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Is picnic usually tougher than Boston butt?

I did a picnic shoulder yesterday. It was the first picnic I've done. Usually do Boston butt. I found that the meat didn't pull quite as easily. Not at all tough to chew, but didn't just fall apart with 2 forks. Cooked it between 250-280 indirect on my egg. I foiled it at 160 internal and took it to 195/probe tender. It was an 8lb picnic. I noticed it cooked quickly (approximately 6.5 hours). Is this slightly tough texture typical with picnic shoulders?


  • RRPRRP Posts: 15,598
    Personally I like a shoulder better, but my guess is it needed a bit more time. 195 is a tad shy - I prefer 200 to 203 myself unless it is being foiled and wrapped for pulling later.
    Dunlap, IL
  • BobsBGEBobsBGE Posts: 99
    I'm not an expert on meat but I think the shoulder may have less marbling than a butt and when the fat renders it should be a whole lot easier to pull apart (for the butt).  And as Ron (RRP) said, pulling at 160 may have been a little early.
    Fayetteville, Ga
  • Nick2cdNick2cd Posts: 49
    I didn't pull it at 160. I wrapped it in foil at 160 and let it get to 195 internal.
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 214
    When I have done picnics - they have always been tougher than butts.  I usually take them to around 200-205.  I just prefer the texture and tenderness of the butts.
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,161
    edited August 2013
    I've never done a picnic but there is no reason to foil either a butt or picnic before it hits the target temperature. An 8 lbs picnic cooked at those temps for that amount of time sounds under cooked which would make it seem tough, but I suspect it really is just under cooked.

    Have you checked your thermometers for accuracy?
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,259
    I've cooked plenty of both and the picnic is generally a leaner cut, so it seems to be slightly less tender.  It can be just as tender, I think it's a little less forgiving than the butt.
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  • Nick2cdNick2cd Posts: 49
    Foil really just helps push through the stall a bit quicker. However, I agree, the 6.5 hour time shocked me and seems way too fast. Guess I shoulda taken this one to 200-205. I'll try another picnic to see how it turns out.

    Thermo is spot on via boiling water.
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