How much chicken do I need?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by twobeanbbq, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. I'm doing pulled chicken for a party of 50 people. There will be other entrees as well as pistolettes, so I'm not the only one feeding the 50. How much chicken should I buy?
  2. nedtorious

    nedtorious Smoke Blower

    I think I can help you with this. About 2 weeks ago our church celebrated its 50th anniversary. We were expecting 200 people, but with the weather, it was more like 150. My friend cooked 10 pork butts, I cooked 12 whole chickens, and somebody cooked chicken fingers for the kids. We had an insane amount of leftovers.

    Anyway, I picked up a case of chickens from Sam's, it weighed about 57 lbs.. I had roughly 20 lbs. of pulled chicken. So the chickens should yield about 35%. Did I do that right? 

    I figure 1 lb. should feed about 3 people? Maybe about 10 chickens? But if there is going to be other food there, you probably don't need that much. Maybe somebody else can give you more info! Hope this helps! Good Luck!  

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yes Ned your calculation is correct for the yield from Raw to Pulled Chicken. But if you are figuring 3 people per pound then your 20 lbs was only enough for 64 people...If you call an insane amount of leftovers half what you started with then only 32 sandwiches were eaten. 32 sandwiches / 150people  =  21% of the crowd ate Chicken or about 1 in 5 had the Chicken...That is pretty low, of course I could be misinterpreting what you mean by an "Insane amount of left overs... With other proteins I usually go with 4 ounce portions 4oz  X  50 people  =  200oz Pulled chix  / 16  =  12.5lbs Pulled Chicken needed  /  .35 yield  =  35Lbs Raw Birds. If using on sale Broilers at an avg of 3.5Lbs each, that is 10 Chickens. Not a bad job estimating Ned!...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  4. You guys saved my butt! I was in line at the store with only 15lbs so I jumped out quickly and grabbed another 10. I've been told there's tons of other food so I cut back a little.
  5. raastros2

    raastros2 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    iv always tried to have 1/2 pound to 1 pound of meat per person cause i like to make alot of sides know how us cajuns are bean...there are so many ways to make meat stretch
  6. The sides are almost as important as the meat around here haha they must be made into masterpieces as well. I'm going to weigh what my end result of meat is. I'll take this opportunity to do some more WSM seasoning. It will certainly run hot, but that's ok for chicken.
  7. Chicken is a great way to keep building your seasoning.  I assure you -- there will come a time when you will lock in low and slow temps and won't be able to wipe the grin off your face 'cause you can't believe its that easy to produce such great BBQ.  If you have room to throw a few pieces of bacon on the grate that can help you along your seasoning way as well.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That should do the job. I doubt every person will go for the Chicken...JJ
  9. Both grates are filled with leg quarters top and bottom. Fit close to all 25 lbs. there were a few that couldn't fit, that'll be for tomorrow I suppose haha. I went with the empty water pan just foiled up. I used the coffee can technique to get my heat going. It's definitely better for locking in a 225-250 temp. Once the chicken went in its been slow to get over 265. I'm at 270 now finally with all vents fully open. Once I hit 300 I'm going to choke down a tad.
  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member


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