Q: Dear Dr. BBQ,
I have been asked to cater a friend’s high school graduation party. Seven families are sharing a facility and have asked me to smoke brisket and pork butt. They estimate an attendance of 300 to 400 people. How do you determine the amount of meat per person and is this determined by the pre-cooked weight or the finished product? I will look forward to your response. Thanks,
A: Hi Monte,
The formula for whole packer briskets and pork butts is the same. The yield will be about 50% of the fresh weight after cooking. So if you cook 100 pounds you’ll get 50 pounds of meat to serve. Now you need to figure the serving sizes. Typically it’s between 1/4 pound and 1/3 pound, but it’s 1/2 pound if you’re feeding the football team. Unless I know it’s the ladies auxiliary, I’m not comfortable with less than 1/3 pound per person. Pork and brisket aren’t very expensive and guess who the schmuck is if the food runs out. So if it’s 300 people you’ll need about 200 pounds of raw meat to have 1/3 pound cooked meat for each guest. If it’s 400 you’ll need about 267 pounds.