Q&A – How much pig do I need to serve X number of people?

http://i1.wp.com/burninlovebbq.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/aaaapig.jpg?w=500In general for pork:

If:
Live weight = 100 lbs.
Then:
Dressed (72%) = 72.5 lbs.
And:
Eatable yield = 50-52 lbs.

I base my calculations on “dressed weight” because that’s how I always buy my pigs.

Remember, this is a generalization, pigs (like people) can carry widely different ratios of muscle, bone, and fat.

So,  now you know how much porktastic meat you’ll end up with, but…how much are people going to eat?

I plan 1/2lb per person, edible yield, for “mixed groups” (Men, women, and children), or potlucks with lots of side dishes.

So… 52lbs eatable yield / .5 =  100 servings (rounded down.) I know, that sounds like a lot, but it’s worked out almost exactly to that figure with the last half-dozen pigs I’ve roasted.  This is likely because for every mom who nibbles on a 1/4lb slice of pig, there’s a teen-age boy scoffing down three times as much!

I plan 3/4lb per person, dressed weight, if it’s mostly men, or if I’m just serving pulled pork sandwiches as the meal.

This equates to about 70 servings from a 52lb pig.

Hope that helps!

Chef Perry

Perry P. Perkins
Author
La Caja China Cooking
La Caja China World

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Q&A – How much pig do I need to serve X number of people?

  1. That’s a really good rule of thumb. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Raun, you bet! Thanks for stopping by!

    What’s on your grill?

    -Perry

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  4. 70% yield on a dressed hog sure sounds like a lot but I’ll go with that for a trial run.

  5. I’ve found that the “3/4 – 1 pound raw weight per person” typically works pretty well.

  6. Bill Walker

    Chef Perry,
    Your weight of 1/2 pound per person is based on the butchered, ready-to-go-in-the-box pig, correct? How much loss do you figure from live pig to dressed pig (i.e., if you want 70 pounds of meat to go in the box, how big a live pig to you order?

    Thanks,

    Fr. Bill Walker
    Interim Rector
    St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
    Brevard, NC

  7. ChefPerry

    Bill, sorry for the delay, I’ve been away from my desk, cooking for the evacuee camp for the Eagle Creek Fire for the last couple of weeks, and I’m still digging through a mountain of emails, lol.

    Common consensus is that hanging (or dressed) weight is about 72% of live weight. So, for a 70lb (raw weight) carcass, you’re looking at around 100# pig, live on the hoof. Personally, I’d bump that up to around 120#, to account for variables in body length, bone density etc., (plus – I like left-overs!) 😉

    Hope that helps…Let me know how it goes!

    Chef Perry
    Author
    La Caja China Cooking
    La Caja China World
    La Caja China Party!
    La Caja China Grill

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