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How much Pulled Pork Per Person: Detailed Serving Size Guide With Calculator

how much pulled pork per person

If you want to know how much pulled pork per person you should cook and serve, this guide will help you plan and learn the right amounts. We will show you how much pork you’ll need and how to calculate the amount of raw and cooked pulled pork you’ll need per person.

Although hamburgers and hot dogs are great and quick “grill foods,” pulled pork is always a hit. Pulled pork is delicious, relatively easy to make, and an inexpensive meal per person. Some people hesitate to smoke pulled pork because of portion size and quantity.

While calculating pulled pork portions is not as straightforward as counting burgers and hot dogs, the equations are straightforward and eliminate the guesswork. You have arrived at exactly how much pulled pork each serving person needs.

How many pounds of pulled pork per person? [Quick Guide]

Allow roughly a third of a pound of cooked pulled pork per person. If the gathering takes place during the day, if there are a lot of youngsters on the party list, or if there will be a broad range of side dishes available, you may be able to serve a little less.

However, don’t be afraid to prepare extra pulled pork. Leftover cooked pulled pork can be reheated and makes a great side dish.

You calculate how much raw pork you will need using the 2/3 rule. After you cook the meat, it will lose some of its fat and moisture content, thus why the raw pork calculation is 2/3, and the serving calculation is done using the 1/3 guideline.

About Pulled Pork: Which cut of pork should be used for pulled pork?

Pulled pork is usually prepared from the top cut of the pork shoulder, also called Boston butt. Usually, the pork shoulders weigh 4 oz or 8 lbs, depending on the pork cut. The lower part of the shoulder is called a picnic shoulder or picnic ham. If you buy them together, then the proper name for the cut is a “whole pork shoulder.”


The picnic shoulder has more bone and fat content than the Boston butt, making it harder to calculate how much meat it can yield. However, because of its fat content, it is unbelievably tender and does well for smoking low and slow.

Good butchers and stores often sell whole pork shoulder. Other butcher shops offer both top and lower cuts separately.

Top pork shoulder or pork butt ( Boston butt ) is also tender and rich in fat, perfect for smoked pulled pork. The upper half of pork shoulders is leaner, which makes it great for making pulled pork.

How To Calculate How much Pulled Pork Pulled Per Person: Things to consider

You always want to consider how much pulled pork you will need and calculate how much raw pork is necessary. Generally speaking, you want to plan for 2/3 pounds of raw pork required per person. This will translate to about 1/3 of a pound of cooked pork. ( when cooked pork will lose moisture and weigh less )

How many pounds of raw pork you’ll need depends on not just how many people will join your sit-down dinner but also on the factors below.

Leftovers pulled pork

Pulled pork reheats well and is an excellent dish for sandwiches and many recipes. If you want to take a little vacation from the kitchen, cook a little extra and reheat pulled pork for the next few days.

Stored pulled pork leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator Boston butt is also an affordable meat cut and is inexpensive to cook a little extra.

How to store pulled pork leftovers?

Refrigerate leftover pulled pork in airtight containers. Refrigerated pulled pork can last up to 7 days, but you can also freeze the pork for longer periods. You can vacuum seal a plastic freezer bag.

The rest of the menu

You will not need much pulled pork if you are attending a potluck and others are bringing other side dishes. Sure, smoked pulled pork is always a hit, but if there are other side dishes like wings, hot dogs, and burgers, people will grab from the other dishes too. So keep that in mind.

Bun Size ( if you are making pulled pork sliders )

This is an important factor when deciding how much pulled pork per person to prepare. Serving pulled pork in bread buns with a little barbecue sauce makes an amazing dish.

pulled pork sandwich

However, it is easy to put about 5 ounces of pulled pork per person on a typical hamburger bun. So if your plan is to make sliders using hamburger buns or another type of bread, calculate your raw pork, meaning use the bun’s serving proportions to calculate how much pulled pork per person you will need.

The setting of your event

If you are preparing pulled pork for a dinner event, you might want to increase your portions. People eat more at a sit-down dinner than at casual backyard parties where people play, talk, and watch football games.

Time of the event

Another thing to consider is the time of your party or event to calculate how much raw pork per person you will need. If you are cooking for a late-night game night, your guests might not eat a lot but make sure you have plenty of drinks.

However, if this is a lunch event or company party, you will be serving pulled pork like it is the fourth of July.

Age of the guests

If you use the 1/3-pound-per-person rule, you’ll have enough leftover food for children under 12, but it is best to plan an extra half-pound of raw meat per child.

People tend to forget that kids eat less, and serving small portions to the kiddos is ok.

Other considerations to make sure you have enough pulled pork per person

Allow for Second Servings and takeaway boxes 😉

Several will take their food home or pack a “doggy bag.” You need enough pounds of cooked pulled pork to ensure your guests have seconds.

It is always a nice gesture to offer guests to take food home with them, and many of your guests will take you up on that offer. These will generally be smaller portions and may even be combined with other meats.

What’s the Occasion?

OK, this might sound obvious, but let’s hammer it out anyway. Suppose you are preparing pulled pork tacos or hosting stand-up socials. In that case, you might not need to go crazy with servings, but if you are cooking for a large event, company picnic, or birthday, you might want to up those pulled pork requirements slightly.

Who are your guests?

Too much pulled pork is not a bad thing. You can always save it for later. Too little, well, your name will never be forgotten. 🙂

If you are cooking for a small family or children, the 1/3 guide should keep everyone’s plate full. However, if you invite Dwane the Rock Johnson to your house, well, more pulled pork, and maybe “uping” the raw meat calculation to half a point might not be a bad idea.

What else will you serve?

Pulled pork always is a crowd favorite. But often is accompanied but other dishes and meat. Side dishes like coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans are often in the mix. If there are other large cuts of protein being served, you can be modest with your servings.

Here is Our Pulled Pork Calculator

The Amount of people x 2/3= equals to the amount of raw pork you’ll need.

How much pulled pork for 20 adults?

20 people x 2/3 = 13.5 pounds of raw pork

How much pulled pork for 25 adults?

25 people x 2/3 = 17 pounds of raw pork

How much pulled pork for 30 adults?

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

How much pulled pork for 40 adults?

40 people x 2/3 = 27 pounds of raw pork

How much pulled pork for 50 adults?

50 people x 2/3 = 33.5 pounds of raw pork

How much pulled pork for 100 adults?

100 people x 2/3 = 67 pounds of raw pork

How much pulled pork for 150 adults?

150 people x 2/3 = 100 pounds of pork raw

How much pulled pork for 200 adults?

200 people x 2/3 = 133.5 pounds of pork raw

Once the pork is cooked, the 2/3 becomes 1/3 pounds of cooked pulled pork.

How Can Pulled Pork Keep Warm When Cooking For Crowds?

Leaving pulled pork and cooked meat at room temperature for long periods is not a good idea. You can keep pulled pork warm using a crockpot in low or using its “keep warm” setting.

Keeping the meat warm will help prevent bacteria growth and keep the meat hot, juicy—another option is to leave meat wrapped in aluminum foil.

How can I make my smoked pulled pork better?

Season the pork shoulder the night before. This helps it absorb the seasoning and moisture, keeping it moist during cooking.

Pork shoulders are large cuts of meats and require long and slow cooking times. Depending on the weight of the cut, you should plan on cooking times between 10-12 hours.

Try cooking less meat or a smaller pork shoulder if you don’t have the time.

How much Pork Pulled Per Person For Sliders?

Serving pulled pork as sliders is a popular dish and a crowd-pleaser. The same guidelines apply, but to more accurately calculate how much pulled pork per person, you’ll need to consider the size of the buns and how many service ounces it holds.

If Sliders are the main dish, plan for up to half a pound of meat per person, especially if we are talking lunch portions.

Tips on buying pork for the Smoker

Start by getting a good-quality raw pork shoulder. Try to avoid supermarkets when you can. Pork grown for industrial purposes has less fat and hence less flavor and tenderness. Get in contact with a good meat dealer and get quality meat.

Also, use a suitable cooking process, a good smoker, and appropriate smoking wood to get the best taste possible. Pulled pork makes an amazing party dish and is also a great way to showcase your BBQ skills.

Final thoughts on How much pulled pork per person

It’s important to keep in mind that food calculations and how many pounds of food to cook are done using raw meat weight, in this case, raw pulled pork. Never be afraid to use more meat and cook enough meat for proper dinner portions or backyard BBQ.

For your next cookout, try the one-third rule, but if cooked pulled pork is the main course, don’t be afraid to add a little more food.

Enjoy prepping your pulled pork and if you end up with extra pounds of cooked pulled pork, you can always share.



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