How Much Does Pulled Pork Cost?

Written by: Staff

Pulled pork refers to the tender meat from a pork shoulder cut and can easily be pulled apart from the roast with your finger or a fork.

Pulled pork is divided into two parts: one is the butt end and the other is the shank end.  By butt, it does not literally mean the actual butt of the pig.  Rather, it is so-called the “butt” portion because it is that portion located in the rear end of the shoulder.  People often prefer this part because it has fewer bones and less connective tissue.  The shank portion, on the other hand, has this name because of its shank bone.  Although it makes delicious pulled pork, you can notice that the shank part has a different texture and contains more connective tissue.  This makes the pulled pork tougher and harder to chew.

Pulled pork by hepp, on Flickr
Pulled pork” (CC BY 2.0) by  hepp

How much does pulled pork cost per pound?

On average, the cost of pulled pork will depend on how you want to purchase it.  If you want to purchase a “tub” or “can” of it at your local grocery store, then the costs can range from $4 to $10 per 16 to 24-ounce container.   The costs of processed pulled pork will depend on the brand, the quantity and where you purchase it.

Harvest Creek pulled pork, a popular brand found on Amazon, for example, costs about $5 per 12-ounce can.

For example, at Walmart, a 16-ounce package of Jack Daniel’s pulled pork with Jack Daniel’s barbeque sauce retailed for $7, while a smaller 18-ounce container of Lloyd’s shredded original BBQ pulled pork retails for $4.  Popular brands, aside from Jack Daniel’s and Lloyd’s, includes Curly’s, Ball Park, Byron’s, Tony Roma’s, Morningstar Farms and Swanson’s.  While most of these containers are found in the refrigerated section, some brands such as Ball Park have frozen options available.

At Gordon’s Food Service, a five-pound tray of BBQ pulled pork will cost close to $20 to $25.

As for purchasing pulled pork already spiced and prepped at a restaurant, caterer or butcher can cost anywhere from $7 to $15 per pound.

Dickie Do’s, a BBQ caterer located in North Carolina, offers an official pricing list on its website.  According to the prices, if you were to purchase their prepared pulled pork by the pound, it would cost $8.49 per pound, but if you were to buy more than seven pounds, the price would drop to $7.49 per pound.  If you were to want to add three sides with the pulled pork, then they would start the pricing at $10 per person.

Ruby’s BBQ, another caterer we found online, is based in Texas and charged a bit higher than most other BBQ caterers at $17.95 per pound.

Pulled pork overview

Pulled pork is the fatty, flavorful meat, usually made with the pork shoulder, which is oftentimes referred to as the pork butt or the Boston shoulder.  To create pulled pork, the shoulder will be smoked over a low heat for a long period of time, effectively softening the connective tissue, making it so tender that it falls apart with ease.  While most of the time, it’s smoked, it can also be braised in the oven or prepared in a crockpot.

Tips to know:

One pound prepared, on average, should serve about four to six people.   How much pulled pork per person, you may be wondering?  Experts recommend one-half pound per raw weight unless the crowd is much hungrier than usual.

Pulled pork is paired well with BBQ sauce, cole slaw or even in a hard shell taco shell.  When paired with onions, beans and cilantro, it’s said to make some lovely cuisine.

The best store bought pulled pork, according to the Tampa Bay Times, was Sweeet Baby Ray’s, which scored a 67 out of 100.  Lloyd’s came in a close second, followed by Curly’s and the Publix brand.

How can I save money?

If you’re purchasing from a local butcher or caterer, most will drop the price by $1 to $2 per pound if you buy more than 10 pounds at a time.  The same can be said about purchasing pulled pork in a container.  At Sam’s Club, for example, the costs of a 64-ounce container retails for about $13.

The brands mentioned above often offer coupons either online or in the local paper.  Search online before shopping to see if you can save a few dollars.

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