# How many want burgers...how many hot dogs...?

An age-old conundrum for anyone hosting a BBQ. You’ve invited 20 people, and hot dogs and hamburgers are on the menu. How many do you buy? How many buns?

(This assumes that you don’t force everyone to order in advance, like a banquet.)

Has anyone done a study and come up with the formula, something like: X invitees will want .6x hot dogs, .45x hamburgers, .5x hotdog buns and .38x burger buns?

We always do 1.5x of everything and surprise! have lots of leftovers.

What is the kid to adult ratio? Do hot dogs really ever get wasted?

Don’t see this being a GQ question with so many possible variables. Seems like a IMHO thing.

I get one burger and one hot dog for everyone. Some people will have two so that takes care of most of the leftovers. I don’t short bread since very few of those people exist around here.

I like to avoid waste, so only offer burgers!

Moved to Cafe Society (from GQ).

There’s a calculator here, so obviously someone has come up with a formula.

For 3 guests it tells you to serve 4.5 hamburgers and 1.5 hot dogs, so it’s not necessarily a good formula. But yes, someone has come up with a formula.

In my family the hamburger/hot dog ratio is a lot closer to 1:1.

This site says use a 1:1 ratio for both (1 hamburger and 1 hot dog per person) plus 20 percent. 10 people = 12 hamburgers and 12 hot dogs. So obviously there is more than one formula out there.

You always want to err on the high side. Lots of leftovers is perhaps not ideal, but running short of food makes you a bad host.

The thing about charcoal cooked meats is they taste great reheated. So I don’t mind left overs.

20 burgers
40 dogs.

The more leftovers the better.

20 people? I’d say 50 burgers, 100 hotdogs. Plus plenty of side dishes, of course.

No-one should ever say I’m a stingy host. You come to my house, you’re going to have enough to eat.

Same here, with perhaps a 10% buffer since burger meat and hot dogs can be frozen. I’ll take a poll before cooking them, and throw on a bit extra if it seems warranted. The remainder gets frozen and will last a long time.

Are people bringing their dogs to this cookout? There are never any leftovers when dogs are around.

It’ll also probably vary regionally, and there’s also huge variation in quality of hot dogs (and some variation in burgers) that might sway some folks one way or the other.

I just buy too much and freeze the rest. One can always make other meals out of ground beef or preformed hamburger patties, and hot dogs freeze like a breeze. Buns freeze well, too. That’s usually my problem is having too many buns, but I sometimes just turn the leftovers into bread pudding, which is what the kids like.

So I aim for something like 1.5 hamburgers and 1.5 hot dogs per adult. It looks like, according to the backyard bbq party calculator, I’m good on the hamburger estimate but over on the hot dog estimate. It also depends on the crowd. My growing-up-in-the-neighborhood buddies I’d probably go more 2 hamburgers and 2 hot dogs each, if not a little more.

My buy would be based on packaging. Angus burgers are available in 4 packs, so 6 of those. Dogs are in 8 packs, so 3 of those. 3 8 packs each of buns. That give me a buffer for each in case of grill disasters or hungry puppies. With the tons of sides and all that beer, nobody will be left hungry.

I’m figuring probably 25-30 hamburgers and probably 20 hot dogs would do it.

But it would be modified by the packaging; it would end up being 24 hot dogs, as they typically come in packages of eight, and probably rounded up to the nearest whole pound of ground beef on the burgers. Buns would be similar; enough for the number of hamburgers and buns, with some left over.

I imagine condiments would be the single biggest place I’d have leftovers; I doubt that a whole bottle/jar/can of each (mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, sauerkraut, etc…) .

These days it’s probably a good idea to expand the options beyond just “hamburger” and “hot dog”. Might be good to have some vegetarian burger patties. And I’ll skip the hot dog, but would be tempted by a good bratwurst.

Nobody who eats those things would ever be invited to one of my BBQs. If someone who is invited couldn’t eat meat for some reason there will be plenty of sides to fill up on.

As bump noted, the biggest left-over will probably be condiments. But these are easily folded into the usual household rotation. So I eat a bit more kraut than usual for a week…big deal.

There are a lot of technologies that are terrible right up to the point at which they become amazing. I’m hoping meatless burgers will follow that path. I tried an Impossible Burger a while ago, and it reminded me of meat, but undercooked. That put me off them a little bit.

And if I’m hosting a party, I’ll try to provide for all my guests’ wants. If I think someone will want a meatless burger, I’ll pick up a few.

That’s my view as well. I would even grill them up in advance of the meat items if that’s their preference. I’m hosting a party, I’ll be nice to my guests. I’m not, however, going to be rolled by them, I’m not going to huge lengths to appease their whims, but a handful of black bean patties, and a couple of meatless side dishes is well within the ‘be nice’ frame of mind.

I don’t know how they grill up, but I’ve had Impossible Burgers that – to me, a meat-eater – were indistinguishable from a run-of-the-mill mass market meat patty. Now this was on a fully-dressed cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato and a good burger sauce. I tasted a piece on its own, and that was more noticeable as being Not Meat, but it was still a pretty damned good simulacrum. Note that it has to be cooked correctly. I’ve had bad versions of the Impossible as well. I also do happen to like my meat on the less done side, and the Impossible burgers do better – at least the ones I’ve had – not being overcooked/well done.

None of my friends are vegetarians (by choice), so it really wouldn’t be an issue. Several of us have been forced into vegetarianism for a time but even then nobody would expect special treatment. I realize that a good host would provide out of hospitality, but everyone I talked to over the years has said they’d rather forego than fake. That’s my opinion as well.