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Old 08-09-2007, 02:51 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, 03:03 PM   #2
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The title of this thread sounds sooooooooo X-Rated!
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:03 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, 03:20 PM   #4
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Iíve never seen a Boston Butt with the skin on it. For it to be wrapped ďcompletelyĒ 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! Iíve 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, 03:32 PM   #5
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Welcome! Hope this helps
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:48 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, 03:49 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, 03:54 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, 03:57 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! Itís 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, 04:39 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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Old 08-09-2007, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckdown
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!
I work at a restaurant that serves pulled pork. We don't buy it already made since there are no stores around that sell it. We simply cut the pork into thinner slices, make some brime and toss it in the smoker. Once that's done, we take 2 forks, 1 in each hand and pull each and every piece. We put it into a large insert and store it in the fridge until needed. When it is in the insert, it rests with some BBQ sauce. We take it out at around 205F. It's smoking in there before I come so I'm not sure how long it is smoked for. I can try and find out for you.

I'm also looking to find where pulled pork is sold but have had no luck.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckdown
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!
I donít know why you canít find a Boston Butt in Canada? Do you have a Super Wal-Mart there? Wal-Mart sells them here, so they should sell them in Canada as well?

The Boston Butt is part of the pig (obviously), so they must be doing something with that piece of meat? Sometimes that cut is called a Boston Blade Roast, or just Pork Blade Roast. Can you find that?

Since it is part of the shoulder, perhaps they are leaving it attached and selling it as a whole shoulder?
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:02 PM   #13
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It's not at all unusual that certain cuts of meat are not sold all over the country. You cannot get a tri-tip roast in New England but it's the biggest seller in California for grilling!

If BBQ is not big in Toronto, the assumption is that there is no market for the cuts of meat that are used for BBQ.

Keep asking for what you want and eventually the store may start carrying it.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
It's not at all unusual that certain cuts of meat are not sold all over the country. You cannot get a tri-tip roast in New England but it's the biggest seller in California for grilling!

If BBQ is not big in Toronto, the assumption is that there is no market for the cuts of meat that are used for BBQ.

Keep asking for what you want and eventually the store may start carrying it.
Good point, I canít get a tri tip here unless I go to a butcher and ask for it....and that depends on what he has on hand at the time! Heck, even a London Broil is something of a rarity here!

So, I wonder what they do with the cuts that arenít popular.......export them?
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Heck, even a London Broil is something of a rarity here!
Yes, keltin, I have a difficult time finding London broil/flank steak here. When I do find it, it's quite expensive.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:33 PM   #16
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Yes, keltin, I have a difficult time finding London broil/flank steak here. When I do find it, it's quite expensive.
Katie, around here, London broil is shoulder steak not flank steak. One of the little twists that makes knowing meats a bit harder.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:34 PM   #17
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Interesting, Andy. It's labeled London broil/flank steak in the grocery stores here.
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:35 PM   #18
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Yeah, I think most places flank steak is considered London broil. Maybe just in NE...
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Old 08-09-2007, 07:53 PM   #19
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Hey duckdown, welcome aboard. And look for the pork blade as someone mentioned. I actually think things are labelled differently in different parts of the world. I never heard of London Broil or skirt steak before hanging out here.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:23 AM   #20
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Thanks alot for the advice and friendly welcome, all!

You guys were right about temperature... I was SO close to pulling it off the heat when it was staying at a certain temperature... I was REALLY getting nervous when the temperature reading actually went LOWER for a point... But sure enough, it finally started raising up to temperature and I brought it inside to feast

I used the rub that an admin from here had posted in the other "Pork Shoulder" thread, but to be honest it was way way too spicy for me... I'm not sure if it was from the cayanne in the rub, or the fact that I used smoked paprika in place of regular paprika... Either way, I think I'm more of a fan of the sweet flavorings rather than the HOT kind.. For example, the last time I smoked ribs I used another random rub recipe from the internet, and I really thought chili powder flavoring ruined it.. My whole family agreed I should just leave it out completely next time... Guess thats just me though!

They definitely do not sell anything called just "boston butt" around here, I was looking for one like crazy after I had bought the completely wrong cut of meat the first time... There ARE many different kinds of random "pork roasts" I see around though.. Not sure how I will go about identifying which of these labelled "pork roasts" are indeed a butt..

Once again thanks though! I plan on doing another one next weekend for a bunch of relatives coming down, does anyone else have any favorite recipes for a dry rub & mop?

Thanks alot!! Cheers
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