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Pork butt vs. picnic shoulder

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    Pork butt vs. picnic shoulder

    I'm making pulled pork for about 30 people this weekend, and I'm in something of a dilemma. There is a grocery store near me selling picnic shoulder for about $1.50/pound. The cheapest I can get pork butt is $1.80/pound, but only if I drive 25 miles round trip to get it; otherwise, it's$2.50 or more per pound for it.
    I'm debating the wisdom of getting picnic shoulder instead of butt. Given how much more bone, fat, and skin I'll be trimming off the picnic shoulder, I think the ultimate price per pound for the meat will be about the same between the picnic shoulder and the $1.80 butt, but that still leaves the added time, effort, and gas for the drive to get the butt.

    My question then: when it comes to pulled pork, in what ways is butt superior to shoulder, and can anything be done to even the playing field? Another important question that only I can answer is "how much do these people really matter to me?" ;-)

    #2
    honestly i have done both. and enjoyed them equally. would say that the picnic always seemed a bit more juicy. but that is totally subjective.

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      #3
      Honestly, I would say just buy what you have there locally. I mean if you figure 1/4lb of pulled pork per person that really doesn't add up to that much extra cost at $1.00 more per pound. Even if they all scarfed down almost 1lb each that's still only $30 above and beyond what you would be paying for the picnic.

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        #4
        Unless I'm severely mistaken, the "butt" is actually a cut name that represents just the top 1/2 of the shoulder and the picnic is the lower portion of the cut. Often sold packaged together as a whole shoulder. At least that was my understanding of it. Why it's called a Boston butt has always been a mystery to me.

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          #5
          Originally posted by mrmikemgm View Post
          Unless I'm severely mistaken, the "butt" is actually a cut name that represents just the top 1/2 of the shoulder and the picnic is the lower portion of the cut.
          You are correct. But that means that the muscles involved are different, with different functions and amounts of use and therefore different textures when cooked. What I don't know is how different.

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            #6
            not much different. i bet no one could tell unless they knew.

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              #7
              My own thought is that an arm pulls easier and has a slightly higher fat content. It seems to just naturally fall apart. If anything a butt is better if you want to chop or slice it (i.e. the money muscle.)

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                #8
                I always get the butts.

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                  #9
                  I'd just go for the best deal. I like the 5 to 6 pounders. Seem more tender to me.

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                    #10
                    For those dying of curiosity, I bought the butts. Turns out I like these people enough to go with what I know rather than experiment on them

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