How Much Pulled Pork to Expect from an 8 lb Bone-In Pork Butt

Pulled pork is a quintessential smoked meat that’s perfect for feeding a crowd But one key question when planning your cook is – how much finished pulled pork will you actually get from an 8 lb bone-in pork butt? There are some key ratios to understand to determine the final yield.

Typical Pork Butt Shrinkage

The first factor to know is that raw pork butts shrink significantly during the long smoking process Known as “cook down”, pork butts lose a lot of moisture through

  • Rendering of fat
  • Evaporation of juices
  • Overall dehydration of the meat

You can expect 40-50% cook down when smoking a bone-in pork butt. That means your 8 lb raw butt will decrease to around 4-5 lbs pulled pork after 10-16 hours smoking at low temperatures.

The bone accounts for additional weight loss compared to a boneless roast. But it also adds incredible flavor!

Figuring Approximate Yield

As a general rule of thumb:

  • An 8 lb raw bone-in pork butt yields approximately 5 lbs pulled pork
  • Plan for around 50% yield from a bone-in butt

This ratio allows for some variation in exact shrinkage percentages, but gives you a solid estimate for purchasing the right size roast.

While actual yields vary depending on the specific cut, fat cap, etc, this guidance prevents you from ending up with too little finished meat after smoking an 8 lb bone-in butt.

Serving Size Estimates

When planning how much pulled pork you need, use these serving estimates as a starting point:

  • Count on around 1⁄3 lb or 5 oz serving per person
  • An 8 lb raw butt yielding 5 lb pulled pork provides 15 servings
  • So an 8 lb bone-in butt can feed 10-15 people

The serving size you use depends on the menu. If the pulled pork is the star attraction, go with 1⁄3 lb per guest. For slider-sized portions, 2 oz fills a bun nicely.

And don’t forget to factor in second helpings! Adding a couple extra servings gives your guests the option and provides bonus leftovers.

Should You Get a Larger Butt?

Even for smaller gatherings, choosing at least an 8 lb bone-in pork butt is recommended. Here’s why:

  • Smaller roasts are harder to smoke evenly
  • Increased bone to meat ratio in smaller cuts
  • It provides extra servings and leftovers
  • More economical per pound in larger sizes
  • You need 1 lb raw meat per person as starting point

Rather than multiple small roasts, one large pork butt is ideal for your smoker. An 8 lb butt fits easily in most smokers, produces perfect pulled pork, and leaves you with delicious leftovers.

Extra Tips for Maximizing Yield

Follow these tips to get the highest yield from your bone-in pork butt:

  • Trim excess hard fat, but leave a 1⁄4 inch fat cap
  • Apply a salty dry rub to enhance flavor and moisture
  • Smoke at 225-275°F to an internal temp of 205°F
  • Spritz with apple juice or stock during the smoke
  • Rest wrapped in towels or a cooler before pulling

Low and slow smoking gives you succulent pulled pork that falls off the bone.

What to Do with Leftovers

Always have a plan to use up leftover pulled pork. Refrigerate for 3-4 days or freeze in portions for 4 months. Then get creative! Pulled pork makes incredible:

  • Tacos
  • Pizza and nachos
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Sandwiches
  • Baked potatoes
  • Soup or chili

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How many sandwiches will 10 pounds of pulled pork make?

I like to put ~6 oz on a sandwich, so a 10 lb bone in should give me ~20 sandwiches, boneless about 25. Yield and cost will determine which you decide to use. If you can get boneless at a cost that makes up for the less yield, that’s likely the way to go….

How much does 8 lbs of pulled pork feed?

Pounds of Pork Butt (Raw Weight)
Number of Servings (1/3 pound serving)
Number of Servings (1/2 pound serving)

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