How Many Hamburgers to Buy for a Big Group (A helpful chart)

Most people enjoy attending barbeques for summer events like the Fourth of July and other big celebrations, but it is important to keep in mind how much your guests might eat at the event you are hosting.

The average person will eat between 1-3 hamburgers. The number of hamburgers consumed changes based on demographic (such as gender). Males tend to eat between 2-3 hamburgers while females tend to eat between 1-2 hamburgers. The number can change as well with the addition of sides that are served.

When you are preparing to serve hamburgers to a large group it is important to keep in mind what type of group your guests make up.

How Many Hamburgers to Cook

Since people will eat anywhere from 1 to 3 hamburgers, you will need about 3 hamburgers for each guest attending to make sure everyone is able to eat food. In different groups, more food will be eaten, so it is good to prepare with the intent of who you will be feeding.

The chart below, assists in knowing how many hamburgers to buy and cook for a large roup of people.

Amount of People InvitedAmount of Hamburgers to Buy

Family Gathering

At a family gathering, the number of hamburgers that are eaten will be much different than either the group of teenage boys and the school event. The number of hamburgers needed will change greatly depending on the ages of the individuals participating. At a family gathering, little kids will be more likely to eat one hamburger. Teenagers will eat around 2-3, and adults may eat 2.

A School Event

Since you will have very different data depending on what types of people attend the school, it is good to prepare with 3 per person and adjust as you go. You do not have to cook all the hamburgers at once.

If there are a bunch of teenage boys, there is no need to worry as much about the food that is not getting eaten by all the girls. The girls may feel self conscious and eat less. The boys might feel self concsious as well, but, it is guaranteed that some people will gladly eat all they can.

It is also proven that as people get older, they are more self conscious about how much they eat and what thy eat around other people, so feeding a high school crowd can result in very skewed numbers. Whenever my school fed us, they only let us get back in line for more food after everyone had already gotten some.

A Group of Teenage Boys

Most people already know that boys eat much more than girls, but teenage boys can out eat basically everyone. If you were only going to have teenage boys at the event, you will most definitely need more than 3 hamburgers per person. They might challenge each other to an eating contest, and they can probably already eat 3 each.

Cooking Hamburgers for a Big Group

It is always a good idea to prepare ahead of time. Depending on the type of hamburgers you are cooking and what kind of grill you are using will change the amount of time it will take them to cook.

A hamburger can cook anywhere from a few minutes to 10 minutes, or even up to 15 minutes. It depends greatly on how high the fire is, how thick the burgers are, and how cooked you want the burgers to be.

Hamburgers are different than a lot of different meats because you can cook them to be rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, or well done. This can greatly affect the time it takes for a burger to cook, so it is good to decide this while you are prepping for the gathering. Not having food ready when the guests are hungry can reflect poorly on you as a host.

It is best to grill hamburgers on an actual grill. Using whatever size of the grill is alright. It will affect the time it takes to grill all the burgers, but it is still possible.

Having a larger grill with more space to flip burgers will assist you better than trying to overload your grill and preventing yourself from being able to flip the burgers. A larger grill will also allow you to cook more burgers at the same time.

How to Keep Hamburgers Warm off the Grill

Because you can only keep so many burgers on the grill at one time, it is important to cover the hamburgers you are cooking so they keep warm until they are eaten.

One possible way to keep your hamburgers warm is to keep them in an oven heated to 200°F. The heat from the oven will not cause the hamburgers to overcook, rather, it will only keep them warm.

Another way to keep hamburgers warm is to use a warming tray. These can be metal or made of foil. The metal will hold in heat better because that is what metal does, but the cheaper option is always available.

You do not Have to Cook them all at Once

When you are cooking the hamburgers, you do not have to cook them all at the same time to have ready on hand during the party. You can prepare enough for at least 1-2 per person. As the event goes on, you can see if it will be necessary to cook more. This allows you to not have too many extra hamburgers.

How Side Dishes Affect the Number of Hamburgers to Buy

Having side dishes at your event may be essential. You can always have a fruit salad, a pasta salad, chips, and even various desserts available. The more food you have available, the happier your guests will be. There is no need to have too many options, though because then it becomes difficult for guests to choose and food does not get eaten.

Having multiple sides also mean your guests may eat many less hamburgers. This allows you to use a cheaper option so you do not en up with too many hamburgers stored in your fridge after the fact.

The amounts of sides you have and the types of sides you offer can assist in feeding everyone as needed. For example, if you are coming close to running out of hamburgers after already feeding people a first serving and maybe even a second, you can emphasize the sides you have available.

Only cooking as many hamburgers you need at a time. If you see that hamburgers are going sparse on the trays, it is good to continue grilling them.


Being part of a really big family, cooking for big groups of people is just how we do things. Cooking, baking, and outdoor cooking have all been huge parts of my life, and I love sharing what I've learned with you.

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