Food Quantities

How Much Stew Meat Per Person?

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Cooking with stew meat is a delightful adventure that brings people together over hearty, flavorful meals. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, mastering the art of stewing meat can make meal planning for groups stress-free. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from how much stew meat to serve to the best cuts, where to buy, and various cooking techniques. Let’s dive in!

Serving Stew Meat:

1. Portion Guidelines:

When planning for a group, aim for approximately 1/2 pound of stew meat per adult and 1/4 pound per child. Although the average consumption is around six ounces, having a bit more ensures everyone’s satisfaction, with the potential for leftovers. If your stew involves a rich sauce, consider reducing the meat portion by 1/3.

2. Stew Meat in Stews:

For stews, where the meat is not the primary focus, you can cut the serving down to about 2.67 ounces per person. To calculate the amount needed, multiply 2.67 by the number of people you’re serving. For instance, a stew for six people would require around 16 pounds of stew meat.

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3. Handy Quantity Reference:

Here’s a quick reference for the amount of stew meat needed based on the number of people being served:

  • 10 people: 3.3 lbs
  • 25 people: 8.3 lbs
  • 50 people: 16.7 lbs
  • 100 people: 33.3 lbs
  • 200 people: 66.8 lbs

Stew Meat for Other Dishes:

1. Versatility of Stew Meat:

Stew meat, being versatile, can be used in various dishes like tacos, pot pies, or kabobs. When stew meat is the main ingredient, plan for about half a pound per person or a quarter-pound per child.

2. Quick Reference for Quantity:

For dishes where stew meat takes center stage, use the following reference:

  • 10 people: 5 lbs
  • 25 people: 12.5 lbs
  • 50 people: 25 lbs
  • 100 people: 50 lbs
  • 200 people: 100 lbs
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About Stew Meat:

1. Meat Selection Tips:

  • Stew meat is typically beef shoulder, known for its connective tissue.
  • Look for cuts with marbling (thin white lines of fat) for juicier and tender results.

2. Recommended Cuts:

  • Round: Excellent for slow-cooking, low in fat.
  • Bone-in Short Ribs: Balances fat and toughness, adds flavor.
  • Sirloin: Close to round and chuck, versatile for various dishes.
  • Brisket: Economical, with a good ratio of tough tissue to fat.
  • Chuck: Common and popular choice for stew meat.

3. Where to Buy:

Warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club are great for bulk purchases. While they may not always have the best prices, they offer good-quality meat in quantities that local stores might not have readily available.

4. Fresh or Frozen:

Stew meat is commonly found fresh in stores, but it freezes well for three to four months. If buying in bulk, consider cutting and freezing portions for convenience.

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Cooking Stew Meat:

1. Cooking Techniques:

Stew meat benefits from low and slow cooking in a high-moisture environment. Techniques include slow cooking, braising, sous vide, and pressure cooking.

2. Braising:

  • Sear meat before adding liquid.
  • Deglaze with broth, juice, or wine.
  • Simmer until fork-tender.

3. Sous Vide:

  • Season and seal meat in a bag.
  • Cook in a water bath for precise temperature control.

4. Pressure Cooking:

  • Sear and deglaze meat.
  • Follow the recipe and set the pressure cooker.


Mastering the art of stewing meat opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Whether you’re preparing a cozy family dinner or catering to a large crowd, these tips and guidelines will help you serve up delicious, tender stew meat every time. Explore different cuts, experiment with cooking techniques, and enjoy the rich, flavorful results on your plate!



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