Planning a perfect dinner party can come with a number of stressors. The menu, of course, is arguably the largest one, but once you've planned out the perfect several-course meal for your guests, there's one more ever-important question: How much is each person going to eat?
If your main dish is meat, you want to make sure that everyone has more than enough, but there's no one-size-fits-all for how much meat you should buy per person. In fact, it depends on a number of elements, including the heaviness of the other courses, how many total courses -- and to be honest, it also just comes down to how much your family and friends eat.
The magic number hovers around eight ounces, but if you're planning to have several hearty appetizers and want to pair the main meat dish with heavy sides, you could potentially need less. However, if the meat is the star of the show and the other dishes are super light, you might want to add a little more.
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How To Plan The Amount Of Meat Per Person
If you're serving boneless steak, chicken, or pork, then generally the appropriate serving is eight ounces per person. However, if your starter is just a pretty charcuterie board with some fruit, meat, and cheese, guests might be able to eat a little more meat. But if there are hearty appetizers like a rich dip or anything deep fried on the menu, keep the meat serving to eight ounces.
Eight ounces also assumes you have a number of sides that will join the main meat course. If you're serving filet mignon and pairing it with garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and a rich Bordelaise sauce, eight ounces is plenty. But that's assuming you ditched the grazing board in favor of filling appetizers. If you're pairing the meat with a side salad instead, aim for about 12 ounces per person to make sure even the hungriest appetites feel full after the meal.
There Are Exceptions To The Eight-Ounce Rule
Bone-in cuts warrant more weight. Since the bone accounts for part of the meat's weight, you should stick with 12 ounces per person. If you're serving a bone-in ribeye, you can even go up to 14 ounces if the sides are limited. Although eight ounces is the standard for boneless, a cut with a bone will carry less meat.
Ground beef and fish also call for fewer than eight ounces. If you're cooking up burgers, stick to a ⅓ pound patty, or just over five ounces, and measure the number of burgers using that standard. For fish, you can assume everyone will eat one four-ounce fillet, though it wouldn't hurt to prepare a few extra.
If you're hosting a game-day party and plan to prep as many wings as possible, you might want to load up at the grocery store. Anyone sitting and watching a game will likely eat about a pound of whole wings, or roughly five each (this includes the drum and the flat!). Though use your best judgment here: If your party guests are big wing fans, add a few more to that number.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.