How Much Shredded Beef Should I Make for 30 People? A Helpful Guide for Planning Your Menu

Planning food for a large group can be intimidating, especially when it comes to figuring out how much shredded beef to make. As the host, you want to make sure you have enough so everyone gets fed, without going overboard and wasting food or money. Don’t stress – we’re here to help! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to determine the right amount of shredded beef for 30 people.

Calculating How Much Raw Meat You Need

The first step is calculating how much raw meat you need to purchase Here are some general guidelines

  • Plan on 1⁄2 pound of raw meat per person. For 30 people, this would be 15 pounds of raw meat.

  • If serving the shredded beef as more of a side dish or using it in tacos or sandwiches, you can get away with 1⁄3 pound per person For 30 people, this would be 10 pounds of raw meat

  • If you have big eaters in the group or are only serving shredded beef and 1-2 sides, go with 3⁄4 pound per person. For 30 people, this equals 22.5 pounds of raw meat.

  • For a crowd with a mix of adults and kids, figure 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 pound per child and 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 pound per adult.

As you can see, anywhere from 10-22.5 pounds of raw meat should be sufficient for a group of 30, depending on your menu and demographics. Always round up slightly to have extras just in case.

Factoring in Shrinkage and Yield

The next consideration is shrinkage and yield. When meat cooks, it loses moisture and fat, decreasing the final cooked weight compared to the raw. This is known as shrinkage.

Different cuts and cooking methods impact shrinkage percentages. For shredded beef, expect approximately 25-30% shrinkage from a chuck roast or brisket cooked slowly in a crockpot or oven.

You’ll need to calculate the final yield using this formula:

Yield = Raw Weight x (1 – Shrinkage %)

Let’s say you bought 20 lbs of raw meat for 30 people, expecting 30% shrinkage.

The yield would be:

20 lbs x (1 – 0.30) = 14 lbs

So 20 lbs raw would yield about 14 lbs shredded beef after cooking, accounting for shrinkage.

Suggested Serving Sizes

Figuring out portion sizes for shredded beef can also be tricky. Here are some tips:

  • Main entrée: 8 oz or 1⁄2 pound per person

  • Sandwiches/tacos: 4-6 oz or 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 pound per person

  • Side dish: 2-4 oz or 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 pound per person

  • Kids ages 4-8: 2-3 oz or 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 pound

  • Kids 9-12: 4-6 oz or 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 pound

  • Teen boys: 8-12 oz or 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 pound

Modify as needed based on your menu and the appetites of your guests. Providing shredded beef as a main course or for sandwiches? Lean towards the higher end of the ranges. Serving it as an appetizer or taco topping? You can likely get away with less per person.

Purchasing the Right Cuts of Beef

When it comes to shredded beef, opt for well-marbled cuts like chuck roast, brisket, rump roast, or flank steak. These cuts have great flavor and turn deliciously tender when cooked low and slow.

Aim for thick, boneless cuts, ideally around 4-5 pounds each. Avoid pre-tied roasts, as the string makes shredding difficult. And don’t be afraid of the fatty cuts – that marbling bastes the meat as it cooks, keeping it extra moist and juicy.

Cooking Methods for Perfectly Shredded Beef

The cooking method you use can make or break your shredded beef. Slow, moist heat is key to breaking down those tough cuts into fork-tender strands.

Crockpot: Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Add 1⁄2 cup broth or water if needed.

Oven: Cook covered at 250-275F for 3-4 hours until fork tender. Add some beef stock to the pan.

Instant Pot: Cook at high pressure for 60-90 minutes with a natural release. Finish by simmering with broth to moisten.

Grill: Indirect heat at 225-250F for 4-6 hours with wood chips for smoke flavor. Spritz with apple cider vinegar every hour.

No matter which method you use, always let the meat rest at least 10-15 minutes before shredding – this allows the juices to reabsorb for maximum flavor.

Tips for Serving Shredded Beef

Once your beef is perfectly cooked and shredded, use these tips for serving it successfully:

  • Keep it warm in a slow cooker on the warm setting or in a warming tray.

  • Offer fun toppings like pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream so guests can customize.

  • Serve shredded beef sandwiches on rolls or buns with coleslaw on the side.

  • Portion into taco shells or tortillas and let guests build their own tacos.

  • Pair with classic BBQ sides like baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob, or mac and cheese.

  • Make beef enchiladas, empanadas, nachos, quesadillas, or stuffed peppers to use up leftovers.

With this handy guide, you can confidently tackle making shredded beef for 30 people. Just remember to start with ample raw meat, factor in shrinkage, nail the cook time, and offer fun serving ideas. Let us know if you have any other questions – we’re happy to help!

How to…Make Killer Slow-Cooked Shredded Beef


How much beef do I need for 30 adults?

When cooking something like steak, turkey or pork, where meat is the main dish of the meal and paired with a few side dishes, we recommend about 1/2 pound (eight ounces) per person, or up to 3/4 (12 ounces) pound for bigger appetites and those who love leftovers.

How many people will 5 pounds of shredded beef feed?

Adults. In general, each pound of BBQ feeds 3 to 4 people, especially if you’re serving sides. You can expect most adult guests to eat ¼ to ⅓ pounds of meat each during your event. Adults will likely be drinking, grazing on snacks, and filling up on sides, too.

How many pounds of chuck roast for 30 people?

If beef roast is the main dish, the general rule of thumb is to get at least a half-pound of beef for every person (8 ounces). If there’s a possibility of additional unexpected guests or if you’d like leftovers, you can round up and buy about 3/4 pound per person (12 ounces) or even a pound per person (16 ounces).

How many pounds of beef for 25 people?

Half a pound times 25 people is 12.5 pounds of cooked beef. Typically you lose 25% to shrink so 12.5 divided by 75% means you need just about 17 pounds raw beef.

How much shredded beef per person?

The starting rule of thumb is: Boneless Meat: 1/2 lb. per person for adults and 1/4 lb. per person for children. How Many Pounds Of Shredded Beef Per Person? The suggested serving size for shredded beef is 8 ounces or half a pound of raw meat per person.

How many servings of lean meats should one have per day?

Ideally, each person consumes between 300 and 500 g of meat per week, which means a very small steak per day. This includes red and white meats such as chicken and fish, although they are less fatty.

How many times can you eat shredded beef?

Cook once, eat 3 (or 4!) times. This Slow Cooker Shredded Beef makes enough for at least three dinners, and it’s the perfect protein-packed anchor for so many different meals. The first night we make it, we keep it simple and serve the pulled beef over homemade egg noodles (store bought noodles are also 100% on the level) or creamy mashed potatoes.

What is the best cut of beef for shredding?

Round roast can also work, but takes longer to cook and will have a little less flavor because there is less fat. Fat helps flavor the meat. Chuck roasts are the best cut of beef for shredding in our experience at home. Brisket is another great option if considering a much larger cut of meat. How Much Shredded Beef For 100 People?

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