+1 what Hoss said above. I've cooked, oh perhaps 200 give or take, whole 20# shoulders. I tend to cook multiple cases of them at a time. They cook exactly like
a 9# butt, except better. Leave it attached.There should be PLENTY of exposed meat for nice bark. If not, cut some of the skin back.
Humbly, I'm going to disagree with Mister, as follows:
> Unless you're after the wow factor, break it down.
Not sure which wow factor you're talking about. I'll cook a few hundred lbs of meat
at one time, and while I enjoy doing this, there's no wow factor that I know of. The wow factor that we know of is when someone takes the first hot and moist and tender and flavorful bite. The look in their eyes will say "HOLY FARK WOW".
> More bark (which is a texture and flavor component that most people prefer),
Most people? I dont know. I know of plenty of people who prefer no bark... Not me,
mind you, but I'd say it's about 50/50.
> way faster and more predictable cook times
It depends on MANY factors. For example, on my smoker, which is a reverse flow
offset smoker that works a little like a convection oven, will cook a 9# butt in exactly
the same time it cooks that 20# butt, and if I load up the until it'll cook them in the very same time as long as their's good air flow around each piece of meat.
> and just as juicy especially when done in your temp range. Just don't remove the bone.
Yes, and no. For some reason to me a whole shoulder is better than the sum of a butt and a picnic. I suppose YMMV.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.