Whether you’re looking for a meal for your family or hosting guests for a special occasion, pulled pork is always a crowd pleaser. It’s also a great meal to serve when there are a lot of people to feed because you can bulk it up with rolls and sides. However, many people have difficulty calculating the amount of pulled pork required!
How much pulled pork do you need for each person? In general, 13 pounds of pulled pork per person is recommended, but this is after cooking; because pork shrinks when cooked, you would need about 23 pounds per person. This number can be used to calculate how much pulled pork to prepare for the number of guests you’re expecting.
There is a lot that goes into planning a pulled pork meal, and you don’t want to be short on food for all of your guests. Continue reading to learn how to calculate how much pulled pork you need in various situations, as well as some helpful hints!
How Much Pulled Pork Is Needed Per Person?
Calculating how much pulled pork each person needs can be challenging because you must start with raw meat because it shrinks significantly during the cooking process. In fact, the amount of pork required to make the proper amount of pulled pork for each person must be calculated because the amount of raw pork will shrink by up to 50% during the cooking process.
Per person, you should typically provide 13 pounds (5 ounces) of pulled pork. Almost everyone should be able to eat this much meat, and you will probably have leftovers, which is preferable to not having enough.
How To Calculate Amount Of Raw Boneless Pork
When you go to the butcher or your local grocery store to buy the pork to cook, you cannot use this weight of 13 pounds per person — this is the weight of the finished pulled pork, and you must adjust it to the weight of the pork before cooking. Because pork shrinks by up to 50% when cooked, you’d need to double the amount of cooked pulled pork to figure out how much raw pork to buy.
An easy way to calculate this is to know how many guests you will be feeding and then use the following equation for boneless pork cuts: (Number of guests x 13) x 2 = raw pork weight (in pounds) required However, keep in mind that this is only for boneless pork cuts; bone-in pork cuts will require a different procedure. Fortunately, we’ve already done the legwork!
How To Calculate Amount Of Raw Bone-In Pork
Pork with the bone in requires a different formula because you have to take into account the additional weight the bone adds to the meat. You won’t have enough pulled pork for each person if you apply the same formula as for boneless pork. You must figure out how much raw pork to purchase using 12 pound of pulled pork per person rather than 13 pound. For cuts of bone-in pork, the equation would be: The required weight (in pounds) of raw pork is equal to (number of guests x 12) x 2.
How Many People Does A Pound Of Pork Feed?
It’s simple to go to the butcher and buy a pound of pork to make pulled pork for the family, but it’s important to understand how many people a pound of pork actually feeds. Before you can determine this, you must first determine whether the pork is boneless or bone-in. A pound of boneless pork will feed more people than a pound of bone-in pork because the bone takes up no weight.
1 pound of boneless pork should feed about 2 people, as it will shrink nearly half in size as it cooks. Once the meat has shrunk and the bone has been removed, 1 pound of bone-in pork should feed about 1 person. If in doubt, your local butcher should be able to advise you on how many pounds of pork you will need to feed the number of guests you are expecting.
What To Consider With How Much Pulled Pork To Serve
The appeal of pulled pork is that, when served, it can be significantly thickened! You can get away with serving a third of a pound of pulled pork per person once you consider the buns and sides you will be serving it on. Plan on having leftovers as well. Here are some factors to take into account when determining how much pulled pork to serve per person.
Type Of Meal
If you are serving pulled pork as your main course with limited sides, it is best to have the entire 13 pound per person — maybe even a little more if you are feeding hungry guests. If it’s just one of a few dishes you’re serving (like a BBQ with burgers and hot dogs), or if you’re attending a potluck, you can make less pulled pork per person because they’ll be filling up on other foods. If you are serving it alongside other meals, you can reduce the amount of pulled pork per person, but if it is the star of the show, it is best to be safe and prepare the recommended amount.
Sides And Salads
If you serve sides and salads in addition to the pulled pork, you can get away with serving less pulled pork per person than is advised. If you serve a variety of salads for your guests to choose from, they might not have room for a third of a pound of pulled pork because potato salads, green salads, baked beans, and other sides can all be quite filling. Even if guests eat the sides, it might still be worth having some extra pulled pork on hand.
Size Of The Buns
Consider the size of the buns you’ll be serving the pulled pork on. Smaller buns will hold less pulled pork, while larger buns will obviously be able to hold more. While this has no effect on how much pulled pork you need to serve per person, if you serve smaller buns, they will eat more bread if they have more than one, and thus may become fuller faster.
Number Of Guests
Knowing the visitors you are feeding is also helpful. Consider how much each member of your family would consume if you were just making pulled pork for them at home. You can cater less for younger children since they probably won’t eat a third of a pound of pulled pork. However, if you are having visitors over with larger appetites, it might be worthwhile to increase the recommended amount of pulled pork — it’s always better to have too much than not enough!
Time Of Day
This can be difficult to work with, but in general, people eat less at lunch than they do at dinner — you could probably serve slightly less pulled pork per person at lunch if you think your guests will be fine. Also, people are less likely to finish a poolside pulled pork meal than they are to finish a full meal at a sit-down dinner. However, it is always better to over-cater than under-cater — you can use the leftover pulled pork for other meals, so it will not go to waste.
What To Do With Leftover Pulled Pork
Even if you stick to the suggested amount of pulled pork per person, you might still have extra pulled pork. Making a small amount extra is a good idea in case anyone requests seconds and to ensure that you have some pulled pork on hand for the following day. One of those meals that can be used in a variety of ways is pulled pork! Although it is typically served with sides or on a bun, there are a ton of other ways to use leftover pulled pork. You might even be able to feed your entire family on a small amount of it!
You can use leftover pulled pork as a pizza topping, taco filling, ingredient for a pasta bake, or even as a filling for some sandwiches. When making pulled pork, it is also very affordable to purchase additional pork because pork shoulder is one of the more affordable cuts of meat available. You do get more meat for your money when compared to other meats, especially when you are bulking it up!
Perking Up Leftover Pulled Pork
When it’s time to eat your leftover pulled pork, a little more barbecue sauce may be necessary to replace any moisture lost while it was stored in the fridge or freezer. Remove the frozen pulled pork from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight before eating. Once you’ve reheated leftover pulled pork, you should either eat it or throw it away; reheating it again increases the risk of bacteria growth.
Best Way To Store Leftover Pulled Pork
Given that you may have overestimated your needs, there is a good chance that you will have some leftover pulled pork. You must understand how to properly store leftover pulled pork if you don’t want to throw it away or let it go bad. The best way to preserve leftover pulled pork is to put it in a container that can be kept in the refrigerator and is airtight. To prevent the pork from drying out, add any lingering juices to the container as well.
The leftover pulled pork can also be put into a freezer bag that can be sealed up after being squeezed as much air out as you can. The pulled pork will stay in the best condition possible and any odor won’t spread to other foods in the refrigerator if the container you choose to use seals airtight.
To avoid raising the internal temperature of the refrigerator and endangering the other food, wait until the pulled pork has cooled to room temperature before putting it in the fridge. Use the pulled pork within two days after storing it in the refrigerator.
Can Leftover Pulled Pork Be Frozen?
If you do not intend to use the leftover pulled pork within two days, you can freeze it to extend its shelf life. You can freeze the pulled pork in the same way you would refrigerate it by placing it in an airtight freezer container or a plastic freezer bag (once again making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible first).
When freezing pulled pork, however, label the container or freezer bag with the name of the contents and the date of freezing to keep track of when you need to use it. Pulled pork can be frozen for up to three months. You can leave it for longer, but the quality will begin to deteriorate and there is an increased risk of freezer burn, which will severely damage the pulled pork.
Making pulled pork for your family or guests is always a good idea, but you must pay attention to the serving sizes to ensure that everyone is satisfied and that you have some delectable leftovers as well. When calculating how much raw pork to buy, you would need to double this amount per person because the meat shrinks significantly during the cooking process. The general rule is that each person will need about 13 pound of pulled pork.
Take a look over the information above to be better prepared for the next time you make this dish that everyone loves because we have pretty much covered everything you need to know about making pulled pork!
Now that we’ve learned everything there is to know about pulled pork and how to calculate the amount you’ll need per person, here are some additional questions we thought you might have.
What is the best pork cut for pulled pork?
Shoulder is the best cut of pork for making pulled pork. It has the highest fat content to produce pork that is tender and juicy, and it can be cooked for an extended period of time to break down the meat further.
How long does it take to cook pulled pork?
Long cooking times produce the best pulled pork. It should ideally be slow-cooked on low for up to 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.