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Pork Shoulder Cook

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    Pork Shoulder Cook

    I got in a jam and had to buy shoulders instead of the butts I usually buy. They have a thick layer of skin and include the shoulder joint and small bit of leg.

    Can I treat this the same way I would a butt? I trimmed the skin off. Is that a mistake?

    Hey Kevin, welcome to the pit!. I like cooking the shoulders and you would treat them like a butt. Where I'm from we call them a picnic roast or picnic shoulder. I usually trim the skin and most of the fat to expose the meat. There is plenty of fat left inside. Salt the meat at least 24hrs or more before you cook if you can, to allow the salt to travel to the middle. Put some oil on the outside and Meatheads Memphis Dust or what ever you prefer. Cook time will be similar to a large butt I would think.
    Last edited by cdd315; October 4, 2014, 10:13 AM. Reason: Syntax error!


      Picnics are a bit more "hammy" tasting than shoulders and they can dry out a bit because of that. I score the skin on mine with a butcher knife. If you spritz and keep it moist should be just fine. Keep the huge bone for stock if you are into that sort of thing. Waste not want not.


        Here in Texas they are a dollar cheaper a pound too. I love to smoke them.


          To clarify, in my estimation, that part of the muscle is worked more so it tends to have less marbling (fat) throughout the meat. That's why the skin can be helpful and why I score it instead of cut it completely off. It has a gentle ham flavor to it if not injected. I don't mind that, but in smoking hams, they take a bit more care because of the lack of fat (marbling) throughout the meat. My 2 cents anyway.


            I appreciate the replies. Yes, they were cheap. $1.49 lb.. I salted them this morning and will cook them tomorrow. I use Memphis Dust all of the time. Great stuff. Did 9 rack of St. Louis style ribs with Memphis Dust and Kansas City Sauce. Had a fella tell me they were better than his grandfather's who has been queing for 30 years or more. Anyway, I'm smoking 10 of these shoulders tomorrow in the WSM. I add a 3rd rack and it works out well. I'll post a progess report.


              Have a great day Flyway Kevin! You give 'em the normal pork butt treatment you'll be happy with the results. If it seems dry a little butter & water will help.

              Below is a snapshot of Meathead's graphic from his pork cuts page it shows the difference (in case you're not familiar) of the picnic (blue) and the butt (purple) of the front shoulder. I love this graphic, it's the best one on the whole Internet.


              • Flyway BBQ
                Flyway BBQ commented
                Editing a comment
                I've seen this before. I think the shoulders I bought were not really shoulders. They had the top of the leg bones. What do you think? There was a lot of bone and the amount meat yielded was much smaller than the butts I had smoked prior.

              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds to me like you got a picnic that was just cut more conical to have some the hock in it, hard to say.

              • Pork Lord
                Pork Lord commented
                Editing a comment
                That pic has now been downloaded. :-)

              I keep forgetting about that pic of the pig anatomy. I need to print that laminate it and put it on the Fridge door.



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