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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Old 05-19-2019, 07:42 AM   #1
JohnMcD348
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Default How many Pounds per person of Pulled Pork should I plan?

OK, here's my problem. My wife's school is planning a fund raiser and she's told me that they are going to do a Pulled Pork lunch sale and I've been voluntold that I'll be cooking these things. I'm not worried about cost's and anything, that's being taken care of with the school's credit card, so there's really no cost to me except charcoal, wood, and my time. Meat, seasoning,s anything else, goes on them. Some of you old-timers here will remember me and know I can cook. I've just never cooked for a large group before. I've never been a caterer and never really wanted to be. I just liked to smoke meat, have a drink, and enjoy the comradery.

Just not sure, how many butts I should plan on. They typically do these and sell between 50-75 meals when they do these things.

So, I'm wondering, how many, per-cooked, pounds per meal should I plan to be cooking for these meals? They will be packaged in the standard 3 hole clam shell with beans and slaw and will either be served with roll or a bun( that hasn't been decided yet) so it can be either a meal or sandwich.

I'm not doing this to make money for myself, just the group. It's one of many different fund raisers they have planned so this won't be do all or end all money making event. I just basically need to have a decent idea of how much I should plan on prepping and cooking in order to have enough.

I was thinking, about 1lb per meal to take into consideration pre-cook vs. post cook weight. I still don't know if that would be too much or not enough.

Thank you all in advance for your input and advice. It will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:06 AM   #2
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When they sell the meals is there any kind of portion control when building the meal boxes?
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:31 AM   #3
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Well if you figure at 1/3lb per person for 75 people, that's 25lb cooked, which probably means 40-45lbs raw. If you planned for 8oz portions to give yourself a buffer, then you're looking at about 60lbs raw. I yield about 55-60% on pork butts, so it is just a matter of taking your yield, your portion size, and the number of portions into the equation.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudsandswine View Post
Well if you figure at 1/3lb per person for 75 people, that's 25lb cooked, which probably means 40-45lbs raw. If you planned for 8oz portions to give yourself a buffer, then you're looking at about 60lbs raw. I yield about 55-60% on pork butts, so it is just a matter of taking your yield, your portion size, and the number of portions into the equation.
This is spot on for cooked yields, 1/3 pound of pork or slightly more is a satisfying meal for most people and lot's of them will pass on the bun these days with the keto thing being so popular.

We take home lots of unused buns at large events lately.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:17 PM   #5
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Yes I agree these two are spot on.
In July I will be cooking for 1,500 that's a lot of Pork Butts.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:23 PM   #6
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Lots of info on this if you search the threads. Had same question and decided on about 80 lbs pre-cook to feed a 100. I think this is generous, but can freeze leftovers. Anyone have thoughts about rotating butts in the Shirley during cook to account for different temps. Using a 24 X 42, 2 shelf cabinet doors. Temps hotter toward firebox and vary between shelves. Never cooked this many butts so just wondering whether I should move them around during cook. Thanks
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Montana Jack View Post
Lots of info on this if you search the threads. Had same question and decided on about 80 lbs pre-cook to feed a 100. I think this is generous, but can freeze leftovers. Anyone have thoughts about rotating butts in the Shirley during cook to account for different temps. Using a 24 X 42, 2 shelf cabinet doors. Temps hotter toward firebox and vary between shelves. Never cooked this many butts so just wondering whether I should move them around during cook. Thanks
I'd swap out the first couple that pass 170* IT with the lowest temp ones if your looking for all of them to finish at about the same time and or use the hot spots for larger butts.
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:32 PM   #8
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Thanks all for the input. I was thinking about buying 70(ish)lbs of meat so there would be plenty. whatever is left, the wife's coworkers can take home.
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Jack View Post
Lots of info on this if you search the threads. Had same question and decided on about 80 lbs pre-cook to feed a 100. I think this is generous, but can freeze leftovers. Anyone have thoughts about rotating butts in the Shirley during cook to account for different temps. Using a 24 X 42, 2 shelf cabinet doors. Temps hotter toward firebox and vary between shelves. Never cooked this many butts so just wondering whether I should move them around during cook. Thanks
I'll be going back to my roots, and the roots of this site and using my 2 Bandera style smokers. They served me well years ago, when I used to cook a lot and do a lot of meats at one time for the love and hobby of it all. You'll definitely want to move them around during the cook, especially if there is a significant temp difference between areas of your cooker.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:02 AM   #10
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I cook for large groups of folks on a regular basis, although not a caterer, and I usually buy Kroger butts between 8-10 pounds per butt and I can count on about 5.5 pounds of average rendered meat per butt.

Like others have said, I typically plan for about 1/3 of a pound of meat for each patron. If I were doing this cook, I would expect that i would need 25 pounds of rendered meat, assuming 75 meals. I always buy for potential maximums.

So I would buy 5 butts that average about 9 pounds each and you should be fine. Because that is allowing a tiny bit of excess for 75 meals.......so if you come in less than 75 you will have extra, and you can expect if there are women and children eating that you will not be doing 1/3 of a pound to each of them, which will make up for some of your big boys who will eat more than a 1/3 of a pound.

good luck, I hope it goes great!
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:16 AM   #11
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I always figure 2/3 lb. uncooked per person. Never ran out yet.
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