Help with how many butts I need

Discussion in 'Pork' started by scvinegarpepper, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. I am terrible at estimating how much meat I need for a crowd. This is a small crowd. A buddy of mine is having a birthday coming up soon and I'm helping his wife with some of the food. The party will be later so we're just having some pickup foods for people to munch on. For the sake of this determination, I'm estimating around 40 people. I'm doing butts and we're going to pre-make little sandwiches on those little country rolls that everybody is familiar with I'm sure. So how much should I do? I really need to get a good digital scale for my cooking to keep up with stuff like this and how much I get off butts, etc. Thanks for any help anyone can offer.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If your having side dishes figure a 1/3lb per person, finished cook weight. With bone in butts you will loose 40% +/- after cooking.
  3. Thanks. I think I might could even get away with a little less per person. Just because we're going to be pre-making little sandwiches, there probably won't be close to 40 people there, probably closer to 25-30, and most people there will be coming after having already ate dinner. I think I can get away with 3 butts, assuming I can get a good 6-7 pounder.
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You can have enough with 2-10# Butts, with fat loss and bone out, you'll be about perfect for the number you intend to have attending...and with other foods , Plenty.
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Old school is basing his numbers on 1/4 pound  per person (which is sort of the standard) at 40 people and should work especially if you are premaking the sandwiches. If you are using small rolls you will probably get 60 slider type sandwiches, but it's nice to have some Pulled Pork not on a roll for possible gluten free guests as well as carb watchers.

    Dirt sailor is basing his on a 1/3 per person

    My opinion after attending quite a few functions and not having any food, I would go with Dirt sailor.

    If this is the only food that will be there and you are not sure how many folks will show, I would throw a picnic in with the mix to be sure.

    To be safe I always estimate a 40% yield from picnics and a 50% yield from butts.

    If you are sure that 35 folks are coming I would go with Oldschools recommendation.

    Why do you have to have the exact amount, go heavy my friend, leftover PP is a wonderful thing and if you're gonna fire up a smoker, fill it up if you have the room.
  6. I definitely agree and under normal circumstances I would be cooking as much as I had room for. However, right now it's a cost consideration. Not to mention with my current living situation being a little in flux, I don't have the usual fridge and/or freezer space I usually would to keep the PP. Thanks for the recommendations!
  7. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    then go by what Oldschool suggests and you could go as low as 18 pounds at 35 people.

    also keep your eye out for sales, every now and then I can find picnics for .99 a pound, butts 1.29 a pound, if you don't have the room to buy on sale and freeze maybe you will luck out with a sale a few days before your event.

    Goodluck and keep us posted.
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We don't get the sales on pork on the Left coast like you guys do, so I buy my butts untrimmed and cryo-packed. They come two to a pack, and the average total weight is between 16-18 lbs. Because I do this the butcher sells them to me at the uncut price. I'd suggest going and talking to the butcher at your favorite market. Tell him/her what you have planned and explain the storage situation and the funding. They will hold cuts for you until yo are ready, and mine will give me sales prices and specials if the date of my pick up is close. Get in good with the Butcher, bring them some samples, they like that! Mine even sends me a text when there are sales on the cuts I use a lot.

    Since you are pre-making the sandwiches you will have better control of the amounts per sandwich. I still would stick with a 1/3lb. Especially on small buns gives the illusion of a big sandwich and makes people think they are full!

    Good luck with your smoke!
  9. Seems as though you are on the right track now. But I did want to let you know I can help you with your over estimation problem in the future.

    It's one really easy step:

    Let me know the best time to come pick up the extras.

    Hope this helps!


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