Pulled pork makes it easy to feed a crowd, and it’s affordable too! One mystery needs to be solved though: how much pulled pork per person should you cook? As a hostess, you don’t want any of your guests going hungry. We’ve got you covered!
Calculating pulled pork servings might seem complicated, but once you learn the formula, there’s no going back.
Since it’s such a versatile dish, there’s no end to the variety of pulled pork recipes you can try. Getting bored with it is not an option!
Why You Should Calculate Servings
It’s no secret that pulled pork reheats well which means having some leftovers is not a terrible thing. You probably won’t want five pounds of leftovers, though.
It’s worth calculating pulled pork servings as it will help you avoid waste or filling your freezer with a gigantic amount of extra food.
What you want is to make sure there’s enough for everyone and if there’s any meat left, it’s a manageable quantity.
Calculating servings of food can help you see how many calories and nutrients you will get. It’s a reliable method for managing a healthy diet.
How Much Pulled Pork Per Person?
The average serving side for pulled pork is ⅓ pounds, so one pound of cooked pulled pork will feed three people. For children, the serving size is around ¼ pounds. That is, unless you’re serving a teenage boy, and then there really is no limit! 😊
Raw meat will yield 50% of its initial weight after cooking, so to get one pound of cooked meat, you will need two pounds of raw pork butt to start.
How To Calculate Servings
There’s another important thing you need to consider: is your pork cut boneless or bone-in?
The calculations for bone-in and boneless pork are slightly different.
To find out how many servings your raw, pulled pork will yield, use the formulas below:
Boneless Pork Butt
One Serving = ⅓ pounds of cooked pork
One pound of raw pork = ½ pounds of cooked pork
Based on this, here’s the formula for calculating how much pork butt you’ll need to shop for:
[# guests x ⅓ ] x 2 = pounds of raw pork you’ll need
For example, if you need to feed 10 people, you’ll need a minimum of 6.6 pounds:
10 guests x ⅓ pound per guest x 2 = 3.3 pounds of raw pork.
Note: It is easy to forget that as pork cooks, it will lose weight as it renders the fat. So, don’t forget to factor that in. I estimated it loses 50% of its weight in the formula above.
Bone In Pork Butt
Don’t forget that you’ll need to factor in a bit more if you buy a bone-in pork butt or shoulder. Not only does the bone contribute to extra weight, but there is typically a bit more fat around the bone.
The formulas above is a great place to start. I always buy a bit extra. Not only will it provide a bit of a buffer in case my guests are extra-hungry, but it also lets me have some leftovers to eat throughout the week.
How much pulled pork you need heavily depends on the type of event you’re hosting.
People eat less at stand-up socials and events, compared to sit-down meals.
If it’s a self-serve kind of event and food is available at all times, your guests will focus more on socializing than on food.
Time Of Day
When you meal plan for an event, also consider the time of day. People will typically eat less for lunch than they do for dinner.
The Type Of Dish
Are you serving pulled pork as a side or using it to make sandwiches? The latter option will require less meat. One bun will normally hold around 5 ounces (one serving) of pulled pork.
The Rest Of The Menu
Is pulled pork the main dish you’ll be serving? Are there other foods on the menu?
If pulled pork is the main dish or you’re serving it with just a few sides, be generous with the portion sizes.
Buns vs. Sliders
Serving pulled pork sandwiches or sliders is an excellent way to stretch the meat and feed a crowd.
Choosing buns or sliders might also affect how much pulled pork you need to cook. Buns can hold one serving (5 ounces) of meat per bun, while a slider can hold only half a serving.
Looking for the best buns for pulled pork? Try some of our favorites for the most exquisite juicy sandwiches ever!
If you’re serving a variety of foods, sliders are the best choice. Offering smaller portions will make it easier for your guests to try several dishes.
We’ll save you the math with some basic calculations that will make it easy to establish how much pulled pork you need to buy.
|Number of People||Amount of Raw Pork to Buy||Cooked Pork Yield|
|10||6.6 pounds||3.3 pounds|
|25||16.7 pounds||8.3 pounds|
|30||20 pounds||10 pounds|
|50||33 pounds||16.5 pounds|
How To Store
With so many pulled pork leftovers recipes to choose from, having some extra meat to store for future use can be a life-saver when you need a quick meal.
Place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge if you plan to eat it within the next 2-3 days.
For later use, store it in the freezer, in a vacuum-sealed or freezer-safe bag and it will be safe to eat for 2-3 months.
Also, try to save the juices when storing. It will keep the meat moist and make reheating so much easier.
Note: I typically place the pork into serving size freezer zipper bags before storing. It is easy to pull one out and use for a meal during the week when you are tired and don’t have a lot of time. It makes it easy that it is pre-measured to save you some time.
How To Reheat Pulled Pork
Reheating pulled pork is easy and you can get excellent results whether you use the stovetop, oven, slow cooker, grill, or microwave.
Check out our pulled pork reheating guide for any of the methods mentioned above!
How To Nail The Recipe
Choosing the cut, prepping the meat, brining, and cooking will all impact how your pork turns out.
Pork meat also needs to reach a specific internal temperature to become easy to shred. There’s some room for error although it’s possible to overcook it in which case it will be too dry. We recently started wrapping our pork butt and the results have been fabulous! It really helps to push through the stall.
You can learn all the details in our pulled pork internal temperature guide and you’ll also get a free printable pulled pork cooking cheat sheet that ensures fail-proof results!