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Pork ‘butts’ - the ‘technical’ term

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by wakeboarder72, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. wakeboarder72

    wakeboarder72 Newbie

    Hi all. New to the forum, and have a little experience with smokers throughout the years. I recently moved overseas (Romania), but couldn’t do without my smoker. I emailed a picture of a smoker to a new friend over here and asked him if/where I could buy a smoker here, to wit he replied, “I’ve never seen such a thing in my life”. BUT, I couldn’t do without one, so I ordered a new one, had it shipped overseas (cost just as much as the smoker itself), and also bought a huge voltage converter to work around the different voltage issues here. All said and done, the smoker works great. Now to my question - sorry. The main thing I smoke is pork ‘butts’, for pulled pork sandwiches/platters. Or at least, that’s what I called them over there growing up (Florida). I’ve been to a butcher shop here in Romania, but I want to know EXACTLY what cut of the pig I was buying over in the U.S. was, ‘cause I’ve also heard them called pork “shoulders”. If I ask for a pork butt over here, that’s probably exactly what I’ll get. But, is it actually the hind end of the pig that I’ve been smoking over there for years, or was it the shoulder of the pig? Again, I just want to ask for the right cut of the pig. Sorry for being long-winded, and my naïveté. Thanks in advance for any information, William
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The term 'pork butt' is no longer used since 2013. The correct definition is a two-part shoulder - the term 'pork shoulder' or 'pork blade shoulder' is the upper part of the shoulder, and the term 'pork arm shoulder' is the lower part of the shoulder section:

    Blade-and-Picnic-pork-cuts-.jpg hog1.jpg

    The half pig shows the latest named portions of the pig, approved by the Pork Council in 2013.
    zwiller likes this.
  3. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  4. wakeboarder72

    wakeboarder72 Newbie

    Thank you, pops, for that information. Helps me out immensely. I appreciate it. Now to the butcher shop. ;-)

    Take care,
  5. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi William,

    It's probably too late to advise on the smoker, but if you plan to get a charcoal or stick smoker in the future find a local shop in Romania and give them some drawings from here. Will cost less than an imported smoker even before custom duties, shipping and VAT.

    As for the pork butt, what you want to tell the butcher is "ceafa" pronounced "tchafa". Second "a " s pronounced like the "e" in marker.

    Good luck
  6. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Also make sure the butcher understands you want the butt whole - it's normally sold as steaks, sometimes tenderized.

    Don't give him too many details or he will try to convince you steaks are the way to go. Same with your local friends coworkers. Just invite them over for some PP and watch their lower jaw drop. Dont use sweet sauce/rubs if you plan to serve PP to a gathering with locals.
  7. wakeboarder72

    wakeboarder72 Newbie

    yeah, i've been eyeing the different cuts of meat in the butcher shop down the street from me, which is what prompted me to post the question earlier today. I've seen the 'ceafa' cuts, and suspected that is what I'm after, as it looked the most like the ones I bought back home in Florida over the years. I will, though, need to ask them to cut me one with a little fat left on it, since most of the ones in the case have nearly the whole fat layer cut off/away.

    Thanks also for the advice on the rubs. Mine isn't sweet, so all should be well. Gonna try one this weekend, I think, and see how it goes.

    Thanks again, William

    (and you're right, I already had a MB one shipped over, but I appreciate your suggestions about having one made over here.)
  8. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I am looking forward to see how the locals react to this stuff Wake :)
  9. wakeboarder72

    wakeboarder72 Newbie

    I'll let ya know, Tom. They eat a ton of pork here (low cost), but I've yet to find any pulled pork, the way I'm used to having at home. I'm curious what they (wife's family) think of it here.
  10. uncle eddie

    uncle eddie Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just curious and also wanting to get on this thread to see your future smoke.

    How is the pork there? Leaner, fattier or about the same as stateside?

    I ask because NOTHING was the same when I was in Germany...but their food was awesome - so - I didn't care.
  11. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your inlaws goota know some small heritage pig farmers. Or the butcher. Ask them. Way better than store bought. You might even find mangalitza. This time of the year many households slaughter for their own consumption. It's a real show. Bourdain had an épisode on it.

    Dont bother looking for good beef unless you are willing to pay $$$ (or should i say Ron Ron Ron). Pork is good. Lamb is awesome (small).

    You will run into the same problem with ribs. They cut them differently and with less meat. Show the butcher a cutting chart.

    Picking up some Romanian? If you need help finding the equivalent for North American cuts pm me.
  12. wakeboarder72

    wakeboarder72 Newbie

    Thanks again, atomic. Earlier this year, her parents did in fact get together with other family members for a slaughter - they spent a day doing it, and they brought back loads of pork. I'm not sure how often they kill and cut one, but I'll ask them about it.

    Not too worried about beef - not much of a beef eater here (dare I say that in a smoker's forum???). I'm mainly a chicken, turkey, fish guy, with some pork sprinkled in now and then. ;-)

    I've already printed out a pic of the pig w/ all the cuts shown on it, so I can take it to the butcher (should the family slaughter not work out) and show him/her which part I want for the pulled pork.

    That mangalitza is a strange-looking pig!!! Haven't had the pleasure of having, or seeing, any of them yet.

    And "da" on the Romanian, puțin...foarte puțin. ;-)

    uncle eddie, wish I could give a more definitive answer, but being the VERY novice that I am, I can't say for sure one way or the other. But, I would lean towards "much the same" from what I've tasted so far, which again, isn't much. ;-) I was in Germany for a time before choosing Romania to settle in, and I agree with you about the food there - very good indeed. Definite thumbs up.
  13. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Incet incet ajungi departe

    Good luck in your new adventure. As much as Romanians like to brag about bbq/grilling they (we) only have a few things worth mentioning: mititiei, butt steaks, kebabs (frigarui), some fish.

    However the cuisine is big on nose to tail - especially pig. Thus the "familly slaugther": kill and process one pig in a day with a tiny apartment sized freezer at your disposal. A lot of cold smoking, confiting, drying.

    A lot of fun.awaits you.
  14. Twilight Zone odd. I just bought 2 pieces of meat advertised as "pork butt" today...$0.99/lb.
  15. ironhorse07

    ironhorse07 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I still see it marked Boston butt around here too. Probably them older meat cutters and old dogs and new tricks, I know the feeling.