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Boneless pork butt?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
A local supermarket's sale paper is advertising boneless pork butts for $1.68/lb or regular butts for 0.98. I haven't seen the boneless ones yet so I'm not sure what they look like. Anyone ever tried them? I'm going to do several butts this weekend so I may grab one just as an experiment.
post #2 of 23
Check my recent thread for pics. The 6 lb butt I did last Sunday was boneless, and was the best pulled pork I have ever eaten. It came out perfect. I have heard some say the bone in ones have more flavor. I have now done bone in and boneless and I loved them both and did not find one more flavorful than the other. I hit a longer plateau on the boneless one. Don't know if it was because it was boneless or not.
post #3 of 23
I've done a few boneless as well and didn't notice much difference. Maybe Pops will come in and give us a lesson.
post #4 of 23
I've also done both and nobody in my family (including me) can tell any difference in the taste; although I do use a pretty tangy sauce recipe which might cover any difference in taste.
post #5 of 23
I have done both the boneless and the bone in, personally, I can't tell a lot of difference but my Mom and Dad, old pork eaters, say that they like the bone in butt the best. I think over the years all the pork butt they have had was bone in so it may just be psychological, I really could not tell any difference save the price of the bone in compared to the boneless! Get one and try it, I think you will find very little difference!
The Virginia Smoke Signal
post #6 of 23
I like to buy the boneless to make buckboard bacon or capicola. I've also made the buckboard with the bone in but took the bone out... so it's kinda like you pay someone 4 or 5 bucks to hand you one without the bone. I don't think it makes much difference in flavor but I do like pullin that bone out when it's all done.
post #7 of 23
Not worth the price for the boneless. Get bone in and if smoked right it will be boneless, it will just pull out.
post #8 of 23
Here's the link to a pork butt cutting test I did:


without weights of product it's difficult to nail down how much extra you paid, but by percentages we could assume, say it was (whole) an 8 lb. butt, and based on the cutting test, the net without the bone is 88.12% of the total...

8 lb. x .98 lb = $7.84

7.05 lb. (net after bone taken out, or .8812 of original wt) x 1.68 = $11.84

a net $4.00 more paid for boneless over bone-in to have the meatcutter take the bone out.

Good example of how useful cutting tests are!
post #9 of 23
Great info Pops...Yeah, I would just go bone-in and save. As Ron said, the bone practically falls out of it. I've done both and don't taste any difference.
post #10 of 23
Some would argue that the bone adds flavor. As far as it effecting cooking time some feel the bone aids in conducting heat to the meat while others like Harold McGee feel due to the bone's porousness that it acts as an insulator. Either way I would go with the one that is the best value. When done the bone should slide out clean.
post #11 of 23
In this case I would decide with my wallet! PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #12 of 23
You pay an additional $0.70 per pound, or a (70/98)*100 = 71% markup to have the bone removed. The bone does not make up this proportion of the cut, so you are further ahead $$ wise to buy it with the bone-in. As others have stated, when cooked, it will almost fall out with little effort. Planning to do a few myself tomorrow, and with this heat, I might not need much fuel to get 'em done either.icon_cool.gif
post #13 of 23
The only time I ever kept track of bone-in/bone-out price was when I was preparing to make sausage. A local grocery store chain had bone-in butts on sale for $.99/lb, while ground pork was $1.39/lb in 10# tubes. On the last day of the sale I cleaned out four stores to get 70# of butts, and two tubes of ground just in case it wasn't enough. When I got home (100 miles away) I deboned the butts and cubed them for freezing, since I hdn't shot any deer yet. The grocery bag of bones weighed 4#, including the gristle I left on them. That's only a 6% weight loss, not enough to justify a 71% markup.
post #14 of 23
Pops is the King of meat cutting information. He has helped me countless times with questions I've had and he certainly is the SMF "SMEE", or Subject Matter Expert.

Obviously it's cheaper to buy a bone-in cut.

Opinion here....bone-in will contribute more to the flavor and cooking of the cut than a boneless will, by a wide margin. Two situations have lead me to this conclusion. The first is a T-Bone or Porterhouse (sirloin side) vs. a sirloin steak. Second is a leg of lamb, (granted, both oven roasted). To me the bone-in wins every time.

You can try this out with other cuts, but these two stand out for me.

Good post, in any event! PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #15 of 23
After making sausage for many many years, I know that in many of the boneless buts there is a green gland about the size of a large marble that we cut out, i understand it is bitter but edible, if you press down on the meat you can feel it, we look for it and cut it out, That is why when I smoke a butt as well as for the above mentioned reasons, I only use the ones with the bone in.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info Pops I kind of figured it would be cheaper net to buy the bone in. I made my run today and got ten 8-10 pound bone ins and two 3-4 pound boneless. It looked all of the boneless ones are actually half butts with the bone out. I figure they'll cook quite a bit faster so I'll keep them for myself. The rest I'm going to be giving away to people who helped me build or let me have scrap parts to make my big smoker.
post #17 of 23
They don't take the bone out, it is a different cut of meat, I buy whole butts buy the 50# box. Every other boneless one has a nasty a$$ green gland that I ant gonna eat
post #18 of 23
A reply from a butcher at a different forum.

.. that gland is found at the boneless end of each pork butt , which is the end that the neck of the animal would attach to .It is best to remove it before cooking or making sausage and is easy to find just by feeling the butt , one end has the bone showing and the opposite end will have the gland located closest to the top ( just under the fat layer )... hope this helps ya out .
post #19 of 23
And one more post then I am done.

it's been my experience that , that green gland is just that , it's a sweat gland that is in the boneless end of a whole pork butt and at work we cut it out if it's still there ...you say sometimes your wife buys smaller roasts and you don't have to deal with it , she must be buying the end with the bone in it ( the boneless end has the gland ) .. anyhow it does look gross , but if you do a whole butt , just trim out the gland and smoke on my friend .

Just trying to help, I wouldn't want to eat one much less pay more for the privilege of eating it
post #20 of 23
No, they do take the bone out, I've de-boned a few thousand of them, it's part of the shoulder blade bone, the rest is left in the rib end of the pork loin (next door to where the butt is cut off). The sweat gland is in the fat on the opposite end and is usually discarded automatically when trimming off the exterior fat, there's a large V of it on that side.

Sometimes when the packer cuts the shoulder from the loin he will leave the majority of the blade on the loin vs. on the butt to maximize profit from the ribend when processed into country style ribs, and that leaves a short boneless butt and those do get tossed in with the bone-ins. Meatcutters in stores will also merchandize the blade part of the butt into either pork steak or country style ribs and sell the back half (which is the fattiest) as a boneless butt at a premium price, which is a ripoff. Years ago they used to tie two together but that is no longer legal, it's called larding (any time you tie two separate non-cohesive pieces of meat together).

Just a FYI.

Pops ยงยง
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