Pork Shoulder Help Needed

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ptcruiserguy, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Okay my brother went to the store today and brought home a pork shoulder and wants me to 

    smoke it. He said he wants it to be a smoked ham. Here is a pic


    On the bottom of the red label it says Ready to cook.


    couldn't get a really good pic that close. But it does say ready to cook.

    So what I am needing to know, is how do I cook it to make it come out tasting like a ham.

    Do I have to use cure on it?

    Do I just brine it then smoke it?

    Just a couple of questions, I am not ready to do it yet. Maybe Monday or Tuesday.

    Thanks in advance.

    Happy Smokin'

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pops can tell you how to do this one, if you do choose to...he's been involved with curing hams most of his life, and knows his meats.

    It has to be cured by pumping a pickle and submersion brine-curing if you want it to taste like a ham. That's something I haven't done myself, but have studied the process off-and-on for a few years. Lots of time needed for the curing process, dedicated fridge space, and the proper method/technique and the correct curing agents...we're talking a couple weeks at best before you'll be smoking it.

    If you choose to forgo the curing and still want a bit of hammy flavor, you can smoke with hickory, which will add to that flavor profile, but not much else can be done (that I know of) to give a true ham flavor other than curing. If smoking the picnic fresh (un-cured), take to 175-180* internal temp for more tender slicing, or, 200* for pulling the meat. Smoke chamber temps of 225-250*.

  3. pops6927

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

    Check out my leg to ham link below, it tells the process, it will take about 3 weeks for a front shoulder, a month for a hind ham.  The shoulder is similar to the ham as it also has 2 joints and three bones so injecting is still about the same, I'll post a pic of the bone structure as soon as I can get a pic into Paint to do so.

    Basic process is to pump the ham where indicated with a 4 oz brine injector, then submerge in the brine, holding it down with weight; I usually use a half-filled-with-water gallon ziploc, in a food safe 5 gal. bucket, put in the fridge and let cure for at least 2 weeks, 3 would be better.

    When cured, remove from brine, rinse off for a minute and either hang or put on rack in smoker/smokehouse, bringing up to 225°-240° and smoke and cook until at least 146° - 150°, 155° would be top temp.  Remove, cool, then re-warm in smoker or oven to 135°+ or higher, carve and serve, or you can bone out prior and reheat if you wish.

    Yum!  Enjoy!
  4. Thanks Eric and Pops for the info. I really liked the "Leg to Ham" post Pops.

    That is really helpful.

    Guess I better be gettin my stuff together, still need 5 gal bucket and some cure # 1.

    Lol, Guess I won't be smokin this thing Monday or Tuesday.

    Thanx again and I will probably have another question or two when I get everything together.

    Happy Smokin'

  5. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

     Just so you know.... Was your brother wanting this ham done soon, or is he willing to wait?   The first pork butt I did (before I found this site)  I took to about 170 IT  trying to make pulled pork. It was too firm and tasted more like ham than PP. Was not the same as a cured ham, but deffinatly not PP.  If he is willing to wait, then by all means, do as Pops says!

  6. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good advice from Eric and Pops, You might as well smoke it up now for some pulled pork and get another one for the ham once you have all the necessary supplies.
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like a fun project!

    Let us know how it turns out.
  8. I have a packet of Sure Cure (6.25) is that the same as Cure # 1? If it is the same then all I have to do is stop at Food City and get a 5 gal bucket from the Deli.

    That way I can start it tomorrow.

    Lol, I told him what the wait time was and what all was involved and he said well we will have a nice ham for Christmas... 
  9. Okay so I finally got everything together to turn this shoulder into a ham.

    I mixed up Pop's Cure like his instructions and injected all around the bone structure.

    Then took the shoulder and put into a 5 gal. food safe bucket and poured brine/cure on it.

    Then took gal ziplock and filled half full of water and set on top of shoulder to hold down.

    Well it's been 3 weeks and now that Thanksgiving is over I decided to pull it and rinse off and then

    cover with maple syrup and brown sugar. Then placed it in a Ham Sock (thanks again Pops).

    And is now in the smoker running at 235* using Hickory.

    Here are a couple of pics:


    This is one after rubbed with Maple syrup and brown sugar before going in smoker


    This one hanging in the smoker at start.

    Can't wait to see how this turns out... will finish posting when it is complete.

    Thanks for lookin'

  10. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Great project and it looks like it is going good.
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Can't wait to see the finish!
  12. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    Man that looks really good and interesting! Cant wait to see the end result.
  13. Okay everyone... my pork shoulder is now a ready to cook ham.

    I am gonna let this rest in the fridge for about 5 or 6 days, then reheat it.



    And now for a slice just as a test


    You talking about one good tasting ham. Wow... Pops sure knows his stuff. And I applaud him.

    You can taste the Hickory smoke flavor with just a hint of the Maple and brown sugar. Very hammy and juicy.

    That is what happened to the missing piece... I ate it. lol

    Thanks for looking everyone. This is something I will do again. And soon.


  14. jmonty580

    jmonty580 Fire Starter

    That looks pretty amazing man. I may have to try that sometime soon. 
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What a Great job thanks for the Post...JJ
  16. pops6927

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

    Great looking cured and smoked picnic, Mike!  Interior and exterior color is excellent!  Yes, the Sure Cure is the same; it is 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% salt; Prague Powder, Sure Cure, InstaCure, DQ cure, etc. is all the same if it has the same ingredients in the same percentages.

    What internal temp did you get it up to?

    You have produced a professional looking product and should be extremely proud of your work!  Great Job!  So glad we could all help, but it is you who did it and did it right!  Fantastic!

    And, what time is dinner? [​IMG]  [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  17. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow mike!!!!!!!

    That's a work of art, of course you can't go wrong with pops recipe's.

    I've always wanted to give this a try, so after seeing your Ham I think I'll give it a go.

    Thanks for posting  

  18. Thanks Pops, But without your divine guidance I would have never been able to do it. As far

    as the internal temp, I took it to 150. You had in your post not to take it over 155.

    I am very fortunate to have people like you to help me out. I feel very privileged to be able to take on these tasks and complete them.

    Then to be able to show them to all who helped in making it so. 

    Thanks again Pops for a great thread and a wonderful product.


    P.S. Dinner will be on Dec. 4th about 5:30 pm est. 
  19. You are right Raptor. You can't go wrong with Pops recipe's. All you have to do is follow them to a tee and 

    you end up with food that looks like that.

    Thanks again

  20. 2salty

    2salty Fire Starter

    Dat's pretty right there.

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