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How Big of a Pork Butt for 4 People


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I'm going to attempt my first pork butt this weekend, and I'm just wondering how big of one I should get to feed 4 people? I can already say for a fact that I am going to eat two sandwiches. :-D So take that into account. Also, how long should I give myself to finish it? Should I just start it as early as possible, and rest it in a cooler if it finishes early? Thanks in advance.

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Facts about cooking a boston butt:


1.  Your finished meat yield will be approximately 50% of the original weight.

2.  Smaller butts (6lbs and under) seem to take longer per pound to cook than larger butts.

3.  When figuring out how much meat you need, figure 1/3 to 1/2 pound of finished meat per person depending on how you plan to serve it.


If I was feeding four people, like stated here, you won't find a butt that is too small most likely.  Go for a larger one and vacuum seal your leftovers for later.  I'd shoot for a 7 pounder minimum.  If you plan to cook that at 225 degrees, allow an average of 1.5 hours per pound to cook it (10.5-11 hours) with a minimum of a 1 hour rest time wrapped in foil in a cooler (11.5-12 hours total.)  My personal preference is to cook them at 275-300 which will bring the cook time down to one hour or less per pound.

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The cook went good. I ended up with a 10.4 lb butt and cooked it at around 300 because that is where the Akorn settled, and it was good enough for me. I used Meatheads Memphis dust. It took about 7 1/2-8 hrs, plus an hour to rest. There was one small area that could have used a little more time to tenderize, but the majority of the butt was falling apart before I even started to pull. You never really know what "probe tender" means until you feel it.

It's a good thing I made a bigger butt because we ended up going from 4 people to 7 once my wife saw the finished product and told her parents and sister. I still have plenty of leftovers for work this week too.

My dog couldn't stand that there was a cooler between her and that pork butt. Might be time to upgrade to a yeti if this is what I have to deal with. Lol.



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When I'm making a pork butt, I tend to treat it like a holiday turkey - plan on plenty of leftovers! One of my favorites is to make carnitas - serve it in a corn tortilla with a little pico de gallo or guacamole. Also works for just about any stew that's good with pork.

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