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Old 08-09-2007, 03:51 PM   #1
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Question Hi all, new here, can someone post pictures of their shoulders/butts BEFORE cooked

Hi folks! Greetings from the great white north (Well, it's only Canada so it's not so great)

I just discovered the forum and it looks like a great place, especially since I've been experimenting with the whole smoking thing since last year but haven't had any resources to turn to.... So I learn by trial & error I guess...

My question, though, since "pulled pork" is basically NON existant here in the Toronto area, I mean literally maybe 2 restaurants even serve it, this is not a common cut of meat that I find in my local supermarkets.

Yesterday I went to to a grocery store and purchased a piece of meat that said to be a butt, but the entire thing was wrapped in PIG skin the entire way around. It was almost IMPOSSIBLE to remove it and I ended up completely butchering the cut of meat. So I went to another local supermarket and found some decent pre-cut pieces, labelled as "picnic shoulder" (all small, under 2 kilos) that only had a little bit of the skin or fat-cap or whatever you call it on it and I was able to easily remove it...


Although I've got it smoking away now, I can already tell this is going to yield barely anything at all. How come I cannot find this cut of meat readily available... And when I do find these large shoulders why are they completely surrounded the whole way around by skin? Can someone maybe post some pictures of the exact cuts they would go and pick up from their supermarket or butcher so next time I'm there maybe I can look for something similar

Thanks in advance for all the help, and I look forward to being a regular! :)

Cheers

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Old 08-09-2007, 04:03 PM   #2
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The title of this thread sounds sooooooooo X-Rated!
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:03 PM   #3
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Hi, duckdown. First, welcome to DC. Don't worry you'll get plenty of answers. You just have to be patient.

I can't help you with your question, but we have many knowledgeable pitmasters here who will be able of offer fine advice.

P.S. Loved the title of your thread. Almost naughty.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:20 PM   #4
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I’ve never seen a Boston Butt with the skin on it. For it to be wrapped “completely” around the meat, it must have been a shoulder. Was there a large round bone in it?

As for the skin on the shoulder, you can leave that on! I’ve heard of some people taking it off because they want to get more smoke in the meat, but I always leave it on. The skin and fat underneath it help to keep the meat moist (self basting as the fat renders). The, after it has smoked to 200 or 205 degrees Fahrenheit, the skin is really easy to remove, and the meat pulls perfectly.

Here is a site with a picture of some shoulders before they are cooked. Notice the skin is on.

After smoking, you can see the meat has pulled back and the leg bone is visible.

For the smaller picnic cut, also leave the skin on, and place the meat in the smoker with the skin side up. That way, the fat under the skin will render and drip down through the meat thus basting it.

The Boston Butts I get look like this (no skin).

Oh, and Welcome to DC by the way!
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:32 PM   #5
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Welcome! Hope this helps
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:48 PM   #6
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Hi, duckdown. Welcome to DC.

The photos keltin shows are the whole story. The piece with the skin all around is not what you want. That's a cut from lower down on the leg, near the foot. These are either the ham form the rear leg or the picnic from the front leg.

The Boston Butt is the pig's front shoulder. It's higher up than the picnic or the ham. It can be either bone-in or boneless.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:49 PM   #7
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Awesome :)

Thanks for the zippy responses! :)

Mine indeed looked like the ones keltin had a link to (surrounded by the skin, I guess it was a whole shoulder yes... those were the only large kind I was able to find... I really would like to find them with no skin on them also like your other link.. I don't know why they don't sell them prepped in that way here in Canada; it's like pulled pork hasn't caught on here or something.. It's madness I tell ya!

Thanks for all the help so far! Mines hovering at around 175 degrees right now outside and doesnt seem to be climbing! :(

I wonder what I'm doing wrong.. Maybe its because I'm using my propane BBQ and the indirect heat method, maybe I should crank the heat... Anyone ever heard of this happening? :(

Thanks!!
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:54 PM   #8
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You will hit a temp standstill for a while. Keep on cooking until you get to around 200-210 F.

The cut you have with the skin all around, is a different cut from the Boston butt which is higher up on the leg. While the picnic/ham will work for pulled pork, the lower fat to lean ratio effects the outcome.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckdown
Thanks for all the help so far! Mines hovering at around 175 degrees right now outside and doesnt seem to be climbing! :(

I wonder what I'm doing wrong.. Maybe its because I'm using my propane BBQ and the indirect heat method, maybe I should crank the heat... Anyone ever heard of this happening? :(
No worries! It’s quite common for the temp to hover like that. As the fat and tendons begin to render and break down, the temp will stop rising for a bit. Rest assured, it will eventually start to climb again once the majority of the fat and tendons have rendered and broken down.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:39 PM   #10
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Welcome to DC, and may I add, I think Toronto is pretty great!!!....lol
Enjoy your time here, it's a great site!!
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