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which cut do you prefer..picnic cut or boston bit

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ralphbrown05, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Ok I've never smoked a picnic shoulder..I was wondering what what's the difference in terms of flavor and tenderness?
  2. bigal

    bigal Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Been a long time since I did a picnic, but from what I remember it was easier and we just liked it better.  Could have been alot of different factors that could have swung the choice either way.

    I may have to pick one up and just see why.  They aren't expensive and not bad at all.  If you try it you won't be sorry, but iirc you'll like the "bit" better.[​IMG]
  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Around here I like a picnic/shoulder for sausage because it comes with a nice fat cap and the butt's are always trimed real tight and never enough fat for me. 

    I guess for smoking It wouldn't make a big difference but the butt would be my first choice, and the picnic a close second
    bigal likes this.
  4. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Around here the Picnics are usually quite a bit cheaper.

    I agree with Dan---Picnics for grinding & Butts for pulling.

  5. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    At our local BJs warehouse store, butts are $1.49 and picnics are $1.39 -- not much difference.  The picnics also have the skin still on.  Whether that is good or bad is cook's choice:-}}
  6. mr mac

    mr mac Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

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    Butts/shoulders are great for pulling due to the marbling throughout the meat whereas the picnic is much leaner and lends itself well to slicing.

    Here is the one I did a couple months back...
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I've taken the opportunity to smoke a couple picnics in the past 18 months or so. I removed the skin and bagged it for the freezer to use for fried skins (they turned out pretty good once I found the right methods, btw). Skin-off allows for better smoke reaction/penetration, as does a thin trimmed fat cap...fat cap helps protect the meat from temp spikes and self bastes the meat after it begins to render down, so I suggest to not get too carried away with the blade.

    There are a few spots on the picnic (maybe only one) which has a stronger flavor than anywhere on the boston butt, IMO...seems like it comes from closer to the knee joint. Probably one of the darker colored small muscle bundles. Anyway, that's what I remember, but it's been about 8-9 months ago when I smoked my last picnic, and I've slept a few times since then, not to mention, had a few all-night smokes since that one, too.

    The butt or picnic are both excellent choices for PP...I think I actually liked eating the picnic best...I used a pretty bold and intense dry rub on the last one as I recall, and it went well with a hickory/mesquite smoke and the heartier flavor of the picnic.

    Tenderness will be accomplished the same as you would for a butt...low & slow @ 225-235* to an internal of 170-180*, and foil to 200* or better, then rest for a few hours wrapped in towels.

    EDIT: Also, temp-hold method after foiling has helped me turn some lean/tough meat including brisket flat into pullable meat...figure about 30 minutes/lb @ 195-200* after reaching 180* I/T.

    Man, just writing about this makes me want to smoke another...brings back some mighty fine memories!

    One thing before I go, if you get a picnic over about 6 lbs, they can get stubburn when they hit the stall...lots of cartilage and connective tissue there with the joint...just so you're ready...trust your probes, and be sure to stick 'em right...not hitting or getting close to a bone can seem a bit tricky with the picnic..

    Smoke one up for us and give us your take...I think you'll like the way it pulls and the flavor is a nice twist when you get it all tossed together...oh, try to catch the drippings to use for a natural finishing sauce if you can...even the foil liquids would be great.

    Enjoy, brother!

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  8. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Right now I can get picnics here for 99 cents. Butts $1.69. 

    Didn't check our BJs, but that is about the normal spread at our locals.
  9. thanks guys...get ready for some qview, im pulling an all nighter with pork shoulder, and brisket...GO GATORS