Pulled Pork Sandwiches for 50
Ask-a-Caterer Replies to:
Sue from Bound Brook, New Jersey, who asked:
Sue writes: “I am hosting a party of about 50 - planning on doing pulled pork sandwiches. How much pork do I need?”
Ask-a-Caterer Replies: We figure 1 pound raw pork for 2 people - but we use bone-in, untrimmed pork (because of the flavor and moisture.) If you use a leaner cut of pork, or a tenderloin, then you can go with 2 pounds for 5. So for 50, you’re looking at 20-25 pounds. We hate to run out of food...
If there’s a secret to pulled pork, it’s time. Slow cooking is the key, which you can do in lots of ways - simmer, roast, bbq. “Low and slow.”
250^f for 6 hours, even longer in a slow cooker - but not more than 8 hours. The internal temperature of the meat needs to be above 165^ for the cooking process to continue - so be sure to keep the low heat on, always with a bubble to the simmer or some flame to the heat. You don’t want the meat to stand for too long.
25 pounds of raw pork
1 case of root beer
1 gallon BBQ Sauce
6 dz+ large Hamburger Buns
In as many large covered pots as you need, arrange the pork, add the root beer and half of the bbq sauce. Cover tightly with pot lids, aluminum foil or both - we use both (foil first then the lid to hold it in place.)
Bake at 250 for 6-7 hours. Do not disturb the foil/lids for as long as it takes to cook. No peeking!
Remove the meat, set aside. Transfer all the sauce into one pot, and skim lots of fat from the top of the liquid. Heat the remaining liquid to reduce it - boiling it until it is the consistency of a sauce. Add the rest of the bbq sauce. If you didn’t have a good seal during the cooking, it’s possible that the sauce doesn’t need to be reduced, or it may need some more liquid. Np - just add some more root beer to get the right consistency.
TIP: Let’s say you want to do all the cooking the day before, or maybe you need to serve 500 instead of 50 (our kind of people ;-)! At this point, you can refrigerate the cooked pork overnight or longer, and serve it the next day. Yes, you can also freeze it. Here’s some ideas: First, get it into the refrigerator right away - don’t let it stand out to ‘cool down’ - not smart, and it doesn’t work. Second, after being the fridge for an hour, remove and wrap each piece tightly with film. Then back to the fridge for service the next day, or into the freezer for whenever. The sauce needs to be refrigerated also, and it too can be frozen.
Ready to serve?
Pull the pork apart, into shreds, and add it back to the warm sauce. Turn off the heat - and serve in the buns.
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