How Much Pork Shoulder to Cook Per Person?

There is already plenty of anxiety that builds up when you must prepare for a barbecue party and when you add deciding how much to cook on top of that, it just reaches a boiling point. The question that every grill master asks themselves when preparing for a barbecue feast is precisely how much pork shoulder they need to cook per person. There are several factors that need to be considered when deciding the portion size of your meals, and we will discuss all of that in this article.

Every grill master loves cooking or roasting the pork shoulder on their grill or smoke pit. It is not only delicious but is packed with flavor, hefty, and is affordable, which are all reasons why it is a favorite for every barbecue party. You must consider the fact that a whole pork shoulder weighs around 14 to 18 pounds, which is enough meat to feed a sizable party of 5 to 6 people.

Things to Consider When Grilling Pork Shoulder

This large piece of meat is ideal for any barbecue party, and no matter how you prefer to cook it, the best part is that it always comes out tender and juicy. However, not all pork shoulders are created equal, and to get the most value for your money, you need to know precisely how much pork shoulder you should cook per person. Here are some of the factors you must consider:

How Much Pork Shoulder to Cook Per Person?

Time of Day You Are Hosting the Barbecue

The one factor that will define how much pork shoulder you should cook per person is whether you are hosting a nighttime barbecue event or one during the day. People tend to eat their fill at dinner time, as it is the last meal of the day. Therefore, you will need to serve more per person if you are hosting your barbecue during the night.

If it is a day-time barbecue event, you won’t need to serve as much as people are more conscious about over-eating during the day. You can choose to go with smaller servings or offer different items along with the pork shoulder so that everyone eats their fill.

Other Dishes You Are Serving at the Barbecue

You won’t need to worry too much about how much pork shoulder you should serve at your barbecue event if you have planned to serve other dishes alongside the pork shoulder. Try and serve at least 3 or 4 different dishes so that people have plenty of options to choose from. If there are more side dishes, you can scale back the pork shoulder’s serving size.

People won’t try only one dish during your barbecue event, and you need to ensure that you are offering them enough options to keep things exciting. When you have other dishes as a part of your barbecue, you will add more variety and flavor while ensuring people enjoy your barbecue at the same time.

If you Are Planning to Serve Dessert

When you are planning to serve dessert at the end of your barbecue event, it takes most of the pressure of you to plan large serving sizes. People will want to save room for the dessert and are less likely to stuff their faces with pork shoulder when they know that there is something sweet waiting for them later. Therefore, you should ensure that you have planned to serve dessert so that you won’t need to cook a lot of pork shoulder per person.

You can even choose to serve different types of sweet dishes in your dessert offerings to keep things interesting. That will allow you more room to manage different dishes and ensures you have a planned menu that people will find delicious and enticing.

Deciding the Serving Size of Pork Shoulder Per Person

The best part about cooking pork shoulder is that you can be sure there will be no leftovers. People love eating pork shoulder, and when preparing a feast, you should try and get enough pork shoulder so that there are some leftovers as well. There is a famous saying that goes as “cook once, eat twice.” Those are famous words, and you should take them to heart because you should cook enough pork shoulder per person that you have some left that you can eat later.

The one thing that you don’t want happening is people are leaving your barbecue party not enjoying the meals and hoping that you had served them more food. The standard rule of thumb that you must follow when cooking pork shoulder is that you must serve about one-half pound of meat per person. That is because when it is shredded and cooked, the pork shoulder bone will lose more than 40% of its weight. So, a pork shoulder weighing 10 pounds when raw will yield about six pounds of meat and serve around 10 to 15 people.

That should give you a good ballpark figure of exactly how much pork shoulder you should cook per person for your barbecue party. The best part about pork shoulder is that it is so delicious, you can cook more than you need for the party so that you can enjoy the leftovers later. Ensure that you consider all the factors of your barbecue party so that everyone has enough pork shoulder on their plate.

Our Final Thoughts

There is no hard and fast rule for deciding how much pork shoulder to cook per person when preparing for your barbecue party. You must consider your party’s various factors and then decide how much you want to serve your guests. As always, try and account for the number of people coming to your party and their eating habits to get a fair idea of how much you should serve them.

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