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this weekend's smoke

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
howdy, guys -

this weekend i'm going to continue my pork butt education. i've got something called a pork shoulder, bone-in "butt/blade roast." i forget the weight but i do remember the price and the price per pound, which makes itr around 6 and 2/3 lbs. i'll be doing this similar to my pork shoulder last week:


one thing i will change is that i will be trying rivet's awesome carolina-style rub and will change my mop. i normally do a dr. pepper/low-sodium soy sauce/olive oil mop. last weekend i added some cherry brandy to that. this weekend i think i will leave out the dr. pepper and substitute orange pop in order to give it a floridian twist.

i've also got 4 chubs of jimmy dean maple sausage. i intend to use two of them tomorrow for a standard fatty (stuffed with cheddar and anything else i find lying around) and save the other two in order to try pensacola jim's egg-fatty quiche.

finally, i've got 10 japalenos (about three inches long) and some cream cheese and bacon in order to make some basic ABTs this will be my first attempt at these and i will be de-seeding and de-veining.

smoke will most likely be just plain old hickory.

a couple of questions:

a) anything i need to know about butt roasts versus picnic roasts?

b) all i could get this week was a roast that was "enhanced/improved" with our old friend "the solution." what does a person need to know about smoking pork with these solutions. cook for longer/shorter time? different seasonings or expectations? temperatures? let me know, please. i would prefer to do one without this crap, but for now, this is what i have.

c) assuming this is 6.67 lbs, how much useable pulled pork can i expect? we've got 5 people to feed.

as always, i'll keep a running account and will provide q-view as i am able. keep an eye out on this topic and feel free to nudge me in the right direction if i start ehading off to the side!


post #2 of 49
Not exactly sure what the cut looks like but I'll assume it is similar to a picnic butt, if it is what I am thinking of anyway. The picnic butts I have used have a good amount of skin on them so that I would trim a lot of. You should still get a good amount of meat off of the bone though I can't give you an estimate, but when I make puerco pibil I trim and cube the meat and always come out with quite a bit.
Far as I know the solution is a sort of brine so it will definitely be a lot more moisture, but should still smoke up fine. Seasoning wise I would just give it whatever rub you were planning on since I believe it is more of a watered solution and not as much salt as your typical brine.
I hope I was able to be even a little helpful.
Sounds like you have a nice line up, can't wait to see how it turns out.
post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 
FiU -

thanks for the comments - i'll be keeping them in mind this weekend -i think what i ahve is a section of the "boston butt" will get a picture of it in the package. the price was pretty good at 1.28/lb - the picnic shoulders were 98 cents per pound, but the one we did last week didn't seem to have much meat for the weight, so i thought i would try this.

thanks again, and will keep a running account here with pix.

post #4 of 49

This will help

Hiaya Tas~!

No worries, sounds like you are set for your feasting... :)

You've got several very good questions going on, let me try to help a bit-

A) Butt roasts and Picnic roast come from the front quarter of the hog. The uppermost part of this quarter, away from the ground as the animal stands normally, (shoulder / back portion) is called the BOSTON BUTT, and is meatier. The lower part of this quarter, closer to the ground as the animal stands normally, (shoulder / leg portion) is called the PICNIC. The lower rest of it's leg are sold as shanks and feet. Both upper roast portions are great for PPBQ, and barbecuing in general. I've made both and are they're great- But if you have a choice, of course pick the boston butt, since it is meatier, but don't forget to take price into account. I have seen 100% price difference between the two, and (to quote John Tarturro in a great movie) "THAT DON'T MAKE NO SENSE!"

B) "Enhancements" and "injected solutions" in fresh meats are nothing more that essentially a salt water brine. There are also phosphates. Not bad ones. These brines added to meat either under vacuum or injected, and cause the muscle tissue to bind with the water molecules and retain them longer. Thus two things happen- One, you get much softer, jucier meat when you cook it no matter how much you abuse it, and Two, the company can sell you water at meat prices. Essentially water, and the cost of the salts and phosphates are free when you take into account the volumes used by say Cargill, Tyson, etcetera. So, when you sell meat at $X.99 per pound and it has up to 12% WATER, well heck! You're getting 12% added meat income for your sold weight, aren't you? Tell me you don't "really" believe them when they scream about losing money do you? icon_rolleyes.gif

All companies do this, have been for twenty years plus, so don't get excited. Average consumer LOVES the fact he/she can burn the roast in the oven and it will still be relatively juicy. Not a bad deal all the way around.

Do these injections, brines, enhancements affect cooking time? I don't think so. Since the protein molecules are supersaturated, they will tend to shed the moisture faster than normal. All in all, it's a wash- the moisture heats up pretty fast and its all the same. No worries on this one.

C) I'd say you're gonna get about 4 lbs-plus cooked from this cut. This is plenty for 5 people with sides and fattie. Figure a HEFTY Kaiser roll can't hold more than 1/2 lb (and that's pushing it) you have more than enough. Not everyone is going to load a mungaso sammy, either.

Hope this bit has helped.

You're good to go, my friend! Keep us posted, okay?
post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
looks like we're set! appreciate the advie, rivet!

pix will be forthcoming, as will an after-action report!
post #6 of 49
Nice post Rivet. Good info.
It took me a second to remember what movie that was from. O Brother Where Art Thou.
John Turturro is one of my favorite actors. If you haven't seen Romance and Cigarettes yet it is a great musical he wrote and directed and stars tons of actors...

Sorry to get off topic but I just had to share that. I love a great movie quote.
post #7 of 49
Never even heard of Romance, but I am going to have to watch it. I think Tarturro is one of the best, and most underrated actors around. Thanks for sharing, FiU~ real glad to know you could ID the line from the movie! About one of the best all time movie favourites of mine.

Glad you liked the hog info too, I have to refer to it a couple times a year myself.
post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 
i knew that i knew that line "that don't make no SENSE!" from somewhere, and then when FiU IDd it, it popped right into my head, just a moment late!

well, for practice this evening, i took 5 japs and made them into my first ABTs, doing them on our gas grill. i cut them in half lengthwise, seeded and de-veined them as best i could and also rinsed them well in cold water, "rubbing off" the inside and outside. i took half a brick of cream cheese, added a little worcestershire sauce and a touch of lowry's seasoned salt for some flavor and spread this into each half, i then reassembled them and wrapped in half a slice of bacon. i put them on the grill until the bacon was done. they weren't bad for a first attempt, but i think next time i won't reassemble them and will hopefully learn to wrap them in bacon better. tasted pretty good and not too hot! no q-view, because they were SO ugly and were grilled - maybe tomorrow with the real, smoked ones ;)

am going to prep the rest of the stuff later, will report.
post #9 of 49
...and let's all remember his best role, as Jesus in The Big Lebowski. icon_lol.gif

oh wait this is a bbq forum, sorry.
post #10 of 49
You said it, man. Nobody f**ks with the Jesus.

Man I need a white Russian right about now...
post #11 of 49
By law, the companies that enhance their meats by injecting solutions have to label them as such. All pork packing companies do NOT enhance meat, many do, but not all.
post #12 of 49
Where are you finding these pictures...that's awesome! I'm laughing my butt off now.
"You make one heck of a caucasion Jackie"

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread. icon_twisted.gif
post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
alright, guys -

i think i've got everything prepped for an early day tomorrow. i've got a chimney full (appx 4.5 lbs) of charcoal briquettes waiting to be lit, the far (left) side of my SnP firebox has the unlit ones. i've got hickory chunks waiting to provide some TBS.

ive got a 6.81-lb butt slathered with mustard, then coated with rub and sitting in the fridge.

i've got 1lb of jimmy dean maple sausage rolled around 6 eggs in order to try pensacola jim's egg-fatty quiche (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...ad.php?t=75499). i think one or two of the eggs "turned" when i was rolling it, but i hope not.

i've got two lbs of the same sausage rolled around some cheddar cheese and sitting in the fridge firming up overnight for a breakfast fatty. said fatty will also be brushed with mustard and sprinkled with rub as it goes on.

i've got five jalapenos split in half lengthwise and filled with cream cheese (with a little worsty sauce and lowry's seasoned salt tossed in), then wrapped in baconfor my first attempt at smoking a total of 10 ABTs.

i've got a mop prepared with a variation of my usual theme - 1 cup orange pop (rather than the normal dr. pepper), 2/3 cup low-sodium kikkoman soy sauce, 1/3 cup olive oil and the last of my wild cherry brandy (1/4 cup).

i've got three oven thermometers standing by and one probe thermometer waiting - all unfortunately are analog rather than digital and/or remote, but that's a story for another day.

i can't think of anything else i need to do in order to get prepared - i'm going to catch some Zs and hopefully get this party started at 6 or 630a by lighting up and warming up the SnP, then throwing the butt and breakfast fatty on around 7a. i am anticipating around 10 hours for the cooking plus some time resting etc. with luck we'll be dining on pulled pork sammies by 7pm, if not a little earlier.

will report as events progress - will post Q-view and an after-action report as well.
post #14 of 49
You're right of course Cap'n...my apologies for saying "all". A bit of hyperbole on my part. As you said, it must be stated on the label. What I meant to say was that most all the big-boy companies have gone this route with most of their retail meats. If one looks around there are plenty of choices that are not injected or enhanced.
post #15 of 49
Looks like you're gonna have a great meal. Good luck on your smoke.
Looking forward to seeing it.
post #16 of 49
Thread Starter 
i got a late start this morning due to a drizzle and a little wind. it is already warmer now than it was all day last sunday when i did my first shoulder, but the breeze and light rain add other difficulties.

got a pork shoulder on as of 0815 a little late but rain and wind made it necessary. should be ready to pull off at 1830 if things go right. also a simple 2lb breakfast fatty with rub and stuffed with cheddar. should be done right about noon or a little before.

later today will smoke some sausage with 6 hard-boiled eggs stuffed in it, tht fatty will be sliced and used as part of a quiche. also made up a few ABTs and will toss them on in time to use as an appetizer for supper.
post #17 of 49
Thread Starter 
alright, i've got some beautiful and sweet TBS going and things are really looking good. temps both in the smoker and outside are a little lower than i would prefer, but i'm still way ahead of last week. for now am using the blanket from last week. i shook it out and discoverd that there's a small tear right where the smokestack should go - i had the blanket reversed last week so i didn't notice. i draped it on with the smokestack through the hole and it fits quitte well with nothing touching the firebox and am able to fold back for a double covering of the top of the lid.

things should be going good!
post #18 of 49
Sounds like a good feast your making there! Up that early on a weekend, your dedicated!
post #19 of 49


Hey, what a great find with that tear just in the right place. Good for you! Sounds like you have things under control and are gonna have one major good feast. Keep us posted, we're looking forward to the results PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #20 of 49
How far is Chinook, Montana from Jersey?
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