# How much beef per person for beef on a bun?

When planning for a backyard barbecue or large gathering where beef burgers will be served, an important consideration is determining how much raw ground beef to purchase per person. There are a few factors to take into account when calculating the amount of beef needed for beef burgers or “beef on a bun.”

## Average Burger Patty Size

A standard hamburger patty is around 4 ounces or 1/4 pound of raw ground beef prior to cooking. This makes a satisfyingly sized burger patty once cooked. When estimating how much meat to buy, use this 4 ounce per patty amount as a baseline.

## Bigger Appetites

If serving teenage boys, hungry men, or others with heartier appetites, you may want to increase the patty size to 5 or even 6 ounces per burger. This will provide a bigger, more filling burger option. So in that case, plan for purchasing 5-6 ounces of raw beef per person.

## Smaller Appetites

For gatherings with smaller children, older adults, or lighter eaters, plan for smaller 3-4 ounce burger patties. You can stretch your ground beef further by making some smaller “slider” sized burgers.

## Number of Burgers Per Person

The typical person will eat 1-2 hamburger patties. When calculating your beef needs, estimate 1.5 burgers per person as a baseline. For big burger lovers who may eat 2-3 patties each, increase your estimate accordingly.

If you will be serving condiments on the side like chili, cheese sauces, or guacamole that people will add to their burgers, you may be able to reduce the meat amount slightly since the toppings will add more volume and flavor. If providing side dishes like baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, or chips, people may fill up on those and eat less meat as well.

## Example Beef Amount for a Cookout

Here is an example calculation:

25 people attending

4 ounce average patty size

1.5 burgers per person

25 people x 1.5 burgers each x 4 ounces per burger = 150 ounces of raw ground beef needed

Converting ounces to pounds:

150 ounces / 16 ounces per pound = 9.375 pounds of ground beef to purchase

Round up to 10 pounds of ground beef to have a little extra.

## Tips for Purchasing Ground Beef

• Buy fresh beef and use within 2 days or freeze meat into patties until needed.
• Allow for 15-20% shrinkage when meat is cooked.
• For best value, purchase bulk ground beef packs from warehouse stores.
• Opt for 80/20 or 85/15 lean/fat ratio for juicy burgers.
• Ground chuck or sirloin offer good flavor.

## Food Safety

To safely handle and prep ground beef:

• Wash hands before and after handling raw meat.
• Prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw meat separate from cooked foods.
• Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160°F.
• Keep perishable foods chilled on ice or refrigerated.
• Discard any leftovers that have been unrefrigerated for over 2 hours.

## Estimated Beef Needed for Different Group Sizes

Here is a table with estimates for purchasing raw ground beef based on different group sizes. This assumes 4 ounce average patty size and 1.5 burgers per person.

Number of People Pounds of Ground Beef
10 5
15 8
20 10
25 13
30 15
40 20
50 25

## Serving Tips and Ideas

Once you’ve determined how much ground beef to buy, here are some tips for serving great burgers:

• Grill patties over direct high heat, about 4-5 minutes per side.
• Provide cheese slices to melt on burgers.
• Offer traditional toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, ketchup, mayo.
• Set up a topping bar so people can customize their burgers.
• Have a vegetarian veggie burger option for non-meat eaters.
• Slice larger patties in half to make double-decker burgers.
• Serve with classic sides like potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans.

## Making Juicy and Flavorful Burgers

Follow these tips for grilling up delicious beef burgers:

• Don’t overwork the meat when forming patties.
• Make a shallow indentation in the center of each patty to prevent bulging.
• Season well with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire.
• Brush patties lightly with oil or melted butter while cooking.
• Allow patties to rest for 5 minutes after grilling.
• Avoid pressing down on burgers as they cook.
• Target medium doneness for ideal texture.

## Foods That Pair Well with Burgers

Complement your juicy beef burgers with these tasty pairings:

• Crisp lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles
• Cheese slices – cheddar, Swiss, provolone
• Bacon
• Sautéed mushrooms
• Fried egg
• Crispy fried onion rings
• Tangy barbecue sauce
• Spicy mustard
• Mayonnaise
• Ketchup