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How Do U Buy A Shopulder or Butt to smoke ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
How do you decide which pork product to buy . I fully understand briskets but shoulder and butt I need coaching on . Is there a way to tell good or better from poor or worst ? Any trade secrets on picking one out to smoke for home use or even comp cooking ? Thanks

And for the record I am signed up for a smoking class already but it will only be for home use or church use only no comps.
post #2 of 17
Look for something fresh and not injeted and cryovac'd (al a Hormel) and look at the marbling. Butt's are fatty by nature but try and find one that looks a little leaner. You'll yield a little more meat that way.

One way I look at meat is to ask the butcher, "if you were going to pick one, which one would it be?"
post #3 of 17
Besides the nice marbling and non-excessive fat content I have a big thing about the cut part of the bone, sometimes you will have lots of little pieces of bone and I try to avoid those whenever possible, nothing worse than biting into a hard bone!
Depending on how they are packaged you can sometimes feel the bone and tell if it was cut properly or not.
post #4 of 17
What they said and if you have the ability to talk to a butcher they can usually pull a good one aside for you.
post #5 of 17
You don't want a bunch of fat. It is a fatty piece of meat and it will have some marbling like beef but I look for the meatest one I can find. You also want to read the label and see if it has been enhanced or chemically added to. You want a fresh butt if you can and that cryovaced is a good sign. I hoped that helped.
post #6 of 17
I don't know if you have a Sam's Club near you, but they have some of the better meat available. When I'm looking over the pork butts, I try to find the largest ones and the ones that just look the best to me. Sometimes you just know when it's the right one (s). At Sam's the come cryovac'd two in a package. Good Luck.
post #7 of 17

I get mine from Restaurant depot and they are bone-in, but the bone only goes halfway thru and usually cut them in half anyway to get smaller butts=faster cooking times
post #8 of 17
man thanks for the warning. I knew something had to be up with the Hormel butts when i saw them for 89 cents a pound at the local sav-a-lot..I always buy mine fresh
post #9 of 17
Good color, resonable fat (not to much, but not to little either) as far as cryovac, ya ain't gettin one round here that ain't, an nearly everone I get is enhanced, I've simply learned ta deal with it. Most of my product is sold so seeins how I'm still sellin it must not be to bad.

I'd buy butts at 89 cents by the 100 pound wieght, which I do!PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif

Now a cryovac butt will have some odor to it when ya open it, that's normal if after a rinse the smell goes away. That is caused from the meat an gas in the airtight package, a cryovac butt will freeze an keep nicely till ya need it.

Lotta folks make a big deal outa the enhancement, I've learned ta deal with it because it's comin ta it more an more. Not really a big deal, I inject my butts so there bein enhanced anywho. The reason the packers have gone ta enhancement (aside from the fact it adds wieght) is to help folks what cook there meat ta death, helps keep em from dryin out. I ain't seen a fresh butt round here in nye on ta two years.

I have used Hormel butts with great success, but hey, it's what works fer me.
post #10 of 17
if you get yours fresh try to find one that is symetrical or the same size all the way around. for me it makes for even cooking and i tend to buy them close in size to each other for the same reason when cooking 2 or more.
post #11 of 17
I can get mine them here cryovac or i can get them at the mexican market out in the open. For now I'll take the cryovac, I aint had a problem since and it's been years.
post #12 of 17
On top of just normal quality and fattiness checks already mentioned, I look for a big "money muscle".........especially for contest cooking.
post #13 of 17
I used to like a nice little shapely butt, but now that I am 61 years old, I prefer a bit of fat on them-----"Chust a bit!"icon_mrgreen.gif

post #14 of 17
Was that chust a little dutchey?
post #15 of 17
for me, only fresh pork, no factory injection, nice, even layer of fat, & for the butt the bone in the center for a balanced butt,
post #16 of 17
As stated I like a butt over a picnic, bone in center, I have NEVER seen one without enough fat. So pick one with the least amount of fat, trust me there is enough.

I like fresh as well no cryo.
post #17 of 17
Yah, chust a little.icon_mrgreen.gif
And my grandmother used to call me "Chunny".

Bearcarver (John)
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