How Much Pulled Pork for 20 People? [SERVING SIZE GUIDE]

Barbequing for a large group can sometimes get tricky. After all, nobody likes to get embarrassed about not having enough food to serve their guests or having large volumes of leftovers. However, no matter what the size of your party is, with some simple mathematics and the right cooking recipe, you will fully satisfy your guests each time!

Pulled pork serving size for 20 people is 6.75 pounds of cooked meat or 13.25 pounds of raw meat. With this calculation, each person will receive about 6 ounces of pulled pork. The quantity per serving will also depend on the number of side dishes, children at the party, alcohol consumption, time of the event, and several other factors. 

If you are planning for a big event, pulled pork can be a perfect crowd pleaser, without being hard on your budget. With a bit of prior planning and understanding of the science behind roasting, you can always be sure of having enough pork for everyone. Here’s everything you need to know about the serving size of pulled pork for twenty people.

meat for dinner

How Much Pulled Pork Per Person?

A good thumb rule for pulled pork serving size is – ‘6 ounces or around two normal servings of finished meat per person’. This calculation is for finished meat only because cooked meat weighs about half as much as raw pork, or to be more accurate, about 40% of the initial mass. A lot of moisture and other juices evaporate during the cooking process. The weight of sauces and condiments is almost negligible; therefore, it does not count to the weight. Therefore, before trimming and bone removal, the raw pork should weigh about double the amount of finished meat you need.

Here is a chart showing the amount of pulled pork required (in pounds):

Number of Adults Raw Pork To Buy (in pounds) Total Pork Obtained After Cooking (in pounds) Pork Per Person (in pounds)
1 0.75 0.35 0.35
5 3.25 1.75 0.35
10 6.75 3.75 0.37
20 13.25 6.75 0.33
50 33.25 16.75 0.33
100 66.75 33.25 0.33

Thus, according to the above reference, each person gets about the recommended average of 6 ounces (or ~0.35 pounds) of pulled pork, which is about 2 servings of meat. If there will be children at the event, then the amount of pulled pork required will be exactly half the amount required by adults.

If you have a mix of adults and children at the party, then simply multiply the number of adults by ⅓ pounds and the number of children by ¼ pounds to get the required number of total cooked pork required. The formula is:

(Adult X ⅓ + Children X ½) X 2 = Total Pounds of Raw Pork Meat Needed

So for example, in an event with 10 adults and 10 children, the amount of pulled pork required will be 10 X ⅓ + 10 X ¼ or (3.33 + 2.5), which equals 5.83 pounds of cooked meat (or 11.66 pounds of raw meat).

How Much Pulled Pork For 20 People

Following the thumb rule, the amount of pulled pork for 20 people will be 20 X 6 ounces = 120 ounces of finished pork. Therefore, for 20 people, you should buy 13.25 (or about 13 ⅓ pounds of raw pork and 6.75 or about 6 ⅔ pounds of cooked pork.

Should You Plan For Extra?

Well, we do not advise you to waste food, but it is always recommended to have a buffered stock, especially if you are a great chef! Planning for about 10% of extra pulled pork is recommended. Therefore, for having an additional stock for 20 people, you may consider preparing 14.5 pounds of total raw pork (or about 7.5 pounds of cooked pork).

How Much Pulled Pork For 20 People With Side Dishes

Adding a few side dishes not only reduces the chore of smoking but also brings about a variety to your menu. Pulled pork is usually served alongside hot dogs, burgers, ribs, and wings and is a popular selection in buffets. The amount of pulled pork required will be reduced if you are going to prepare more side dishes. Pulled pork serving size for 20 people would then be:

  • With 1 side dish – 4 ounces per person (or a total of 80 ounces/ 5 pounds)
  • With 3 side dishes – 3 ounces per person (or a total of 60 ounces/ 3.75 pounds)

Do note the fact that people would fill up faster when they consume more proteins. If there is going to be other meat or fish on the platter, then the amount of pulled pork required would be less.

How Is Pulled Pork Obtained?

Pulled pork is a delicious and inexpensive dish. When cooking correctly, pulled pork is succulent and instantly melts in your mouth. The dish gets its name by the way it is presented just right before serving. Pulled pork is obtained from butchering the shoulder, pork loin, or the lower foreleg of the pig, which are roasted to perfection to make the ‘Boston Butt’ or the ‘Picnic Roast/ Ham.’ Rib tips or briskets are also used in some styles of pork roasting. Most chefs prefer Boston Butt roast as the meat is tender, juicy, and shreds perfectly when cooked right. Once smoked, the meat is shredded with hands, a meat claw, or a pair of forks. This pulling process tenderizes the meat and brings out more flavors to the dish.

Pulled pork can be prepared in various styles using sauces and dry rubs. Some of the famous styles of pulled pork are Texas Style, Carolina Style, Memphis Style, and the Kansas City Style. However, the secret to perfectly cooked pulled pork isn’t really the sauce, but the low and slow smoking process, which makes the meat taste so tender, juicy, and delicious.

cut fork meat

Factors That May Increase The Serving Size Of Pulled Pork

Do take your guest demographics into account when calculating the serving size per person. 20 athletes would definitely eat more than 20 senior citizens or kids at a birthday party! Whether you smoke pork in a traditional outdoor barbeque or use an electric smoker, when the meat is cooked right, people ought to relish each bite and consume more. The type of event will also alter the serving size.

The portion size of lunch servings tends to be moderate compared to dinner events. The amount of pulled pork required will also vary if you have arranged alcohol for your guests. Consumption generally increases with alcohol intake.

Keep reading: Homemade Sweet And Sour Pork Recipe

What To Do With Leftovers?

Even when you get your math right, there may be instances when you have leftover pulled pork. However, these flavorful leftovers need not be wasted and can be used in multiple ways. For instance, you can add the pieces of pulled pork into a curry, soup, or stew, which will impart an exceptional flavor to the dish. You can also add them to salad, or probably make nachos, slaw burgers, and sandwiches. If you are going to have events for the next two days, then the leftover pulled pork can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and can be used later. For long-term storage, store them in the freezer.

Depending upon your guests, you can always tweak the serving size. Remember that the above-mentioned calculations are just an average, and only experience and mastery can help you get that perfect serving size of pulled pork each time you invite your guests.

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