How Do U Buy A Shopulder or Butt to smoke ?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by triplebq, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. triplebq

    triplebq Smoking Fanatic

    How do you decide which pork product to buy . I fully understand briskets but shoulder and butt I need coaching on . Is there a way to tell good or better from poor or worst ? Any trade secrets on picking one out to smoke for home use or even comp cooking ? Thanks

    And for the record I am signed up for a smoking class already but it will only be for home use or church use only no comps.
  2. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Look for something fresh and not injeted and cryovac'd (al a Hormel) and look at the marbling. Butt's are fatty by nature but try and find one that looks a little leaner. You'll yield a little more meat that way.

    One way I look at meat is to ask the butcher, "if you were going to pick one, which one would it be?"
  3. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Besides the nice marbling and non-excessive fat content I have a big thing about the cut part of the bone, sometimes you will have lots of little pieces of bone and I try to avoid those whenever possible, nothing worse than biting into a hard bone!
    Depending on how they are packaged you can sometimes feel the bone and tell if it was cut properly or not.
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What they said and if you have the ability to talk to a butcher they can usually pull a good one aside for you.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You don't want a bunch of fat. It is a fatty piece of meat and it will have some marbling like beef but I look for the meatest one I can find. You also want to read the label and see if it has been enhanced or chemically added to. You want a fresh butt if you can and that cryovaced is a good sign. I hoped that helped.
  6. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't know if you have a Sam's Club near you, but they have some of the better meat available. When I'm looking over the pork butts, I try to find the largest ones and the ones that just look the best to me. Sometimes you just know when it's the right one (s). At Sam's the come cryovac'd two in a package. Good Luck.
  7. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I get mine from Restaurant depot and they are bone-in, but the bone only goes halfway thru and usually cut them in half anyway to get smaller butts=faster cooking times
  8. man thanks for the warning. I knew something had to be up with the Hormel butts when i saw them for 89 cents a pound at the local sav-a-lot..I always buy mine fresh
  9. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good color, resonable fat (not to much, but not to little either) as far as cryovac, ya ain't gettin one round here that ain't, an nearly everone I get is enhanced, I've simply learned ta deal with it. Most of my product is sold so seeins how I'm still sellin it must not be to bad.

    I'd buy butts at 89 cents by the 100 pound wieght, which I do![​IMG]

    Now a cryovac butt will have some odor to it when ya open it, that's normal if after a rinse the smell goes away. That is caused from the meat an gas in the airtight package, a cryovac butt will freeze an keep nicely till ya need it.

    Lotta folks make a big deal outa the enhancement, I've learned ta deal with it because it's comin ta it more an more. Not really a big deal, I inject my butts so there bein enhanced anywho. The reason the packers have gone ta enhancement (aside from the fact it adds wieght) is to help folks what cook there meat ta death, helps keep em from dryin out. I ain't seen a fresh butt round here in nye on ta two years.

    I have used Hormel butts with great success, but hey, it's what works fer me.
  10. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    if you get yours fresh try to find one that is symetrical or the same size all the way around. for me it makes for even cooking and i tend to buy them close in size to each other for the same reason when cooking 2 or more.
  11. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I can get mine them here cryovac or i can get them at the mexican market out in the open. For now I'll take the cryovac, I aint had a problem since and it's been years.
  12. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    On top of just normal quality and fattiness checks already mentioned, I look for a big "money muscle".........especially for contest cooking.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I used to like a nice little shapely butt, but now that I am 61 years old, I prefer a bit of fat on them-----"Chust a bit!"[​IMG]

  14. hdsmoke

    hdsmoke Smoking Fanatic

    Was that chust a little dutchey?
  15. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    for me, only fresh pork, no factory injection, nice, even layer of fat, & for the butt the bone in the center for a balanced butt,
  16. audioxtremes

    audioxtremes Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    As stated I like a butt over a picnic, bone in center, I have NEVER seen one without enough fat. So pick one with the least amount of fat, trust me there is enough.

    I like fresh as well no cryo.
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yah, chust a little.[​IMG]
    And my grandmother used to call me "Chunny".

    Bearcarver (John)

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