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Jan 25, 2008 09:47 AM

Calling all caterers....

Okay, I'm at it again. Need to prepare brisket for 75 people. (a mixed crowd...adults, teens, children). There will be at least three sides, relish trays, and dessert as well. My question is how many pounds of raw, flat-cut brisket, trimmed, do I need? I'm using The Pioneer Woman's recipe, but she doesn't give the number of servings. Thanks for any help!

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  1. With all that other food, 1/2 lb uncooked meat/person should be plenty and you'll have a comfortable margin (but not a preposterous amount of leftovers).

    I don't include children under 5 in my count, but count teenage boys as two people each :-)

    8 Replies
    1. re: Pistou

      That's exactly what I needed to know. Thanks so much!

      1. re: Pistou

        Speaking of "counting teanage boys as two people each..."
        If you're planning to serve buffet, this is something to consider, especially if you are buying pretty close to what you need. Often people take more than they really want, or should, of a meat entrée such as brisket. I've seen people really pile it on without realizing how much they're taking or thinking of others behind them. When I've done large catered events, I've hired people to serve the buffet line for this reason.
        One way that works to control this - subtly - is to lay out your food with the side dishes first and the meat last. People fill their plates most of the way and take less meat - as in a normal sized serving. They can always come back later for more. You're less likely to run out.

        1. re: MakingSense

          i will second putting the meat last on the buffet line, if you put it 1st everyone will take more than they intend to and there will be waste & possibly people who don't get any!

          1. re: MakingSense

            It's a church event, so I'll have people to serve....controlling the portions, as it were. Thanks for the tip about the order of the food. That helps a lot!

            1. re: cookingschool

              Be sure to show your servers what a single portion should look like. With volunteers don't forget they probably haven't given the slightest consideration to all of this that you are spending so much time figuring out.

          2. re: Pistou

            I'd say 8 oz per person sounds OK for a ball park, but there are a couple of other factors that I've noticed have a big impact when I cook for a crowd.

            Time of day / setting is the biggest -- will these people be spilling out of some event where they did not have anything since breakfast? They'll eat quite a bit more. OTOH if this is a early evening supper, after they've had lunch, they'll eat less. If there are lots of cocktails they'll eat less too. If the crowd is focused on something like a SuperBowl and they'll be some people making sandwiches and/or multiple trips to the buffet plan on more... For 20 folks I like to have at least 10-12 lbs brisket, if I'm thinking the crowd is going to come hungry I'll go to 15 lbs. If the crowd is bigger than 30 I go with multiple 8-10 briskets. For your group of 75 I'd shoot for 3 briskets or about 12 lbs. or 4 of about 9 lbs. -- bigger kitchens come in handy here! BTW do NOT consider removing the fat BEFORE cooking unless you want a dry mess on your hands!

            Brisket reheats very well, and holds on the buffet in a Nesco cooker great too. A perfect choice for feeding a crowd.

            1. re: renov8r

              Thanks for the advice! I'd like to find 3 at about 12# each. It's a lunch event.

          3. I'd agree, taking in consideration light eaters and with the three sides, half a pound is quite a bit. But all in all this would probably leave you with some but not a huge amount left over. Better to be safe....

            But to answer your question, are the briskets around 5lbs each?

            1 Reply
            1. re: chef chicklet

              I'm looking for briskets that are at least 12lbs or more. Saw some at Sam's the other day.