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help for first pork butt

skihornskihorn Posts: 600
edited 4:06PM in EggHead Forum
I was going to do my first pork butt this weekend. It really is not very common in this part of Texas. I know several eggheads in the area that, like me, have never done one. I am not sure I have ever been at anyone's house where one was served. This is more brisket territory. Anyway...

Dumb question - What is the difference, if any, betwween a "picnic" and a pork butt? I often see something at Kroger or HEB labelled "picnic" but never "pork butt." Is it the same? I assume "pork shoulder" is different. How does that compare? Is it cooked the same way?

Thanks in advance!

Freddie
League City, TX

Comments

  • Picnic is the bottom part of the leg, while a butt is the top part connecting to the body. A whole shoulder is both the picnic and the butt.

    It is more or less cooked the same way. Most people usually cook a butt, when they are talking pulled pork. It is my preference as well.

    This is a good write up on the cook:

    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/elder.htm
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    ShoulderCollage2-1.jpg

    "Shoulder" is just that, the whole front shoulder. The picnic end is the lower portion which tapers down toward the shank and hock. The upper part of the shoulder is called the butt end and are kind of rectangular. They are also called Boston Butt. The photo collage shows the shoulder and the two main roasts. Upper row are whole shoulders. Lower row, picnic on the right, butts on the left. Try to buy a butt in the 7 to 9 pound range, and make sure the pork is not enhanced (which means injected with up to 12% solution) read the fine print on the label looking for the words "Natural Pork". If you see anything like "Tender-N-Juicy" or "Moist and Tender", go to another store.

    They cook about the same, but the picnic has more bone and the meat is slightly darker. Some think it's a little sweeter. Picnic's generally still have some skin on them, and butts don't have skin.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Thanks, thirdeye.......had the same question myself. Inciteful answer for this newbie to egging.
  • Spring HenSpring Hen Posts: 1,565
    Hi Jack...I don't want to take over the thread from Skihorn but I noticed you are a newbie from Metairie. Both Spring Chicken and I lived in Metairie and got married there. My brother-in-law and sister are eggheads (partial) and still live there. Just wanted to say hi and if there is ever anything we can help you with, please holler. Come on over to Salado in March and join the fun...love to meet you.

    Note to Fred: sure going to miss you at the eggfest..
    Judy
    Covington, Louisiana USA
  • Nice to meet you, Spring Hen. Thanks for checking on me. If you lived in Metairie, you are probably familiar with Basil's Ace Hardware, where I got my egg. I don't live far from there. Again, thanks for the nice offer. I'm just getting cranked up egging and loving every minute of it. Yell at me any time to say hello. Take care.
  • skihornskihorn Posts: 600
    Judy: I will miss being there. No worries about hijacking the thread. I had my questions fully answered!

    Freddie
    League City, TX
  • skihornskihorn Posts: 600
    Thirdeye: Thanks, pictures are always nice!

    Freddie
    League City, TX
  • skihornskihorn Posts: 600
    Boston: Thanks! With Boston in your name you ought to know about the subject. Thanks for the link. I had already gone there for advice on how to cook this beast. I am sure I will have more questions later this week. Just trying to figure out what to purchase first.

    Freddie
    League City, TX
  • Spring HenSpring Hen Posts: 1,565
    What a small world. We were in Bassil's over the Christmas holidays and introduced ourselves. I had the feeling they didn't know too much about the forum. In fact we met one customer buying some lump and they had never heard of the forum either. I think every dealer should be familiar with it. Just like you, it's so easy to learn good stuff. Would you happen to know the Schuylers or Ranletts? Look forward to meeting you some day.
    Judy
    Covington, Louisiana USA
  • Freddie,

    It's just like homebrewing....Don't worry....relax....and have a beer :laugh:
  • Just a technicality, butt I think the Picnic is on the left and the Boston Butts are on the right, correct?
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