Question, Pork Shoulder or Pork butt? what is the difference?

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by rob sicc, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Pork Shoulder

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  2. Pork Butt

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  1. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I want to do a pork roast this weekend but I don't know which to use, Pork shoulder or pork Butt.

    Can anyone tell me the difference?
     
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    the shoulder has more front leg to it IMO...usually, a larger bone and has the skin on. Butts are higher on the shoulder, smaller bone and no skin. Smoked about the same although some will score the skin on the shoulder or remove some as the rub doesn't penetrate the skin. Shoulders are usually called 'picnics' in the meat case and are less money per pound. Some will say the butts have more internal fat and be more flavorful.....opinions vary. I would do a butt, personally, over a picnic BUT some large picnics have a good eye appeal for the 'wow' factor. 

     
    scubamurr likes this.
  3. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hi Chef Willie,

    I couldn't of asked for a better explanation.  I love this web site.  Thanks for your reply.  It looks like I will be going with the butt!

    Thanks again.
     
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Roger that....enjoy the smoke.....get the IT of that butt up to 200-205 for some awesome pulled pork....put a drip pan on the rack below to catch drippings and add back into the meat......but, you probably got all that covered.......Willie
     
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Chef has you right on.

    The butt is just the top of the shoulder.  Sometimes called a blade roast.

    A whole pork shoulder is a pretty big cut of meat.  Different characteristics in the butt portion and the picnic portion.

    It is all shoulder down to the shank and trotter.
     
  6. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    WOW!  I did not know that about reusing the drippings but it makes complete sense.  I had heard to put a bowl of water under the pan to catch the drippings but I would think uses diluted drippings would not be a good idea.  common sense really helps here, doesn't it?

    I like the butt idea but I also like the skin.  Will the skin turn to cracklins on a smoker.  I was planning to cure some bacon this week also, so I thought I would do the butt roast and the skin separate if you think it will work.  What do you think?
     

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