Author Topic: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?  (Read 2694 times)

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Kess

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Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« on: June 08, 2012, 04:34:15 AM »
We're hoping to have a BBQ/buffet for The Baby Formerly Known As Dinky's first birthday, though it's more a, "Yay, we got through the first 12 months and he's still in one piece (and so is our sanity)!" (touch wood that this is still the case by then!).  My Mom and Dad have volunteered their house as a venue as ours is tiny and too far away from most of the invitees, and I'm working on an idea of food.  I'm trying to keep costs down as we're not exactly flush, but obviously want people to enjoy the food and feel well-fed.

Current ideas:

Colcannon
Filled potato skins
Rice salad
Potato salad
Crusty bread
Salad
Quiche
Hardboiled eggs
Dips and veggies/breadsticks
Pizza
Birthday cake of course

Then meat of various types on the BBQ.  But I'm not sure how many burgers/sausages/pieces of meat to allow per person, taking into account the above.  Or, for that matter, how much of each of the above to put out.  There may be between 20 and 30 guests, maybe a few less if lots of people can't come.  Can anyone offer advice on quantities?  Does my menu look alright?

Venus193

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 08:01:24 AM »
Is a partial answer OK?

Dips:  Three or four large containers of sour cream to start; use different flavoring for each
Potato Skins:  depending on filling, one or two per person
Hard-boiled eggs:  Two or three dozen, if you're going to devil them
Potato or rice Salad:  No more than four pounds

Meat:  Two servings per person.

The menu looks a little carb-heavy, so I would recommend losing one of the potato recipes, especially if your colcannon recipe is anything like the one I just read.  Also the breadsticks if you're planning on having burgers and franks, which are either using the crusty bread or buns you may or may not get for them.

Switch out for some fresh fruit, which would be lovely if it's a hot day.

WillyNilly

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 10:35:50 AM »
I think you need more green and/or fresh - veggie sticks, a fruit salad, even a coleslaw.  One salad mixed in with 3 kinds of potato, rice, bread and pizza just seems so heavy for an outdoor summer party.  Watermelon is always a big hit and super easy IME.

Winterlight

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 11:38:11 AM »
I'd probably skip the pizza and rice- you've got a lot of carbs already. Seconding fresh fruit.
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POF

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2012, 01:37:29 PM »
it also may be less expensive to serve a shredded beef or pork or chicken BBQ sandwiches. These always go over well and someone does not have to man the cooker.

For a large party -  Iwill serve that with coleslaw and chips and dip and a side salald or two and call it a day.

kudeebee

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 02:52:01 PM »
I think you could pare your menu way down.  That is a lot of food for 20 to 30 people and it seems like you are trying to cover too many meal types.  Are you doing breakfast, brunch, lunch, evening meal?  Decide on a theme and go with it.  If you are doing a brunch, then go with brunch items.  If you are doing a bbq, go with those side items. If you want to go with pizza, then pick your side dish selections around that.  It will make it much easier on you, will help keep your costs down, and will cutdown on lots of leftovers that may or may not get eaten later and could end up being thrown away.  You said you are trying to keep your costs down, but still have a nice meal.  This can be easily done with some planning.

If you do want to keep all the main entree items, I would eliminate two potatoes and add fruits instead, watermelon is great and easy to do.  Also if you are grilling, I would get rid of the bread/breadsticks.  I always figure 1 1/2 servings per person for grilling.  However, if you are having all of the other mains, 1 serving may be enough.  It can also depend on ages of attendees.  I agree with doing a bbq beef, pork or chicken.  Can be done ahead of time and leftovers can be easily frozen for future meals.  And noone has to man the grill.

audrey1962

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 04:03:40 PM »
I agree with the PP's.

The rule I was taught is:
Appetizers (optional)
Protein
Starchy vegetable, rice or pasta
Cooked vegetable
Raw vegetable
Bread
Fruit
Dessert (optional)

For most people the protein is meat. My family considers one serving to be 1/4 pound boneless, 1/2-1 pound bone-in. (Although as someone earlier pointed out, some people plan for 2 servings per person). It's okay to have multiple proteins, but we try to keep it simple and economical, so we usually just did one. Or if we wanted more than one, we did something like kabobs, where the portions could be smaller. The starchy vegetable is usually some type of potato, the raw vegetable a salad. If you are serving the meet with rolls, then that's the bread, you do not need to provide a separate bread.

So using this formula you could have:
Hardboiled eggs
Hamburgers and sausages with rolls
Potato skins
Corn on the cob
Veggies and dip
Fruit salad
Birthday cake

Or:
Mini quiche appetizers
Baked chicken (cut it up first, then season and bake - this is really great because you can make it the night before and serve it cold if you live someplace hot)
Rice
Roasted veggies
Green salad
Breadsticks
Watermelon
Birthday cake

To keep it simple:
Appetizers: Veggies with dip and cut up fruit
Sheperd's pie (meat, potato, cooked veggie)
Green salad
Breadsticks
Birthday cake

Using your menu, I would pare it down to:
Hardboiled eggs (appetizer)
Meats served with bread
Colcannon (potato and vegetable)
Veggies and dip
Fruit
Birthday cake

Again, this is what my family did to keep things easy on the hostess and the budget. I realize others may have different techniques, that's okay too. Good luck! I hope you have a great party

jpcher

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 08:43:08 PM »

Current ideas:

Colcannon
Filled potato skins
Rice salad
Potato salad
Crusty bread
Salad
Quiche
Hardboiled eggs
Dips and veggies/breadsticks
Pizza
Birthday cake of course

Then meat of various types on the BBQ.


I agree with previous posters . . . your menu is quite starchy.

I think the idea for parties like what you're planning is quality/quantity vs. variety.

As a rule, I usually provide at least 2 servings per dish per person invited.

Maybe pick 2 of the first four items on your list. The Colcannon sounds wonderful (from what I looked up on line) can easily, cheaply, serve a lot of people. But I really like the idea of skins -- creative and unique.

I'm thinking one of the potato dishes and then your rice salad for a different type of starch (could you, please, post a recipe?) Or two of the potatoes and nix the rice.

Personally? I loveses crusty bread.

Salad -- I would go big with a fresh undressed garden salad. I usually serve a variety of dressings on the side (Vinaigrette, Ranch, French, Bleu Cheese, whatever) so your guests can choose their own flavor. (Oh. And crusty bread goes very nicely with a garden salad.  ;D)

Quiche and hard boiled eggs . . . I think that I would pick one or the other. Maybe go with the Quiche (will it be mini-one-serving quiches?) because quiche is a bit classier than simple hard boiled eggs . . . but that depends on your guests. What do you think they would they prefer?

Dips and veggies/breadsticks -- I would sway away from the breadsticks and go with a couple of different flavored crackers instead. Will this be your appetizer? Maybe add some cheese and a fruit platter.

Absolutely no need for pizza.


What to cook on the grill? Hamburgers for everyone! if you want to make it easy on yourself.  ;D

This is what I usually do. Pick one meat to grill: burgers, brats, chicken, and have plenty available for everyone (1 and a 1/2 or more servings for the number of guests invited.)

But this is a "know your audience" type of thing. The people that I grill for have no dietary issues, so everybody is happy with whatever I serve . . . usually 1 main meat dish.

I wouldn't offer more than 2 grilled choices. Maybe a beef and a chicken.

Again, it's quality/quantity vs. variety . . . no need to knock yourself out by serving all of your favorite dishes.



Good luck! and Have fun! ;D

sparksals

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 11:15:13 AM »
We're hoping to have a BBQ/buffet for The Baby Formerly Known As Dinky's first birthday, though it's more a, "Yay, we got through the first 12 months and he's still in one piece (and so is our sanity)!" (touch wood that this is still the case by then!).  My Mom and Dad have volunteered their house as a venue as ours is tiny and too far away from most of the invitees, and I'm working on an idea of food.  I'm trying to keep costs down as we're not exactly flush, but obviously want people to enjoy the food and feel well-fed.

Current ideas:

Colcannon
Filled potato skins
Rice salad
Potato salad
Crusty bread
Salad
Quiche
Hardboiled eggs
Dips and veggies/breadsticks
Pizza
Birthday cake of course

Then meat of various types on the BBQ.  But I'm not sure how many burgers/sausages/pieces of meat to allow per person, taking into account the above.  Or, for that matter, how much of each of the above to put out.  There may be between 20 and 30 guests, maybe a few less if lots of people can't come.  Can anyone offer advice on quantities?  Does my menu look alright?

It doesn't strike me as a very colourful menu.   If you think about it, colcannon, rice, potato salad, potato skins, crusty bread, eggs and even quiche are all very light, beigeish-white colours.  Also, a lot of carbs without a balance of protein.  What about some sort of vegetable salad with colourful veggies?  Fruit tray? 

Kess

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 04:10:44 AM »
Is a partial answer OK?

Dips:  Three or four large containers of sour cream to start; use different flavoring for each
Potato Skins:  depending on filling, one or two per person
Hard-boiled eggs:  Two or three dozen, if you're going to devil them
Potato or rice Salad:  No more than four pounds

Meat:  Two servings per person.

The menu looks a little carb-heavy, so I would recommend losing one of the potato recipes, especially if your colcannon recipe is anything like the one I just read.  Also the breadsticks if you're planning on having burgers and franks, which are either using the crusty bread or buns you may or may not get for them.

Switch out for some fresh fruit, which would be lovely if it's a hot day.

I had to look up deviled eggs.  Are they an American thing?  They sound alright, but no I won't be attempting them since I've never even seen them lol I was meaning just plain hardboiled eggs.  Mom and Dad keep hens so eggs tend to get added to any menu and they'd be the freshest most people had ever had.

It doesn't strike me as a very colourful menu.   If you think about it, colcannon, rice, potato salad, potato skins, crusty bread, eggs and even quiche are all very light, beigeish-white colours.  Also, a lot of carbs without a balance of protein.  What about some sort of vegetable salad with colourful veggies?  Fruit tray? 

Well the quiche would be brown on top; the veggies for the dip would be bell peppers, carrots and cucumbers; the potato skins would probably be pepper, chives, cheese, sour cream, etc; even the colcannon has bacon in it and potato salad is full of chives.  So even in my menu above we've got green, orange, red, yellow, pink, orange, white, brown.

I will take people's advice and ditch some carbs, add some fruit and so on.  It's hard because I'm dealing with a lot of dietary restrictions so I know some people won't be able to eat the potato skins, others won't be able to eat the bread, etc.  I suppose I was trying to make sure everyone had plenty to choose from but you are all right it was unbalancing my menu a bit.

How about:
Colcannon
Filled potato skins
Potato salad
Salad with a couple of dressings on the side
Coleslaw
Dips and veggies
Fruit skewers and watermelon slices
Two burgers per person plus a few pieces of marinated turkey breast and a few sausages
Birthday cake

I know it's still a lot of potato but there are at least 3 people who can't eat bread so they'll need something to go with their meat.

Am I better to have a lot of the same burgers/sausages or a big mixture including some exotic meats if we can afford it?  E.g. 25 beefburgers, 25 pork burgers, a few veggieburgers, all the sausages be pork, or half a dozen beefburgers, some lamb burgers, some wild boar burgers, some kudu, ostrich, kangaroo sausages and some pork?  On the one hand I favour the more exotic menu myself taste-wise and it's lower fat so I'll be able to eat more, but it will be more expensive unless I get some good bargains and I'm worried having too few of each individual thing might leave people unhappy not to have the chance to try something they wanted to if others have.  Or people will all want the 'safe' option and we might not have enough if we've included lots of exotic meat in our count.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 04:12:17 AM by Kess »

Zilla

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 08:08:16 AM »
We actually prefer carbs and salads are often untouched or very little so it's a know your party guests type thing.  I think your menu looks great.


As for the burgers, I would pare it down to 2 types.  Regular and the exotic meats one.  And for 25 guests, I would have on hand 8 pounds of regular and 8 pounds of the exotic which will make about 64 patties (1/4 lb burgers)  And don't forget cheese/condiments if guests will be expecting that.


I would do at least one sausage per guest depending on size.  As you said too much variety, you may not provide as much.  I would stick with one or two kinds.


Have fun!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 08:09:59 AM by Zilla »

jpcher

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 03:22:35 PM »
I think your revised menu is very nice.

With your explanation of fresh hard boiled eggs I think I would keep this on the menu. It sounds like a delicious treat!

Am I better to have a lot of the same burgers/sausages or a big mixture including some exotic meats if we can afford it?  E.g. 25 beefburgers, 25 pork burgers, a few veggieburgers, all the sausages be pork, or half a dozen beefburgers, some lamb burgers, some wild boar burgers, some kudu, ostrich, kangaroo sausages and some pork?  On the one hand I favour the more exotic menu myself taste-wise and it's lower fat so I'll be able to eat more, but it will be more expensive unless I get some good bargains and I'm worried having too few of each individual thing might leave people unhappy not to have the chance to try something they wanted to if others have. Or people will all want the 'safe' option and we might not have enough if we've included lots of exotic meat in our count.

I understand the desire for more exotic menu. But the bold above would be my concern, too. How much of each to make? You don't want people fighting over the last ostrich burger. You certainly don't want to make one of each/guest.

I think you should stick with the "safe" option for the main meal . . . 25 beef burgers (or pork . . . whichever you prefer), a few veggie burgers (how many vegetarians do you have coming?), 10 turkey breasts. (Adjust this to your audience, maybe more turkey breasts and less burgers)



THEN . . . for your exotic choices, you could always cut the exotic burgers into cubes, the exotic sausages into about 1" chunks and serve them with your appetizers as little tasty bites . . . something for everybody to try. Label the dishes, serve with toothpicks so that someone doesn't take a huge spoonfull.

Quantity?  Since you have quite a variety of exotics, I would plan on one+ cube per person/dish. If your burgers are large enough you can cube them to 6-9 1-inch pieces each. 6 cubes equals 4 burgers of each exotic flavor to serve 25 as an appetizer.

Or, on the less expensive side, you can pick and choose and only serve a few of your favorite exotics as cubed appetizers . . . "some lamb burgers, some wild boar burgers, some kudu, ostrich, kangaroo sausages and some pork?" Pick 3 and serve a bit more of each.




It sounds like you really want to go exotic. But for this many people, I strongly suggest only one or two main meats. eta: Maybe one exotic and one regular.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 03:29:51 PM by jpcher »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 03:17:14 PM »
snip

Am I better to have a lot of the same burgers/sausages or a big mixture including some exotic meats if we can afford it?  E.g. 25 beefburgers, 25 pork burgers, a few veggieburgers, all the sausages be pork, or half a dozen beefburgers, some lamb burgers, some wild boar burgers, some kudu, ostrich, kangaroo sausages and some pork?  On the one hand I favour the more exotic menu myself taste-wise and it's lower fat so I'll be able to eat more, but it will be more expensive unless I get some good bargains and I'm worried having too few of each individual thing might leave people unhappy not to have the chance to try something they wanted to if others have.  Or people will all want the 'safe' option and we might not have enough if we've included lots of exotic meat in our count.

I think I'd go with beef or lamb burgers, veggie burgers, and and then pick your favorite exotic meat burger or the one you could get at the best price. 

For the sausages, I'd plan to serve them as bite size appetizers.  Once cooked, slice into bit size pieces and serve on a tray with toothpicks.  Then you can have as many options as you'd like.   

Autumn Rose

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 10:19:05 PM »

All of the suggestions are great.    Whatever items you choose will be delish!

I am looking at this from a quantity aspect.

From a "buffet" perspective, I would have the following:

(per person)

8 oz of meat.    Want to have a variety?   kabobs.

1 Cup of Starch   (thats alot...but people love their starches!    I know I do!)
1/2 Cup vegetable
1/4 Cup fruit
Dessert

Then whatever hors d'oeuvres you have....  a nice combo of something vegetarian, chicken, beef or fish
    I would figure 5 "servings" per person


****

I think this is plenty of food.    (any chefs out there?)   
Mostly men?   Slightly more 
Mostly women?   Slightly less


(And the good part is, if you actually run out of something....you can claim for YEARS, "oh....everyone just LOVES my ***".    LOL)


sparksals

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Re: Help me with menu quantities for BBQ/buffet?
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 10:47:17 PM »
Of course everything isn't the exact same colour, but very similar shades with little blips of colour.  From what you posted, it sounds all very beige and when all on the plate together will not have much shade difference.