How Much Pulled Pork Per Person Do You Need? (A Guide to Serving Sizes for Any Cookout)

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Whether it’s a pool party or a cookout, you can’t go wrong with serving pulled pork. It’s a crowd favorite, tasty, inexpensive, and simple to cook. It’s perfect to serve with sliders or buns or just on its own with some sides.

But you might be wondering how much smoked pulled pork you’ll need. Predicting how much pulled pork a person will eat can be difficult. You must allow 1/2lb of cooked pulled pork per person or 1lb of raw pork.

It is unlike serving steak or ribs — where you can estimate the rack per person. Instead, it’s challenging to determine just how many pounds of pulled pork you’ll need.

Pulled Pork from Our Last Cookout

How Much Pulled Pork Per Person?

You need 1/2 pound per person of cooked pulled pork or 1 pound of raw pork; that is a general rule of thumb. Of course, the real question is how many pounds of meat you’ll need to serve your guests.

You can’t just buy nine pounds of raw pork meat and expect it to feed nine people. You need to think about a few factors, such as;

  • What sides will you serve
  • What time are you serving at
  • The age of your guests
  • If you’re serving any other protein as well.

(And you also can’t just buy a pound of meat and anticipate you’ll be able to make approximately two servings of pulled pork with it.) There is a whole slew of other factors that you’ll need to keep in mind.

Pulled Pork from Our Last Cookout

Factors You Need to Consider When Calculating How Much Pork You Need

The weight of uncooked meat isn’t the only factor to consider when determining your pulled pork serving sizes.

1. Time of Event

When will everyone be eating? Will the pulled pork be served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner? People tend to eat less meat at the start of the day.

You might want to serve approximately 4 to 5 ounces of meat per person at lunch. And if you’re enjoying it for dinner, you can increase the portion size to 6 ounces per person.

2. What Else is On The Menu

It’s unlikely that pulled pork will be the only dish on the menu for your gathering. What other dishes are you preparing? Are your guests bringing anything to supplement the meal?

3. Age of Your Guests

How old is everyone? You’ll have to remember that most children eat less than adults. We estimate that a child will eat 1/3 less than a typical adult. So, keep that in mind.

4. Bun to Meat Ratio

Carbs are incredibly filling. So, if you’re serving the pulled pork with burger buns, you’ll likely have to reduce the pork you serve. The bigger the bread, the more meat you’ll have left over.

5. Do You Want Leftovers?

That said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having leftover pulled pork. Leftover pork is incredibly useful! Add it to sandwiches, salads, and even rice, as and when you’d like! You must try my grilled cheese pulled pork sandwich; it’s cheesy, gooey, and delicious.

We love it so much that we often calculate the amount of meat we’ll need to ensure we’ll have some leftovers we can save for the next day!

How To Store Leftover Pulled Pork

You can store pulled pork the same way you would any other leftover meat. Whether you’d like to put it in the refrigerator or the freezer is up to you.

If you put the pulled pork in the fridge, ensure you consume it within the next two days and that it’s the correct internal temperature before serving it. However, if you’d like it to last for weeks or even months, put it in the freezer.

As with any meat, you should store it in something completely airtight. This will keep it fresh and prevent it from stinking up your fridge!

What You Should Be Looking for When Buying Your Pork

If you’re smoking your pork, it is recommended to use pork shoulder, as this part of the pig has quite a bit of fat. This helps to combat moisture loss during cooking. You can use pork loin for pulled pork; however, it won’t be as juicy and succulent.

To really get that succulent meat, you’ll want to buy meat with lots of marbling.

We highly recommend trying Berkshire, Red Wattle, or Tamworth pork. All of these types are rich in fats, and they’ll result in truly delicious smoked pork.

Cooking Tip: To bring out the best in pork, we suggest using applewood chips during the smoking process. Applewood will contribute a tinge of sweetness to your cooked meat, and it does wonders for pork.

My Favorite Pulled Pork Recipes

There are thousands of pulled pork recipes on the internet, so I did the hard work, tested them (and tasted them), and picked my favorite ones.

Smoked Pulled Pork on a Traeger

Pulled Pork Nachos

Perfect Pulled Pork on a Weber

How Much Pulled Pork Per Person: The Exact Numbers

Below, we have done the math and figured out how much raw pork you’ll need for groups of people of different sizes.

How Much Pulled pork for 20 people?

20 people x 1/3 = 6⅔ pounds x 2 = 13⅓ pounds of raw pork.

How Much Pulled Pork for 30 people?

30 people x 1/3 = 10 pounds x 2 = 20 pounds of raw pork.

How Much Pulled Pork for 50 people?

50 people x 1/3 = 16⅔ pounds x 2 = 33⅓ pounds of raw pork.

How Much Pulled Pork for 8 Adults?

8 people x 1/3 = 2⅔ pounds x 2 = 5⅓ pounds of raw pork.

How Much Pulled Pork for 12 Adults?

12 people x 1/3 = 4 pounds x 2 = 8 pounds of raw pork.

Pulled Pork Leftover Recipes

There are many things you can do with leftover pulled pork. We especially love adding it to fries or hamburgers or simply eating it alone. (Because it is delicious!)

However, did you know that leftover pulled pork can be used to make many more meals?

Here are some of my favorites:

Pulled Pork Nachos
Thai Sweet Chili Pulled Pork Nachos
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
Loaded Pulled Pork Fries

We’ve also recently tried using it for a pulled pork pie, soup, and pasta. It was extremely scrumptious, and we’d recommend making them yourself!

What do you usually make with your leftover pulled pork?


Author: Justin Carrtington
Hi I’m Justin, I am one of the taste testers (hard job I know) here at Simply Meat Smoking! I have been grilling, smoking and cooking up a storm since I was young. I like use all types of fuel from charcoal to gas, wood and even electric!

When I not trying to perfect my ribs or brisket I am hanging out with my friends, mainly acting like a big kid.

You can read more on our About Us page.

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4 thoughts on “How Much Pulled Pork Per Person Do You Need? (A Guide to Serving Sizes for Any Cookout)”

  1. If I take your formula, seems like to much since Iam also serving shredded chicken sandwiches and sloppy Joes. So how much do I allow for 3 meats?

    1. Hiya Mary,

      I would take the calculation and half it, I won’t go for a third as you never know what type of protein people will favour. Let me know how you go 🙂

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