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jbelson 05-08-2019 03:07 PM

how much chili?
I cooking chili for a school fundraiser, my award winning chili I might add, and I'm not sure how much to make.
The recipe I use is for 1.5 gallons. At the last contest I made 3 gallons which was gone in about 2.5 hours serving "tastings" for the peoples choice category (couple hundred).
This event will be much larger, probably 3000. It'll be running 11am to 6pm.
Anyone do events like this? any thoughts on amount would be great

InThePitBBQ 05-08-2019 03:22 PM

If that chili is the main entree you'll serve 150 gallons with nothing in reserve.

16Adams 05-08-2019 03:23 PM

Let’s see. A cup is 8 ounces and a bowl is 12ounces and 128 ounces per gallon

Tasting is how many ounces??

Number of people times ounces per person. Divide that number by 128 and get an approximate gallon amount.

Then again I’ve been in the sun Cooking all day

KClandcruiser 05-08-2019 03:24 PM

Wow, that sounds like an exciting, huge undertaking. If you figure a 12oz serving for 3000 people, you're looking at roughly 280 gallons of chili. I'd probably figure 300 gallons or so should be a safe number. I'm definitely no catering expert though

edit: 16Adams beat me on the math

food4thot 05-08-2019 04:29 PM


Originally Posted by KClandcruiser (Post 4175958)
Wow, that sounds like an exciting, huge undertaking. If you figure a 12oz serving for 3000 people, you're looking at roughly 280 gallons of chili. I'd probably figure 300 gallons or so should be a safe number. I'm definitely no catering expert though

edit: 16Adams beat me on the math

The math looks correct. I'm near 60 and pretty sure I haven't made 300 gallons of chili in my entire life. And the other considerations...

Cost: My recipe is roughly $10/gallon to make...$3000 in this example.

Time: My recipe takes roughly one hour per gallon to make in 3 gallon batches...300 hours in this example. Close to two weeks of prepping/cooking non-stop.

Of course my numbers are for funsies based on 3 gallons at-a-time, neglecting economies of scale, and figuring one average 4-burner range to cook on.

Still, that's a helluvalot of chili to volunteer to make :laugh:

EyeBurnEverything 05-08-2019 04:51 PM

I love making chili......but not that much. I think i would never want to make chili ever again if i tried to make that much.

You might want to contact Hormel.

BobBrisket 05-08-2019 04:53 PM

So it's a fundraiser.....will you sell it by the cup? Will there be other vendors there? I am assuming everyone sells their item/s then money goes to the school?

Others posed a good question, is your chili the only food item being served and are they asking you to make enough for that many people or make how ever much you can afford to make and then sell till you run out? I've done many school fundraisers. Normally, a group of parents pitch in to buy something like burgers. Parents absorb the cost, time, etc and donate all the profit to the school. Sometimes, schools will deduct the cost of ingredients and pay people back at least for that. Most times, they don't. So parents, etc already know going in they are "donating" out of their own pockets a little bit too in order to help the school make more profit.


SonnyE 05-08-2019 05:00 PM

You are going to need to go to China Town to get some of their Giant stock pots. (I love looking at China Town restaurant supply stores! Heck, I love looking at any restaurant supply stores.)

But then, how in the world would you move 50 gallon pots of hot chili? An engine lift? Or a Hoyer Hoist?

You got a turkey fryer, or a Boiler Pot?
I got a Propane turkey fryer, but put a Natural Gas burner on it. That thing will boil the boogers out of 5 gallons of crab!

I think I would make enough for 2,000. Then put up a sign saying SOLD OUT if I ran out.
And you are going to need one of those flat carts for your supplies at Sam's Club or Costco.

Lastly, I'm sure glad I'm not you.
Check the local Party Rental Stores for big equipment.
Get help. LOTS of HELP! :biggrin1:

EyeBurnEverything 05-08-2019 05:15 PM


Originally Posted by SonnyE (Post 4176005)
Holy Crap! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Oh! We are havin too much fun! :clap2::laugh:

Can you imagine how many bottles of beer he would need for that much chili.( atleast i use 1 bottle per 4 pounds of meat.

mchar69 05-08-2019 06:02 PM

I'm sure there are others providing food, so I hope the OP is off the hook.
On the Other hand, it would be fun to cook 100 gallons of chili.
Just dump it in a huge, clean cooler, and ladle it out!

WilliamKY 05-08-2019 06:04 PM

I prefer Texas style chili with no noodles but if it were me and 3000 people were projected, I would add spaghetti noodles for volume and to cut cost.

mchar69 05-08-2019 06:07 PM

Sorry, never heard of noodles in chili???

EyeBurnEverything 05-08-2019 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by mchar69 (Post 4176035)
Sorry, never heard of noodles in chili???

He must have lived or spent time in Cinci. They like to add perfectly good chili to their spaghetti instead of hamburger and tomato sauce.

WilliamKY 05-08-2019 06:13 PM

Grew up poor. My mom didn't have the money for lots of ground beef or diced chuck so she substituted spaghetti noodles. I've never researched it but I'm willing to bet that's where the noodles originated from. Probably Depression Era habits passed on.

WilliamKY 05-08-2019 06:23 PM


Originally Posted by EyeBurnEverything (Post 4176046)
Oh, i've had it......once.........

I've had it many times. Pasta is for volume, not flavor. I prefer chili without noodles but I'm not offended if it has them. It is what it is.

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