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Pork Shoulder - Need Advice

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  • ChevyChase
    Club Member
    • Oct 2015
    • 7

    Pork Shoulder - Need Advice

    I got a massive 12 lbs bone in pork shoulder. I'm planning on doing pulled pork for a back yard (socially distance) beer festival (since the usual event was canceled this year). The butcher asked me if I wanted the fat cap and skin removed. I wasn't sure. The recipe on this website suggests trimming the fat as you can't get bark under that. But then another recipe suggested that the crispy skin was the best part. Can I remove the skin and make craklings separately? Any and all advice is appreciated.
  • JCGrill
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 1806
    • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
    • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
      Gas - Saber
      Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
      Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

    #2
    I don't concern myself with skin for pulled pork. Bark is more important to me. You can do cracklings separately if you want, although that's optional. I definitely trim it up a bit.

    Comment

    • rickgregory
      Founding Member
      • Aug 2014
      • 910
      • Seattle, WA

      #3
      I'm with JC. Trim the fat down, remove the skin. You can also cut a butt of that size into 2-3 pieces if you want more bark.

      Comment


      • Bumby
        Bumby commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with rickgregory because I always want more bark!
    • BFlynn
      Charter Member
      • Oct 2014
      • 949
      • Third Coast

      #4
      I'd personally take the skin and fat cap off, cut it into thirds.

      Ive never made crackling but I think you could give it a shot.

      Comment

      • holehogg
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 2488
        • Port Elizabeth, South Africa

        #5
        Remove the skin and make cracklings per the free side. Make sure you leave a nice layer of fat under the skin. Make some of the cracklings with bbq sauce. It's a lot of work but the end product is good. Then you can decide if it's worth the effort to do again.

        Comment

        • LA Pork Butt
          Charter Member
          • Dec 2014
          • 5543
          • Grew up in New Orleans, lived in Texas for 20 years, lived in Mandeville, LA for 22 years. I now liv

          #6
          Skin would suggest that you have a picnic which is the front lower leg.Twelve pounds is large for a picnic, but If it is the picnic and the shoulder (Boston Butt) it is small. I have never had a Boston Butt with skin on, but I have never had a picnic and shoulder still joined. I have only cooked picnics with skin on scored after marinating for Cuban pork. I am not sure how the picnic would cook without the skin, but the butt trimmed of excess fat will cook just fine. I think the picnic is leaner than the butt and tastes different than the butt.

          Post a pic and we can better tell what you are cooking.

          Comment

          • ChevyChase
            Club Member
            • Oct 2015
            • 7

            #7
            Here are two photos, one from skin side and bottom. What piece did I get? It says Pork Shoulder on label. I do think I'm leaning to carving off the skin and making cracklings and then tieing up the rest and doing the traditional smoked pulled pork roast. 3=5 hours on smoker then into the oven till it reads 203.
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • Ahumadora
              Ahumadora commented
              Editing a comment
              Knock that skin off and most of the fat cap. Cover the Skin with salt and leave uncovered in the fridge to dry out for a couple of days if you want cripy pork skin.

            • texastweeter
              texastweeter commented
              Editing a comment
              Ahumadora or fry the strips in bacon grease...
          • Jwater412
            Club Member
            • Jul 2020
            • 21
            • Los Angeles

            #8
            If I have an 8 lb pork shoulder if I cut it in half and cook both sides should it take half the time to smoke? (4-5 hours) instead of 8-10?

            Comment


            • DeusDingo
              DeusDingo commented
              Editing a comment
              not if the thickness is the same as before it was split. half the meat does not mean half the cooking time, necessarily
          • Dewesq55
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 2067
            • The Poconos, NEPA
            • Smoker:
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            #9
            In the supermarkets near me, if it says "pork shoulder" it's a picnic. It's hard to say for sure from your pics, but I'm leaning toward a picnic. Cutting a picnic in half successfully without a bone saw is a challenge, to say the least, due to the amount and location of bone in the roast. Even if you could get it successfully cut into 2 roughly equal hunks, you won't likely get a 50% reduction in cooking time. More likely a 25-35% reduction. And that's if you wrap it.

            Responding to LA Pork Butt - you can definitely smoke a picnic without the skin for pulled pork. I did that for several years back in the 90's when butts were hard to come by in this part of the country.
            Last edited by Dewesq55; July 22, 2020, 08:42 AM.

            Comment

            • ChevyChase
              Club Member
              • Oct 2015
              • 7

              #10
              So just to confirm. If this is indeed a picnic and not a butt, I can still cook it using the free site's pork shoulder recipe? And if I trim off the skin and fat, I can cook that using the free site's cracklings recipe?

              Comment


              • klflowers
                klflowers commented
                Editing a comment
                +1

              • Dewesq55
                Dewesq55 commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes.

              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                Yup.
            • Dadof3Illinois
              Club Member
              • Jul 2017
              • 917
              • Southeast Illinois

              #11
              IMO this is a picnic roast. I don’t see the blade nor a money muscle. I’ve cooked these just like your normal pork butt but they will get just a little drier. One of the better ones I cooked, I pulled it off when the internal temp was around 175-180 and sliced it about 1/2” thick with a sweet hot pepper jelly glaze.

              Comment


              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                That sounds great!
            • Jared49
              Club Member
              • Oct 2016
              • 169
              • Appleton, WI
              • WSM-18.5"-lid hinge, door upgrade, Hunsaker Rib hanger, Arbor Fab. Charcoal assembly & minion starter
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              #12
              Just don’t be too disappointed if it turns out drier than what you expected. A “Boston Butt”will turn out juicier and with more flavor. I generally see them “cured & smoked”. Or an old fashioned boiled dinner with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, celery and other root vegetables. If you smoke it for pulled pork follow the advice of not going too hot..

              Comment

              • texastweeter
                Club Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 2938
                • Republic of Texas

                #13
                Hedge your bets, inject. Crutch with foil. I cook mine fat cap intact, injected, dry brine, and crutches with foil.

                Comment


                • Ahumadora
                  Ahumadora commented
                  Editing a comment
                  After you have cooked it do you take it out of the bag and smoke it?

                • texastweeter
                  texastweeter commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ahumadora yeah but they are so juicy it's hard to keep them lit...
              • ChevyChase
                Club Member
                • Oct 2015
                • 7

                #14
                Thank you for all the advice. I had been debating whether to use the simple or competition (with injections) recipe. Either way, I dedcided to give it an extra day or two of dry brining to help it from drying out. I find its worked wonders on chicken and beef.

                Here is a picture of the skin removed and ready for cracklings; and the trimmed shoulder after salting.
                Attached Files

                Comment

                • SloppyGrackle
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2020
                  • 3

                  #15
                  I have a fraction of the experience of my bbq brothers on this thread, but that looks pretty impressive, Chevy. The trimming and the slab. Look forward to seeing how that cooks.

                  Comment

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