How Much Hamburger Meat Per Person? (For Hamburgers, Meatballs, and More)

Knowing how much hamburger meat you’ll need to feed everyone at your next gathering can be a daunting task. If you’re wondering how much you need to purchase for what you’re preparing, we’re here to help.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How much hamburger meat you will need for all of your guests
  • Differences in the amount of meat needed for a variety of dishes
  • And much more!

How Much Hamburger Meat Should You Purchase Per Person?

The amount of hamburger meat you should purchase depends on a few factors that you will need to consider. These factors include the number of people who will be coming to your gathering and what you are making.

If you are making hamburgers for example, you should plan about half a pound per burger. If you are making something like meatballs, you will need significantly less meat as 40 meatballs can be made with a pound and a quarter of meat. 

So before we get deep into how much hamburger meat you need to purchase per person, it’s important to know what dish you plan to make. Then, you can consider the number of people you plan to have at your gathering. 

Read on to learn more about how much hamburger meat you should plan per person based on the dish you plan to make.

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Does It Matter What Dish You are Preparing?

Knowing how much hamburger meat you will need for your next gathering will depend entirely on what dish you are planning to serve. This is because different recipes call for different amounts of meat based on how it is prepared.

juicy hamburgers with french fries and a beer in the background


As one of the most popular meals served at family gatherings, especially those held outdoors, it is easy to determine just how much meat you will need for everyone. Even for those gatherings that have a wide variety of appetites and is mixed with both adults and children, it can be simple to determine how much you will need.

The best rule of thumb is to plan for about 6 ounces of meat for one burger. Since each pound of hamburger meat has about 16 ounces, you can make about two burgers with a bit left over.

To figure out how much you will need to purchase, follow this guideline:

  • 4 burgers = 1.5 pounds of hamburger meat
  • 8 burgers = 3 pounds of hamburger meat
  • 10 burgers = 3.75 pounds of hamburger meat
  • 20 burgers = 7.5 pounds of hamburger meat
  • 30 burgers = 11.25 pounds of hamburger meat

You can continue to calculate until you have the desired amount of hamburger meat you will need based on the number of burgers you are making. Keep in mind that if you do not use all of the meat, you can store it for later.

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ground beef tacos


Setting up a taco bar can be an exciting and unique type of gathering if you make sure to purchase the right amount of ingredients. In some cases, it can be more difficult to determine how much hamburger meat you will need to serve enough tacos for everyone who is invited.

The best advice for serving tacos at your next gathering is to plan for about ½ pound of hamburger per person. Of course, this may vary depending on the size of their appetite and the size of your taco shells.

In most cases, it is much easier to plan for much more than you may need to ensure that you have enough for all of your guests. For the most part, it is typical for people to eat anywhere between 2-3 tacos, depending on how much meat they pile on.

meatballs in a bowl


When planning your next gathering, you may want to consider serving meatballs, since they are often a popular dish served at various events. Whether you are planning a meal for family or friends, meatballs are extremely versatile.

The difficulty in serving meatballs at a gathering is determining how much hamburger meat you will need. Depending on the recipe you are using, you may find that the sizes of meatballs will vary and are a factor in how much you need to purchase overall.

The best rule of thumb is to account for about ⅓ to ½ ounces of meat per meatball, which will make standard-sized meatballs. In most cases, the various recipes you will find call for this amount.

Check out this guide for the amount of hamburger meat you will need depending on the number of meatballs you plan to prepare:

  • 40 meatballs = 1 ¼ pound of hamburger meat
  • 50 meatballs = 1 ½ pound of hamburger meat
  • 80 meatballs = 2 ½ pounds of hamburger meat
  • 100 meatballs = 3 ½ pounds of hamburger meat

Since each meatball calls for approximately ½ ounces of hamburger meat and there are 16 ounces per pound, you can easily figure how much you will need. If you need more than the given amounts, you can use this formula to calculate the amount of meat to purchase.

When it comes to gatherings where you will be serving food, it is always recommended to buy more than the amount you think you need. This is because, with any dinner party or other gathering, it is better to have too much than too little.

While you can account for the number of people who may be attending, and whether or not there will be a mix of adults and children, you may not be able to determine their appetites. Even though there are recommended amounts per person, there are always those who either eat a bit more or a bit less.

Because of this, it can be difficult to plan a meal for so many different people and have the perfect amount of food. As a result, if you have purchased more than the recommended amount, you will surely have plenty for everyone.

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What to Do With Leftover Hamburger Meat?

In most cases, after your gathering is over, you may discover that you have an excess of hamburger meat left over. You do not want to just toss it out since that would be a waste of money and your preparation efforts.

The great thing about hamburger meat, depending on how it is prepared, is that it can be stored and used at a later time. If you have hamburger meat that has not been prepared, this can be even better to use later on.

If you have raw hamburger meat left over, you can use this for several meals for up to a week after you purchase it. This means you can use the leftovers to make just about anything for your family meals.

When you have leftover hamburgers, you can store them and use them as lunches during the week. If you do not want them for lunch, you can also freeze them to have at a later date.

Taco meat has a lot of variety as a leftover dish since you can use it to either make more tacos or even toss it in a pot and make taco soup. If you take the time to look up recipes, you may be pleasantly surprised to find such a variety of options.

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07/12/2024 12:33 pm GMT

Tips on Storing Leftover Hamburger Meat

When it comes to leftover hamburger meat, you will need to ensure that you are storing it properly after your gathering. This is because the meat, no matter how it was prepared, is only good for about a week, longer if you freeze it.

Check out these tips on how to store your leftover hamburger meat:

  • Allow the meat to cool completely before storing
  • Place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Put in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 months
  • Only store meat that has been left out for less than 2 hours
  • Toss cooked meat that is left at room temperature for more than 2 hours

While this is not an exhaustive list, it should give you an idea of how to store your leftover hamburger meat so you can use it again. Although hamburger meat is considered one of the cheapest meats on the market, you still do not want to waste your money by tossing it.

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Before you go, have you ever wondered what temperature you should be cooking your burgers to? Check out our guide on the best temp for burgers!

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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