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Old 01-05-2010, 09:12 AM   #1
Dale in GA
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Question Average Yield for Pulled Pork ???

I'm new to BBQ-Brethren forum but have really been impressed by information shared so far. I would sure appreciate some input or rules of thumb for yields on pork shoulder (butt and/or picnic ham).

I have done a few KCBS comps and have years of smoking at home...but I never really weighed before and after. Off the top of my head, I am guessing a yield of about 65%. Does this seem reasonable?

My wife and I are planning for my son's wedding rehearsal dinner. My plan is to smoke butts or picnics at about 225 low and slow with combo of lump and pecan (~10 hours depending on target temp of 195). Will likely crutch and store in warmer until ready to pull and serve. Just need to figure out how many pounds to start with.

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Old 01-05-2010, 09:26 AM   #2
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65% is perfect.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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I'd figure on closer to 50-60%
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:40 AM   #4
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I always figure 65% yield, 1/3 lb per person, my butts avg 8-9 lbs so approx 15 people per butt. If I chop instead of pull, I get a slightly higher yield but stick with this formula to be safe.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:55 AM   #5
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Interesting question. I'm no pro, but 65% sounds close.
The reason I say it is an interesting question is that I met a guy that was catering at a party I was at (actually have now met the guy a couple of times) and he uses pork loin for pulled pork. His reasoning is, he gets more meat for his $. It is clearly an inferior PP. He uses a good sauce to disguise the dry meat so the taste is ok. But, the last party I saw him at I happened to bring some of my PP and put it out with sauce on the side. (I wasn't trying to start a PP war, I just bring something almost everywhere I go). The difference in the product seen side by side was clear to everyone. I guess I'm mentioning this because I found myself thinking "I would never use loin for PP for any reason" to me its about the putting best meat on the table. The guy is a very nice guy & I'm not trying to bad mouth him I just don't understand the sacrifice.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC-Q View Post
Interesting question. I'm no pro, but 65% sounds close.
The reason I say it is an interesting question is that I met a guy that was catering at a party I was at (actually have now met the guy a couple of times) and he uses pork loin for pulled pork. His reasoning is, he gets more meat for his $. It is clearly an inferior PP. He uses a good sauce to disguise the dry meat so the taste is ok. But, the last party I saw him at I happened to bring some of my PP and put it out with sauce on the side. (I wasn't trying to start a PP war, I just bring something almost everywhere I go). The difference in the product seen side by side was clear to everyone. I guess I'm mentioning this because I found myself thinking "I would never use loin for PP for any reason" to me its about the putting best meat on the table. The guy is a very nice guy & I'm not trying to bad mouth him I just don't understand the sacrifice.
My F-I-L wanted me to do the same thing last summer for my wedding that we cooked pork shoulder for, he was saying that it would be cheaper, well IMO cheaper tasting also... so we went with shoulder.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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65% is normal for pork but 50% gives you a lil room for extra. :)
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:18 AM   #8
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DC-Q,

I'm with you Pork loin does not yield superior PP -- it is pork and it may be barbecued but it ain't the way I was taught. Now fresh hams do work and several Q joints South of Atlanta do use them for their PP. My smokin' buddy smoked a whole fresh ham over the holidays, it weighed in around 25 lbs and required 27 hours on BGE to get to target internal temp of around 195. The fresh ham yields a very good PP that is mostly white meat with very high yield, but, based on price and general availability I will likely stick with butts and/or picnic hams...
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:42 AM   #9
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I have found 55% to be what I expect, or 4.5 lb of cooked meat for every 8 lb butt. If you figure an average of 3-4 PEOPLE per lb of cooked meat, that means an 8 lb butt will feed 10-15 people, depending on the people. I think your yield depends on how much fat cooks away and how much you remove during the pulling process.

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Old 01-05-2010, 10:49 AM   #10
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interesting question and answers. For the family wedding I'd plan 55% yield.

For catering in general you can sell 5 oz sammy's but you really only sell a little over 3 oz of meat. When you add water, juice and sauce you increase the weight substantially. try it sometime. Take a half gallon of apple juice and a half gallon of sauce and mix it with maybe 4 butts. That's a little over 12lb of meat but you just added 8 lb of liquid so you have 20 lb of product and the meat expands as it absorbs the liquid. I always like to sauce my pork before packaging.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:50 AM   #11
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My average yield on bone in butts is 50% to 55%. I do not remove any fat prior to smoking. When butt is done I always pull and remove as much fat as possible which places my finished meat yield between 50% and 55%.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:57 AM   #12
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I usually get between 60% and 65% yield.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:58 AM   #13
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I would say shot for 50% so you know you have enough. I find that the bigger the butt the less waste you have.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:59 AM   #14
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63.467%
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:06 AM   #15
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Dale,

If you are cooking boston butt's and hand pulling all of the gristle and fat off, then 65% is a good average of yield from green weight (starting wieght) to finished pulled product. That means the average 8lb butt will produce 5.2lb of finished product.

BBQ Sandwitch I use 4oz (1/4 lb) serving size formula, you can make around 20 sandwitches per butt.

BBQ Plate I use 5.33oz (1/3 lb) serving size formula, you can make around 15 plate portion per butt.

Per Butt, 20 sandwitches and 15 plate portions is what I use.

Hope that helps...
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