Another Shoulder question

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jul 7, 2007
Edmond, OK
For some reason I can't find a Butt here in the OKC area. All I could get was a picnic shoulder from wal-mart. Do I smoke it like a Butt?
Also it comes with a pop-up probe which I will discard, however it is wrapped in a mesh, do I take the mesh off? not sure if it will hold its shape without it, if I take it off I don't want to end up with a flat piece of meat, any opinions would be appreciated. Pics below.
I am concerned about the pop up and the mesh. I think you bought a "Picnic Ham" and not a fresh shoulder. The difference is that the "Picnic Ham" has been cooked and cured to taste like a ham. What you are looking for is a fresh pork shoulder picnic. It's the same cut of meat but the fresh one is not processed. I went to my freezer and took out one. It is a John Morrell, All natural, Pork shoulder picnic and elsewhere on the label it says Pork Shoulder Arm Picnic.

In most parts of the country now, meats are already cut when they arrive at the grocery store or butcher market. They cut the meat in standard ways and a whole shoulder is just not available. However the picnic and the "Pork Shoulder Boston Butt" are the two pieces that would make up a whole shoulder. If you have a Sam's Club in your area, they have a package of two "Boston Butts" in the meat case at all times. It's a big seller for them.

Aubrey Page
OTBS #007
Smokin, thanks but this piece of meat is not cooked in any way.
Its from Tyson and called pork shoulder picnic. I guess I will just smoke with the mesh on it. Thanks about Sams club, forgot to go there yesterday to check.
you can smoke it w/the mesh on-shouldn't hurt anything(i've done it). usually i get a tyson whole shoulder(bone in) w/ the skin on. i wouldn't worry about pulling the pop up timer,those won't melt & you're not going to go that hot anyway.cook it just like a butt.
Gypsy, thanks I did go ahead and put the mustard over the mesh and then put the rub on, hopefully I will have pic's Sunday afternoon.
The mesh is for mostly for aesthetics, but it also gives the boneless picnic a sliceable shape. If you're aiming for pulled pork, remove the mesh. This will increase the surface area for maximum smoke penetration and bark formation. You'll also see that a boneless picnic is not an nice looking piece of meat. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.