausage gravy.

ellen
03/15/13
Martha, you need 2 pounds raw boneless beef per 5 people plus 1 pound of salmon per 5 to allow everyone their choice of entree.
As to the beef, it depends on what you plan to do with it. Top sirloin or top round makes a good medium cost roast, low, slow cooking. See the beef roasting page.
Jennifer
05/25/13
Ellen,
Hello I'm making biscuits and gravy for 130 people next weekend.. I would like to know how much sausage i would need to purchase.. Please help... :)
ellen
05/26/13
You are in luck. See the classic sausage gravy for 200 here:

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/sausage.html

Do 3/4 the amount for your group. You will have some left.

Adrienne
10/06/13
Octoberfest
Ellen, (for about 50 people, we figure)
Our condo is planning an Octoberfest at the end of the month and considering having German pork shoulder with sauerkraut cooked in a roaster oven. Also plan to have baked bratwurst with kraut, onions,beer and some peppers in the baking pan. Accompaniments - German potato salad, corn niblets, baked mac and cheese, beer, rye bread, and apple strudel. Oh, beef franks for those who do not eat pork. Please advise how much pork shoulder, bratwurst and franks to purchase. Thank you.
ellen
10/06/13
Great menu. 3 entrees for 50 people always has some leftovers.

Pork shoulder, 1 pound per 3-4, raw boneless, larger amount if they are heavy eaters
Sausage, 1 pound per 5, equal weight veggies
2 dozen beef franks, or consider doing a beef sausage instead of a brat-.

If it saves you time, trouble, or money, consider a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Tracy
11/13/13
Hi Ellen, I am having a barbeque for about 70 people fro my 50th Birthday (beef and chicken burgers? how much meat should I order- I would assume most people will have 2 burgers ?I will have various toppings for them to "build their own burgers " Also, do you have a nice marinade for the chicken so that it is not too dry?
Have just come across your page- what a help :)
ellen
11/13/13
At 50-ish, not everyone will have 2 burgers. Also, brined chicken breast is easier to grill, and actually less expensive, than ground chicken. You assure juiciness by brining. For 70 people, I would do about 70 burgers and 30 chicken.

Condiments are outlined on the sandwich page. You might want to look at interesting toppings on the taco/potato bar for ideas and amounts. 3/4 of 100 for 70 people.

Have a box of veggie patties for any non-meat eaters.

Peggy C
12/16/13
Meal for large crowd
We are feeding about 120 at a homeless meal in January. Our church provides the entire meal at about $1 per person. We have made chili, spaghetti etc but would like to do something else. As we try to provide balance and a filling meal doing it as cost effectively is a challenge. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We have a kitchen and volunteers available but prep time is not very long.
ellen
12/16/13
Hi, Peggy,
The thrifty entrees section in Big Pots was developed for just these occasions.

In our area, turkeys are sometimes free at holiday with grocery or ham purchase. If 5 or 6 of your folks got a free turkey, roasted it, stripped the meat and froze it, you would have plenty of meat for free.

Not possible? Chicken leg quarters are the next best meat buy, and there are several chicken-based recipes in the thrifty entree section. Again, cooking, stripping and freezing the meat ahead makes a big difference, time-wise. Also, if you are making a tetrazini, or other pasta casserole, the pasta can be cooked ahead and refrigerated overnight, then mixed and baked on site.

Ask your members to freeze Christmas baked goods they don't use to donate for this meal. Try to provide some kind of fruit (cooked or canned is fine, many folks have dental problems) and cooked vegetable.

Preparing most ahead and heating at the site will solve some of your time problems. Even chopping and sauteing your onions and so on at home will really speed up you prep, while allowing for some freshness in the food.

delle
01/25/14
We are having a 50th.wedding anniversary for 140 people with roast beef,saurkraut,smoked and fresh sausage,corn mashed poratoes salad and dinner rolls, It is a sit down dinner and we would like to know how much food to make,My mother(God Bless her soul) always said you have to make more for a sit down dinner.
ellen
01/26/14
Hi, Delle,
This is a tough call, because I don't know the beef/sausage split for your group, this varies a lot from place to place. In addition, the smoked vs fresh sausage is another tough split.

So, approximately what I would do is 2 pounds raw beef per 5 plus 1 pound sausage per 5, and I leave it to you to decide the fresh/smoked issue.

sauerkraut, 1/4 cup per person
corn, 22 pounds per 100
mashed potatoes, 40 pounds raw per 100

salad, use the plan for 100 table, or any of the salad recipes on the site, scant 1 1/2 times the amount for 100

dinner rolls, 2 small per person, 3 pounds butter per 100

Yo need dinner level coffee, from the coffee page, and I strongly suggest an appetizer plan, discussed several places on the threads.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Ness Lelei
02/10/14
How many pounds of TriTips do I need for 45 people
Im trying to figure out how much pound of TriTips to purchase for this party were hosting? How much pound of Pork Chops? The pork chops will be cut up in pieces and then deep fried, and made into a stir fry.
Charlotte Reed
02/10/14
Hi, we are planning my daughter's wedding for about 120 people. The menu consists of sausages, turkey, mini potatoes baked in oven, pasta/Greek salad, Caesar salad, tossed green salad and taco salad, pickles. I have no idea on amounts needed? Can you please give me some guidance? Of course there will be wedding cake for dessert. Thank you.
ellen
02/11/14
Ness, Tritip is extremely popular, there is a whole thread on it. I always allow 1/2 pound raw per person.

For stir fry, as the only entree, 1 pound boneless raw per 3. Use pork loin, not chops, for cost and waste.

If you are serving the pork and beef at the same meal, allow 2 pounds raw beef per 5 plus 1 pound pork per 4-5.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

ellen
02/11/14
Charlotte, do please read the wedding dinner article on this site.

Day of the event, a dinner for 120 people takes about 3 people in the kitchen and 6-8 out front to set up, serve and clean up. These can't attend the wedding, because most of the work needs to be done during the service. If hired, usual cost is $100 to $125 per person.

Also, I strongly suggest you add an appetizer plan and here is why:

Why You May Need an Appetizer Table
A self-catered buffet is a real challenge to the organizers, and things don't always come together as smoothly as hoped. By planning and setting up an appetizer area or "nibble table" which is ready when the guests begin to arrive, the cooks and servers have time to complete the arrangement of the dinner buffet. This is especially critical if there are children among the guests, or there is a wait before dinner, as at a wedding reception.

This does not have to be complicated. Three items, plus a punch, or two if one is alcoholic, are sufficient. Typically, include a fruit tray, a cheese tray and an attractive dip or spread; or you can go with a dinner theme such as TexMex with chips, salsas, Texas caviar and guacamole; Italian with bruschetta or antipasto; maybe shrimps or other cold seafood, if budget permits.

One appetizer service area is needed for each 100 guests. In your case, 1 for 120 would be adequate.

You would want about 8-10 gallons of lemonade or punch.

Now for dinner

sausages, about 1 pound per 5 (1 fat sausage or 2 small per person)
turkey, 1 pound whole turkey would feed 2 on this menu. There is a turkey yield table in the holiday cooking section at the top of Big Pots; if you are using breasts or pieces, you want to end up with at least 4 ounces cooked meat per person.
You need to add a cranberry dish or compote, 1/4 cup per person (1 can per 6); and gravy, 1 cup per 3-4.

mini potatoes baked in oven, 45 pounds
pasta/Greek salad, make this meatless; you do not have any entree for vegetarian guests. 8 pounds dry pasta plus add-ins.

It would be a very good idea to add a veg dish. This could be roasted mixed veg, which can be made ahead and served at room temp. Or baked winter squash slices? Eggplant parm or ratatouille? Broccoli? About 30 pounds.

Caesar salad, Do from plan for 100 page, do for 75
tossed green salad, Do from plan for 100 page, do for 75. Consider doing the classic relish tray with some added finger vegetables from the veggie tray page instead.

taco salad, this really does not hold well. Would you consider either doing a Tex-Mex themed dish such as Texas caviar or corn/black bean salsa (2 1/2 gallons), or maybe tortilla chips (1 pound per 12) and salsa (1/4 cup per person) and may be guacamole (1/4 cup per person) on the appetizer table?

pickles 1 gallon

You want to offer dinner level coffee with the cake (see the beverage planning page) and might consider doing a smaller cake with a dessert buffet (see the dessert planning page) since the per person cost of wedding cake is so much higher than any other dessert-

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a dime or quarter per guest, to support this site. Thanks.

Rhoda
03/25/14
Hi Ellen! I am planning a community breakfast for my church and I'm making Sausage Gravy and Biscuits. I am planning for 75 people. I was wondering how much sausage, milk, and flour I need. Also any advice on how to cook that much at a time and any other advice you might have. Thank you!
ellen
03/25/14
I put a recipe for sausage gravy for 200 on this site, it's terrific- do look at it. You would use 4/10 (.4) of the recipe.

www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/sausage.html

Rhoda
03/25/14
Thank you for your swift response! I used your site last time I planned the community breakfast for my church and it was a huge help. Thank you for all the great advice!
christine
04/15/14
Hi, planning on having party for my parents, having 150 people attending. I was going serve chuck roll shredded meat, will be serving one plate per person, and having beans and rice on the side. I bought 67pds of meat will that be enough to feed that amount,our do I have buy more thank-you
ellen
04/16/14
You actually have more meat than you need for this, as 1 pound will easily make 3 sandwiches. Do be sure to have some nice salad and fruit, see the plan for 100 list.
Julianne
05/03/14
Looking at doing a taco bar for my wedding for 100 ppl. I want to cook the meat ahead of time. I would like to use chicken and beef tacos. Can i cook the meat and freeze it ahead of time? If so, how do I so this, good storage etc. And what is the best way to unthraw and reheat for the wedding day. What is is the best beef to use for shredded need tacos? Thanks!
ellen
05/04/14
Yes, you can. Thaw 2 days in the fridge, reheat in a roaster pan in the preheated over or electric roaster. I like chuck or brisket; brisket is shreddier, but shrink more.

If this saves you time, trouble, or money, please make a donation, maybe a nickel or dime per guest, to support this site.

Julianne
05/04/14
Thanks!!!! How do you freeze it to hold well?? How many weeks in advance should I cook it? Thanks for ur help and a donation is definitely do able! And do you have have your portions needed for a taco bar listed on this site?
E.BALLESTEROS
05/31/14
i am having 250people for a reception and would like to know how much boneless chuckroast should i buy in pounds ? cooking the meat in a roaster oven will two roasters be good? we will have sides rice, beans, potatosalad, please help and i will be cooking this in the next to days thank you.
ellen
05/31/14
E.B. How are you preparing the meat? For roast or pot roast for 250, party type portions, you need about 120 pounds raw boneless; for shredded for sandwiches, about 80.

A roaster only cooks about 20 pounds at a time. You will need more cooking arrangements.

In addition, 250 people takes 4 lines, or at least 2 double sided lines, to serve.

E.B
05/31/14
i am so happy to hear from you .well i am preparing the meat to be served shedded in some beef broth and red sauce.i am only in charge of the meat.i will cook the meat low and slow. i need to take it to the park, what is the best way to keep the meat from getting bad? no where to keep it warm. we will be serving at 12noon?the chuck roast is 3.69 pound is that a good price and how much should i expect to pay out? thank you so much for your time
EB
05/31/14
thanks for a quick response i am still here waitting to hear from you .please help
ellen
06/01/14
3.69 is OK. You can talk to the meat market about a deal on the large amount. You need about 30 pounds per 100.

On the baked potato bar page, it tells how to heat up an ice chest to keep something hot. Line it with a towel to prevent the pan damaging the inside.

EB
06/01/14
i want to cook my roast 2days ahead is that ok todo? put it in the fridge then warm the day of the event in the oven so what temp should i warm it at and what temp should it be at the park? i am really worried about food safety and dont want to get any one sick.we will have warmers hope you understand my ?
EB
06/02/14
we rented a hall, so every thing is coming together thank you for your help.
EB
06/04/14
my party is this Saturday and I really need your help on SAFETY,STORING,AND REHEATING,I am going to start cooking my meat tomorrow and when the meat is done I need to refrigerate but what temperature is the right temp do I wait for the meat to be room temp? then put it away please help
EB
06/04/14
my party is this Saturday and I really need your help on SAFETY,STORING,AND REHEATING,I am going to start cooking my meat tomorrow and when the meat is done I need to refrigerate but what temperature is the right temp do I wait for the meat to be room temp? then put it away please help
ellen
06/05/14
Hello, again, EB,

You store cold ASAP after cooking. See the reheating article in big pots for safe reheatin. Basically, no more than 4 hours between 40-140 between the end of cooking and the mouth.

EB
06/05/14
hi i didnt cook any meat today i will cook the meat on friday night and let it cook in the roaster ovens i have 4roasters and i have 125pounds of meat and i am going to put 25pounds in each one and what ever is left i will cook in my oven i will start the cooking time at 9pm and i think it will be done at 300am and i will shredd the meat and it will take about maybe till 400am and leave the roaster on low to stay warm till 12noon is that safe to do i am so sorry for asking first time cooking this thanks
ellen
06/06/14
Safe, but fairly mushy if held for 8 hours at 180. I don't do over 20 pounds in a roaster; you do know that you must plug each roaster into a different circuit, since two or more on one will blow the circuit/fuse?

Maybe start now, shred tonight and chill, reheat in sauce from 8-12 tomorrow???

EB
06/07/14
thank you so much i just got done cooking all the meat and is put aways one more thing i need to know tomorow i will heat it at 8'00am till 1200 so my ? is i need to keep the temp at 180 till i serve it right? and i will make a donation to you some time next week thank you so much for helping me i will let you know how it goes good night.
ellen
06/07/14
Yes, 180. You're welcome, good luck.
Robin
07/15/14
Is there any way to cook tri tip ahead of time? We want to serve tri tip sandwiches from the meat, but don't want to have to grill during the party.
MATT
11/24/14
Hi,I need to cook for 125 people for x'mas how much champagne ham should I cook please?
ellen
11/24/14
Robin, sorry I missed, no, I have no suggestions on making tritip ahead.
ellen
11/24/14
Matt if it is the only meat, for party size portion, self service buffet, 60 pounds.
Sarah
12/15/14
I am making pork tenderloin for my daughter's reception dinner. I have 33 tenderloin to cook. How do I keep these warm without drying them out?
Thank you
ellen
12/15/14
Sarah, this is a challenging meat for buffet service because it tends to dry out very easily. What I would probably do is cook to 145 ahead, cool and slice, and reheat in the oven after poring on a hot sauce or gravy, then transfer to the serving chafers hot, sauced and ready to serve.
Sarah
12/15/14
Thank you for your quick response.
Alaire
12/20/14
we are cooking 12 - 10 lb. pork tenderloins for
a wedding this afternoon. At what temperature do we cook them and for how long?
ellen
12/21/14
Same as for a single. See the notes on beef roasting on the Big Pots page.
dennis
12/23/14
grilling 2 5lb beef tenderloins for 17 people
I am grilling 2 5 lb beef tenderloins for 15 people. on one grill. once they are cooked and I prepare to slice, how should I keep them warm, should I use a chafing dish with beef broth or place slices in a crock pot to stay warm.
ellen
12/23/14
In a crock pot they will tend to keep cooking.

You want them to stand for at least 20 minutes before slicing. The ideal is to slice as you serve.

If you can't, you want the chafer preheated. A layer of lettuce leaves below and over the slices, and the pans covered.

Nana
12/26/14
I am cooking beef tri tip in my slow cooker for 13 people. How many pounds of meat should I cook? thanks, Nana
ellen
12/26/14
6-7 pounds Brown first. High for 1 hour, then 2-3 low.
Christie griffin
10/27/15
Hi ellen Ive been asked to cook prime rib and baked chicken for 200 people for a wedding...Im trying to buy the prime rib already cooked and sliced but Im not sure if Im doing the right thing and I also wanted to know what kind of baked chicken should I get and how should I prepare it?
ellen
10/28/15
Christie, you can get already cooked, you definitely don't want already sliced, as it will massively overcook when you reheat it. You are looking at at least 60 pounds of ready to serve boneless beef.

Allow 1 piece of chicken per person (8 pieces per chicken).

The meal will require 4-5 people in the kitchen and 12-15 servers out front to set up, serve and cleanup the party.

kris
11/12/15
Biscuts and Gravy for High School Swim Team
Hi ellen,

I am preparing to make breakfast for a high school swim team....10 boys and 21 girls. This will take place after their morning swim practice....so I anticipate that they will be extremely hungry. So....how many biscuits and how much sausage gravy should I plan to make? I believe the only side might be bananas.
Thanks in advance for your help!
kris

ellen
11/12/15
I have a recipe for sausage gravy for 200 on this site, I would make 1/4 that recipe, allows for hunger, some adults/coaches. 80-100 biscuits, depends on size. Make sure there are NO vegetarians before you serve this as the only entree.
Jeri
12/01/15
I am cooking bone in pork roasts for 50 people. I would like to put 2 in a nesco roaster. I hear add water. Should I? I cook my turkeys without water so I thought the pork didn't need water. Advice on time and temp please.
ellen
12/01/15
You don't add water unless you want them to steam cook,. If you do add liquid, try cider or beer. Same temp and time as the oven; do preheat, do use a meat thermometer, as the roasters cook some pieces faster than the oven.
pam
12/30/15
I am making about 12 pounds of casing sausage in a roaster for NYE...how long would I cook it if using a big roaster oven instead of conventional oven....
thanks
Pam
12/30/15
I am making 12 pounds of casing sausage for NYE for a group and will be using a roaster instead of conventional oven.... I will cut it into smaller portions but how long should I cook it since I am using a roaster?
thanks
ellen
12/30/15
It cooks the same as an oven, if you were oven roasting (preheat 20 minutes, avoid lifting lid as it cools off very fast), or as a pot if you are filling with water and simmering. The trick with simmering is how to set the temp so it simmers- usually about 300.
Ann
03/01/16
chicken for a large crowd
very delicious juicy recipe for a group of 140, should I partially grill ck ,then put in roaster or grill and put in oven .I hv to serve ck in 2 portions 90 pieces that Morn, and 50 that afternoon. My size are gr.beans, rice dressing, and white choc br.pudding for dessert. plz help
ellen
03/01/16
Ann, I only try to hold chicken in sauce, such as my orange dijon wedding chicken or chicken marsala. I have never been satisfied with the hold on grilled chicken, it inevitably dries out.
Also with a group of 140, you need to supply either a vegetarian entree alternative (could be as simple as a crock pot of unchicken nuggets) or a side dish than can act as an entree for any non-chicken eaters.
I would definitely add a salad and bread to the menu.
Also, be aware that for food safety chicken has to go from the oven to the mouth with no more than 4 hours between 40 and 140.
Finally, some people will take 2 pieces; expect 1 pound boneless for each 3 people.
Please write back.
Sandy
03/29/16
I am serving Sirloin Tip to 80 people. How many pounds of Sirloin Tip should I buy?
ellen
03/30/16
40 pounds, for party size dinner portions, people really like this. Do be sure that the menu has an entree level side dish for any non-beef or non-meat eaters.

Does this help? I am doing a fundraising campaign to remodel the kitchen and provide the changes you readers have asked for- please click the masthead at the top of this page to go to www.ellensbigpots.com and make a donation. Thank you.

Roman Uribe
07/06/16
How racks of ribs and pork shoulder for 140 people
How many Racks of ribs ? and pork shoulder for pull pork should I buy for 140 people ?
ellen
07/06/16
At least 2 ribs per person plus 1 pound ready to eat pulled pork per 6. 1 pound boneless shoulder makes close to 1 pound pulled once sauced.

Does this help? I am doing a fundraising campaign to remodel the kitchen and provide the changes you readers have asked for- please click the masthead at the top of this page to go to www.ellensbigpots.com and make a donation. (Especially if it is a paid gig!) Thank you.

liz
09/27/16
I am BBQing tri tip and chicken for a company function and would like to cook it the day before and slice it the day of...what is the best way to do this so the meat/chicken is still juicy
ellen
10/01/16
Sorry but I don't know any way to hold tritip overnight successfully. If I wanted beef in this situation,m I would do top round, rare, sliced thin after chilling, then rewarmed in hot au jus.

If you need to reheat chicken, do it in a sauce, see the wedding chickens.

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