How to Cook Burgers for a Large Group

Burgers are a classic favorite, and they’re easy to prepare if you’re looking to feed a group of people. If you’re looking to cook burgers for a large number of people you may be feeling a little bit out of your element.  it can be overwhelming to have to cook for so many people at one time,  luckily are quite a few tips and tricks that come into preparing for large groups.

Cooking burgers for large groups of people can be made easier by purchasing beef in bulk, making the patties ahead of time, understanding the crowd, and having more than one person grilling the burgers. It’s also helpful to have the buns and condiments ready-to-go in advance.

Purchasing more is great for the event of people wanting extras, and prepping ahead of time can be super helpful when it comes to serving time.  Of course, having a team is always going to make the experience not only more fun but also more efficient. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to successfully serve as many burgers as possible for your event.

1. Plan on Purchasing More than Enough

The phrase is less is more does not apply to the situation. 

When it comes to cooking for large groups people can be hesitant to buy too much. It’s hard to have a lot of leftovers,  and not really know what to do with them especially with things like hamburgers that are perishable. However, in situations where you’re cooking for a large group more, is going to be more.

It’s better to purchase lots of supplies like ground beef, buns, ketchup and mustard, and other toppings like lettuce or tomatoes, and have some leftover. 

That way everyone is at the very least fed once, if not twice. The latter would be having not bought enough supplies and not being able to feed everyone in your group. Having leftovers can be annoying it’s not as annoying as a hungry group

Hamburgers tend to be a more filling meal, and it can be safe to assume that most people will probably eat about 1.

Whilst this may change depending on the group, this can be a safe measurement of how much to buy. If you have 20 people to feed consider buying enough ingredients for exactly 20 Burgers,  and then once you’ve assessed your group, you may want to buy extras. 

It’s important to note that sometimes, things go wrong and some burgers may get ruined or burned, and it’s important to have backup meat just in case.

The same goes for any other types of ingredients or toppings that may be included. Buying more leaves room for seconds and mistakes.

Also while in the prep stage, you can consider buying pre-made beef patties. Some people like to go all out and make their hamburgers from scratch using ground beef and other spices,  however, if you’re looking to feed a large number of people, the best way to do it can be buying things that are already pre-made. 

This allows for a much shorter prep time and for you to more focus on the actual grilling,  as opposed to having to put in so much more work.

2. Prepping and Cooking Ahead of Time

The next step in your burger Journey would be cooking ahead of time, if you were to cook all the burgers when everyone got there you’d be cooking for most of the event. People can get hungry, and impatient while they waited,  you don’t want to be cooking all night. 

If you’re cooking burgers for a large number of people, it’s best to start an hour or more before they arrive. 

This way some burgers are already precooked,  so anyone who’s absolutely starving can eat as they arrive. And others who may want to socialize before eating can do so as well. 

However, cooking ahead of time does bring front the issue of food potentially going cold. There are a number of ways that you can fix this. 

One great way is when a burger is fresh store it in the oven. You can either keep the oven on warm or just keep it off altogether. The heat of the burgers will stay contained within the oven, and keep them warm until guests arrive. 

You can also consider putting a cover on them, like tin-foil. that will contain the heat even more. If you’re realizing you cooked a little bit too far ahead of time you can put the oven on “warm” and be safe and knowing that your burgers will be warm and ready to eat by the time everyone arrives.

The group you’re feeding may also be an impatient one, especially if they are children. 

If you’re cooking for children, consider preparing as much food as possible ahead of time that way that they can eat as soon as possible. Adults are more lenient and less willing to throw temper tantrums when hungry (most of the time!) 

3. Understand the Crowd

Cooking is versatile, and when feeding big groups is important to remember that everyone is different. Knowing the type of crowd you’re cooking for is going to be incredibly important, not only the prep but the execution of grilling.

If you’re going to cook for regular adults, you can follow our one burger per person rule, it’s likely that everyone will have one and you can prepare a few extras for anyone who wants two. 

However, if you’re cooking for a group of children, you’re going to need less. Children tend to not eat as much as adults. They have smaller stomachs and often can’t sit still long enough to finish a meal.

On top of this, if you have sides like chips or some form of sweet they’re going to want to eat that more than the burger. 

If you’re cooking for teenagers, you’re going to want to cook even more than you typically would. 

Teenagers eat more than most people. They’re growing and their metabolisms are faster, meaning they’re going to eat more and want more than the average adults. In this case, we suggest grilling even more than you would for a typical dinner party.

Knowing your group is going to help you better prepare how to feed your group.  you’ll know just how much to buy,  just How much to cook and when to cook it if you’re able to understand your group.

4. Get a Team!

It can be hard to do a lot of cooking alone, so teamwork is one of the best ways to get a lot done in a short amount of time. 

For burgers it can be hard to have more than one person on a grill, so instead have a team of people doing something else productive. 

Have someone setting out toppings or helping set out the side dishes, and have another person but helping you clear already-made burgers off of the grill and into a nice warm space. 

People can also be helpful in the prep time, while you’re manning the grill someone can be cutting tomatoes as a topping, or getting out plates and cups. It can’t be a one-person show,  so if you’re worried about the time it takes to cook and prepare, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

It might also be helpful for a large group to have more than one grill going. Have a friend bring a charcoal or portable grill so you can put out fresh burgers even faster.

5. Have Sides!

Having sides is a great way to keep people happy and content, whilst you continue to cook your food. 

If cooking is still happening while your guests are arriving, having size can be a great way for people to not get too irritated with the slow food process. Especially if you have more demanding “customers,” like kids.

This can also be helpful if you’re not sure if you’re going to be able to have enough burgers to feed everyone. This will allow for better variety and for people to not be as picky about when their Foods on the table.

Sides also can be more filling, and this will allow for some people to be more full and for others to have a larger amount of burgers to consume. It also gives variety, which is helpful if you’re nervous about your grilling execution, so your cooking isn’t the main event.

Having a huge group of people to cook for can be super intimidating,  but don’t let it scare you.  with the help of others and with Strategic planning be a much easier experience than you would believe it could be.


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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