Couple of pork shank questions

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Nefarious

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Went to the butcher yesterday and bought 6 of these pork shanks. Total weight is 14.6 lbs and I'm feeding 9 people.

PXL_20220929_153611092.jpg PXL_20220929_153617089.jpg

I will smoke these on my new RT 1250 on Sunday @ 225 for my brother in laws birthday, and I have never smoked these before I have a couple of questions.

Should I remove the fat, some or all, from them. My plan is to serve them off the bone in large pieces, not pulled.

Does it make any sense to cut them in two pieces to have more surface area for rub, and then I could serve them with bone.

My overall plan is to spice them up 1 day in advance and leave in refrigerator covered. I will use a small amount of salt in the rub to help with the spice penetration.

I have searched for threads for pork shank and can't find examples, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Rub will contain:
Brown Sugar
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Sweet Paprika
Cayenne Pepper
Salt

Anything I'm missing?
 
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chilerelleno

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I'd highly recommend that you smoke at low heat for 2-3 hours and then braise till tender.
Shanks have huge amounts of connective tissues that need time in braise to break down.
When properly cooked those tendons and all that collagen becomes immensely flavorful.

You can trim fat and cut in two if you like.
I personally would leave them in one piece.
I wouldn't bother deboning, the bone is flavor added.
 

tallbm

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^^^^ Exactly what he said.

I would leave everything on them. Smoke for a few hours just to get smoke flavor but braise them in the oven, in a tightly covered pan to cook them and finish them until they are fall off the bone. Done right, they are the most tender and flavorful thing you may ever taste!

I do braised wild pork shanks and venison shanks a lot after my yearly hunting trip (minus during pandemic). The venison shank may be my favorite part of the deer and almost makes me cry to know people just toss them out!

I also use pork shanks in the Instant Pot to make my homemade Ramen noodle soup! I'm not Ramen specialist and don't have access or experience in the pure ways of Ramen soup making BUT it is damn good and miles closer to the real Japanese Raman vs the stuff you buy in bricks at the store for like $0.35/each hahaha.

Best of luck with it! :)
 

chilerelleno

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I have searched for threads for pork shank and can't find examples, any suggestions would be appreciated.
Shanks is shanks, the methods are the same.
Sometimes size allows you to process them differently, e.g. beef cross cut shanks, they gig enough to allow it.
The major differences will be flavor profiles of the braising sauce and herbs and spices.

Smoked Venison Shanks
One thing I noted one these is that initially, right after cooking the smoke and red wine tasted a bit over powering, but the next day it was melded together and truly incredible.
And from then on I made these the day before and didn't cook to falling off the bone so they'd reheat better.

Seared and Braised Venison Shanks
These were damned good.
 
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tallbm

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Shanks is shanks, the methods are the same.
Sometimes size allows you to process them differently, e.g. beef cross cut shanks, they gig enough to allow it.
The major differences will be flavor profiles of the braising sauce and herbs and spices.

Smoked Venison Shanks
One thing I noted one these is that initially, right after cooking the smoke and red wine tasted a bit over powering, but the next day it was melded together and truly incredible.
And from then on I made these the day before and didn't cook to falling off the bone so they'd reheat better.

Seared and Braised Venison Shanks
These were damned good.
I don't smoke my venison shanks, just straight braise
 

chopsaw

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OFallon Mo.
Does it make any sense to cut them in two pieces to have more surface area for rub, and then I could serve them with bone.

I have searched for threads for pork shank and can't find examples, any suggestions would be appreciated.
Great advice above , and that's what you should follow .

There's a shop on the south side of St. Louis that trims them into pork wings .
Split in 2 and all tendons removed . Smoked / grilled and served on the bone . Really good like that , but a lot of waste if you cut them yourself .
 

Nefarious

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I'd highly recommend that you smoke at low heat for 2-3 hours and then braise till tender.
Shanks have huge amounts of connective tissues that need time in braise to break down.
When properly cooked those tendons and all that collagen becomes immensely flavorful.

You can trim fat and cut in two if you like.
I personally would leave them in one piece.
I wouldn't bother deboning, the bone is flavor added.
I have nowhere enough pot, to braise them, I could fit 2 in a pot, I will have to look in the storage room to maybe find one that would hold 3.
 

chilerelleno

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Use disposable aluminum pans and tightly cover with foil.
You can, regardless of what some folks say, put two to four pans in an oven and cook just fine if you rotate them every hour or so.
Will just take a little longer.
You can also put multiple pans in the smoker if your smoker will maintain 300°-350°.

I like to use the extra deep/oversized chafing dish sized disposables.
Bet you could easily do three in each with lots of room for liquid and veggies.
 

Nefarious

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Use disposable aluminum pans and tightly cover with foil.

I like to use the extra deep/oversized chafing dish sized disposables.

Bet you could easily do three in each with lots of room for liquid and veggies.
Yep, just measured them, 9" x 11" will fit nicely.

Smoker will have no problem with 300° or 350°.
 

tallbm

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I've either smoked or seared first, never done them just straight into the braise.
I used to do venison shanks on the bone and they were too big to sear with bone and all so started going straight into the pan for braising. They come out just as fantastic.

The last few years I been cutting the shank and heel meat from the bone and I can sear and braise or just straight braise in the pan. Doing this makes processing easier and it all vac seals easier without a long bone Either way it comes out great BUT not having the bone in the pan has a noticeable (to me at least) loss of bone flavor richness from the dish but still the dish is fantastic.

So if you are ever in a pinch and need to try without searing, know that my experiences always come out great so it's worth giving it a shot in the case rather than replanning the meal :)
 
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