Pork butt for 50 people

Discussion in 'Pork' started by coop9790, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. I am going to do some pulled pork for a party I am having. Any recommendations on how many pounds it would take to feed 50 people? I would like to smoke two seperate butts so it won't take as long.

    Also I am planning on smoking on Friday and the party is on Saturday. Wondering how to keep the meat moist until the next day? Any tips on warming it back up without drying it out?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. You will need about 1/4 lb cooked PP per person. I always go with a higher  amount of 1/2 lbper person. Nothing wrong with leftovers.

    Put it in the fridge. heat in oven with pan drippings.

    Remember to post a QVIEW

    happy smoken.

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Here is how you calculate what you need...50 people  x  6oz portions = 300oz PP  /  .5 (usually about a 50% yield)  =  600oz  /  16oz/lb = 37.5 pounds raw Pork Butts needed. Also figure 1 1/2 Rolls per person. 1 1/2 oz Sauce per person and 3 oz of each Side Dish. Bump the portion size to 8 oz if this will be plated rather than sandwiches. You can reduce to 4 oz if you are serving other meat like Dogs and/or Burgers...JJ
  4. Thanks for the help guys. This party is on Labor Day weekend so I will post a new thread when I start the smoke.
  5. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I can't see how you wouldn't have leftovers with 20-25 lbs when you consider other eats.
  6. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Do them together, the timing mute, go by temp. of 200*F IT . This fed 150 people  [​IMG]  With the sides and there were leftovers.

    Do keep the juices to re-heat in... and NO Microwaving ; ruins BBQ [​IMG].
  7. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    last fall i did 3, 8lb butts for work and 50 people demolished everything ...but we have a lot of "heavy eaters" 
  8. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    If you have the time, I really like boiling in plastic bags to re-heat.  You have a very low risk of heating it all up hotter than your 200 finishing temp since water boils at roughly 212 (closer to 208 at my elevation).  Plus if you get the meat packed in the ziploc real tight, you won't lose moisture during the re-heat process.  Even better is vacuum packed in the boiling water, if you have access to a vacuum sealer.  

    If you don't have one, Ziploc has a pretty good solution.  http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/VacuumFreezerSystem.aspx

    If you re-heat in the oven, I would recommend doing it in a roasting pan covered with foil.  You'll lose less surface moisture that way.
  9. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    So the yield you get off PP is about 50%?  I've never bothered to weigh out my finished product.  I knew that there is a lot of loss due to bone, water, rendered fat, and skin that get weighed on the front end but don't make the final cut.  -Or pull, I suppose.  But I wouldn't have guess that the loss would be as high as 50%.  

    Am I understanding that right?  And I suppose that assumes it's not one of those "flavor added" roasts?  -Which is really just a way for them to sell you some salt water at the going rates for pork butts.  That's some expensive salt water, but I digress.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    50% is an average. If real fatty, over cooked or " Enhanced " it is guaranteed. I find it is closer to 60% after cooking but I don't remove all the fat or Smoke at high temps. When figuring I never go minimum. Yes, 20-25 pounds will give somewhere around 50-4 ounce sandwiches...BUT...That is only if you are portioning yourself, not serving Buffet style, and using the average Hamburger Roll. 70 year old Aunt Betty will go less than 4oz but 50 year old Uncle Bill and his 2 Football player Sons are going to make two 6-8oz sandwiches and throw an extra scoop on the plate to eat with a fork. Not to mention Grandma who wants a container to take home and the mix of guests, ladies eat less, mostly men and you will run out before all are fed. Now if there are, as said above, other meats then 4oz sandwiches from 20-25 pounds of raw Butt will be plenty. As Dad used say, " Always make plenty! Hungry People are Angry People and will talk about what a Cheapskate you are for years..."...JJ
    rlk438 likes this.
  11. Awesome feedback! I have another question! Do you all get fresh cut meat? One of the butchers I go to just has the pre packaged ones. I would like to buy fresh ones that are not pre packaged.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  12. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As Jimmy said plan on 50% loss. He also has you covered on portion size. Plan on extra for the heavy handed portions, beside pulled pork spaghetti is always a good thing........

    So the plan is to cook, cool and then reheat for service if I read correctly........ A few temps and times to keep in mind for this adventure........

    Cooking.....if it was me I would only cook to 195 allow to rest about 45 min then loosely pull the meat. When resting I will add some beer and apple juice concentrate to the pan. Save the juices for later use......

    Cooling....... I use 1 gallon freezer bags for this. I place about 5lb of pork and some of the saved pan juices in a bag. Seal and lay out flat for quick cooling. You want to go from 140 to under 40 degrees in 4hrs ( Florida health code says 6hrs, but I prefer to go faster and it gives me a bit of leeway). I have done several ways at home to quickly cool the pork. An ice bath is best, freezer works well and so does the fridge. Just keep an eye on temp and time.

    Reheating............again time and temp are key here....... You want to go from 165 in less than 2hrs. For the amount you are doing in a shallow pan covered with plastic wrap then foil in a 300 degree oven will work well. It should be about 1 - 1.5 hrs. Gently stir in your finishing sauce, serve and enjoy your hard work.....

    If you use a vinegar in your finishing sauce, do not add it till you do your final saucing. If you add it before cooling, as it sits it can make the meat get a mushy texture.
  13. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry forgot the other question on fresh meat. If you have access to it go for it, but most use the pre packaged butts.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Fewer and fewer Butchers are buying Beef sides or whole Hogs. They buy large hunks called Primals or the more broken down Sub-primals then cut them into Steaks Roasts and Chops, grinding any trim. So pre-packaged or what is called Boxed Meat is fine. If you find a Butcher the breaks down carcasses, you can get more custom cuts...JJ
  15. Thanks jarjarchef & Chef Jimmy Jay. I never new you had to cool it down at a certain rate. Thought I could just throw it in the fridge. Learning so many great tips on here!
  16. Tomorrow is the big day! I got 4 8.50lb Boston butts. I am a little nervous. :). Since I have four of the and I have only 2 meat probes. A maverick and the factory one. Do I just check the other two whe the two I have probed get to the 160 range?
  17. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Put the probes in the smallest Butts. When they get to Temp, pull them and wrap in foil and go in a Cooler with towels to rest. Move the probes and continue the cook until all is done. Don't forget to rest the second set...JJ
  18. I was going to foil them at 160. How long do I rest them in the cooler for? Also some people are saying to rest 15 mins out of the foil before wrapping them and sticking them in the cooler.
  19. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    pull them when they are at 200 degrees internal temp and place in a cooler wrapped in towels for a few hours...they will continue to cook while in the cooler and get nice and tender
  20. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The only reason to Rest before foiling is if you don't have insulated gloves. It gives a chance for the surface temp to drop to a more comfortable temp. Those of us that work in kitchens develop, " Restaurant Hands ", anything below 250*F is just warm...[​IMG]...JJ
    frizzanz likes this.

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