Wondering How Much Pork Loin Per Person You Need? (It May Surprise You)

Planning dinner or an event and wondering how many pounds of pork loin to serve per person?

Cooking for many people is overwhelming and feels like a puzzle. Deciding on how much meat to buy is not so obvious.

how to moisten dry po

Your plan depends on the type of meat to serve and whether it will be the main ingredient or not. 

If you’re cooking for 5 or 50 people, you need to figure out how many pounds of meat to buy.

It’s all part of the planning process.

Keep reading to see how much pork loin you need per person.

How Many Pounds of Pork Per Person?

Whether your smoking a pork loin, grilling pork tenderloin, or stuffing a pork loin, the golden rule is to allocate eight ounces or a half-pound for every guest.

Serving 8 ounces of meat is generous. And it takes into account the shrinkage of meat during the cooking process.

The amount of meat you serve per person is affected by many factors such as;
The side dishes, desserts, or other types of proteins you plan to cook.
Also the age demographics of people attending your event.

If you plan to serve pork loin alongside other types of meat, you can serve six ounces per person.

The good news is that pork loin is cheaper than pork chops or pork tenderloin. Plus pork loin is a lean cut of meat and is full of flavor. You can buy pork loin bone-in or boneless. But it’s mostly served boneless.

The steps below will help you decide on the amount of raw pork you need to purchase.

 Things to Know and Consider When Buying Pork Loin

Plan The Menu

Planning your menu before everything else matters a lot.

Look at what you will be serving along with the pork loin. 

Plan for the side dishes to serve your guests and the cooking time for each.

For example, you can serve pasta, potatoes, roasted vegetables, or sauteed greens.

Consider What Role The Meat Will Play

With your menu now planned, you need to decide whether the meat is the main feature of the meal.

Will you serve it with salad or a bigger dish like curry or ragout? Or are you making pulled pork out of the pork loin? Doing this will help the meat go further.

This decision can help you decide the amount of meat to buy and prepare.

If pork loin is part of a broader dish, like pasta, curry, 

or

other meat types like roast chicken, turkey, or ragout, buy 1/4 to 1/3 pound or four to six ounces per guest. 

If it becomes more puzzling, use a recipe that will help you better portion your meat.

The Cooking Process

Knowing the yield of the meat you will be serving your guest after cooking is something you need to consider. 

You see pork tenderloin, beef, or burgers shrink during the cooking process because raw meat has 65% water. 

What this means is, if you buy half-pound or eight ounces per person, you will serve maybe 6 ounces. And that’s why restaurants like Macdonald’s have an asterisk by the 1/4 pound burgers.

The weight of the meat can shrink by up to 31% due to fat and moisture loss.

You have to consider this before purchasing meat so you can plan the right amount of pork loin to serve per person.

Cooked meat yields 6 ounces which is a generous serving.

Note: if you make your pork ahead of time it may go dry, see my tips for how to moisten dry pork loin. It will ensure you have juicy and tender meat.

Also, choose the right pork recipes for easy portioning.

Remember pork loin should reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Use a meat thermometer to check if it’s cooked. Let the meat rest before serving.

Guest List

Before heading out to buy your meat, you need to consider the average portion sizes you need for your guests. 

For example, half a pound or 8 ounces of raw meat per person for adults is a good portion size.

If your guest list has kids, cut back the portions and bump it up for the teenagers. You can, for example, buy a quarter-pound per or a third-pound per child.

If you serve your guests with several side dishes, use 12 ounces or 3/4 pound per person.

Also, plan on having an extra pound of pork per person for the big eaters like teenagers and athletes.

And consider the possibility of your guests inviting other friends. The rule of thumb is to have extra portions for other people.

Time Of The Day You Will Host Your Guests

If you are serving pork loin for lunch, cut back or portion less.

People eat less during the day, unlike dinner.

Type Of Party

If you serve pork loin over dinner and it’s delicious, ramp up the portions of meat per person.

People attending dinner consume more because the focus is on the food.

If you serve delicious pork, have extra serving. Agreed

Bone-in or Boneless?

A pork loin roast is a piece of meat sold bone-in or boneless.

A boneless piece of pork loin is the same as a center cut. Boneless pork loin comes trimmed and is the best choice for most recipes.

A bone-in piece of pork is the same as a center-cut rib roast. Bone-in pork roast makes a good presentation at the dinner table.

Both cuts of meat are from the large part of a “primal cut”. 

A primal cut is located on the back part of the animal.

To serve and slice the 1/2 pound of meat, you need to be confident with a carving knife.

The pork loin roast weighs between two and four pounds.

Trimmed or Tied Roast?

You may be busy with work to trim or tie your roast.

Ask the butcher to help you with trimming and tying the pork loin. 

Butchers do a great job and are fast. Trimming excessive fat and tying keeps the meat moist. 

It ensures your cooked pork is a delicious meal, stays juicy, and prevents overcooking.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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