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My virgin butt ... I mean shoulder

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  • Uncle Meat
    Former Member
    • Dec 2015
    • 19
    • Columbia, MD

    My virgin butt ... I mean shoulder

    So, I wanted to smoke a pork butt and was going to follow Meathead's "Perfect Pulled Pork" instructions. But my girlfriend bought a pork shoulder (8 pounds) instead of a butt. Does it matter (as far as cooking techniques, times, or strategies)?
    Also - sorry, I have to admit - I watched a YouTube video on smoking a pork shoulder and the guy did everything the exact OPPOSITE of what Meathead says (basted it, sauced it, foiled it, blah blah blah) yet it looked phenomenal. Now, I'm confused. This is my first pork-smokin' attempt (although I've done ribs and turkeys) and I am going to follow Meathead's instructions but I'm just a little worried. Any comments/advice?
  • cdd315
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 359
    • Warman, Saskatchewan Canada
    • Curtis D

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      Couple Maverick ET-733's
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    #2
    I may be wrong but I thought the butt was the shoulder! Do you mean a picnic shoulder or roast? Does it have skin on it? If it does that's the picnic. I'd treat it like a butt and follow the 'Perfect Pulled Pork' instructions. Kind of different meat but just as good in my opinion. Remove the skin and trim the fat. Hmm, I might have to pull one out of the freezer!!

    Comment

    • HorseDoctor
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2014
      • 1147
      • Central Iowa

      #3
      Different names for the same cut. Traditionally it's the called the butt but for those who can't comprehend a pork "butt" coming from the front leg it's sometimes labeled "shoulder". Now, the technique you use is up to you... Lot's of ways to skin (cook) a pork "butt"... It's all good.

      Comment

      • Uncle Meat
        Former Member
        • Dec 2015
        • 19
        • Columbia, MD

        #4
        Thanks, you two. The label says "shoulder" so that's what I went with. I'll let you know how it turns out. ;-)

        Comment

        • ribeyeguy
          Charter Member
          • Jun 2015
          • 1302
          • S. E. Wisconsin
          • Weber Platinum Performer, 18"WSM, Smokenator, Slow 'n Sear.

          #5
          The only advice I can give you is never, ever change your avatar.

          Comment

          • Uncle Meat
            Former Member
            • Dec 2015
            • 19
            • Columbia, MD

            #6
            LOL, thanks rib eye.

            Comment

            • David Parrish
              Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
              • May 2014
              • 5046
              • Charlotte, NC

              #7
              Crimsonkng a pork butt is a pork shoulder is a pork picnic is a pork butt... different terms for the same meat. There are many techniques out there for how to cook it, and many of those techniques result in good eating, but Meathead's is the best. Low and Slow at 225 F pit temp until the meat hits 203 F (unwrapped) is the way to go.

              Comment

            • Lost in China
              Charter Member
              • Mar 2015
              • 409
              • Wenzhou, China
              • 22" Weber kettle
                Slow 'N Sear
                Hovergrill
                Maverick 732
                Thermopop

              #8
              It's not about what's right or wrong, it's about what's best. Frankly, I've learned that you can do a lot of things to a piece of meat and it will still taste good. Especially a pork butt, it's just a big clod of meat and as long as you heat it up it will be delicious. Meathead's thing is that he's tried a lot of recipes and writes the best one, presented in a way that ordinary people can do. I've tried several of his recipes and been impressed, particularly the lamb and coleslaw. I followed his recipe to the T and came out with a really, really good product. That probably means the rest of the recipes on the site are the same. That being said, just because Meathead Goldwyn said to do it that way doesn't mean anything. Like I said, whatever you do it'll come out tasting good.

              Comment

              • David Parrish
                Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
                • May 2014
                • 5046
                • Charlotte, NC

                #9
                Originally posted by Lost in China View Post
                ...That being said, just because Meathead Goldwyn said to do it that way doesn't mean anything. Like I said, whatever you do it'll come out tasting good.
                I agree there are several ways to make great pulled pork, but I've smoked pork shoulder several ways and done side by side comparisons of wrapped and unwrapped butts. Unwrapped is better.

                Comment

                • fuzzydaddy
                  Charter Member
                  • Nov 2014
                  • 4970
                  • Winchester TN
                  • Hardware
                    Blackstone 36” Griddle.
                    Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado & Kettle Grill.
                    Slow 'N Sear (1.0, Deluxe, 2.0).
                    DnG Pans/Racks, Easy Spin Grates, Elevated Cooking Grates.
                    Weber Chimney Starters (regular and compact).
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                    Consumables / Favorites
                    KBB (short cooks), Weber (long cooks), B&B Hardwood Briquettes when I'm out of Weber.
                    Ribs (beef & pork), Pork Butts, Chuck Roasts, Pork Tenderloins, Shrimp, Fajitas.
                    SnS Grills salt free rubs: Not Just for Beef & Rocky’s Rub.
                    MeatChurch Holy Cow. MMD, BBBR, S&G, Herbs de Provence, SPG.

                  #10
                  Originally posted by Pit Boss View Post

                  I agree there are several ways to make great pulled pork, but I've smoked pork shoulder several ways and done side by side comparisons of wrapped and unwrapped butts. Unwrapped is better.
                  I have never wrapped butts when cooking on the Weber+SnS or the BGE. What does wrapping do that you don't prefer? Just curious - thanks!

                  Comment

                  • David Parrish
                    Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
                    • May 2014
                    • 5046
                    • Charlotte, NC

                    #11
                    Originally posted by fuzzydaddy View Post

                    I have never wrapped butts when cooking on the Weber+SnS or the BGE. What does wrapping do that you don't prefer? Just curious - thanks!

                    FuzzyD you need to do a side by side comparison. This is something every Pitmaster should experience. The wrapped butt tastes watered down and mushy compared to the unwrapped butt. Now this is a 4.5 stars vs 5 star kinda deal. Both taste great, unwrapped is just a little better.

                    I often tell folks in The Pit who are having trouble cooking butts to wrap in order to get done in time. It's a compromise, but it will still be great and it's better to eat when it's time to eat!

                    Comment

                    • Uncle Meat
                      Former Member
                      • Dec 2015
                      • 19
                      • Columbia, MD

                      #12
                      Thanks, everyone, for the comments. I'm following (or, at least, trying to follow) Meathead's recommendations. I'm four-and-a-half hours into the smokin'. I haven't looked at the po'k since Hour Two and - man - it looked fantastic even then. (And, holy moly, when I put the meat on the grill ... the smell of smoke and Memphis Dust was ... orgasmic.) However, it appears (at 4-1/2 hours) that I just hit The Stall (meat has remained at 160 for the past 30 minutes). I don't want to wrap it in foil so I'm just going to be patient, sit tight, and hope that The Stall breaks within, I guess, the next hour? Watch this space.

                      Comment

                      • gwschenk
                        Club Member
                        • Aug 2015
                        • 182
                        • Sierra Madre, Calif.
                        • Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5", Weber kettle 22", Thermoworks Thermopop and DOT

                        #13
                        Patience, grasshopper. Don't worry about the stall. The stall is a good thing, it means your butt is rendering. The main thing is to stay cool and calm.

                        As some musician once said: "I think it's really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It's such an absurdity to take anything really seriously …"

                        Comment

                        • Uncle Meat
                          Former Member
                          • Dec 2015
                          • 19
                          • Columbia, MD

                          #14
                          Thanks, GW. Patience, it is. Nice quote from FZ. I was actually thinking that I should change my avatar name to "Uncle Meat." More appropriate.

                          Comment

                          • Uncle Meat
                            Former Member
                            • Dec 2015
                            • 19
                            • Columbia, MD

                            #15
                            Hey, all. I figured I'd give a post-smokin' summary. I can't believe that the smokin' took 11-1/2 hours (for an 8-pound shoulder roast). I never expected that. And I never expected the FOUR-AND-A-HALF-HOUR STALL. Holy moly! And after the stall, it took another three hours or so to bring the meat up to 196.
                            The meat itself was delicious. An absolutely beautiful bark and moist, tender meat inside. My only comment is that the inside meat was kind of tasteless. But, when shredded and mixed with the bark and then some BBQ sauce poured on the potato roll, it was a beautiful thing. Really nice sandwich. Can't wait to eat it, again, tomorrow.
                            Thanks for all the comments!

                            Comment


                            • scottranda
                              scottranda commented
                              Editing a comment
                              You can cut the butt in two 4 lbs pieces for more tasty bark. It will also reduce your smoking time.

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