How Many Pounds of Rice to Feed 100? (Chart Calculator)


long rice cooked in skillet image
long rice cooked in skillet

Rice is a huge staple in our lives today. It’s phenomenal that it is a food that has been around for a very long time. As a matter of fact, it is one of the oldest known foods that we still eat regularly. If you need to feed a large group though, it’s important to calculate how much rice you’ll need to satisfy them.

100 servings of rice is needed to feed 100 people. Some suggest servings sizes of 1/2 a cup, while others suggest 1 cup serving size. If 1/2 cups of rice is prepared for each person, than 25 pounds of rice will be needed. For smaller groups, such as 25 people, 2.5 pounds of rice would be needed.

Not only does rice have a long history in the world today, but it is also used as a great filler food to serve large crowds and small parties. It works great as a main dish or a side dish and can help you to fill the bellies of all your hungry guests. It may be helpful to know just how much rice you will need for all these situations.

Rice Calculator

Before we start calculating the amount of rice each person needs and how much rice you will need to buy at the store, you must first put the amount of rice you will need into context. Will this be part of the main entrée? Will it be a smaller portion on the side? Is it the focus of the dish or just an added part to help it be more filling? What kind of rice will you be using? Brown rice? White rice? Long grain or small grain?

Each of these questions will play into how much rice you need per person. The greater the importance of the rice in the meal, the more you will need. On the other hand, rice that is just added to complement a side or main dish won’t need as much.

There are 3 types of rice: long-grain, small grain, and medium grain. The most commonly used rice in North America today is Jasmine Rice and Basmati rice. Both of these are long grain. The best way to get an accurate measurement of how much rice you will need is to get a cup of the rice you intend to use and its weight and then do calculations from there.

Rice can be served in so many ways. If you are serving flavored rice on the side, you will probably be safe to stick to the general serving size of 1/2 a cup. If you are using rice as a bed for steamed veggies and meat as the main entrée, it may be safe to calculate about 1 cup serving size per person. Once you have determined the kind of rice you’ll use and the size of the servings you will need, you can begin to calculate for large and small groups alike.

One half cup of uncooked rice yields one cup of cooked rice. The rice should be prepared with a 1:2 ratio, with their being twice as much water as uncooked rice. So, if you cook 1/2 cup of rice, you should cook it in 1 cup of water, and it will make 1 cup of cooked rice.

With that being said, let’s get on to some calculations! We’ll start small and work our way up. Say you had three good friends coming over for dinner. You were making pork chops and serving them with a side of rice. This means that you would probably stick with 1/2 serving for each friend. When measuring the raw rice, you would make 2 cups of rice total and having an extra 1/2 serving of rice for leftovers or seconds.

Let’s go up a bit more. Say you have a 5-pound bag of rice and want to use as much it as possible in one sitting. Invite over 25 people and serve it as a main dish! In 5 pounds of rice, there are 12.5 cups of raw rice, making 25 half-cup servings. When cooked, this would make 25 one-cup servings that would look as tasty as ever under some freshly chopped chicken and vegetables.

Finally, let’s get to 100 people! If you were planning to feed 100 people each one cup of rice you would need four, 5-pound bags of rice or 20 pounds of rice total. If you only want to feed each person 1/2 a serving of rice, then you would make 10 pounds of rice and have 25 cups of rice, making 100 1/2 cup servings. It may also be helpful to have some extra, so keep that in mind as you cook, but in the end, you will need about 15 to 25 pounds of rice to feed 100 people.

That’s a lot of numbers to keep track of, so here’s a summary chart to help break down the serving size and pounds of rice you will need for certain group sizes.

Number of PeopleServing Size Cups of Raw RicePounds of Rice (estimate)
51/2 cup1 & 1/4 cups less than a pound
10 1/2 cup2 & 1/2 cups 1.2 pounds
151/2 cup3 & 3/4 cups1.5 pounds
25 1/2 cup12 & 1/2 cups 5 pounds
50 1/2 cup24 & 1/2 cups10 pounds
100 1/2 cup49 cups 20 pounds

Rice History & Statistics

Rice has been dated all the way back to around 5000 BC. It has fed people for millions of years and continues to be a phenomenal source of nutrition and sustenance.

There are so many interesting things about rice these days that it is almost impossible to find out how much rice to cook without also learning some interesting facts along the way. Rice, while cheap in the financial aspect of things, has incredible value in our world today. As a matter of fact, the average American will eat about 26 pounds of rice a year, and the average Asian eats about 300 pounds a year. French people only eat about 10 pounds a year, and United Arab countries eat about 450 pounds per year!

That’s a lot of rice on a global scale! In connection with that, we find that Asia produces and eats 90% of the rice in the world in a given year.

In ancient China, rice was so common that it was added to mixtures of mortar to make it become more adhesive and create a strong barrier for walls. The porridge mixture of rice was laid between bricks as a way to hold them all together. There are city walls that contain this mixture and possibly even parts of the Great Wall of China. This process took place during the Miny Dynasty of China in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Another interesting aspect of rice is how it is grown. As we have mentioned before, it is grown in Asian countries, mostly China, India, and Indonesia, but others as well. In these places, it is grown in fields known as paddies. These rice paddies are normally terraced or in plains, deltas, river basins, or other areas where water is abundant. This is necessary because after the seedlings have grown for about 20 to 50 days, they are transplanted into a paddy that has about 2 to 4 inches of standing water for the rice to grow in. They are left flooded in water throughout the rest of the growing process and the plant usually grows to be about 4 feet tall.

rice ready to be harvested image
rice ready to be harvested

Here are a few more fun facts about rice just to perk your interest:

  • All Rice starts out brown! If you know the basics of rice, this should be obvious, but only after its processed is white rice created. White rice doesn’t have the bran coating that brown rice has and because of this, it will last longer and it will cause a disease called Beriberi.
  • There are over 40,000 different varieties of rice. A few examples are arborio rice, valencia rice, calrose rice, red cargo rice, jasmine rice, and many, many others.
  • Rice has great benefits, like producing a decreased rate of aging, increases in bowel movements, and blood sugar stabilization.
  • We talked about growing rice in water, and about 5,000 liters of water are needed to produce just 1 kilogram of rice.
  • While uncooked white rice can last up to 30 years and uncooked brown rice about 6 months, cooked rice will spoil quickly if left out at room temperature.
  • While many people ask this question, rice is indeed gluten-free!

Rice for Survival

Due to the worldwide access to rice and its phenomenal nutrition properties, it has become a great source for food storage and survival. White processed rice can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years in the right conditions, meaning that it can be stored as a backup for hard times. If you need to, you could survive on rice for quite a while, though it may create some undesirable effects on your life.

As we all know, the human body needs certain vitamins and minerals to function properly. That is why for decades a well-balanced diet has been emphasized as a way of healthy living. Even in primitive times, people lived off berries, other plants, meats, and nuts, never solely surviving on one food alone. If you need to, you may be about to eat rice for quite a while, though eventually, you may develop a disease called beriberi.

This disease is caused by not receiving enough thiamine or vitamin B1. According to Britannica symptoms of beriberi include digestive problems, loss of appetite, and general weakness in the body. It can also lead to heart failure and associated problems. There are 2 types of beriberi: wet beriberi, and dry beriberi, which offer slightly different symptoms. This disease is common in countries where rice is the staple food.

If rice is the only thing that people are living on, then they are bound to have encounters with this disease, because rice does not provide thiamine or vitamin B. To get these vitamins and minerals, you must eat something other than rice.

On another survival note, and in dire circumstances, a 10-pound bag of rice would probably keep you fed for about 8 and a half days. This is if you are eating 3 cups of rice every day, one per meal. If you were to half that, your rice would get you through more like 16 days, or double would get you through only 4 days. In extreme cases, you may even be able to just eat 1 cup a day and be able to live for more like 24 days.

Rice Recipes

There are so many varieties of rice that can be made so that it doesn’t feel like you are eating the same thing every day if you are a fan of rice. Rice is very good flavored with different spices and liquids. Mixing a few of these up will make for a great meal or side, or even just a tasty snack.

Asian rice with vegetables image
Asian rice with vegetables
  • Plain White Rice
  • Coconut Rice
  • Fried Rice
  • Sticky Rice Desserts
  • Spanish Rice
  • Tumeric Rice
  • Cilantro Lime Rice

Not only does it come in many flavors and varieties itself, but it can be made into a variety of dishes as well that help add to the rice and make it something extraordinary. It has been used in dishes everywhere, in all countries, and it is a staple. It is part of American cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Asian cuisine, and almost everywhere else! Check out a few of these recipes online to see what you can do with your rice. Whether you feeding 100 people or just yourself, it will be helpful to know how your rice can be put to good use!

Other than plain rice, a very common way to eat rice is by making fried rice. In fried rice, you add carrots, peas, eggs, soy sauce, green onions, chives, butter, garlic, oyster sauce, and a variety of other things that add flavor and nutritious benefits. It is called fried rice because it is fried in a pan with other ingredients like the ones mentioned. This makes it tasty and enjoyable. Find a recipe you will enjoy and jump onto the train of rice history!

In the end, you can feed about 100 people with 20 to 25 pounds of rice. You can feed them rice that is just plain or rice with a little spice like the ones we talked about. Maybe even while you’re serving the rice you could add in a few facts for all your guests. Everyone could benefit from learning more about the food we so commonly eat. Feeding rice to 100 people is easy, no matter what part of the world you live in!

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