Netting around pork picnic

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokinfam, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. smokinfam

    smokinfam Smoke Blower

    I bought a pork picnic today and it has a net surrounding it and holding it together. It is 5 lbs. Should I remove the net for smoking or just leave it on?
    Also, I'll be smoking in around 25 DegF outside temperature. Is there anything I should do differently with it being so cold outside?

  2. ds7662

    ds7662 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    What kinda smoker you using? Using elect., wood/charcoal, or propane?
    Are you sure the net is actually holding the pork together? Give a little more info and will try to help you out some more.
  3. zapper

    zapper Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Boneless? Sometimes when they remove the bone they do what I call a hack job and the meat is all but cut into parts so they put it in a net to keep it together. I don't know if the bone can be taken out while the meat is still uncooked without such an invasive operation so maybe I shouldn't call it a hack job (Never really tried)

    As far as cooking goes, a cotton thread net will noy hurt to be cooked in a traditional maner (searing may be a different story) There is however the issue of the bark. While I have never cooked one with the net, I would suspect that the bark might come off when the net is cut off after cooking. If you didn't want to eat the bark then you are fine. But if you are like most folks and want that bark intact and not peeled off with the net....

    I have used bamboo skewers (For shish ka bobs) to hold roast and rolls together before. Perhaps loose the net and drop back to a string tie job with the minimum amount of ties to do the job. I would think that the bark is the only thing that the net would effect. But do try to keep the whole chunk of meat together to help keep it moist as it slowly smokes.

    Someone else will be along that has more net expertise than me, so in the mean time don't fret much[​IMG]

    As far as outside temps? A wind break is maybe the biggest help and just keep an eye on the grate temps
  4. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    a five pound PICNIC??????...........i thought a picnic was the butt plus shank??????

    a WHOLE shoulder i thought was a picnic........but i have been wrong before............
    or am i mistaken........still trying to learn parts of pork............LOL

    with netting, reminds me of either a boneless boston butt, or a rolled roast.....
  5. zapper

    zapper Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Walking Dude

    I got to go back to 101 and start over. I think that a shoulder is the picnic and the butt. The part that has me messed up is that I swear that smokinfam was talking about a butt[​IMG] I think I read it that way because I had a butt that was was a hack job at least one time before (Maybe more) I try not to buy boneless for the intregrity of the meat when I can, but sometimes economics says that I am paying extra for a bone or extra for the de-boning, depending. I will also have to admit that sometimes when buying meat, I get like "Buck Fever" and don't always think straight. (Like I think straight any other time)[​IMG]
  6. smokinfam

    smokinfam Smoke Blower

    Here is the actual description from the package. It's a mouth full!

    Boneless pork shoulder picnic roast.

    It's the only cut of pork they had that had picnic in the title. I didn't see any boston butt cuts. Maybe I bought the wrong cut of meat?

  7. hawgheaven

    hawgheaven Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd remove the netting and see what you got... if it looks like it's gonna fall apart on you, then use a skewer or twp to hold it together like ZAPPER said. I agree, the net will probably screw up the bark.
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    No such thing as a 'wrong cut" heh... You have a deboned butt. I dunno where these folks come up with their nomenclature, it seems to be done just to confuse folks. Maybe charge more for a fancy name? I dunno...anyway- Tip on the as not to destroy the bark: At about mid-point of the smoke, remove it. The meat should hold together pretty well by then, and you should lose minimal rub/bark from the surface. Use scissors and snip top and bottom remove the two halves.
  9. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm Had not thought of that... would work too!
  10. Sorry to resurrect such an old topic but I was wondering if anyone had anymore experience with this recently. I bought a picnic with the netting and I wasn't sure what to do especially since this is my first time smoking one and had no idea whether they had nets or not.

    Thanks for any help, I appreciate it!
  11. wngsprnt50

    wngsprnt50 Smoke Blower

    I did one recently.  Removed the netting right off the bat, even before the rub.  didn't have any trouble, and actually made for more surface area to rub once I "opened up" the roast a bit.  It all held together nicely on the smoker and fell apart nicely on the pan when pulling time came.
  12. pops6927

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

    The pork shoulder picnic is the lower portion of the whole shoulder comprising the  fore leg and supporting muscles:


    Inside that piece is 3 bones, primarily the humerus attached to the blade bone and shank bone, both cut off:


    As you can see, the structure of the bones is rather complicated and removing these from the carcass of the cut requires quite a few knife cuts to do so.  As the animal is dead and there's no incentive to be very 'neat' in its surgical removal and you're given about 30 seconds or less to remove the bones, the related musculature gets a little diced, but it's not an intentional "hack job" of the meat; it's a difficult bone to remove and still leave intact as much musculature as you can and remove as little as possible.  You have to leave the cut whole, you cannot separate the muscle groups and 'put them back together' in a net or with hand-tying (separate pieces) as that leads to illegal practices of combining dissimilar cuts into a roast (for example in beef using an outer shell of a whole round steak with a chunk of neck or shank inside, those kinds of practices have been banned since the 60's).

    But, netting or hand tying or skewering are all options if you want the resulting roast to be relatively whole when finished like this:



    vs. loose, like this:


    If you're going to pull it and don't need the presentation qualities of a rolled roast, pull the net off and smoke loose.  If you're serving it for dinner, you may rather leave it on up until bark starts forming or even all the way through; you can slice the roast with the netting on, then clip it and it will shrink off the slice easily or you pull the netting off and it pulls the bark off too but you shake it out and it still adds back flavor to your pulled or sliced product..

    Either way it doesn't harm the cooking process.

    deannc likes this.
  13. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Pops, you need to put a Dr for Doctor in front of your screen name! lol  Thank you for the continuing education! I wasn't on SMF back in the points days...but I'll give you some! lol

  14. I bought one of these boneless picnics to smoke today (New Year's the 30's here on the Mason Dixon line), and I didn't know what to do with the netting. I did a search, and found this thread. Being an outdoor cooking enthusiast, I joined the forum.

    The netting on my cut was elastic! I didn't want even the slightest hint of burned plastic smell or taste on the meat, so I cut it off. With a little TLC, I slathered some mustard and put dry rub on it, and it held together just fine.

    It's a 4 pound cut...been cooking for a few hours now, and so far, all's OK!
  15. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  16. I've changed my Avatar to show the finished picnic...turned out great! Fantastic bark, famtastic netting required.

    I'm looking forward to the spring, when the days are longer (took a little more than 7 hours to cook these 4 pounds and didn't finish until after dark), and the temps more condusive to smoking in my kettle grill (until I get a real smoker)!

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