How big of a Pork Shoulder do I need?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 29, 2006
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
I'm looking to feed a lot of people...roughly 50 people. (Mind you not solely off of one pork shoulder, but there will be tons of other foods, ribs, and various other picnic foods). SO say roughly one pulled pork sandwich per person, roughly how big did I need it to be. I hear they do feed a lot of people, but i'm unsure cause i've never done one before.

For those that remember last year when my friends and I had the CCRBQ(The BBQ based on Creedence Clearwater Revival) and this year it's back, only problem is that it's about 3 times bigger than last year. So, any thoughts on how big, or many pork shoulders I need?
The general rule of thumb is 4-5 oz for a (NICE) pulled pork sandwich. You say pork shoulder, do you mean shoulder (what I call a picnic) or pork butt. Shoulders tend to be a bit bigger in weight than an average butt. If were talking butts I would say will need about 5 oz per person, 3 sandwiches per lb of cooked meat. 50% shrinkage of 45 lb uncooked = 22.5 lb of cooked. 22.5 X 3 =67 sandwiches for 50 people. I think that should be about right providing not everyone eats more than one sandwich. So I think 4 -5 butts depending on uncooked weight should do you fine.
I have figured that a 7 lb boston butt will yield about 15 4 oz servings. Last fall I cooked 5 butts that totaled 38 lbs for a fundraiser. I ended up with 19 lbs of finished pulled pork - enough to feed 75 with 2 sides (beans and cornbread).

Hope this helps.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Hhmmm ok thanks. I'd rather do as much as I can in one go, as they do tend to take a lot of time. And my other smoker is being used for ribs. But atleast I have an idea of how much I could get out of one. And for future reference, a shoulder is essentially just a butt and picnic roast combined? correct?
I think folks call them different things and I'm allways getting confused. this is the reference I use

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!!!
The picnic and the butt are both part of the shoulder, just different parts.One has more of a shank type bone , the other has a blade type bone. They both come out good. some people prefer the picnic , others like the butt.
"SO say roughly one pulled pork sandwich per person"

I don't know about you but one sammie just won't do it...all 1 will do is prime the pump
Sound's like you got all the info you need, good food, good music, the only thing i wanna know is where and what time ????????????

P.S. I will require 2 sammies....................good luck
ok ok 1 sammie 1 rack of ribs, a tenderloin and a burger...what's a 6'6" 375# man suppose to do?
I can't take credit for the attached spread sheet (I found it somewhere) but it is something I have used and have found to be pretty accurate. It is designed for catering but it will give you a very good idea of how much food you need. It looks complicated but really all you have to do is plug in the numbers, everything else is calculated for you. (the green cells are the ones you can change) ... Good luck with the party
Ron -

Great spreadsheet! I love spreadsheets!


Debi happily runs off in the corner to play with the new spreadsheet ...

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