Smoked Pork Butt (Bone In vs Boneless) | The Bearded Butchers

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

JeffB1961

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jul 1, 2021
83
83
always heard leave the bone in but these guys did one each way . i've only been smoking a hair over a year and i've always left the bone in , but getting seasoning inside doesn't sound like a bad idea .
what are your experience/thoughts ?
take care , jeff

 
I usually smoke what is available, so I’ve done both. And at times a picnic as a last option. I’ve never noticed a difference. Biggest advantage for me with the bone-in is an easy tell if it’s done and ready to pull! But I’ve never noticed a taste or cooking difference. Maybe I’m not sensitive enough!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JeffB1961
I now butterfly out the bone if I can't find boneless. Taste wise, the bone in butts taste exactly like the boneless. I prefer the boneless because they cook way faster, and you get more bark and seasoning throughout the meat. As far as moistness goes, there is little to no difference between the two.
Boneless is the way to go unless you are cooking in a comp where you need whole muscles to impress the judges. My judges are family and friends, and everyone agrees that the boneless taste better because of there being more bark and seasoning throughout the meat.

Next time cook one of each, I bet you will agree that boneless is the way to go for gatherings and self consumption.

Dan.
 
I’m not thrilled by this. WAY more rub on the meat than I have ever used, to be expected if they are selling it. What’s with the logos on the paper? Isn’t the point of pink paper that it is unbleached / less processed than butcher paper? Wrapping until done looked like no crisp bark. I could be and probably am wrong, but not thanks.
 
always heard leave the bone in but these guys did one each way . i've only been smoking a hair over a year and i've always left the bone in , but getting seasoning inside doesn't sound like a bad idea .
what are your experience/thoughts ?
take care , jeff



I don't think it is actually a matter of bone in vs bone out but more of what you are getting at that a bone out but gets you more seasoning and flavor inside the meat. So what do I mean?

I buy bone in pork butts because they are the cheapest, like $0.97/lb at least twice a month between 3 different grocery stores near me.
So I take a bone in butt and split it from the bottom meat side, upwards towards the top fat side but the bone stops me from cutting it into 2 pieces!

I then season all around and within that cut and when I place it in the smoker I place the pork butt where the meat is spread out at the split. It's not spatchcocked or anything but has separation for sure.

The results? More seasoning in that split. More smoke penetration in the split and into more of the meat due to the split. More bark since there is more exposed surface area due to the split.
Overall, WAY more flavor all around and into the meat.

This one change has made it to where my great pork butts are now OUTSTANDING every time. Also no need to add any seasoning or finishing sauce after shredding. There is no bland meat just full flavor and flavor penetration due to the split.

So bone in or bone out I don't think is the key, I think having a split spread out bit of pork butt gives you the better results you may be seeing from the bone out pork butt :)

Here's my post that goes into detail, I hope it helps and I hope you try it to take your pulled pork to the next level! :)

 
Cut your meat into 1lb hunks season and cook to 160-170 then foil and bring to 204ish, lot more smoke and seasonings and it will cook way faster than a solid chunk. smoke doesn't penetrate far so you don't have to turn it black to get smoke onto the meat heavy and when pulled it balances out with the perfectly cooked insides with no smoke flavor .
 
  • Like
Reactions: Numberz
I don't think it is actually a matter of bone in vs bone out but more of what you are getting at that a bone out but gets you more seasoning and flavor inside the meat. So what do I mean?

I buy bone in pork butts because they are the cheapest, like $0.97/lb at least twice a month between 3 different grocery stores near me.
So I take a bone in butt and split it from the bottom meat side, upwards towards the top fat side but the bone stops me from cutting it into 2 pieces!

I then season all around and within that cut and when I place it in the smoker I place the pork butt where the meat is spread out at the split. It's not spatchcocked or anything but has separation for sure.

The results? More seasoning in that split. More smoke penetration in the split and into more of the meat due to the split. More bark since there is more exposed surface area due to the split.
Overall, WAY more flavor all around and into the meat.

This one change has made it to where my great pork butts are now OUTSTANDING every time. Also no need to add any seasoning or finishing sauce after shredding. There is no bland meat just full flavor and flavor penetration due to the split.

So bone in or bone out I don't think is the key, I think having a split spread out bit of pork butt gives you the better results you may be seeing from the bone out pork butt :)

Here's my post that goes into detail, I hope it helps and I hope you try it to take your pulled pork to the next level! :)


I might try this method this weekend. I have a 9lb bone in shoulder that I’m going to be smoking. Someone is dropping another butt off since I’ll have the smoker out, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a smaller boneless one…so I just my butterfly mine to cut down on the time.
 
In my opinion, there are only slight differences between bone-in and boneless and I feel that the bone giving flavor is a myth unless the bone is cut, exposing marrow.
I feel that the additional spices put on a boneless does obviously add to flavor.
I also think that bone-in can skew the exact "sweet spot temp" that we aim for, especially if the thermometer is close to the bone....maybe.

So, on the idea of cutting pork butt down to smaller pieces...I'm trying to wrap my head around the science or it all. If a smaller piece cooks faster, then it would mean that the inner part of a large roast keeps the outer part, less able to come to finished temp? Otherwise, the outside of a large pork butt would be done hours before the inside? At what thickness does thickness play a part? Does the meat that's one inch deep cause the outside to cook slower? Does the meat that's two inches deep cause the outside to cook even slower? If we cut out the center of a butt (like a doughnut), would that affect things?
Inquiring minds want to know :)
Some science temperature near bones (genuineideas.com)
 
As was said, this is not really about bone in vs out. It's about seasoning. If you don't inject you have to break a butt down to get seasoning where it needs to be otherwise there is going to be a lot of meat that lacks. I took tallbm tallbm technique and RAN with it. I take it one step farther and just halve it. Nearly 2x faster and 2x more bark. I still inject tho. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/butt-halved-success.298552/
 
  • Like
Reactions: tallbm
Very well done and interesting video. I may subscribe to these guys.
I think I'll stick to foil for butts. I use boneless usually for sausage but I like the bone-in for P.P. jut because I get a kick out of seeing that bone slide out :-)
Personally I think the extra seasoning on the boneless would be a little too much. Just me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JeffB1961
I might try this method this weekend. I have a 9lb bone in shoulder that I’m going to be smoking. Someone is dropping another butt off since I’ll have the smoker out, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a smaller boneless one…so I just my butterfly mine to cut down on the time.

Give it a shot and I bet you it comes out great!
I roll mine naked the entire time and wow the flavor is great. More bark, more seasoning, more smoke flavor, more better :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: 912smoker
Cut your meat into 1lb hunks season and cook to 160-170 then foil and bring to 204ish, lot more smoke and seasonings and it will cook way faster than a solid chunk. smoke doesn't penetrate far so you don't have to turn it black to get smoke onto the meat heavy and when pulled it balances out with the perfectly cooked insides with no smoke flavor .
I'll have to give this a try.
 
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads

Clicky