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Help with my math

I was asked to cook enough pork to cover 240 servings for a youth basketball tournament next weekend.  So if I'm aiming for 240 servings at 1/4 lb each serving, that works out to 60 lbs of finished pork.

At Costco, I can buy boneless pork shoulder for $1.79/lb.  How much shrinkage should I expect out of a boneless pork shoulder?  40%?  More?  I know that nothing will be exact, I'm simply looking for a ballpark figure or a rule of thumb here.  When I do bone-in shoulder, I can usually expect that if I have a 10 lb shoulder, I'll get 6-7 lbs of finished pork.  I've never done a boneless shoulder, but obviously without the bone there, I should have a larger yield.  

Any thoughts?  Also, should I assume 1/4 lb per serving or go with 1/3 lb?
Large BGE

Neenah, WI


  • I would go over 1/4# per person.

    LBGE, Charbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Weber Kettle Premium, Yeti 65, RTIC 20, Yeti 20 oz Rambler, Yeti Colster, RTIC Lowball

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  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 18,687
    edited February 2016
    I'm with @xfire_ATX - not knowing the age group of your youth eaters I would go with around 1/3 lb/serving.  At that number you will need around 80 lbs of cooked pork.  If you go with a 50% yield (a little conservative-but left-overs are great) then you need to start with 160 lbs.
    Shop around as the local Meijer store had boston butt for $0.99/lb a couple of weeks ago.  
    Edit: easy for me to help you spend your $$-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • AbterAbter Posts: 125
    if there are a lot of kids involved, 1/4 lb per total attendance might be right.  Not only are kids small, but a  lot of parents are raising their kids weirdly these days so some won't eat pulled pork.  Smoking Meat Forums says 50% shrinkage is a good planning tool.  and leftovers are indeed wonderful.  GL
    Stay Calm and Egg On
    1 lonely medium in Rockville, MD
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 10,086
    I have read that for 1/4 lb per person you divide the number of servings by 2.4.  This is calculated based on 40% shrinkage (60%) yield.  With that number you would come out to exactly 100 lbs raw weight.  

    Do you only have 1 large?  That is a lot of butt on a large.  

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 5,810
    I have ZERO experience cooking for a large crowd like that so I don't have any clue as to how much you should buy.

    However, when cooking a butt I always trim  many ounces of fat off of them before putting in the cooker.

    I would factor that into your equation when deciding how much meat to buy.

    Also, better to have too much than too little.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • luckyboyluckyboy Posts: 277
    I'd buy at least for double pks at costcos.I know for an adult party that big, i'd do at least six double pks.
    good luck
  • 50 percent shrinkage???? I cooked a 10.5 pounder last weekend that was damn near 9 pounds when it came off... so maybe 20 ptercent loss at most, more like 16 percent if i round up. 

    Disclaimer: i shred everything, the fat, the bark, every last bit and eat it. The fat is the best part. I throw nothing away once it comes out. 

    2 LBGE, Blackstone 36, Jumbo Joe

    Egging in Southern Illinois (Marion)

  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 1,618
    If you can find a wholesale distributor, you might get a better rate.  I don't know if you are near a Restaurant Depot, but a $35 membership to KCBS (Kansas City BBQ Society) might pay for itself in this case.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 29,470
    I get worse shrinkage after a swim in a brisk lake.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
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  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 11,541
    I get worse shrinkage after a swim in a brisk lake.
    Another example of the greatness of Seinfeld! Everything in life can be related to an episode of Seinfeld. True brilliance!!!
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,925
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 13,511
    What is this shrinkage you speak of?
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 11,541
    YukonRon said:
    What is this shrinkage you speak of?
    See Sienfeld: George Costanza "shrinkage" episode. It was an instant classic. 
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