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Pork shoulder versus pork butt

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    Pork shoulder versus pork butt

    In regards to doing pulled pork, what is the difference between a bone in pork shoulder roast and a bone in pork butt? It appears they are not same but which is better for doing pulled pork sandwiches? Local store has pork shoulders on sale for $0.98 a pound.

    #2
    They could both very well be the same exact thing.

    If it is a whole shoulder then the lower part (picnic) would still be attached. I find the picnic a little drier than I like for pulled product.

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      #3
      Yields (from Ed’s limited experiments). These were from straight smoking on the BGE:

      Chuck - 36%
      Boneless Butt - 34%
      Bone-in Picnic - 33%

      Not much difference there. The butts and picnics were cooked at the same time.

      And for SVQ, again a mix of butts and picnics cooked at the same time:

      Smoked 3 hours + 18 hours sous vide at 176F + finishing sear, yielded 53% (SV & BGE hybrid method), boneless.

      I can't give you a taste test because I pulled them together in both cases for events.

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      #4
      The nomenclature for the forward part of the hog varies. Technically the shoulder is the entire front portion including the upper part (boston butt or butt shoulder) and lower part (picnic or picnic shoulder). I've seen the butt only sold as the shoulder, and also the picnic called the shoulder. If it weighs more than about 8-10 pounds its probably the whole shoulder. If it looks sorta like a miniature ham, it's the picnic only. If its more compact or rectangular, its likely the butt only. Both are good pulled, but the picnic has a larger bone and considerably more sinew and, as Jerod Broussard said tends to be a bit dryer. My personal preference is the butt even though it may be somewhat more expensive.
      Last edited by johnec00; October 24, 2018, 11:39 AM.

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        #5
        Riddle me this.......if you put a silk purse on a sow's ear, it's still really just a pig......right?

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