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Old 12-01-2018, 02:21 AM   #1
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Smoked Pork Shoulder

The last time I went shopping, I found in the meat department a really small smoked pork shoulder. It looked like it may have come from a little piggy. It was only $0.99 a pound. It cost me the grand sum of $2.99. It was so tender and flavorful. I will make sure I look for another one this month again.

I love a boiled dinner. Whether it is brisket or smoke shoulder, the veggies are pretty much the same. As my kids were growing up, they would stay close to home on Sundays when I would make one. The standard veggies are taters, carrots, cabbage, turnip and parsnips. Each kids had their favorites. No leftovers for the next day. I always ended up with the leftovers.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:49 AM   #2
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Was it with the other smoked meats? I have never seen a smoked shoulder for sale in our area. Especially a little one like that. Was it boneless?
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:18 PM   #3
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I used to get small smoked pork butts over in the Italian market in Philly (don't go as often as I used to). They were dry smoked, not wet, like most ham these days, and great for making soups from. The same place also had the smaller end of the shoulder, as well as ham hocks, dry smoked like this. The shoulder and butt were wrapped in mesh bags, I guess for smoking. Many years ago, I would see these more locally, in supermarkets, but no longer.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:34 AM   #4
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I used to get small smoked pork butts over in the Italian market in Philly (don't go as often as I used to). They were dry smoked, not wet, like most ham these days, and great for making soups from. The same place also had the smaller end of the shoulder, as well as ham hocks, dry smoked like this. The shoulder and butt were wrapped in mesh bags, I guess for smoking. Many years ago, I would see these more locally, in supermarkets, but no longer.
Unless you are referring to a water smoker, I've never heard the term "Wet Smoking" I've heard of wet and dry brining as well as injection. I've been smoking meats for over 40 years, had smokers that used a water pan/chamber, but don't use one any more. Hopefully you aren't referring to smoking with "green" or soaked wood. Pork shoulder/butt is a common category in competition BBQ. Most of those are over eight pounds though.
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:37 AM   #5
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I've seen those little, boneless, smoked pork shoulders before, Addie.

My mother and mother-in-law used to buy them now and again. They both used them as a starter for other dishes much like a ham hock or fat back.

My mom often made Norwegian Lapscaus with it, and my MIL used to shred them for white borscht, or pea soup, or stuffed cabbage.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:13 PM   #6
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Unless you are referring to a water smoker, I've never heard the term "Wet Smoking" I've heard of wet and dry brining as well as injection. I've been smoking meats for over 40 years, had smokers that used a water pan/chamber, but don't use one any more. Hopefully you aren't referring to smoking with "green" or soaked wood. Pork shoulder/butt is a common category in competition BBQ. Most of those are over eight pounds though.
By "wet smoking" I was referring to the method used for almost all hams and similar "smoked" meats these days, which results in that statement on the labels: "water added". They inject the curing salt and chemicals, along with smoke flavor into the meats. They smoke them for a very short time, not weeks or months, as they do with those country hams, which end up dryer and lighter than the original ham. This is what those smoked butts and shoulder ends I used to get were like - dry, and super smoky.
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:50 PM   #7
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By "wet smoking" I was referring to the method used for almost all hams and similar "smoked" meats these days, which results in that statement on the labels: "water added". They inject the curing salt and chemicals, along with smoke flavor into the meats. They smoke them for a very short time, not weeks or months, as they do with those country hams, which end up dryer and lighter than the original ham. This is what those smoked butts and shoulder ends I used to get were like - dry, and super smoky.
I think you may be confusing ham with smoked pork butt/shoulder. They are very different. The Pork butt/shoulder is the upper part of the front leg, while hams come from the leg just below the butt/shoulder, also called a "picnic" cut. Pork butts are almost never injected with liquids. That is mostly done to ribs and loins.

Hams are not smoked for weeks or months, they are cured for weeks or months. Smoking an average pork butt takes about 10 hours, low and slow. Even a smoked ham won't be smoked for that long.

Curing a ham can be done with a wet or dry brine. Smoked pork butt does not need any brining.

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Old 12-02-2018, 05:11 PM   #8
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I think you may be confusing ham with smoked pork butt/shoulder. They are very different. The Pork butt/shoulder is the upper part of the front leg, while hams come from the leg just below the butt/shoulder, also called a "picnic" cut. Pork butts are almost never injected with liquids. That is mostly done to ribs and loins.

Hams are not smoked for weeks or months, they are cured for weeks or months. Smoking an average pork butt takes about 10 hours, low and slow. Even a smoked ham won't be smoked for that long.

Curing a ham can be done with a wet or dry brine. Smoked pork butt does not need any brining.

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That was a mis-statement when I said that they were smoked, instead of cured, for weeks or months. You probably wouldn't be able to taste the meat then! lol

Out of curiosity, while in a supermarket today, I checked out the cured meat section, and all of those butts that they had there (only a few said pork butts - most were "shaped and formed", STS) were vacuum packed, and had those key words on them - "water added". They probably aren't even allowed to sell those smoked meats in the mesh bags, due to health concerns. Probably have to go a specialty shop over in the market, or Reading Terminal, to find them now. They used to have them piled up on tables, next to the produce tables. How times change!
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:26 AM   #9
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Real charcuterie is usually found in markets that specialize in curing their own products. There are a few German restaurant/charcuterie locations locally. We shop at a Penn Dutch nearby that does all of their smoked/ cured products in house. They carry some products from Boar's Head and Hebrew National, but not to the extent of their own products.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:43 AM   #10
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I now remember the smoked "picnic" ham my parents bought. I have not seen one in years. Thanks Casey.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:29 AM   #11
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Back home, these were known as "cottage hams". My Mom would put it in the oven with a bit of water, then add a bag of frozen lima beans (usually the Fordhook kind, since they are "meatier") towards the end of the roasting time. I had a dickens of a time finding them here, since "cottage ham" seems to be a regional term, and New England isn't part of the region. Once I was able to track them down (as pork shoulder butts), I've used them in ham and bean soup when I can't find a smoked pork hock.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
I used to get small smoked pork butts over in the Italian market in Philly (don't go as often as I used to). They were dry smoked, not wet, like most ham these days, and great for making soups from. The same place also had the smaller end of the shoulder, as well as ham hocks, dry smoked like this. The shoulder and butt were wrapped in mesh bags, I guess for smoking. Many years ago, I would see these more locally, in supermarkets, but no longer.
Here in New England, along with the smoked shoulder, we also love brisket. You can always find both of them in the meat department on a given day. Sometimes, when they are on sale, I will buy a fresh shoulder and place it into the oven. the bone from the smoked shoulder is a fantastic addition to scratch pea soup.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:06 PM   #13
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Not a pork shoulder but, this thread inspired me to stop into the Honey Baked Ham store.. I bought a half boneless ham, frozen ham bones and a package of white beans..


Oddly, I didn't realize that the ham bone(s) was a complete bone from a ham.. Huge thing.. I called back to see if they could cut it up for me.. Nope, they can't do that..


Its way too large so I will cut away the ham and toss the bone in the garbage..


Oh... and I won't go back to the Honey Baked Ham store..
(oh geeze.. should this be in the Rants thread?? )


Ross
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:14 PM   #14
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Not a pork shoulder but, this thread inspired me to stop into the Honey Baked Ham store.. I bought a half boneless ham, frozen ham bones and a package of white beans..


Oddly, I didn't realize that the ham bone(s) was a complete bone from a ham.. Huge thing.. I called back to see if they could cut it up for me.. Nope, they can't do that..

Its way too large so I will cut away the ham and toss the bone in the garbage..

Oh... and I won't go back to the Honey Baked Ham store..
(oh geeze.. should this be in the Rants thread?? )

Ross
Here is fine by me.

Is there any type of mechanical shop near where you live? Take the bone there and they will probably be too happy to cut it up for you. It seems such a shame to waste a perfectly good soup bone simply because some idiot hasn't gotten the Christmas spirit yet. And if you are able to get it cut up, don't forget to save some of that ham for the soup along with the cut up bone.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:29 PM   #15
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Here is fine by me.

Is there any type of mechanical shop near where you live? Take the bone there and they will probably be too happy to cut it up for you. It seems such a shame to waste a perfectly good soup bone simply because some idiot hasn't gotten the Christmas spirit yet. And if you are able to get it cut up, don't forget to save some of that ham for the soup along with the cut up bone.
Some things I just chalk up to experience...


I removed all the ham from the bone and discarded the bone. I will make good use of the meat and be more observant when I buy ham bones, in the future..


Ross
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:38 PM   #16
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Ross, next time see if you can score a line around the bone, then hit it with a hammer. It should crack where you scored it.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:50 PM   #17
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That's a good idea, bucky. I usually get a big bone-in ham for Christmas and the bone is too big for my Dutch oven. I used to give the bone to my German Shepard/Lab mix, but he went over the Rainbow Bridge.

Come to think of it, my brother has a workshop with a table saw.. LOL
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:45 PM   #18
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A simple hacksaw with a new, clean blade works well, too.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:05 PM   #19
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Down south, at least, ham is made with the "picnic" part of the fore leg. That has a big, round bone running through it.

The pork butt/pork shoulder/Boston butt is -- the shoulder, and it will have a flat shoulder blade bone in it (unless the store's butcher has de-boned it).

The shoulder/butt is much more commonly used for slow smoking, with NO curing before hitting the smoke. It is also great for brazing, a la Carnitas, or marinading and slow roasting, as in Cuban roast pork.

My personal experience is that the shoulder/butt and the picnic should be treated and cooked differently. I have tried using them as substitutes for each other, and didn't like the results.

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