Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We’re so close to Thanksgiving that we can taste it and we’re ready to help you prepare the most delicious Thanksgiving feast you’ve ever cooked! Check out our Turkey Cheat Sheet for turkey tips, our Thanksgiving page for turkey recipes, and our Holiday Entertaining Publication for all other Thanksgiving needs to help you make this the best Thanksgiving yet! PS. Don’t forget about breakfast Thanksgiving morning either!


If you missed the 17th Annual EGGtoberfest here are the highlights Click Here

Pork Butt or Shoulder?

It's Memorial Day Weekend folks and I'd like to serve up some pulled pork.  Two questions for you experts.  1)  Pork butt or Pork Shoulder?  2)  I've got 20 guests.  What am I looking for --- 12 lbs?
«1

Comments

  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Pork butt and pork shoulder are the same thing. I think different areas call the one or the other. Doubt you will ever find a pork butt sitting next to a pork shoulder.

    I buy pork shoulder at Costco and pork butt at publix.
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Sorry didn't answer the amount question. Depends on how much your folks eat. The butt or shoulder will lose at 40% of its weight during the cook. So take the # of lbs and multiply time .6. Then you know how much actually you will have. I assume around 6oz per female and 8-10 oz per male. I would always rather have left overs than not enough. Pulled pork freezes very well.
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,541
    +1... I think. I didn't know there was a difference.

     The raw weight to buy depends a bit on what else is on the menu - if you serve other proteins then you need less pork. On the other hand, there is no such thing as too much pulled pork. You can freeze it and use for all kinds of things e.g. tacos, burritos, nachos, pizzas, etc.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 397
    with 20 people you might need two butts or shoulders...  Brine it for 24hrs then dry and add rub.  Make sure your grate temp is at least 250 or so (dome around 275) 

    Plan ahead. so you don't run out of time before you are expect to have it ready for dinner.  I try to time it so it is ready 4-6hrs prior and then foil/towel it and place it in a cooler and then pull just before dinner. 

    Good luck!!
  • You guys are great.  I write a post, go to the (fill in the blank), come back and I've got answers already.  

    I'm probably just going to do a dry rub (mustard, brown sugar, spices) but if you feel strongly that I'm missing something by not brining, then let me know.

    I've got a large egg.  This will be a long cook (I'm guessing 12 hours at least).  Give me some feedback on the following:

    -- load the LGE with a lot of lump charcoal
    -- Get it going to about 350 degrees
    -- Throw in some hickory chips that have been soaking
    -- Add the plate setter --- legs up
    -- Drip pan with some beer in it (?)
    -- Cooking grate
    -- Put the meat on the grate
    -- Put a temperature probe in one of the pieces of pork
    --  I'm going to guess the temp will fall pretty fast because the plate isn't heated yet 
    -- Get the temperature to a steady 225 - 250
    -- Say good night
    -- Say a few prayers to the pork gods and goddesses
    -- Wake up in the morning
    -- Watch the pork temperature plateau at about 165
    -- Don't worry!
    -- Take pork off when internal temperature hits 190
    -- Wrap it in foil for about an hour
    -- Remove, hope it has the texture of butter, pull and be ready to serve later on





  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Not sure about the 350 and then moving down to 250. That will be tough. I think I would do 250 get it steady and lea it it alone. I also personally prefer apple chips but hickory will be fine.

    I think the rule of thumb is 1.5 hours per lbs. you can foil it when it hits the stall (usually around 150-165) and that will speed up your cook times a bit. If you foil you will lose some bark (the awesome crunchy outside).

    Everything sounds pretty good.
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Also. You still have time to Amazon you some meat claws (bear claws is a brand name). They make the pulling job much easier.
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • MJGMJG Posts: 151
    Go with the drip pan but drink the beer! I'd also finish higher than 190. I go for 200 myself...just one mans opinion.
    Large Big Green Egg in a nest. North Shore of Boston.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,606
    You don't have to brine. The pork is loaded with enough connective tissue that drying out isn't an issue like lean meats(pork chops).

    Did you mean to say picnic shoulder? Pork shoulder is the picnic and butt combined but often used interchangeably.
  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    Missed the brine part. I agree with eggcelsior.
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • calracefancalracefan Posts: 475
    Load your Lump to top of Fire Ring,mix chips throughout the lump (no need to soak,I also use apple with Pork,but nothing against Hickory)Light your lump , I usually put my platesetter in to warm up with the rest of the egg (legs up), some foil balls on the platesetter drip pan (emrty) on the foil balls,cooking grate. When temp (dome) gets to about 200-225 close down the vents to establish a temp in the 250-275 range ( egg usually finds a happy spot) wait for clean smoke (smells good is good) add your meat with a probe to watch progress. Close lid open when your meat probe reads 195 check for doneness ( may need to go to 205).Plan on 1.5 hrs/lb . Good Luck !!!!
    Ova B.
    Fulton MO
  • I agree with most of what's been said (no brine; dont heat the Egg past your cook temp; water, not beer, in the drip pan, etc). I'll add that I'm a big fan of putting all my smoke wood up front with long cooks - one fist-sized hickory chunk placed dead center after lighting, meat on as the Egg warms up. This gives cold smoke to start, and makes for great flavor and a strong smoke ring. Also, sorting your lump so that the biggest chunks are at the bottom and smallest at the top makes for a great long cook fire.

    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • You might also want to consider injecting.  Here is a link to one of my cooks of 40 pounds of butts, including recipes for injecting, slaw recipe etc.  

    You might also want to invest in 1) a Hi Que charcoal grate--it works better than factory charcoal grate on low and slows, and 2) the maverick dual probe thermometer (one for meat, one for grate) with the remote with low temp alarm (model #732)--it will alert you if temp drops too low on the fire during the night.  Amazon has both these items.

    Good luck, I am sure you will do great, here is link to butt cook

    http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=1240522&catid=1#

     

  • r270bar270ba Posts: 763
    @egghead123sc where you from.  Go Tigers!
    Anderson, SC
    XL BGE, Father's Day Gift 2012 (Thanks Fam!!!)
    Webber Kettle and Webber Summit Gasser
    Want List: Thermapen, Small BGE, Wok, Adjustable Rig, Food Saver, More $

  • Greenville/Simpsonville--just up the road from you.

     

    PS--butt and shoulder are actually different cuts.  The shoulder (sometimes called the picnic also) is lower portion with more leg bone and a lot larger fat cap--it is shaped more like a ham while the butt is more like a roast.  The terms are confusing, as some call the butt and shoulder together a picnic, and some call a shoulder the whole thing, and some call teh butt and shoulder together a picnic.  Bottom line is butts normally are 7 to 10 # and shoulder about 6 to 8# (all with bones).  If you are buying something that is 17 pounds (like at Costco) that  is probably butt and shoulder together (and Costco cuts all bones out, which I really don't like when I am smoking, I like meat to stay together so I buy bone in butts and shoulders normally at Bilo--in fact butts on sale starting today at 1.99 pound so I will put a couple in freezer, and cook 4 this weekend).   My personal experience is that shoulder is a little darker, a little more flavorable.  I use the shoulder for my cuban sandwiches.  Some people will cook butt and shoulder together, and then just combine all the meat when pulled.

    Here is link with more info

    http://www.ehow.com/list_7446645_difference-pork-shoulder-pork-butt.html

  • PS--if you are cooking one butt, you might as well cook 2 or more (I do 4 with adjustable rig).  Does not take any longer to cook.  You can put in foodsaver bag, throw in a tablespoon of apple juice for moisture, and freeze what you don't use in meal size bags.  Then, reheat in pot of hot water and serve.
  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,116

    The reason Costco packages are that weight is because they package 2 boneless butts together.

     

    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,353
    @CheeseheadIIIinois-About all I can contribute to all the info above is that as you start to close in on the finish-line of the cooks, monitor the temps of both butts/shoulders-they will likely finish at different times (could be a couple of hours difference-and the smaller one may take longer).  I addition to watching the cook temps-if bone-in then about the best finish indicator is when the bone pulls "clean" you are there.  Enjoy the cook!
    Louisville
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,606

    Greenville/Simpsonville--just up the road from you.

     

    PS--butt and shoulder are actually different cuts.  The shoulder (sometimes called the picnic also) is lower portion with more leg bone and a lot larger fat cap--it is shaped more like a ham while the butt is more like a roast.  The terms are confusing, as some call the butt and shoulder together a picnic, and some call a shoulder the whole thing, and some call teh butt and shoulder together a picnic.  Bottom line is butts normally are 7 to 10 # and shoulder about 6 to 8# (all with bones).  If you are buying something that is 17 pounds (like at Costco) that  is probably butt and shoulder together (and Costco cuts all bones out, which I really don't like when I am smoking, I like meat to stay together so I buy bone in butts and shoulders normally at Bilo--in fact butts on sale starting today at 1.99 pound so I will put a couple in freezer, and cook 4 this weekend).   My personal experience is that shoulder is a little darker, a little more flavorable.  I use the shoulder for my cuban sandwiches.  Some people will cook butt and shoulder together, and then just combine all the meat when pulled.

    Here is link with more info

    http://www.ehow.com/list_7446645_difference-pork-shoulder-pork-butt.html

    Here is a another reference with a diagram. I think the differences are just regional colloquialisms but it is all shoulder with the butt as the top part of the shoulder. The picnic is the lower part of the shoulder and part of the foreleg.
  • lewisj82lewisj82 Posts: 53
    Last spring I did two butts for a big gathering at my house. One was probably about 12lbs and the other maybe 9 or 10. It did just fine feeding about 20-25 (although some of those were kids) people with enough leftover for me to have a couple of days worth of lunch at work. 

    BGE XL- Tomball, TX- Texas BBQ... with a Cajun accent.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,516
    edited May 2013
    In fact the butt is part of the shoulder. Butt and picnic, and sometimes fore ribs, make up a whole shoulder. Sometimes called the New York Shoulder.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • I'm reading that i should expect to cooknthis for 1.5 hours/pound x@ 225.. I'm cooking two pieces - an 8 and a 10 pounder. The 1.5 hr/lb rule of thumb is based on the larger of the two pieces, right?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,516
    That seems a little light to me. The part about the larger of the two is right

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • I usually run at 250 at grid and find it has taken closer to 2 hours per pound. Did a 7.5lb bone in butt last weekend and it ran almost 15 hours. I use a guru so my temps are dialed in pretty close. The time isnt based on either piece being larger then the other. The 8lb piece will finish quicker then the 10lb.

    I guess what i am saying is, you have a total of 18 lbs but it isnt going to take 36hrs. The 8lb piece will probably take 12-16 hours and the 10 I would guess 15-20hrs. The time is based on the individual weights not combined. I belive you do not want them touching.

  • milesbrown4milesbrown4 Posts: 314
    PS--if you are cooking one butt, you might as well cook 2 or more (I do 4 with adjustable rig).  Does not take any longer to cook.  You can put in foodsaver bag, throw in a tablespoon of apple juice for moisture, and freeze what you don't use in meal size bags.  Then, reheat in pot of hot water and serve.
    Completely agree with @Egghead123SC.  You can't go wrong with two pork shoulders.  Better flavor; because they are so big they are more forgiving; and you WILL have leftovers for either you or your guests to take plates home.  Which is always a good thing.

    One more point - I recently did a pork sirloin roast for my small family (3 lbs) and it lasted us a week to include using it for pizza.  Good luck and Happy Memorial Day.  Pulled pork is what America is all about - it is what we are fighting for!
  • I also seem to be closer to 2 hours per pound when doing butts at 210 to 225 dome.  Plus, allow for 2 to 3 hours holding time wrapped in HD foil and towels in small empty cooler.

  • I've started a new post.  "Why cook 1 when you can cook 3?"  Thanks sensei's.
  • jeroldharterjeroldharter Posts: 412
    I would get the butt to 200+
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,635
    r270ba said:

    Also. You still have time to Amazon you some meat claws (bear claws is a brand name). They make the pulling job much easier.

    I took your advice on this one just now. Having a party for 50 in a couple weeks so this will help I suppose.
    Dunedin, FL
  • texbaggertexbagger Posts: 90
    Wow, 20 hours for a big pork butt? I must be screwing up at 12 to 14 hours......
Sign In or Register to comment.