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Graduation for 300

ksmoker

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Joined Feb 4, 2009
Hey guys need a little help with figuring out amounts, I was asked to cook for 350 people for a graduation. Doing pork butts, if they run between 8-10 pounds how many do you guys feel I should cook. Thanks
 

TNJAKE

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18-20 butts in the weight range you mention should give you enough pulled pork for 1/4lb per person with a little extra. Others will chime in though. Lots of people here with catering experience
 

Preacher Man

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Joined Sep 28, 2018
I figure on 1/2 lbs per person. Especially if this is a celebration. People always eat more when they are happy and celebrating things. You will most likely have leftovers, but that's better than people saying there's not enough.

There's some guys on here that have spreadsheets that you can plug in numbers, maybe they'll chime in. Here's how I figure things:
Each butt gives you approximately 60% yield after smoked.
350 people at 1/2 lbs per person equals 175lbs of cooked meat.
Therefore you need to buy 291.66 lbs of raw pork butt, or about 30 butts.

How big is your smoker?

Also, are they only asking you to do the meat or are you supposed to cook up the sides, too?
 

ksmoker

Fire Starter
43
10
Joined Feb 4, 2009
I figure on 1/2 lbs per person. Especially if this is a celebration. People always eat more when they are happy and celebrating things. You will most likely have leftovers, but that's better than people saying there's not enough.

There's some guys on here that have spreadsheets that you can plug in numbers, maybe they'll chime in. Here's how I figure things:
Each butt gives you approximately 60% yield after smoked.
350 people at 1/2 lbs per person equals 175lbs of cooked meat.
Therefore you need to buy 291.66 lbs of raw pork butt, or about 30 butts.

How big is your smoker?

Also, are they only asking you to do the meat or are you supposed to cook up the sides, too?
I built a 200 gal. Smoker years ago just kind of overwhelmed by the numbers, just wanted to be sure , I really appreciate that you guys took the time for me. And it’s just the pork and no sides
 

Humo18

Meat Mopper
176
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Joined Aug 7, 2018
Hey guys need a little help with figuring out amounts, I was asked to cook for 350 people for a graduation. Doing pork butts, if they run between 8-10 pounds how many do you guys feel I should cook. Thanks
That is a big order! Do you have a setup large enought to smoke 20 to 30 pork butts at once? And you need enough large aluminum pans to hold the pulled pork and a way to hold the meat at a safe temp after cooking.
 

JLeonard

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That is a big order! Do you have a setup large enought to smoke 20 to 30 pork butts at once? And you need enough large aluminum pans to hold the pulled pork and a way to hold the meat at a safe temp after cooking.
So true.....Cooking it is one thing. Keeping it safe to eat is another.
JIm
 

Preacher Man

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Joined Sep 28, 2018
I built a 200 gal. Smoker years ago just kind of overwhelmed by the numbers, just wanted to be sure , I really appreciate that you guys took the time for me. And it’s just the pork and no sides
Yeah, 350 is quite a party. That's going to be pushing your smoker (depending on how many shelves you have).
 

SmokinEdge

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Make sure they have a server for the meat. A free for all at the meat with 350 people is a recipe for disaster.
 

ksmoker

Fire Starter
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Joined Feb 4, 2009
That is a big order! Do you have a setup large enought to smoke 20 to 30 pork butts at once? And you need enough large aluminum pans to hold the pulled pork and a way to hold the meat at a safe temp after cooking.
my cooker can handle it, got a few large coolers to let them sit then pull and let it cool. Going to bag it all and transport it to the part then fill the many roasters
 

Wurstmeister

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Here is a link to a previous thread looking for the same answers you are asking. How many Boston butts | Smoking Meat Forums - The Best Barbecue Discussion Forum On Earth! I've attached a spreadsheet I use for my guesstimates and posted a couple of BBQ catering links that might be useful for you in this thread as well. I would also recommend you take the online food handlers course from ServSafe® - ServSafe Food Handler It's a recognized food safety class for restaurants and other food handlers and is cheap insurance "just in case." The cost is $15.00 and is done all on line. 🍻
 

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SmokinEdge

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Especially when the 6 year old goes through the line without his parents and walks away with 2 lbs of meat :emoji_laughing:
Lol! So true. Seriously though, it’s the young people, 15-30 that will load a pound of meat on the plate. They have no regard. A server for meat levels out the calculation.
 

SCBBQ

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Joined Apr 2, 2021
Precooked weights - Around 300 pounds will work. I usually do 1 pound /adult. Half of that for kids.
 

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