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Bitten Off A Lot More Than I Can Chew

Discussion in 'Pork' started by drillingbaby, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. drillingbaby

    drillingbaby Newbie


    I am in need of some major advice please help! I recently volunteered to cook for my girlfriends grandparents fiftieth anniversary. I thought I would be doing some BBQ for around 30 people, it turns out it's about 150. I am being asked to BBQ 75 pounds of pork shoulder. Now I have a trailer put that is more than capable of handling the bulk of the meat but I'm not sure how to properly cook that much meat on my pit to where I do not over cook the pork shoulder. The shoulders are 2 1/2 LBS per bone in. My grill has a gas line going to the side firebox I usually control temp with gas and throw wood over the gas for smoking. Any advice or tips would be so appreciated! Please help me haha
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, once again you prove the old adage....'no good deed shall go unpunished'. I'm sure some members who have catering experience should be along soon to help ya out. Here's one link found using the search bar for large groups.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140701/cooking-for-a-large-group I'm thinking most advice will run along the lines of getting as much done ahead and holding hot or reheating slowly then transferring to chafing pans.
    drillingbaby likes this.
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    2 1/2  lbs. per butt? That sounds awefully small, I would be trying to find some 10-12 lb. butts. Then your only cooking 7 or 8 of them which is very managable if you have a decent sized pit.
  4. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    [​IMG]Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything   .........   2.5 lb. butts sound small to me I usually go to Sam's and get 2 per package averaging about 8# each. I would check on some larger Butts. You may also ask a buddy or someone else that is going to be at the party if they have a smoker and would be willing to give you a hand. Just thinking out loud.



  5. Hello drillingbaby.  I have to agree with the others.  Pretty small shoulders.  I would find larger ones.  If I may also offer my humble advice, I have done a few large parties in my time.  My other concern is 75lbs. of raw bone in shoulder to feed 150 people?  Weight of bones and weight loss due to cooking/fat rendering?  Are you serving another meat dish?  Will this be served or set up as a buffet line?  How many sides are you serving?  Is this just a light party lunch or a serious evening meal?  Older folks eat less.  Women eat less.  Then you have the big boys come in.  You need to if you can break down the guest list.  If you serve you can get away with less but if buffet style I plan 1-1-1/2 lb.raw weight brisket per person.  Pulled pork should work out about the same.  You have waste from trimming/pulling but in this case you also have bone.  I know this may seem a bit excessive but for me the ABSOLUTELY WORST I can imagine is someone leaving my BBQ and going home to make a peanut butter sandwich.  Just my opinion.  Hope it helps.  Keep Smokin!

  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A big sized sandwich is .33 lbs., so .33 x 150 = 49.5 lbs. (call it 50 lbs) of finished product. You lose approx. 30% of raw weight to finished product. So 75 lbs. - 30% = 52.5 lbs. minimum finished product needed. That is cutting it pretty close, so I would add at least one more 10 lb. butt, just to have a bit of a cushion.
  7. Deleted by KC5TPY
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  8. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Baby.......(sorry...I had to do that). You have left us (the forum) a bunch of questions to ask.

    Are you sure they are just 2.5 lb bone in? That is a very small butt.

    Have you ever cooked with this smoker before? A 12' C/C is a monster smoker. Mine is 7" and it takes better than an hour to get to whole tank up to temp.

    You said it has a gas line........is it a gas fired smoker or is the gas just to start the wood?

  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I too am at a loss as to the 2.5Lb Shoulders. Shoulders, lower front leg, usually run 8lbs+. Johnny is being generous with a 30% loss on shoulders. Shoulders have a larger bone than Butts and usually have a portion covered in Skin and Fat. All this removed gives more of a 50% loss. 150 X 5oz portions = 750oz / 16oz/lb = ~47Lbs Pulled Pork / .50%loss = 94 Lbs Raw Pork Shoulders needed. 94lbs / 2.5 lb each = ~ 38 Shoulders...Will your smoker handle that? Additionally, if that 2.5 Lbs is cut from the top of the shoulder close to the Butt portion, no change...BUT...If the small portion of Shoulder is cut from the Shank end, lower leg, there may be even MORE loss so you will have to recalculate at 60-70% loss...5 ounce portions are for Sandwiches. If you are serving a plated meal you need to figure 8 ounce portions. So 150 X 8oz portions = 1200oz / 16oz/lb = 75lbs Pulled Pork / .50%loss = 150 Lbs Raw Pork Shoulders...JJ
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So we are all on the same page.....    The pork industry changed names of cuts recently....    

  11. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Did you ever figure out what you were going to do, or get some help?   I do know that you do not want anyone leaving hungry or everyone standing around waiting on the food to get ready.

  12. yotzee

    yotzee Smoking Fanatic

    A half pound of pork per person is a lot of meat.  You sure you need that much?  Think about a 8 oz NY Strip for a sec and ask yourself is that what every person is going to pile down, especially with other options.
  13. If they're anything like my family, you'll be scraping the foil and pans for scraps when they get through with the meat.
  14. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    You posted your question about 7 days ago, I hope some of the information has been helpful. How close is the big day? I know you want this to go off without a hitch, everybody happy and full, just don't wait till the last minute. If you feel you need help ask for it, if there is no one to help you and you feel you are truly in over your head get someone to cater. Most all BBQ joint's bread and butter is catering. It would probably be more fun if you can get someone to help you who has done this before and cooking for a crowd.

  15. Better off to just hire me to cook your BBQ - lol - the calculations posted look accurate - a good rule of thumb is 3 servings per pound of cooked BBQ. so as you were ask to provide 50#    I'm assuming your party is for 150 people? if not its never a bad idea to have too  much and have a few leftovers :-)
  16. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    The last post on this thread was almost 2 years ago... why did it just post up as a new post ??
  17. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Because Musky replied to it 23 minutes or so before your post.
  18. JckDanls 07

    JckDanls 07 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Musky's post wasn't there when I looked and posted....
  19. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Well , I agree , a 2.5 lb. Butt is awlfully small !

    IMHO ,I would try to find some larger ones ,unless they are already in hand !

    I've done a lot of big smokes and Butt is the easiest to cook and hold .

    Here's a shot of a cook in my 20" X40" smoker loaded with Butt .

    If all your Butts are appox. the same size , they will come at appox. the same time , give or take .

    They hold great in a cooler for several hours .

    I had 200 people come to the party . I lost those shots in amajor crash. Last year .

    Even had leftovers and these were Bikers (BIG hunger) . Even with all the Beer and whatever they had ! ! ! Like a bunch of Wolves !

    So , break out the Vac Sealer and load up some for tasty munchies another day .

    I kept my heat at 225*F +/- a few degrees ,made sure the smoke was TBS, and just fed the old girl , and drank a gallon of Coffee :ROTF

    Hope we have helped and as always . . .

    P.S., look through my pics in my Profile shots , I have shots of TBS and a lot more .
  20. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    So what happened in the end lol?