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Shoulder/Butt and Crackling

Going to low-and-perhaps-not-so-slow a 6.5Lb pork shoulder (butt) tomorrow and have a few thoughts I'd like to share. I've got a medium BGE, by the way. Working on around 250, I'm thinking 1 to 1/2 hour per pound: between 7 or 10 hours. The last few times I've done this, it's been fine but I don't really like what the smoke does to the skin. It does seem to make the skin tough. There's not much talk of "crackling" on the Pork forum (perhaps it's because I'm from England) but I want to try this: this time, I'm going to cut the skin away before the cook--score and salt--then lay it in the drip pan on the plate setter and let it "roast" separately in the joint juices. The aim is to get a crunchy-come-slushy-salty crackling to serve alongside all that tender meat. Any thoughts and/or advice welcomed


  • Hmm...  in the States the butt doesn't typically come with skin still on it, so never had to deal with it.
    Chicago, Illinois
  • a good way to crisp the skin is to leave it on, but score it.  once you reach your goal internal temp you can turn the egg up to 500 degrees.  this will crisp the skin in about 20 mins.  best of luck

  • I've cooked them with skin on. It was good, but I found it got overly tough. Great flavor, but it was more of a chew than a bite.

    Hope it works great though, let us know what you think.

    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 1,719
    edited September 2013
    I tried doing cracklings this way (in drip pan while the shoulder is cooking) and it did not work... It ended up being rubbery and rough.

    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Perhaps one refinements might be to keep the skin in the pan once the meat is done and removed and then give it 20 or so at very high temp or until it goes crispy. I'll report back on the results!
  • I cut the skin off roll it in sea salt and pop it in the fridge. When the pork comes off the egg to rest, whip out the plate setter and cook the skin directly keep an eye on it to avoid in burning.
  • Thanks for the thoughts, guys,

    Yes---or, rather, no!---crackling does not take care of itself in the drip pan. It was burnt and hardened by contact with the heat from the plate setter. So, there seems to be two solutions which I'll call brave-egg and timid-cooker notwithstanding Tesslar's approach which I'll try too. First, the brave-egg approach means getting the skin out of contact with the bottom of the drip pan (on a 'lil rack of sorts) and put it in way into the cook, say half way. Timid-cooker means just throwing it in the electric fan oven for its allotted time and serving together at the end. Will report back. Seriously, State-side cooks should demand skin on your butts!
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