How Many Racks of Ribs Per Person? [Rib Serving Guide!]

August 13, 2023 5 min read

How Many Racks of Ribs Per Person? [Rib Serving Guide!]

If you’re serving beef ribs, each person will require 4 ribs, so you’ll need half a rack of beef ribs. For pork ribs, each person will need 5 - 6 ribs, so half a rack will suffice. As each person needs about 3-4 lamb ribs, a half rack will be enough for lamb ribs. For children, the amount will be half. But, make sure you get the type and appetite of the people you’re serving first. 

To get the rack measurement for ribs per person for different groups of people, read till the end!

Key Takeaways

  • The amount of rib racks you need for adults and children. 
  • The factors you need to consider when cooking and serving the ribs. 

How Many Racks of Ribs Per Person Do You Need?

Ribs come from three meat variants; beef, pork, and lamb. The different meats require different counts of racks.

Beef Ribs:

One rack of beef ribs contains a total of 9 ribs. When serving beef back ribs, you’ll need half a rack or 4 ribs for each person. For short plate ribs, 1 rib will be enough for each person. 

Finally, when serving the chuck short ribs, you’ll require 2 ribs per person or 1/4th of a beef rib rack. The biggest ribs here are the short plate ribs and chuck short ribs, and the back ribs are the largest.

Source: chilesandsmoke

Source: chilesandsmoke
The back ribs have less meat because these ribs are from the back of a cow. The short ribs have much more meat in them. These are identical to the differences between prime and wagyu meat.


Type of Rib

Serving Size

Racks of Ribs Per Adult

Racks of Ribs Per Child

Back ribs

1 - 2 servings

4 ribs

2-3 ribs

Short plate ribs

3 servings

1 rib

1 rib

Chuck short ribs

1 - 2 servings

1 - 2 ribs

1 rib


Depending on the count of total people, you can increase the count of racks of ribs. For instance, for 10 people, you’ll need more than 4 racks of beef ribs. Don’t forget to maintain the ratio of SPG when cooking the beef ribs!

Pork Ribs:

A whole pork rib rack consists of 10-13 ribs. To serve pork baby back ribs, you will need half a rack for each person. This means you’ll need 5-6 ribs per person. If you’re serving pork spare ribs, you can serve 3 people from 1 rack, as they’ll require 3 - 4 ribs each.

However, not all types of ribs are the same size. For instance, baby back ribs are smaller than spare ribs, which are smaller than beef back ribs.

Pork Ribs

Source: bhg

The serving sizes of pork ribs range from 1 to 4 servings. Have a look at this chart-


Type of Rib

Serving Size

Racks of Ribs for Adults

Racks of Ribs for Children

Baby back ribs

1 - 2 servings

5 - 6 ribs

2 - 3 ribs

Spare ribs

3 - 4 servings

3 - 4 ribs

1 - 2 ribs


You might be serving a big batch of people. Don’t worry, you can get the rack count from the chart. For instance, if you’re serving pork ribs to 50 people, you will need 5 racks of ribs, at minimum. 

Lamb Ribs:

To serve lamb chops/ribs, you will require half a rack of lamb ribs, for each people. In the case of lamb ribs, each rack consists of 8 ribs/chops in total. 

There’s only one cut available for lamb ribs. Many people confuse general lamb cuts and lamb ribs. Although there are8 different lamb cuts you can pick from, not all of them are ribs. Only the rib cuts contain the lamb ribs!

Type of Rib

Serving Size

Racks of Ribs for Adults

Racks of Ribs for Children

Lamb chops

2 - 3

3 - 4 ribs

1 - 2 ribs


Note that, an increase in people will require a greater number of lamb ribs racks. For instance, for 20 people, you’ll need about 10 racks of lamb ribs. 

Things to Consider When Serving Ribs

There are a few factors you should consider when serving ribs. We’ve mentioned a few critical ones below, read it for an upper hand in serving ribs.

Side Dishes:

Serving side dishes and desserts can drastically change the amount racks you’re calculating for each person. Some famous sides for ribs are cornbread, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, etc. 

Serving sides will definitely reduce the rack count for ribs. If you’re not looking to serve too many ribs, you can emphasize your side dishes!

Type of People:

The age and gender of people is another critical factor you should consider. For instance, if the event consists of mostly children, you’ll require fewer racks of ribs. 

Middle-aged people will definitely consume more ribs than others.

You can also opt-in for a healthier version of ribs; grilled ribs. You can use the grill to make grilled ribs. Although it’s important to know when to wrap briskets, ribs, and other meat to speed up the grilling process.

Timing of Event:

The event’s timing is important for the calculation of racks of ribs. If it’s a dinner event, you should keep a headspace and keep extra ribs when counting. 

A long lunch can also cause guests to stay for a long time. On the contrary, a small BBQ can reduce the consumption of ribs. If there’ll be alcohol in the event, it might lead to an increased consumption of ribs!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How Many Ribs Are A Full Rack?

A full rack contains anywhere between 8 and 13 ribs. The sizes and cuts of the ribs depend on the animal and size. Weight is also taken into account when stocking up a rack full of ribs.

How Many Kilograms of Beef Ribs Per Person?

When it comes to beef ribs, each person will require at least 250 grams of beef. This is only a general estimation. Ultimately, it depends on the age and group of people. The beef ribs need to be slow-cooked and served on the bone.

How Much Is A Rack of Pork Ribs?

Each pound of pork rib costs around 3.50$. Depending on the rack size, the rib cost will increase and decrease. For example, a rack of spare ribs has 11-13 ribs on it and it will cost around 45$.

The Final Words

That’s everything. Hopefully, now you know how many racks of ribs per person you will need!

It’s important to cook the meat properly. Whether you’re smoking or grilling the ribs, make sure all the measurements are correct. Don’t stress too much, you’ll only need to concentrate on ratio if you’re serving a big batch of people.

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