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May 31, 2011 02:24 PM

How much brisket & pulled pork for 50?


I have been asked to do a brisket and a pulled pork for a party coming up. There will be about 50 people at the party and it's a part of an "appetizer buffet" so it doesn't need to be full meal portions.

My guess (which is an uneducated one) is about 10 lbs of each. Is that too much or too little? I've never cooked for this many people before!


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  1. What cut will you be using to make the pulled pork? Brisket shrinks considerably during cooking, as do most cuts that you'd use to make pulled pork (i.e. shoulder). 10 lbs cooked of each is probably plenty, although I find that people tend to hit meat appetizers pretty hard. Will these be the only meat offerings? Also, how long will the party last?

    2 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      Using a butt for the pulled pork most likely. Depends on what I can find. It's a graduation party, so maybe 2 hours? I don't know...I'm not attending, just cooking. I will assume these are the only meat offerings.

      1. re: genslay

        Hm, that complicates things. Graduation parties usually go more than 2 hours, but many people will only stay a short while and then move on to another graduation party elsewhere, therefore eating less than they otherwise might. I would probably go for 10 lbs cooked of each, and make sure it gets put out in shifts - that way people who come later in the day will have a chance.

    2. A good rule of thumb is 8 oz per person of meat or poultry.

      2 Replies
      1. re: scubadoo97

        Is that cooked or Pre-cooked weight? I'm trying to feed 100 people Pulled Pork. There will be other sides. Is there a 50% loss factor? In other words, do I need to cook 100 lbs of raw Pork butts to end up with 100 - 8 oz servings?

        1. re: bartbrimley

          pork usually yields 50 to 60 percent cooked weight.

          The amount per person will depend a lot on how it's served and what else you're serving. Less if doing sandwiches and a lot of sides, a bit more if not doing sandwich but doing lots of sides and even more if not doing sandwich and doing few sides

          You're going to have big eaters and small eaters. Just try to average it knowing your guests. Always better to have more than enough and have left overs. Freezes well.

      2. I was asked to do this last year (pulled pork for 100). 68 showed, I started with 17 kg (37 lbs) shoulder and had about 20-odd lbs of pork. The 68 people managed to eat about half, primarily because there was other stuff to eat.

        If your protein is the only thing that's there, it may go. If there's other stuff that people can nibble on, cut down the portions.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wattacetti

          If it were for a dinner with the usual barbecue sides, you'd need 25 lbs of bone-in pork shoulder & 18.5 lbs of full cut brisket (both uncooked weight) It sounds like a lot, but there's a fair amount of shrinkage and the shoulder bones add to the weight. You'll also trim the layer of fat that separates point & flat parts of the brisket. Also, if you're doing two or more mains, you need to oversupply since people inevitably gravitate toward one or the other -- usually the one you have less of.

          Figure 3 good sized shoulders (butts) & two briskets, and give yourself plenty of time.

          1. re: rjbh20

            I did my calculations with certain assumptions (host would have a macaroni salad and 200 ears of corn) but the host didn't factor in that some people might bring "additional" items unannounced, such as 200 drumsticks, multiple salads, a gallon of baked beans, and a full sheet pan worth of meat pie.

            With yours, assuming 50% loss following cooking and service prep, you're left with about 12-13 lbs pork and 9 of brisket, which would put things into the 8 oz/serving size proposed by scubadoo97.

        2. Thanks everyone! I definitely wouldn't have bought enough.

          1 Reply
          1. re: genslay

            If you've got the capacity, I'd encourage you to do an extra shoulder and/or brisket -- both freeze really well (properly wrapped, of course) and are handy to have around. Just thaw, reheat & presto -- instant barbecue.