cooking for a crowd

The Best Cuts of Meat for Feeding a Crowd

Last Updated on February 8, 2024

Whether you have a large family, or just love to entertain, feeding a big group can be a lot of fun as well as a lot of work. Having a large cut of meat that doesn’t require a ton of hands-on cooking is key to making large-scale mealtimes run smoothly — and bonus points if it’s budget friendly.

Here are some of our favorite large cuts, tips on how to make the most of them, and crowd-pleasing recipes you’ll be proud to serve.

Chuck Roast

Chuck roasts make the perfect one-pot dinner, so they’re ideal for a crowd. Grass-fed chuck roasts are leaner than their grain-fed counterparts, though ButcherBox’s chuck roasts are still generously marbled.

Cut from the beef shoulder just above the short rib, the chuck roast is best braised or roasted to bring out its tenderness. If you’re braising, a rich, flavorful cooking liquid is a must.

Pork Loin Roast

Lean and mild, the pork loin roast comes from the most tender part of the pig. It only has a small layer of fat on top, which adds flavor but keeps the meat lean and healthy.

It’s a versatile cut: Grill it for the perfect char, or roast it low and slow in a Dutch oven, basting it with beef broth. For a crunchy exterior, sear it in a screaming-hot cast iron pan before roasting it. It holds up to the most flavorful marinades and rubs, but it’s also very satisfying seasoned simply with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Ribeye Roast

If you love a ribeye steak, get ready for the king-size version, the ribeye roast.

Tender and juicy, it’s cut from the center of the rib section of the animal. It’s perfect roasted for a Sunday dinner or a holiday meal, rubbed with a savory spice blend.

Whole Chicken

A whole chicken manages to be rustic and comforting but also elegant and impressive, all at the same time.

It’s a blank canvas for many flavors, though lemon, garlic, butter, and thyme is always a winning combination. Be sure to save the bones and turn them into a hearty homemade stock.

Beef Brisket

Succulent, deeply flavorful brisket is a classic barbecue favorite, and it also works beautifully as a braise. Brisket comes from a section of the animal that bears 60 percent of its weight; that’s why this cut is so outrageously rich. No matter how you cook it, brisket can hold its own with all kinds of rubs and sauces.

Eye Round Roast

Flavorful but not fatty, the eye round roast hails from a lean and active muscle on the cow. As the name suggests, it’s best prepared as a hearty roast for the whole family.

Try seasoning it the day before roasting with salt and pepper. Be sure to rub it down with a savory spice rub for lots of flavor. You can slice it thick to serve with sides, or thinly to go on sandwiches.

Pork Butt

If a mound of luscious pulled pork sounds like food paradise, this is your cut. This large cut has rich marbling and plenty of connective tissue. The low and slow method leaves it tender and flavorful, so opt for braising or roasting.

Fun fact: The “butt” actually comes from the pork shoulder, but colonial American butchers packed the cut into barrels called “butts,” giving the cut its unique name.