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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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Pulled pork for 100

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  • RustyHaines
    Club Member
    • Sep 2017
    • 742
    • Tiedeman's Pond, WI

    Pulled pork for 100

    I have been asked to provide pulled pork for 100 people for my son's wedding celebration. The pulled pork will be served as sliders and there will be tons of side dishes. I have never cooked for a group this size so I am seeking advice from those who have. First, how much pork will I need? I have a PBC and 2 Performers both with SNS and both with hover grills so I am hoping I have the capacity. I would think I could do 8-10 with my existing capacity. I also have a sous vide machine.

    The butts will need to be ready for 5:30 PM serving. Could/should I sous vide and freeze ahead of time then thaw and smoke the day of? Could/should I cook them all ahead of time then freeze them and reheat the day of with sous vide? If I have the capacity could/should I just cook them all the day of with an early enough start to allow a 2 hour or so wrap and cambro?

    I appreciate any advice and suggestions.
  • RichieB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2018
    • 1660
    • Western Mass

    I can't help you with that, but I want to say congrats on your son's wedding. I know you'll get the advise you need from this crowd.


    • RustyHaines
      RustyHaines commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks RichieB. Yep I'm sure I will get the help I need here.
  • BRic
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 372
    • Winnipeg Mb. Canada
    • Napoleon bbq
      ​​​​​​Broil King Keg
      ​​​​Hunsaker Smoker
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      Maverick ET-733 Wireless Thermometer
      ThermoPop Temp
      2 - ThermoWorks DOTs Temps
      UUNI infrared Thermometer gun
      LEM 1182 Meat Grinder
      Cabela`s Sausage Stuffer
      Grill Grates

      Red River Rumble BBQ and Grill
      Reserve Grand Champions Backyard
      2018 Morrris Manitoba


    Briskets & Boston Butts (pulled pork)

    50 people 20lbs finished meat requires 40 lbs raw meat
    30 12 24
    25 10 20
    20 8 16
    15 6 12
    12 5 10
    10 4 8
    8 3.2 6.4
    6 2.5 5
    Hope this will help you .


    • BRic
      BRic commented
      Editing a comment
      These figures are for a 6.4 ounce serving .

    • mrteddyprincess
      mrteddyprincess commented
      Editing a comment
      So 10 4 8 suggests one would need 10 eight lb pork shoulders to feed 100 people. That's doable.

    • BRic
      BRic commented
      Editing a comment
      10 4 8 for 10 people that would 4 lbs finished meat you would require 8 lbs raw meat l.eft side numbers are the amount of people the middle number is cooked meat
      the number to the right is raw meat .
  • RustyHaines
    Club Member
    • Sep 2017
    • 742
    • Tiedeman's Pond, WI

    Thanks BRic. Just what I was looking for.


    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 13321
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        Pizza insert
        Smokenator 1000
        Cookshack Smokette Elite
        2 Thermapens
        lots of probes.

      Congrats on your sons upcoming wedding. I've never cooked for that many either.


      • efranzen
        Club Member
        • Jun 2018
        • 25

        Congratulations. If you lived closer, I'd lend my smoker to help the cause.


        • ecowper
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 3567
          • Maple Valley, WA
          • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
            Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

            Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
            Thermometer = Maverick ET732
            Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
            Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
            Thermapen Classic = Grey
            PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

            Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
            Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
            Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
            Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

            Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"

            Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

          I’ve done pulled pork for 100 for my neighbor’s daughter’s graduation party. I did 6 boneless butts from costco, which is a total of about 45 pounds of meat ..... each cryo of 2 butts (no bone) weighs 15-16 pounds. I cooked, held, pulled the day before and then put in chafing pans and foiled. The next day I warmed them at 180F with a bit of apple juice added. I got rave reviews.

          As to cooking them, I dry brined for 24 hours, then rubbed with Meathead’s Memphis Dust just before going on the smoker. Ran the WSM at 275’ish .... took about 10 hours for the cook.

          Hopefully this is helpful.


          • treesmacker
            treesmacker commented
            Editing a comment
            Cooking the day before seems safe to me - pulled pork serves up very well re-heated.

          • Backroadmeats
            Backroadmeats commented
            Editing a comment
            I am with @ecowper.. I use electric roaster pans but don't crank the heat!! 175-180 is perfect it will render fat but not dry out the meat. Adding apple juice is also beneficial it mixes nice with the pork fat and keeps it from drying out.. done many hog roasts this way by cooking the day before.
        • PaulstheRibList
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 1585
          • Lake Charles, LA
          • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
            1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
            2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
            3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
            4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
            5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
            6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
            7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
            8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
            9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
            10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
            11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
            12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
            12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

            Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

            I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
            I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

          Congratulations on your son's wedding!! So fun! I'm praying for good men for my 4 princesses to marry.

          On the cook, is this the only protein? If pork is the main star of the plate, I'd cook 6 oz per guest, and enjoy the leftovers you have. At butts of 7.5 pounds each, you will need 10, which is your capacity in your smokers. Yeah!

          Now, for the timing. You will need to tell us if getting up super early that day is going to be too stressful on the family. Do you need to be doing other preparations on that day? Are you helping your son or want to spend time with him that day? If so, then I'd cook earlier and retherm.

          Are you and your cookers set up where you feel comfortable letting them run overnight? Maybe one middle-of-the-night wakeup and adjust? If so, you could start the cook at bedtime on day before and plan on finishing the cook about mid day on the day of the wedding. That would be easier and the food quality best.

          Pork is resilient, so you could cook earlier in the week, refrigerate, and retherm in your vacuum bags. I'm guessing you have that capacity since you sous vide? Reheating in the vacuume bag is very nice and helps keep moisture in. You can also re-heat in the oven in the vacuum bags, at least the ones we use. Put the refigerated bags in a pan with a tiny bit of water and reheat at 250 or under. Don't know what your oven capacity is on the retherm. Any heat sourse will work, your sous vide, smoker, or oven. Just don't spike the heat and jeopardize the integrity of the plastic bag. The sealing and therming for such type parties has worked well for us. But that is more work, and you have to have enough equipment to reheat. The sealed bags make transporting the warm butts super easy as well - no spilling until you open the bags to pull the meat!

          You're going to have a great time!


          • Henrik
            Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
            • Jul 2014
            • 4468
            • Stockholm, Sweden

            Golden advice from PaulstheRibList. Since you're serving sliders I think 10 butts will do just fine. As you said, there's a ton of sides/munchies. The most important part is timing/schedule on the big day. How comfortable are you running those 3 grills unattended for a long (6-8 hour) period unattended?

            Ideally, here's what I would have done. It may or may not suit your schedule. I'd get up around 2 AM, spend an hour getting everything started and running smoothly, and then hit the hay again for a few hours. That way you add flex into your schedule and can fit other stuff in (during the day). Check the meat/grills around 10AM, and see where the meat is temp wise. If needed, bump the grill temp up or down. Later in the day, if done early, just faux cambro the butts and then transport to the wedding location.

            If you instead go with reheating, which takes a lot of stress out, make sure you have the capacity to re-heat 10 butts at once, or at least 5 of them, and then another 5. It takes a long time to reheat, so again, plan this into your schedule. And the best of luck, it's gonna be a grand day!


            • Frozen Smoke
              Club Member
              • Nov 2017
              • 1528
              • Northern Mn

              PaulstheRibList stole my thunder solid advice there. I always have 30 to 40lbs of vac sealed pulled pork in the freezer in 3lb bags nearly all the time. Pulled pork is very forgiving. It can even be refroze a second time without losing much. Pauls advice on 6 ounces per serving is right on. I'm guessing this is a open buffet style with people serving them selves? That makes it difficult to judge how much you need so over shoot it and have left overs. Nothing worse than looking at 15 hungry people with empty plates in their hands telling them it's all gone. My worst nightmare so I made certain it has never happened. Good luck, have fun and congratulations!


              • PaulstheRibList
                PaulstheRibList commented
                Editing a comment
                Dude, so smart with the 30 pounds of vac sealed pork in the freezer! Love the vac seal. I bought the big chamber vac on wheels and can't wait to share how cool it is with y'all.
            • RustyHaines
              Club Member
              • Sep 2017
              • 742
              • Tiedeman's Pond, WI

              Thanks all for the ideas and the congrats. They had a planned elopement (no wedding drama, yeah !) the day after Christmas and this is the party coming up. So I am under no pressure the day of. Will have out of town guests to entertain but they can visit me at my cookers. I think I am going to cook the day of and after they reach their respective stalls wrap them to probe tender, towel wrap and into the faux cambro, and then pull at the site.

              Yes Frozen Smoke I will plan to overshoot on quantity. Great advice.

              Thanks again for the well wishes and advice. I knew I could count on The Pit.


              • texastweeter
                Club Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 2938
                • Republic of Texas

                I have cooked many a big cook. I always estimate 8oz of meat per person. You will get about a 50% yield out of a pork shoulder. I would plan on 100lbs of meat. Figuring pork shoulders at 12lbs a pic (average around here) you will need 8-9 butts. Cook fresh, don't freeze. Start around 10 the night before, and let them ride at 225° while you sleep. Once they hit around 170° crutch if bark is where you want it (color and texture). Finish in the crutch (you can move some to a 225° oven at this point if you pan and it takes up too much space). Remove and hold in hot coolers until event. Don't forget time to dry brine and inject 48 hours prior to the smoke bath. Good luck.


                • Spinaker
                  • Nov 2014
                  • 10876
                  • Land of Tonka
                  • John "J R"
                    Instagram: JRBowlsby
                    Smokin' Hound Que
                    Minnesota/ United States of America

                    Dexter (Beagle mix)
                    Kinnick (American Foxhound)

                    Big Green Egg (Large) X3
                    Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

                    Karubeque C-60
                    Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
                    Lodge L410 Hibachi
                    Pit Barrel Cooker
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                    R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

                    Weber Spirit Gasser
                    FireBoard (Base Package)
                    Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
                    Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)

                    Big Green Egg Plate Setter
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                    Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
                    Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

                    Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
                    Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
                    Eggspander Kit X2
                    Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

                    Finex Cat Iron Line
                    FireBoard Drive
                    Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
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                    KBQ Fire Grate

                    Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
                    Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
                    Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
                    Large Vortex
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                    Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
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                    Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
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                    Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60

                    Buck 119 Special
                    Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

                    Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
                    Next Major Purchase
                    Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

                  Lots of great information above, so I defer to them. But best of luck with your cook! You got this!


                  • JeffJ
                    Charter Member
                    • Feb 2015
                    • 2442
                    • Michigan
                    • Jeff

                    For my son's grad party I cooked 50 pounds of butt and we had roughly 130 people. We had some leftover.

                    I used the 26 + original SnS and the PBC. I used the grate on the PBC. If you have larger butts (8-10 pound range) I recommend halving them.


                    • RustyHaines
                      RustyHaines commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hmmmmm . . . . . maybe a good time to leverage a new 26" since I will be dead and gone by the time Weber makes a 26" Performer
                  • adamcoe
                    Charter Member
                    • May 2015
                    • 151
                    • Calgary, AB, Canada

                    Just my opinion but I would do them the day before and reheat just in case you run into any wrinkles on the day...last thing you want to be doing on your son's wedding day in running around stressed about food. Pulled pork reheats about as well as anything. Factor in plenty of extra time for the just-in-case moments, not to mention realize it's going to take a BUNCH of time to pull 40-50 lbs of meat and get it ready to serve.

                    In any case, best of luck, and take some pics of all that delicious pork if you can!




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