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How much pulled pork to feed 200?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My daughter has requested pulled pork for her graduation open house, and I'm happy to oblige, but have never smoked for this many people before. I need some advice from you guys who smoke for large groups.


1. We're expecting about 200. How much pork do I need? This is not for sit-down meal, but I expect most people will make a hamburger-bun-size sandwich along with other stuff on the food table.


2. Shoulder, butt, or does it matter?


3. I have a GOSM with three racks, so I figure I have a few weekends of smoking ahead of me to get it all done by June 1 (day of the party). What's the best way to store the early meat until the party date, and what's the best way to warm/serve it that day? Pull it, then freeze it? I can vacuum-bag it... Warm it in a crock pot or roaster on the day of the party?


4. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'll have to complete the entire cooking process (smoke, wrap, rest, pull) just as if each was the only roast I was doing that day. In other words, knowing I'm going to warm this later, I still can't short-cut the normal cooking process,, right?


Any other advice you have for smoking and serving in this kind of quantity would be most appreciated. Thanks!



post #2 of 9
If your serving with sides I figure 1/3 pound per person. I prefer to use bone in butts (here shoulders and butts are the same cut)

Keep in mind you will loose 40-60% weight once pulled so figure that into your calculations.
post #3 of 9
I would pull it prior to freezing it. If you are only storing for a few weeks I wouldn't vac pack. I'd freeze it in foil pans and use those for reheating in an oven. For reheating place foil pans (covered) into 200* oven. Add finishing sauce prior to reheating.

With the GOSM you could do a higher temp smoke to save you some time. I quite often smoke butts at temps around 285-300.
post #4 of 9

X2 on pull it before freezing, and adding a finishing sauce with the re-heat.   I've done that several times and it does work.

post #5 of 9

I agree with the above except I like the low n slow and keep the temps in the 225-250 range.


I personally would start out with about 135 lbs of bone in butts so I know I have enough I hate worrying about not having enough.


Here's a link to a very good finishing sauce  http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/49892/finishing-sauce-for-pulled-pork


Good luck and congrats to your daughter

post #6 of 9

Mmmmm......... pulled pork tamales with left overs!! Those guys above got their act together!


You might check with a local bakery about special sized buns. If you are buying 200, you can probably have 'em made about the same price and get something that makes it a bit more special. slightly smaller than a small hamburger bun, maybe an onion roll. Me I like Kaiser rolls. Smaller the buns the less wasted.


Just a thought.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, folks! Tomorrow morning, I'm loading up 30 pounds of shoulders in the smoker for the first round. Will post Q-View! Planning to do 30 more pounds on Sunday.


I coated them with mustard, rubbed them with Bad Bryon's Butt rub and will spritz with a 50-50 mix of apple juice and Captain Morgan rum.


I've never used a finishing sauce before, but will try the one suggested by Pineywoods. How much pork will that recipe do? Do I need that much for each shoulder?


Wish me luck!



post #8 of 9

I've done a couple cooks for 100 people or so and made a mistake once.. didn't cook enough.  I figured about a 40% loss in cooking process, but it was more like 55%.  I came up short on meat.. I now figure at least 50% loss and add an extra 10-15 % more people than expected.  I figure 4 sandwiches per pound of finished meat.  I typically divide pre cook weight in half for finished meat weight and divide by 4 for number of sandwiches.    If you are cooking for 200... 4 sandwiches per pound, you will need 50 lbs of finished meat, so 100 lbs of precooked meat... I'd most likely get a total of 110-115 lbs of bone in butts to cook.  Some people figure 3 sandwiches per lbs, but that's big in my opinion.. most restaurants use 4 oz of meat per sandwich, so 4 sandwiches per lb is good.. but it all depends on what your crowd is.. football players and firemen may require more, ballerinas and runners and require less... good luck.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

First smoke went great! Three (or so) to go! Thanks again, guys!

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