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How many people will 10 pounds of sloppy joes feed?

Sloppy joes are a classic American dish that can feed a crowd. With 10 pounds of sloppy joe meat, you can easily feed a large gathering of family or friends. But exactly how many people can 10 pounds of sloppy joes feed? There are a few factors to consider when estimating portion sizes and serving amounts. In this article, we’ll go over the serving size for sloppy joes, how to estimate portions based on the type of bun used, and provide a final estimate on how many people 10 pounds of sloppy joe meat can serve.

Typical Serving Size for Sloppy Joes

First, let’s establish a typical serving size for sloppy joes. According to the USDA, a serving size of sloppy joes is around 3 ounces of meat. This is the cooked weight after browning the meat and simmering it in sauce.

Here is a quick overview of standard sloppy joe serving sizes:

Serving Size Grams Ounces
Child 85g 3oz
Adult 113g 4oz

As you can see, a single adult serving is around 4 ounces of cooked sloppy joe meat. For kids, aim for 3 ounces. This will make for a nicely sized sandwich filling without overstuffing the bun.

Estimating Portions Based on Bun Size

Now that we know the average meat portion for sloppy joes, we need to take into account the type of bun being used. A standard hamburger bun versus a larger sandwich roll can hold more or less filling.

Here are some common bun types and how much meat they can hold:

Bun Type Ounces of Meat
Hamburger bun 3-4oz
Sandwich roll 4-5oz
Large sub/hoagie roll 6-8oz

A regular hamburger bun will hold around 3-4 ounces comfortably. For larger rolls, you can go up to 5-8 ounces of meat per sandwich. This gives you a bit more leeway when portioning out the sloppy joe filling.

Calculating Servings from 10 Pounds of Meat

Now for the main question – how many servings can we get out of 10 pounds of sloppy joe meat?

There are 16 ounces in 1 pound. So with 10 pounds of meat, there are:

10 pounds x 16 ounces = 160 total ounces

If we estimate 3-4 ounces per hamburger bun serving, then we can expect around 40-53 servings from that amount of meat.

However, if using larger sandwich rolls that hold 5-8 ounces, then we’d estimate 20-32 servings.

To summarize:

Bun Type Estimated Servings
Hamburger buns 40-53 servings
Sandwich rolls 20-32 servings

So with 10 pounds of sloppy joe meat and hamburger buns, you can expect to feed around 40-53 people comfortably. The meat should be portioned out evenly into 3-4oz servings per bun.

For larger sandwich rolls, 10 pounds of meat can serve 20-32 people with 5-8oz portions each.

Serving Suggestions

Here are some tips for serving sloppy joes to a crowd:

– Set up a buffet style table with the cooked meat in a slow cooker or chafing dish to keep warm. Provide buns, condiments, and toppings so guests can build their own sandwiches.

– For parties, consider smaller slider-style buns that allow guests to take multiple mini sloppy joes.

– Have extra cooked meat on hand to replenish the serving dish as needed.

– Offer some veggie sides like coleslaw, baked beans, or potato chips to complement the sandwiches.

– For kids, cut the sandwiches in halves or quarters for easier handling.

– For outdoor events, have plenty of napkins available for the inevitable drips!

Cost Estimate

For budgeting purposes, here is a quick cost estimate for ingredients:

– 10 pounds ground beef: approximately $40
– Sloppy joe sauce: $5-10
– Buns: $10-15
– Condiments, toppings, sides: $15-20

So you’re looking at around $70-85 in total to make sloppy joes for a crowd using 10 pounds of meat. Buying the ingredients in bulk quantities helps lower the per-serving cost. Ground beef is often the biggest expense.

Cooking Time

Be sure to allow enough time for cooking when making sloppy joes for a large group:

– Browning 10 pounds ground beef: 45-60 minutes
– Simmering sauce: 30-45 minutes
– Assembling sandwiches: 15-20 minutes

So plan for at least 1 1/2 – 2 hours to prepare the meat, make the sauce, assemble sandwiches, and set up the serving area. Doing as much prep work ahead of time will help the day-of cooking go smoothly.

Food Safety Tips

When cooking large batches of meat, follow these food safety guidelines:

– Chill meat thoroughly before and after browning. Divide into smaller containers to quicken cooling time.

– Keep cooked meat hot, above 140°F. Use a slow cooker or chafing dish.

– Don’t let cooked meat sit at room temp for longer than 2 hours before discarding leftovers.

– Refrigerate any leftover meat within 1 hour and use within 3-4 days.

– Wash hands, utensils, prep surfaces frequently when handling raw meat.

– Check ground beef internal temp with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 160°F.

Following proper food handling and sanitation practices will keep your sloppy joe feast safe from bacteria.

Leftover Ideas

With 10 pounds of meat, chances are you’ll have some leftovers. Here are some creative ways to use up extra sloppy joe filling:

– Nachos – top tortilla chips with sloppy joe mix and cheese
– Baked potatoes – top with meat, cheese, sour cream
– Casserole – combine with macaroni and cheese
– Frito pie – layer meat over chili cheese Fritos
– Tater tot skillet – mix with tater tots and veggies
– Breakfast burritos – scramble with eggs and veggies

Get creative with leftovers to reinvent sloppy joes into tasty new dishes! Properly stored in the fridge, they will last 3-4 days.


When planning for a crowd, 10 pounds of sloppy joe meat can feed around 40-53 people using hamburger buns, or 20-32 people with larger sandwich rolls. Portion the meat into individual servings of 3-4 ounces for hamburger buns, or 5-8 ounces for larger rolls. Allow plenty of time to prep, cook, and assemble the sandwiches. Follow food safety best practices when handling raw meat and leftovers. With some advance preparation, 10 pounds of sloppy joes can easily fuel a fun and filling meal for family and friends.