How Many Pork Butts for 100 People: Complete Guide to Planning and Serving

How Many Pork Butts for 100 People: Complete Guide to Planning and Serving

Planning a big event and wondering how many pork butts you’ll need to feed 100 people? It’s a common question for anyone hosting a gathering, whether it’s a family reunion, a wedding, or a community cookout. Getting the right amount ensures everyone leaves satisfied and reduces the risk of running out of food.

I’ve been there, and I know how crucial it is to get the numbers right. You don’t want to end up with too little and disappoint your guests, but you also don’t want a mountain of leftovers. In this article, I’ll break down the factors that determine how many pork butts you should prepare, making your event planning a breeze.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding Pork Butt: Pork butt, also known as Boston butt, is a cost-effective and flavorful cut, ideal for large gatherings due to its moisture-retaining properties when cooked in bulk.
  • Estimating Quantities: To feed 100 people, calculate based on a serving of 6-8 ounces of cooked pork per person, accounting for cooking loss. You will need approximately 100 pounds of raw pork butt, translating to 10-13 pork butts.
  • Proper Planning: Effective planning includes accurate meat calculations, sourcing quality meat, and efficient cooking methods like brining, seasoning, and slow cooking to ensure tender and flavorful results.
  • Side Dishes Impact: The quantity of side dishes and their types can affect meat consumption. Serving a variety of sides and considering vegetarian options helps balance the meal and cater to diverse dietary needs.
  • Managing Leftovers: Efficiently handle leftovers by storing them in airtight containers, labeled with the date. Use leftovers in different dishes and ensure consumption within recommended time frames to prevent waste.

Understanding Pork Butt Portions for Large Gatherings

What Is Pork Butt?

Pork butt, also known as Boston butt, is a cut from the upper part of the shoulder. Despite its name, it doesn’t come from the pig’s rear. This cut contains a good amount of marbling, which keeps it moist and flavorful during long cooking processes like smoking, roasting, or slow cooking. Weighing between 6 to 10 pounds on average, pork butt includes bones and fat, contributing to its tender texture and rich flavor.

Why Choose Pork Butt for Large Events?

Choosing pork butt for large events offers several advantages. Its affordability helps manage budgets effectively, making it an economical choice for feeding large groups. Due to its marbling, this cut maintains moisture and flavor even when cooked in bulk, ensuring a consistently tasty outcome. Pork butt is versatile and can be used to prepare popular dishes like pulled pork, carnitas, or BBQ pork sandwiches, simplifying menu planning for varied tastes.

Proper planning enhances the overall experience, ensuring that every guest is satisfied and food waste is minimized. Understanding portion sizes and cooking techniques is crucial when handling large gatherings.

Estimating Pork Butts Needed for 100 People

Estimating Pork Butts Needed for 100 People

Factors Affecting Meat Consumption

Several factors can impact how much pork butt you need to serve 100 people. First, consider the event type. For casual events like barbecues, people tend to eat more compared to formal dinners. Next, evaluate the side dishes. If you’re offering numerous sides, guests usually consume less meat. Additionally, think about guest demographics. Adults generally eat more than children. Finally, account for cooking yield. Pork butt loses 30-40% of its weight during cooking.

How to Calculate Portions Per Person

To determine portions, start by deciding how much cooked pork you’ll serve per person. Typically, serving 6-8 ounces per person is sufficient. Given the cooking loss, you’ll need more raw pork. For instance, for 6 ounces of cooked pork, you need about 10 ounces of raw pork. Therefore, for 100 people, you need 62.5 pounds of cooked pork, translating to approximately 100 pounds of raw pork. If each pork butt weighs around 8-10 pounds, you’ll need about 10-13 pork butts to serve 100 people.

By considering these factors, you can ensure you’re prepared to serve your guests adequately without over or underestimating the amount of pork butt required.

Planning Your Event

Planning Your Event

Proper planning is crucial for any event, especially when serving a large crowd. You need to determine the right amount of pork butt and ensure every guest is satisfied.

Tips for Buying Pork Butt

First, calculate the total weight needed. For 100 people, aim to serve 6-8 ounces of cooked pork per person. This means you’ll need around 50-65 pounds of cooked pork. Considering a 50% cooking loss, plan to buy approximately 100-130 pounds of raw pork butt.

Second, buy from a trusted supplier. Quality meat ensures better flavor and texture. Local butchers can offer advice on quantities and help with any special cuts.

Third, consider the packaging. Bulk purchases reduce costs and usually come in vacuum-sealed packs, preserving freshness longer.

Preparing Pork Butt for a Large Crowd

First, brine the pork butt. A simple brine of salt, sugar, and water enhances moisture and flavor. Brine for 12-24 hours for optimal results.

Second, season generously. Use a dry rub of spices like paprika, garlic powder, and brown sugar to create a flavorful crust.

Third, cook low and slow. Smoking at 225°F for 1.5-2 hours per pound yields tender meat. Keep a meat thermometer handy to ensure the internal temperature reaches 195°F.

Fourth, rest the meat. After cooking, allow the pork butt to rest for at least 30 minutes before shredding. This redistributes the juices, making the meat moister.

Finally, shred efficiently. Use bear claws or forks to pull apart the pork. Serve immediately or keep warm in a slow cooker until serving time.

Additional Considerations for Serving 100 People

Accompaniments and Side Dishes

Choosing side dishes to serve with pork butt impacts the total amount needed. Popular sides include coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese, cornbread, and potato salad. Ensure a balance of flavors and textures to complement the rich, moist pork. Offer vegetarian options to accommodate all dietary preferences. For a typical serving, plan about 4-6 ounces of each side dish per person. Adjust quantities based on guest demographics and event type.

Managing Leftovers

Handling leftovers efficiently ensures minimal waste. After the event, divide remaining pork butt into smaller portions. Place each portion in airtight containers to maintain freshness. Label containers with the date before storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. Leftover pork can be used in sandwiches, tacos, soups, or pasta dishes. When reheating the pork, use a low heat setting to retain moisture. Aim to consume refrigerated pork within 3-4 days and frozen pork within 2-3 months to ensure safety and quality.


Proper planning is key when determining how much pork butt you’ll need to feed 100 people. By considering factors like the event type and guest demographics, you can ensure everyone leaves satisfied. Remember to complement your main dish with appropriate side dishes and manage any leftovers efficiently. With these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to host a successful event with delicious pork butt as the star attraction.

For serving 100 people, you will need approximately 50 pounds of raw pork butt, assuming each person consumes about 1/2 pound of cooked meat. This estimate accounts for shrinkage during cooking and provides ample servings, as detailed by BBQGuys. Ensuring you have enough meat, along with appropriate side dishes and accompaniments, will help make your event successful and satisfying for all guests, according to Food Network.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much pork butt should I plan per person?

For a standard serving, you should plan on 1/2 to 3/4 pound of uncooked pork butt per person. This accounts for shrinkage during cooking. For 100 people, you’ll need roughly 50 to 75 pounds of uncooked pork butt.

What factors should I consider in portion calculations?

Consider the type of event, the number of side dishes, and your guests’ demographics. Larger events with multiple sides may require smaller portions, while events with heartier eaters may need more.

What side dishes pair well with pork butt?

Popular sides include coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, potato salad, and mac and cheese. Plan on serving 4 to 6 ounces of each side dish per person.

How should I store leftover pork butt?

Store leftovers in airtight containers and refrigerate promptly. Consume within 3 to 4 days or freeze for longer storage. Always reheat to an internal temperature of 165°F.

What can I do with leftover pork butt?

Leftover pork butt is versatile. Use it in sandwiches, tacos, soups, or salads. It can also be added to pasta dishes or made into pulled pork nachos.

Is it safe to eat leftover pork?

Yes, as long as it has been stored properly in an airtight container in the fridge within 2 hours of cooking. For best quality, consume within 3 to 4 days and always reheat thoroughly to 165°F.