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Choosing a Pork Butt

LDRLDR Posts: 172
I've had the LBGE for a few months now, and haven't done anything that lasted more than a few hours. So, next weekend I'll kick it off with a pork butt to pull.  Is there anything in particular to check for when selecting the raw cut?  Thanks!

Comments

  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,836
    All I really have available to me is Kroger, never buy meat at walmart.  At the K-rog, there is only their brand of 7-10 lbs cryo vac'd butts, they have one that is pork shoulder (BUTT READY), that is what the label says.  They are always great.  Maybe someone with butcher knowledge or more store options can help you out.  Butts are so forgiving I imagine it would be hard to go wrong


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    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 288
    Avoid those that have water added. It will say so on the label.
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,836
    @twlangan

    Have you had bad experience with them? I'm sure it would be better to get a fresh butt, but my last ten have been the Kroger butts with the water added on it, the ribs also say something like solution added. Never been disappointed with Kroger meats. 


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    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,988
    I would try to avoid anything that has anything added to it whether it is solution or water, but in many places these are hard to avoid.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • twlangantwlangan Posts: 288

    twlangan said:
    Avoid those that have water added. It will say so on the label.
    No experience with them personally. I just don't like paying for water. I only mention this because I was ignorant to the fact that some processors add water and learned that fact on this forum before diving into pork butts myself.
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,836
    twlangan said:

    twlangan said:
    Avoid those that have water added. It will say so on the label.
    No experience with them personally. I just don't like paying for water. I only mention this because I was ignorant to the fact that some processors add water and learned that fact on this forum before diving into pork butts myself.
    sounds good and totally agree.  biggest reason i buy these butts is its the best cost effective option for me.  they go on managers special every so often and i'll buy 5 or 6 of them and just toss them in the deep freeze. usually like a dollar a pound. 


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    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • I get mine from Sam'sClub.  Wherever you get it, you want the loosest squishiest one.  It cooks the best. 

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 2,817
    Nothing wrong with a pork butt from Walmart. They are just as good as the ones from Kroger or Sam'sClub. Any of the cryo vac'd meat comes from a 3rd party.

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     LBGE,SBGE, and a mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 6,084
    I get mine from Sam'sClub.  Wherever you get it, you want the loosest squishiest one.  It cooks the best. 
    Fred - I like it when you talk technical.... I too prefer the squishiest one.
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,632
    Make sure it has a fat cap on it if possible, which it should unless you buy one completely cleaned by a butcher. The fat renders and helps keep her moist. Also, make sure you get bone-in.

    I made the mistake of getting a cleaned one - fully trimmed and boneless- one time and it was not too good. Dried out easily.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Pork is not graded like beef, so there is no prime. A lot of fat means a lot of taste. Bone in or out-both have worked well. Cook until done, pull and enjoy. Butt does not "dry out" at 200 internal it will taste moist. Others one here have given good explanations, but I am yet to have a bad cook with a butt. By the way I buy fresh cut from Publix most of the time, but have also bought from Piggly Wiggly with buy one get one and had good pulled pork.

    Bob

  • LDRLDR Posts: 172
    Thanks for the help all - I appreciate it. I also believe I'll cheat and get the DigiQ on order.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 5,137
    I have cooked many a butt from Kroger and they are usually fine, but I have had one occasion where they came out "hammy".  I attribute this to the "enhanced solution" that the butts are in...maybe they got a double dose of salt!   The best butts I have ever done came from BJ's.  They were bone in an large (9 lbs).  I have had good results with the costco butts as well.  Only problem with those is they are boneless so I prefer to tie them with twine so they don't fall apart.  My local butcher always has them on sale for $2.49/lb and I think I am gonna try those next and see if there is a difference.


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,632
    The reason I get bone-in is it is just one more indicator of the butt being done. When you hit your desired IT and the bone pulls out clean, it is done.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,836
    Chubbs said:

    The reason I get bone-in is it is just one more indicator of the butt being done. When you hit your desired IT and the bone pulls out clean, it is done.

    All I have done are bone. But just cause its whats available and cheap.


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    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • nashbamanashbama Posts: 102
    I check for marbling. Fat = flavor. Too much and you're not getting as much meat for your money. Too little and the meat may be slightly drier and not quite as flavorful. I look for even marbling through the meat and a nice fat cap.

    I also agree with the other posters, squishy is good.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,258
    i just ask for the biggest one at my butcher, they are boneless and no fat cap. its pretty hard to screw up a pork butt if your going to pull it
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    For many years my meat and poultry supplier was Sam's Club or the local big box chain store.  About a year ago they opened up a small butcher shop that prized itself on selling "local products".  The wife was in there and bought a whole chicken one day for dinner.  As i preped it for spatchcocking, i noticed it was small and bone white, not yellow like Sam's or the big box store's??  The taste was so much better than what we were used to, i sent her back the next day to buy two more!!  Again, a major improvement in the end result!  Suddenly we were sick of eating "test chicken" every other day, i picked up a pork butt.  Grown locally, never frozen and cut much different than what i was used to.  Almost looked like it was cut in half?  But had a bone in it.  Again the results were a major improvement.  The cost of the chicken, at that time was about twenty eight cents a pound more than the big box store, but i have very little waste -- no big flaps of fat and undressed skin to cut away!!  I pay a little more, for a better product and at the same time support my local community's farmers, but the difference is worth it to me.  
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 15,308
    Bone in - bone out. I like bone in, it just taste better, or I think it taste better anyway.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max +++ 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015 http://saladoeggheadgathering.blogspot.com

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,781
    I go local or Costco. I actually prefer the boneless so I'm not paying for something I can't eat. It doesn't stop me from getting bone-in when available.
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,275
    Not much of a science to picking pork butts.  Go at least six pounds as this insures proper fat content for tender pulling.  If you pick one with a heavy fat layer, trim the fat layer to 1/8" or so, just healthier eating on a already high fat cut.  If you buy the two pack from Sams or so, pick a package where both butts look the same, same size and weight, helps to get them finished at the same time.   For your first cook, stay with bone in,  it's easier to deal with a solid hunk of pork than a flappy hunk of pork.

    Don't be stingy with the rub,  it's a big hunk of pork.   

    t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com
    ACGP, Inc.
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