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Need some help in calculations

dave schiller

Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 7, 2017
I've been tasked to provide pulled pork bbq sandwiches for an event my wife is organizing in a month or so. She says to plan on serving 100 sandwiches. I'm currently researching the cost per meal (will serve individual bags of chips, offer slaw with the sandwiches). The cost per meal for plates, napkins, buns, sodas, water, etc is easy to calculate. The big variable is the pork. I can either smoke several butts at home and take the pulled meat to the event or buy bulk, ready made 'cue from one of the numerous bbq joints in the area. I know what that cost is.

So to get a valid cost comparison, I need to know how many pounds of cooked 'cue a certain size butt will yield. Planning on serving 4 oz. of 'cue per sandwich. For estimation purposes, consider 10 lb uncooked butts. Bone in or bone out, I know there will be a difference.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 15, 2012
I think it's roughly 40% loss, bone is about a 1 pound. so figure bone in is about 50% total loss. My estimate is about 24 sammies at 4 oz. It's been a while since I've been in school and math wasn't my favorite subject. Add 4 sammies for boneless.


Fueling Around

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Dec 10, 2018
100 portions of 4 ounces each = 400 ounces or 25 pounds of finished pork.

Go long on the shrink so 25 pounds finished is 50 pounds of raw pork butt.
Go much longer if your wife under estimates the sandwich size and total count.
10% finished means 20% raw. Shoot for 60 pounds of raw?

Nice thing on butt is you can smoke in advance, chill, and reheat later.
Left overs freeze well (I vacuum pack) for future use

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