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BBQ Bash for Crowds

The thought of hosting a BBQ bash for 20 – 30 people right in your own backyard can be a daunting task. However, with a little thought and preparation, it can be easy to pull off a tasty memorable event.

Ideas for Cooking for a Large Crowd

Budget

Firstly decide on your total budget. This will influence the type and variety of food that you plan to serve. Find a butcher in your area to work with who will be able to advise on portion costings for the type of meat you choose to serve. Here are some ideas:-

Hamburgers – a much-loved budget-friendly choice

 

 

This is an all-time favorite. You can’t beat a freshly ground meat burger. A good mix is 80% meat and 20% fat. This will give a juicy burger that won’t cause any flare-ups when grilling.

Allow for each person to have at least one burger then up that by 20% which should cover those who will want seconds. If you are making the burger patties yourself allow for four patties per pound of meat.

The fact that burgers don’t need to be cooked at different temperatures is an advantage when cooking for a crowd. A good tip is to make a small thumb indentation in each patty before grilling. This will stop the burger from puffing up as it grills.

Set aside a burger condiments bar with bowls of cheese (cheddar and blue cheese), pickles, different sauces, diced bacon, caramelized onions, etc. Each of your guests can then personalize their burgers.

Don’t forget to check if your guests are not meat-eaters. If so set aside a small part of the grill and cook up a few vegetarian patties for those guests.

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Sausages – easy sizzling satisfaction

There are so many different varieties of sausages available whether you make your own or buy from a specialist butchery. If the budget allows getting a few varieties and allows your guests to pick their favorite.

Any of the following are popular and grill well:

Frankfurter:- Traditional particularly popular with kids.

Kielbasa:- available in many flavors ..one of the best to grill over an open fire if need be.

Bratwurst: -Jalapeno brats, beer brats or cheese stuffed brats …so many options

Knockwurst: -garlicky beef and pork sausage.Has the added advantage of usually being precooked. Just throw on the grill and they are soon ready.

Grilled sausages are an easy cook on the barbecue and easy to prepare. Grill the sausages over a low to medium indirect heat to help prevent links from bursting. Move them to the hotter side of the grill to crisp just before serving.

Another advantage when feeding a large crowd is that once cooked and covered they hold their heat well.

Serve the sausages with a variety of mustards to suit all palates all served in little pots for guests to choose their own when making up their personalized hot dog.

Serve your sausage dogs with a few side dishes i.e coleslaw or corn A great guide is using the formula of 1 ½ hot dogs per person attending. Men will normally have two but children and ladies often only one. Additionally when budgeting allow 3 oz ( 0,20 lbs) of sausage per person.

 

Steaks for small groups: – under 6-8 people.

The following are recommended for a small party.

Dry-aged Ribeye steak and 1 ½ inch thick Porterhouse steaks – expensive but impressive for a small group.  As it is a small number of steaks it is easy to give these cuts the attention they require when grilling.

 

Steaks for  mid-sized groups:- 10-12 guests

 

Strip steak, Top Sirloin, and Whole Tenderloin.:- Easy to cook and easy to slice. Still quality expensive cuts but ideal for a mid-size group. Try to make sure the steaks are cut the same size. A whole tenderloin can be pricy but is normally too much meat for a small crowd but perfect for a mid-sized crowd. Work on allocating 4 ozs of raw tenderloin beef per person ( uncooked)

Steaks meat  for a large party:- over 12 guests

 

The two tips to consider are easy and affordable. Look for :

Short Ribs:- they won’t be as tender as when braised but they are cheap filling and quick to cook. Allow a pound per person (bone-in) if they are meaty ribs.

The whole Brisket:- A whole Brisket is a smoking project and does take most of the day. However, it will feed many people and it looks so impressive when you place it on the serving table before slicing. It’s an affordable way to feed a crowd. Work on ½ lb of meat (uncooked) per person. Then add a further 2 lbs for those big eaters. This way you can be sure that you will adequate meat for all appetites.

Chicken Pieces.

 Cooking chicken pieces on a barbecue for large crowds can be very tricky. They require a lot of attention and should be cooked initially over indirect heat before crisping over hotter coals. The breasts tend to dry out as there is no fat in the cuts and the thighs often burn as fat drips through the grate creating flames.

The BBQ chicken is delicious if properly cooked. Remember to place chicken meat on the grill in this order. Thighs, Leg, Breast, and wings.

 

Side Dishes for large crowds.

 

Below find three side dishes that are delicious and can be prepared in advance of your BBQ.If you want to serve larger quantities just increase the ingredients proportionally.

 

Tequilla, Lime Slaw for 15 people. Can be prepared the day before.

 

( The tequila adds extra complexity to the dish whilst the lime perks up the earthy cabbage)

½ cup canola mayonnaise i.e Hellmann’s

6 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

2 Tablespoons Silver Tequilla

4 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup fresh cilantro

2 x small heads of red cabbage, shredded

8 large carrots shredded

8 green onions sliced

 

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl together.

Add the mayo/tequila/lime mixture to the balance of the ingredients and toss well.

 

Greek lentil salad- for 10 people

( This salad can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.)

Ingredients for 10 people

2 ½ cups canned  lentils, drained and then washed

½ cup  kalamata olives

½ cup  onion, chopped

1½ cups sweet cherry tomatoes halved

½ cup green peppers, chopped

1 cup  cucumber, diced

¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup  fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup  olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 Tbsp dried oregano

Using a large bowl mix the first eight ingredients together.

Whip together the oil, lemon juice and oregano in a separate bowl.

Pour over the lentil mixture and toss well.

 

Broccoli, Walnut& Bacon salad – Serves 10 people ( This salad can be made the day before and retains its crunch for serving at your BBQ.

 

10 cups broccoli florets

2 small sliced red apples

1 cup walnuts

10 slices bacon chopped and cooked

1 Purple Onion diced

Dressing:-

1 ½ cups Avocado Oil Mayo i.e Primal Avocado Mayo available form amazon or supermarkets.

4 tablespoons lemon juice

4 Tablespoons Honey

12 Teaspoons Poppy seeds

Salt to taste

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the broccoli mixture and toss.

 

Don’t be afraid to invite all your friends to your next BBQ! With a little preparation and thought it can be a fun experience for the host as well.

 

 

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