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View Full Version : BBQ for 40 people..food ideas


My2BabiesLexis&Dill
06-26-2011, 02:26 PM
I am having a bbq for my husband and son's birthday in 2 weeks. Right now there is at least 40 people coming. But what do I fix for that many people? I don't want it to cost me a fortune but would like to have something a little more than just hot dogs and hamburgers. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

StephMK
06-26-2011, 02:29 PM
We just went to a cookout last night that had hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork & brisket. There were buns & BBQ sauce on the side. There was pasta salad, fruit & veggie trays & chips for sides.

plutolovr
06-26-2011, 02:50 PM
Italian Sausage with pepper and onions; chicken parts (thighs and legs are cheapest); beef brisket.

gracie1
06-26-2011, 03:17 PM
Burger and dogs, chips, dip, veggie tray, fruit tray, pasta salad, macaroni salad and potato salad. Condiment bar with pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, ketchup, relish

I take it your having a cake and ice cream for dessert?

mward73
06-26-2011, 03:52 PM
We do this fairly often. I make this recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/bbq-pork-sandwich-recipe/index.html and make bbq sliders. Found the sliders are big enough for people when you have all the sides. For sides, I do potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw and deviled eggs. It ends up being pretty cheap and there's plenty of food. We did the hamburgers and hot dogs one year, but that ended up costing a lot more, so we prefer the bbq (and it's something that cooks before everyone gets there so it's ready before the party). You can always put it in the cheap chafing dishes they sell at the party stores (with the gel stuff to keep it warm).

LizinSTL
06-26-2011, 03:57 PM
Around here pork is way way cheaper than beef. Pulled pork is so easy and serves a bunch. Put a pork shoulder in the crock pot, season it with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic and onion and pour a coke over the top of it. Cook it on low for 12 hours and then chop it up, drain it a bit and cover it with bbq sauce. We have pork shoulder for $1/lb all the time during the summer months. A 12 lb roast will serve at least 20. Add burgers and hot dogs as main dishes.
For sides, I do a pasta salad, assorted fresh veggies, slaw, potato salad or chips, and baked beans (crockpot again).
Desserts: fruit, cake, cookies, popsicles if there are lots of kids.

lovehoney
06-26-2011, 04:09 PM
ideas: Beer Can chicken, grilled sausages, crockpot of beans, tamales and salsa, chips and dip, grilled portobellos (sp), grilled pinapple spears, veggie tray.

shoney
06-26-2011, 04:25 PM
had a bbq yesterday and tried doing it a bit cheaper than usual.....
hamburgers, hotdogs, chili, white rice, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and cole slaw...worked out well...

ShootingStarMom2
06-26-2011, 04:41 PM
I'd make pulled pork sandwiches, baked macaroni and cheese, red jello with bananas, mixed greens salad with dressing, chips, and some watermelon slices.

Maybe have a few appetizers like chips and salsa and a bean dip. This one is so easy and delicious! 2 cans spicy refried beans, 1 envelope taco seasoning, 1 container sour cream, 1 brick shredded cheese, shredded lettuce. Spread bean dip on tray, mix sour cream and taco mix, layer over beans. Add cheese and top with lettuce.

We just made pulled pork this weekend. I had a 3 pound pork tenderloin (you could use a pork shoulder or other cut as well) that I put in the crock pot and covered with a 2 liter of A&W rootbeer. It cooked overnight for about 10 hours. When it was done, I shredded it and froze half. The other half I made for dinner by warming it back up in a sautee pan with our favorite bbq sauce. You could easily reheat that the day of the party in a crockpot. Just add a little extra sauce before serving.

I also found that if you make sandwiches and serve them on a tray, you can control the portion size a lot better.

anna08
06-26-2011, 05:17 PM
watermelons are really cheap right now and feed a lot of people and are healthier than other desserts

MSSANDRA
06-26-2011, 05:43 PM
I would stick with your burgers and dogs and fancy up your sides a bit.

We like:

corn on the cob
pasta salad
potato salad
slaw
Fruit salad
water melon

For our last party we added nachos and cheese- We got a case of nachos and a huge can of cheese at Sams for like 10$ total and it was a huge hit. Everyone loved it!!

Sagginit
06-26-2011, 08:57 PM
do you have burners or can you borrow them for cheap? my mother invested in some for graduation parties and they paid for themselves since she used them so often. if you do in addition the usual bbq stuff you can make trays of baked ziti, lasagna, eggplant parm, sausage and peppers, chicken murphy, rice pilaf & veggies, chicken wings, etc. when the meat is mixed in with veggies/pasta/rice you need less.

luckey-lasvegas
06-26-2011, 09:03 PM
:goodvibesIMHO you can't get to much cheaper than chicken. Beer in the rear or citrus marinated. You could also cook it early and shred it , put it in the crockpot with some bbq suace and have BBQ chicken sammys.

mjantz
06-26-2011, 09:25 PM
I have a crockpot Buffalo Chicken recipe that's really cheap. Bag of chicken breasts, bottle of hot or wing sauce & a pkg of dry ranch dressing mix. Put it all in the crockpot all day & it's wonderful!!

greenchief
06-26-2011, 09:35 PM
If you are wanting to do more than just hotdogs and burgers, I would do pulled pork. This is the recipe I use from Publix Aprons :goodvibes

http://www.publix.com/aprons/meals/AllRecipes/SimpleMeal.do?mealId=3018&mealGroupId=1000

EllenFrasier
06-26-2011, 09:50 PM
We just went to a cookout last night that had hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork & brisket. There were buns & BBQ sauce on the side. There was pasta salad, fruit & veggie trays & chips for sides.

Hey, were you at my son's graduation party?! :) We had those same things plus German potato salad and baked beans. I highly recommend the pulled pork, it was a big hit and easy to make!:cutie:

Mom_Rides
06-26-2011, 10:22 PM
You should be able to find plenty of BBQ type stuff on sale this week with the 4th being next week. I would do burgers and dogs on the grill and maybe add in some brats or smoked sausage. Lots of PP have suggested pulled pork. We love the McCormick slow cooker pulled pork packet! Its so much better then just shredded pork with BBQ sauce on it IMO.

For sides I would do pasta salad, cole slaw, baked beans, chips and watermelon. I wouldn't go overboard and serve a bunch of stuff. When we host birthday parties we tend to keep the menu simple and easy and make things we can prep in advance.

Kat&Dom
06-26-2011, 10:52 PM
What about making your own Kebobs? You could take a few chicken breasts and a few steaks - chop them up into bite size, put on a stick with some veggies and BBQ? If you want to do Beef on a Bun, plan for 1/4 to 1/3 lb per person so for 40 people - a 10-13 lb roast would work good.

For sides, Coleslaw is super easy to make - we add Granny Smith Apples into the bags of Coleslaw then add Kraft Coleslaw Dressing. If you buy 8 cans of Heinz Baked Beans and heat them up, it is also a popular side. Also, you can take a Roaster Pan, cut up 15lbs of potatos into chunks, a couple of peppers, some carrots and onions - add some Olive Oil and seasoning then cook on the BBQ.

Enjoy your BBQ.

My2BabiesLexis&Dill
06-27-2011, 06:36 AM
Thanks for the ideas so far. I may go with the pulled pork idea and hot dogs. I have to work that day so I will not have allot of prep time available. Please keep the ideas coming.

HeatherC
06-27-2011, 06:57 AM
We recently had a large family party and I was surprised that hamburgers and hot dogs would have cost me more than chicken and pork...because of all the condiments and toppings and rolls and such.

What I did was buy a bunch of chicken like thighs, wings and drumsticks. Whatever was on sale that week. I think I paid about $.89 a lb. for most of it.

I marinated them in a couple different things...some bbq sauce, some homey mustard, some teriyaki.

I then baked them the day before and simply reheated them on the grill with extra sauce before serving.

For sides, I also did roasted onions which were very cheap. I just split the onion in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle on some olive oil, wrap in foil and throw on the grill. I also made a bunch of twice baked potatoes the day before and reheated that day. Very cheap.

Everyone like it because it was a little different than hamburgers and hot dogs.

With pasta salad, mixed green salad and baked beans, we had more than enough food and I didn't spend a fortune.

lovemygoofy
06-27-2011, 07:15 AM
My question is who would be manning the grill? It's a party for your husband. Is he going to be grilling or you or someone else? I don't think I'd want my husband to have to stand at the grill all day if it was his party.

I would do pulled pork, reheated grilled chicken, and we love beer brats.

I take a big package of brats, thinly slice up several onions, 2-3 bottles of whatever beer you like, two pats of butter and some red pepper in a BIG pan and either bake in the oven or on the grill.

If you aren't going to be around for the morning of prep, then you need to do this as easy as possible. You can cook and shred and freeze the pork and then take out the day or two before and start reheating the day of with more sauce and maybe a touch of apple cider vinegar to infuse more moisture.

If you are looking for more than your basic sandwhiches, lay out some small tortillas and have a black bean, corn and cilantro mixture(we also add pineapple or mango) where chicken or pork tacos can be made. You could also lay out tortilla chips and have them make their own bbq nachos for something different as well.

gracie1
06-27-2011, 08:35 AM
Does everyone eat pork that is attending?? I personally wouldn't eat pulled pork. I would do pulled pork and burgers.
I personally suffer from migraines and pork and hot dogs, etc., all have lots of nitrates in them which can cause migraines to occur. I know everyone isn't like me, but maybe you should have the hamburger option available.

merekc
06-27-2011, 09:44 AM
My suggestions:
Potato Salad, beans, macaroni salad,...all this stuff can be bought in big batches for cheap at Sam's if you can get there (and if this is on your list).
Veggie trays or big bags of carrots, broccoli, etc also super cheap at Sam's compared to regular grocery store.

If you want Pulled pork. allrecipes.com has a super easy, very good recipe called Southern pulled pork, seasoned with cajun seasoning. It is very good and super easy. I don't brown it like the recipe says, just toss it all in the crockpot.

If you want to do chicken, bone-in options are probably cheapest. But if you want boneless, skinless, slice your breasts up into tenders. They will cook faster and people tend to eat less of them this way.

Buy whatever fresh veggies are in season. The previous watermelon idea was a good one. Also, cucumber, tomato, onion salad is typically cheap, easy, can sit out and can make a bunch. There are tons of recipes out there. Usually with some sort of vinegar dressing. I do mine with balsalmic, olive oil and greek seasoning (could be replaced with salt and pep).

If there are young kids, cook up a couple packs of hot dogs. That is really what a lot of them would prefer.

Buy your buns at a day old bread store, if there are any in your area.

Lemonade and Tea, instead of pop.

Watch for 4th of July sales this week to stock up for your party. chips may go cheap. Nothing wrong with having them as filler.

Zhoen
06-27-2011, 09:58 AM
:lovestruc

I love this thread. I just got tagged Friday to "help" put together a summer picnic for the office... I'll have plenty of help, and I've done this before, but I'm loving that you all are coming up with so much of what I already had in the back of my mind! We are doing burgers and dogs (the "good" kind... I've had to ask around about that that meant...) but also pulled chicken for any kosher/halal guests that come. We're going to have a small amount of veggieburger-type things available for any vegetarians... but unless I get an RSVP that specifies a vegan will be joining us, I'm not even going down that road...

So keep the good ideas rolling... the less we spend to feed people well, the more we have to rent a dunk tank for the bosses! :)

crisi
06-27-2011, 10:12 AM
Does everyone eat pork that is attending?? I personally wouldn't eat pulled pork. I would do pulled pork and burgers.
I personally suffer from migraines and pork and hot dogs, etc., all have lots of nitrates in them which can cause migraines to occur. I know everyone isn't like me, but maybe you should have the hamburger option available.

I'm gluten intolerant. I just assume that when I go to someone's house, I'm going to have limited options - and keep something in my purse I can eat if I have to. Pulled pork is probably out since most BBQ sauce has gluten, (BBQs in general are hard, the food usually arrives on a bun) but that isn't my host's problem.

Don't get me wrong, I've done plenty of "beef, chicken, vegetarian, soy cheese, real cheese, corn tortillas, wheat tortillas (or real pasta, rice pasta)" meals for the "kosher, vegetarian, vegan, "wheres the beef," lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant" group of friends I have. But providing options increases the cost.

(Pulled pork from a pork shoulder shouldn't have nitrates because pulled pork shouldn't be made from cured meat. Not all cured meat has nitrates in it either. But you are right, a lot of people don't eat pork. But a lot of people don't eat meat at all, or don't eat wheat, don't eat dairy, or don't eat anything not harvested under a full moon ;). You can't feed a crowd and keep everyone happy without a LOT of extra work and expense.)

My2BabiesLexis&Dill
06-27-2011, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the replies so far. I guess most likely he would be grilling not unless I take over (most of the time I grill anyway) but I do like the ideas of fixing the stuff ahead of time.

At the most I will have 5 hours of prep time before the party starts to do some of the cooking. But keep the ideas coming in.

minnie1012
06-27-2011, 04:01 PM
We do this fairly often. I make this recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/bbq-pork-sandwich-recipe/index.html and make bbq sliders. Found the sliders are big enough for people when you have all the sides. For sides, I do potato salad, baked beans, cole slaw and deviled eggs. It ends up being pretty cheap and there's plenty of food. We did the hamburgers and hot dogs one year, but that ended up costing a lot more, so we prefer the bbq (and it's something that cooks before everyone gets there so it's ready before the party). You can always put it in the cheap chafing dishes they sell at the party stores (with the gel stuff to keep it warm).

Thanks I think I might make this for my daughter's birthday. I was looking for something so we didn't have to spend so long in front of the grill. Did you ever try to premake the day before or anything?

HS3kids
06-27-2011, 04:12 PM
I am having a bbq for my husband and son's birthday in 2 weeks. Right now there is at least 40 people coming. But what do I fix for that many people? I don't want it to cost me a fortune but would like to have something a little more than just hot dogs and hamburgers. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

I didnt read any responses so if I repeat anything I will apologize up front. We had our oldest childs graduation party on Saturday and we had burgers, dogs, chicken with bbq sauce (Sweet Baby Rays is the best!) potato salad, macaroni salad, meatballs in the crockpot, tuna rolls, various chips and munchies, taco dip, onion dip, soda, water, beer. Cake and cookies. I think thats it :)
Hope that helps...we had about 50 people and had plenty of food. We even had leftovers...

Zoemakes5
06-27-2011, 08:56 PM
We moved to chopped chicken and pulled pork for most of our bbq parties as it can be made ahead of time. Too many times with a bbq, my DH or I are stuck a the bbq for hours, and we can't keep it warm if we make alot at a time. By doing the chopped chicken and pulled pork, we're able to put it in a crock pot and people can eat when it's convenient, I don't have to be over a bbq all night, and they can eat it on bread/buns or "straight up" or on salads. You also don't typically need as many condiments.
If I do want to grill, a couple of large london broils or flank steaks get cooked pretty quickly and can also be served straight up or on a bun.

I typically do a big caesar salad, tomato and cucumber salad and spaghetti salad. Usually covers a bit for everyone.