How Many Beef Ribs Per Person You'll Need At Your Next Cookout

When it comes to feeding your hungry crowd, it's all about striking the perfect balance between hitting just the right portion size to satisfy without having too little to feed everyone — or too much left over. When serving beef ribs, understanding how much to prepare is even trickier thanks to the added weight of the bones for this particular cut of meat.

This meat is cut from the rib section of the cow, boasting an intense beefy flavor. However, unlike other types and cuts of ribs, beef back ribs tend to have less meat on them thanks to other cuts of meat that have already been removed. But what they lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality and taste.

Now, let's talk serving sizes taking into account both the bones and the lesser amount of meat on them. The general rule of thumb for beef ribs is to plan for about one pound per adult. If you're hosting a cookout for 10 hungry guests, you'll want to have around 10 pounds of beef ribs on hand. And don't forget about the little ones. You can plan for about half of a pound per child. By planning for one pound per adult, you ensure each guest gets a satisfying portion of meat.

How to ask the butcher for enough beef ribs

With a clear weight in mind, it's time to think through how many racks of ribs you'll need to buy. When you're ready to hit up your local butcher for the beef, be sure to communicate the quantity clearly. Let them know how many pounds of beef ribs you're looking to purchase based on the number of guests you'll be serving. The butcher will be happy to help you select the best cut of ribs.

Generally, a rack of beef ribs can range from around two pounds to five pounds — or even more. So, depending on how many people you plan to serve, you can usually get by with one small to large rack. If you are, however, planning a very large gathering, you might have to pick up more than one rack. Be sure to have as close to an accurate head count as you possibly can before visiting the butcher. 

Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue or a summertime soiree, with the right amount of ribs on hand, you'll be well on your way to full and happy guests.