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Love to eat it and need to learn how to cook it

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone

I am kick starting my smoking debut here.. I have just starting out today by purchasing my first smoker. I went with the Char-Griller Super Pro with fire box mainly because I want to smoke a large sum of meat to feed my friends and family the day before my wedding on May 1st. I needed the large space for meat while not hitting the check book since this wedding has drained every last cent to my name. That's why I went CB instead of horizon but I figure once I get better at smoking I can invest in a better made smoker and by buying the cheaper unit now I'll have time to start small before jumping in with multi slabs of meat.

I guess one question I can start with is what is better for pork sandwiches chopped shoulder or chopped butt and are there any major differences?

Thank you all and wish me luck
post #2 of 23
Welcome cromag!
You definitely found the right site, there are many big brains on smoking here.

This is just my personal opinion but I would go with a Butt.
My family prefers the texture, flavor and juiciness with the Butt.

Enjoy your new toy!
post #3 of 23
5/1/2010 is a ways away. Stick around here and you will be an expert by then.
post #4 of 23
My stuff certainly has turned out better since I've been hanging around the SMF. It's a great place to learn.
post #5 of 23
welcome and congrats on the upcoming wedding ! ! personally I prefer butts but try each out and find what you like
post #6 of 23
Hi cromag! Welcome aboard! You've come to the right place to learn the craft of smoking/Bbq.

For pulled pork, shoulders will have a taste somewhat like a ham, while butts are a more distinct and slightly stronger flavor. I find butts can be much easier to work with come pulling time...pull out a bone, toss it a bit, scape out a tad of fat and nasties, and if done correctly will literally fall apart. Shoulders will have a bit more nasties to pick out, and if they are done correctly, the bone will separate at the joint when you start handling it, and you'll have a few pieces to remove.

Both make excellent PP...it's just a matter of a bit more effort and a different flavor with a shoulder.

For someone new, you may want to check out the 5 day ecourse, covering the basics. There are many great threads showing how members have done their versions of PP in the pork forums.

I prefer the butts for PP, myself.

Enjoy the forum!

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Remove the bone before it hits the smoker?
post #8 of 23
Welcome to SMF glad you decided to join us. Congrats on the new smoker and the up coming wedding. As far as the meat question a boston butt actually comes from the hog's shoulder.
post #9 of 23
No, sorry about that...after it's smoked and ready to pull apart. Anything smoked with the bone in will always taste better...if I have a choice between a boneless or a bone-in at the store, I go for bone-in.

post #10 of 23
No, leave the bone in. It adds flavor. If done correctly, the bone pulls out clean with precious little effort. Be sure and read up on all that's needed to be done when smoking a Boston butt, especially the resting part after the smoking is done.
post #11 of 23
And if you do plan on loading that smoker to the hilt, I would suggest checking out the inexpensive mods to be performed on that smoker so the heat and smoke will be a bit more balanced from end to end.
post #12 of 23
Welcome to the right place for smoking information, SMF is the real deal. Smoking a butt might be the way to go, a shoulder may require more prep as in trimming. It's all good my friend.
post #13 of 23
They are both equally great in my opinion.

I do Boston butts when available, but the two stores I frequent often have killer deals on the shoulders, so I have done more of those the last couple years.

In my opinion, the above poster is correct, PORTIONS of the pork shoulder can have a slight "hammy" taste...but I don't feel that it's true throughout the whole cut, just portions of it...hard to explain. But once it's cooked properly, and pulled - it's ALL good eats!

Once again, when I'm pulling pork, I'm partial to the shoulder because I can feed a ton on even less than what the Boston butt price is, at the stores I'm at most.

I don't find trimming to be a problem at all...I mean, I DO have to trim a lot, but I make quick work of it.

Congrats on the upcoming wedding!
post #14 of 23
Howdy, welcome to the SMF!!
post #15 of 23
Good clarification, Jerry. I guess I was assuming cromag knew what the butt was cut from, and was referring to a picnic as being a shoulder. Forgot to mention that, myself.

post #16 of 23
Right, but isn't the boston butt usually labeled as the upper, or maybe more interior section of the whole shoulder area? I thought that's how I saw it on a whole hog diagram posted earlier this week?

Or in other words, I can get a whole 10 lb. "pork shoulder" off the shelf at the store, where as sometimes they have some labeled "boston butt" and it's just part of the shoulder area, weighing in a lot less usually.

Please tell me if I'm way off there...are they the exact same thing, or does it depend on the cut of it? Could be a regional thing?
post #17 of 23
Pork Butt Defined

Despite the name, pork butt does not come from the rear end of the hog--it is cut from the shoulder.

The pork shoulder weighs 12-18 pounds and consists of two portions: the butt, which is the upper portion of the shoulder, and the picnic, which is the lower portion.

The whole pork butt is a rectangular roast weighing 6-10 pounds and containing a portion of the shoulder blade bone. It is sold bone-in or boneless; if boneless, a whole roast may be cut into half portions.

The whole picnic weighs 6-9 pounds. It contains a portion of the foreleg and is usually sold with some skin attached. The picnic is sometimes cut into an upper arm portion (the meatier portion, usually sold skinless) and the lower foreleg portion (containing more bone, skin, and connective tissue).

Other Names For Pork Butt

Pork butt is also know by the following names, or some combination thereof:

Boston shoulder roast
Boston roast
Boston butt
Shoulder butt
Shoulder blade roast

post #18 of 23

Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us. This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For Those of you New to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.
Click Here it's "FREE" ... 5 Day eCourse

I Would Highly Suggest Reading these posts on Food Safety by bbally.

This thread will tell you basically everything you need to know and the man explaining it is
both a ServSafe Instructor and a HACCP Instructor.


Here you can get the 2009 USDA Food Safety Guide from his site.

How to post Qview to Forum:

When you uploading to Photobucket I always use the Large IMG setting, 640 x 480 it is a nice size...

Everyone here enjoys seeing the Qview so be sure to post plenty of pics...

Large ones that us old people with bad eyes can see.

For Step By Step Instructions On Posting Qview Check Out This Tutorial

post #19 of 23
First off welcome Cro mag to SMF. It sounds like you are well on your way to be an outstanding new member of this fine site. You'll like it here cause there are abunch of good folks here that would just love to help you out with just about anything to do with smoking. We really like to have newbies here because they can bring in a new propective to how things are done. There's nothing like a new set of eyes to give and new way to make things that little differant to make things alittle better. So I hope you know about the Qview here.
Here's a link to photobucket it's free and easy to download pictures. Then if your really new to smoking Look up the E-course.
It's also free and it will give you the basics of smoking. So after all of that you just need to go grab something to smoke and if you have any question just post them here and we will answer it quickly so you don't have any mishaps with your smoke.
Welcome To Your New Addiction
post #20 of 23
Welcome to the SMF, We are glad to have you onboard
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