How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person? Before Thanksgiving, are you scratching your head? Perhaps there were too many guests? Let’s begin with the most expensive ingredient – turkey. Everything else will come into place.
General guidelines for how much turkey you need will depend on a variety of factors, including the number of guests, but also whether you buy the bird with bones or just boneless breast meat, whether your guests are big eaters, and so on. For the time being, let’s continue with the conventional whole bird(s).
How much turkey do you serve per person? Estimates for how much whole (bone-in) turkey to buy range from 1 pound per person to 1.5 pounds per guest. To be safe, assume you’ll need at least 1.25 pounds of whole (uncooked) turkey each visitor. How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person Adjust the amount according to whether your guests are huge, small, or middling eaters.
If you don’t know all of your guests well, go up to one-and-a-half pounds to be on the safe side. There are, after all, always leftovers.
How to Order/Select Turkey Depending on the Number of Guests
The table below indicates how much uncooked whole turkey to buy for two sets of guests: one with a mix of small, medium, and large eaters, and the other with predominantly big eaters.
The estimations presented above highlight an additional consideration: How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person a large bird (one weighing more than 20 pounds) will dry out faster and deliver less of the tender flavor you want to provide for your visitors.
Get many smaller turkeys for a large group of guests.
As the table demonstrates, as the number of guests (and your calculation of how many pounds of turkey are necessary) increases, it would behoove you to purchase two smaller sized turkeys rather than one large bird when the weight requirements exceed 20 pounds.
Instead of purchasing a 24 pound whole turkey, try purchasing two 10-14 pound turkeys, How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person or a 14 pound whole bird and breast meat (see below for how much).
This way, you’ll be able to serve two delicious birds to your guests instead of one dried out chicken — it’s tough to avoid overdoing the outside when cooking the deep insides of a large bird.
One issue for you may be oven capacity; however, unless you are severely limited in this area, we recommend choosing smaller, more succulent birds.
How to Distinguish Between Whole Turkey and Breast Meat Requirements
In terms of requirement per guest, boneless turkey breast meat normally equates to a 50 percent conversion ratio. How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person So, if you’re hosting large groups, consider purchasing 34 lb. of breast meat per person. If you’re serving a group of average diners, five-eighths of a pound of breast meat is a solid starting point.
As seen in the table above, various forms of mix and matching are conceivable. It’s up to you whether you want to be safe or plan in relatively precise proportions based on one of the charts above.
What else should I get, and how much should I get?
To round out your Thanksgiving feast, you’ll need a range of extra ingredients/dishes in addition to the turkey. How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person The proportions of turkey will also vary depending on how many dishes – starters, entrees, sides, and desserts – you serve your guests in addition to libations.
Cooking turkey for special occasions with family and friends may be enjoyable both before and after the meal. If you plan ahead of time and adhere to the recommendations outlined above, How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person you may eliminate the guesswork and stress associated with the planning and cooking portions of the process.
Bottom line: If you know your guests well and are confident in your cooking abilities, remain close to the numbers indicated above. Adjust the limitations upwards by 10-20% if you believe there is some room for folks to eat more. How Many Pounds of Turkey Per Person However, 1.5 pounds of whole turkey per person should be enough for your visitors.
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