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

Wondering how much pulled pork your going to need?

Whether it is a pool party or a cookout, you can’t go wrong with dishing up a delicious pulled pork.

Pulled pork is a crowd favorite. It’s tasty, inexpensive, and simple to cook.

Plus it is perfect in a sandwich or just on its own!

The only issue you may encounter with smoked pulled pork is determining how much to make and serve.

It’s can be difficult to predict how much pulled pork a person will eat.

It is unlike serving steak or ribs — where you can pretty much estimate the rack per person.

Instead, with pulled pork, it’s challenging to figure out just how many pounds of pork you’ll need.

But all hope is not lost!

We’ve discovered a formula to solve this dilemma. Continue reading to find out how it’s done!

Pulled Pork from Our Last Cookout

How Much Pulled Pork Per Person?

You need 1/3 pound per person of pulled pork. That is a general rule of thumb

Of course, the real question is how many pounds of meat you’ll need to have to serve to your guests.

You can’t just go out, buy three pounds of raw pork meat and expect it to feed nine people.

(And you also can’t just buy a pound of meat and anticipate that 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.

How To Calculate How Much Cooked Pulled Pork You Need?

The ⅓ pound of meat per person rule still works, but you just need to remember one simple thing.

Cooked pork weighs twice as less as raw meat.

This means that the raw weight cannot be used when working out how much meat you’ll need to work out the pulled pork servings per pound.

The Calculations for Working How Much Pulled Pork You Need

(Number of people x (1/3)) x 2 = pounds of raw pork

Let’s try it out together. For example, if you’re serving 3 people, you’ll split 3 by 3. You’ll then be left with the number 1. Now, all you nee to do is to insert this number into the formula.

3 people x 1/3 = 1 pounds x 2 = 2 pounds of raw pork.
Once you’ve cooked the 2 pounds of raw pork, you’ll be left with the appropriate serving size for 3 people — 1 pound of pork.

What You Should Be Looking for When Buying Your Pork

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

To really get that succulent meat, then you’ll want to get your hands on meat that has lots of marbling.

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

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

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

The weight of uncooked meat isn’t the only factor that you’ll have to take into consideration.

There are a whole bunch of other elements that you should factor in when it comes to deciding on 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.

This means that 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 highly unlikely that pulled pork is the only thing on the menu for your gathering. What other dishes are you preparing? Are your guests bringing anything to supplement the meal? It’s important to plan and ask ahead, so that you’re not left with a pile of pulled pork that nobody wants to finish.

3. Age of Your Guests

How old is everyone? You’ll have to remember that most children tend to eat less than adults, as they are smaller in size. We personally like to 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, then you’ll most likely have to reduce the amount of pork you serve. The bigger the bread, the more meat you’ll have leftover.

5. Do You Want Leftovers?

With that being said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having leftover pulled pork. If fact, leftover pork is incredibly useful. !This is because you can add to it sandwiches, salads, and even rice, as and when you’d like! You have to try my grilled cheese pulled pork sandwich, its cheesy, gooey and delicious

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

How To Store Leftover Pulled Pork

You can store pulled pork the same way that you would store any other leftover meat. It’s completely up to you whether you’d like to stick it in the refrigerator or the freezer.

Make sure you consume the pulled pork within the next two days if you put it in the fridge. Just ensure before you serve the pulled pork it’s the correct internal temperature

However, if you’d like it to last for weeks, or even months, put it in the freezer.

As with any type of meat, you’ll want to store it in something that is completely airtight. This will keep it fresh, and it also won’t stink up your fridge!

My Favorite Pulled Pork Recipes

There are thousands of of pulled pork recipes on the internet, so I did the hard worked 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 how much raw pork you’ll need for different size groups of people.

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 that you can do with leftover pulled pork. We especially love adding it to the adding it fries, hamburgers, or simply eating it on it’s own. (Because it is delicious!)

However, did you know that there are many more meals that you can make out of leftover pulled pork?

Here are some of my favourites:

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 definitely recommend that you try making them for 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.

Hungry For More?

2 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 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *