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Picnic shoulder, first time

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    Picnic shoulder, first time

    Doing pulled pork in the PBC tomorrow. All they had at my local market was picnic shoulder, a cut I haven't cooked before. I trimmed it and I've got it dry brining overnight. I'm thinking MHMD and hang it at 225ish, then crutch it when the internal temp hits 160, and cook up to 200 and then into the fauxbro until dinner. I was thinking I'd hang it around 10 am. Does that sound right for that cut? I've read that the picnic can be a longer cook than Boston butt...

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Last edited by Crunchy; August 11, 2015, 06:43 PM.

    #2
    Butts are shoulders aren't they?

    Comment


    • Crunchy
      Crunchy commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah...as I understand it, the butt is higher up and has more tender and fatty meat. The picnic is lower and has more connective tissue. But tell me if I've got that wrong...I'm pretty new to all of this porcine anatomy.

    • Papa Bob
      Papa Bob commented
      Editing a comment
      Isn't it a butt with part of the front leg attached and still the same thickness, should cook the amount of time and render more collagen if wrapped and you get that liquid gelation for your pork jus

    #3
    I think you have a good plan, and I am really curious how this comes out, Crunchy... make sure to add some pics!

    Thanks!

    Comment


      #4
      Look at Meat Head's video on the perfect pulled pork he just posted. He explains some of that.

      Comment


        #5
        Crunchy you are correct. The picnic is lower down. It is just slightly different in texture, but close enough to the butt, so cook it the same. If you start at 10 am I would skip the crutch. You don't need it for a well marbled piece of pork like that, in my opinion it just turns out better without wrapping. I would only wrap if you're short on time. How big (in weight) is the picnic?

        Comment


        • Crunchy
          Crunchy commented
          Editing a comment
          8 pounds.

        • Henrik
          Henrik commented
          Editing a comment
          Cool. In that case I would split it in two if I could. More surface area => more bark. And it cooks quicker (quicker being a relative word here...).

        • Crunchy
          Crunchy commented
          Editing a comment
          Henrik, where would you make that cut? Great big bone running through this thing.

        #6
        10 am is pushing it. Save yourself some stress and start earlier than than.

        Comment


        • Crunchy
          Crunchy commented
          Editing a comment
          So right. Next time.

        #7
        What Ernest and Henrik said. I have nothing more to add.

        Comment


          #8
          I love picnic due to the abundance of white meat. I deboned the last one and I am going to rock the next one.

          I will debone, square up, chop up any pieces sacrificed for the "squaring," and roll that dude with some high temp cheese and other extras.

          I really feel it could use a lower finishing temp, but still enjoy a low and slow due to still being a shoulder. More white and less dark reveals less use.

          Comment


          • Crunchy
            Crunchy commented
            Editing a comment
            I'm now a fan. I'd definitely do it again. I was interested to see the variety of meat types/textures once it was done. Lots of white meat, as you say. Some nice fatty parts, which were delicious, if not super healthy. Yummy crust. Also a small area near the big bone that I tossed...it just looked grey and tough. Maybe I scorched it when I started so hot...

          #9
          Executive Summary: Delicious. I loved it. Wife loved it. Daughter didn't hate it, but she's a teenager, so I'll take it. Served with MH's KC style sauce, and Sweet-Sour slaw. Thanks to everyone for your ideas. Love this place.

          Here's the detailed report.

          Pit Barrel Cooker.
          8 pound (trimmed) Picnic Shoulder from Shaw's Supermarket. $1.49/lb.
          216 ft. above sea level, 67F and rain to start. Rain ended mid way through cook. 72F at end.
          Hung meat at 10:52a. Pulled it at 6:17p. Duration: 7 hours, 25 minutes.

          Dry brine overnight with kosher salt. Rubbed with MHMD. Due to circumstances I probably should have controlled, got a late start. Lit a chimney of 40 coals. Let burn 10 minutes. Dumped chimney onto 3/4 full basket in cooker. Let burn 10 minutes with lid off. Placed lid and let burn 10 more minutes. Placed rebar, hung meat, placed temp probes. I try not to peek and fiddle too much, but I did make some adjustments:

          Starting temp was 350.
          2:25 in, cooker temp seemed to stabilize at 302. I closed the bottom intake a smidge, resulting in a 12 degree drop.
          2:55 in, cooker temp plateaued at 290. I plugged one rebar hole with foil, starting a slow, steady cooker temp drop.
          3:30 in, meat temp stalled around 160, with cooker at 240.
          4:05 in, I wrapped the meat in two layers of foil, with a 1/4 cup of my neighbor's homebrew beer.
          6:25 in, I took the meat off, let it rest wrapped for half an hour, then pulled it and chowed down.

          Temps were a bit of a concern. I don't seem to be able (yet) to produce predictable temps on the PBC. Thought I was in good shape to settle quickly at 225, but it took a long time to get down there, and I had to tweak the airflow a bit. With the late start, I was predisposed to using a crutch, so when the internal temp flattened out, I was ready to go. I was a little worried when the temp didn't come up faster once the food was wrapped, but it happened, and just in time. By the end of the cook, the coals were on their last legs. Lid was cracked for the last 40 minutes, and the temp would have fallen below 200 if I'd let it go much longer. I'm not sure there was still much oxidizing going on by the end...I think it was just residual heat.

          Next time: Start earlier, cut shoulder in half to increase bark and reduce time. Not quite sure where to make that cut...there's a big bone running right through this thing. Maybe skip last 10 minute burn prior to hanging meat, hoping to peak lower and reach target temp sooner. As it was, maybe I needed the extra heat to get done in time...not sure.

          Pics to follow.
          Last edited by Crunchy; August 11, 2015, 06:34 PM.

          Comment


            #10

            Comment


            • Jerod Broussard
              Jerod Broussard commented
              Editing a comment
              Great pics!!

            • smarkley
              smarkley commented
              Editing a comment
              Beautiful!

            #11
            The following was all that was needed to know it was delicious....

            Pit Barrel Cooker.

            Comment


              #12
              Crunchy the PBC is not meant for low and slow. So your 290 was typical comfort zone for the PBC.
              If you want low and slow you'll have to tinker with it
              What I have noticed is that the bottom vent is close to useless for dialing in temperature.

              Comment


              • Ernest
                Ernest commented
                Editing a comment
                DWCowles but it's more authentic than pellets cookers.

              • DWCowles
                DWCowles commented
                Editing a comment
                Not if it doesn't cook low & slow like 225ish for 12 hrs. Now if I want to stay up and drink cold brew and have fun I fire the Lil Monster up Ernest

              • Ernest
                Ernest commented
                Editing a comment
                DWCowles LOL!! It can do low and slow but needs tinkering with. I did bacon at 200 degrees. I sent the PBC folks the process.
                I think the PBC would suit you best.

              #13
              Even with a hot burning charcoal, you hang 5 briskets in that dude, you got low and slow.

              Comment

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