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Unread 02-04-2013, 09:26 AM   #1
NRF
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Default Picnic vs Boston Butt

Made a rookie mistake on my Super Bowl smoke Saturday into Sunday. Thought I had a butt and went about my normal routine- 235* until it hit 180, foil wrapped with some apple juice and set it back on until I hit 200. Ok, 207* by the time I got dressed and went downstairs to remove it and plop it into the cooler to rest. It was not until I started to pull it that I realized this was no boston butt, but a shoulder or picnic. The pull was tough with lots of picking and cleaning to do for my fussy eaters. All that said, it was tender and juicy once all said and done. My question is... ( finally lol ) Should a picnic be treated any differently, or are my results - and not that they were terrible-- typical for this cut? It just seemed that there was more fat and connective tissue etc that had not broken down completely. Perhaps my temp probe hit bone? I dunno...

A turkey breast followed the shoulder into the smoker- that was awesome
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Unread 02-04-2013, 09:54 AM   #2
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It could have just used a bit more time, until it was tender. It just wasn't done yet.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 10:00 AM   #3
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Picnic are lot cheaper and they look pretty, but if I had to chose it be butts unless the picnic was dirt cheap
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Unread 02-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
It could have just used a bit more time, until it was tender. It just wasn't done yet.
Yeah. Perhaps I should get into the habit of double checking the temp with another probe...

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Originally Posted by jestridge View Post
Picnic are lot cheaper and they look pretty, but if I had to chose it be butts unless the picnic was dirt cheap
I think that's what got me here- this cut was shaped just like a butt

Not that I wouldn't do another picnic, just wondered if it should be treated differently.

I definitely do prefer the Boston Butt though.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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If it was difficult to pull and still had a lot of fat that didn't render, then it needed more time. Checking temp with a second thermometer will do NOTHING to fix that. Poke it with a bamboo skewer or just use your thermometer as a poker and poke the meat. When it glides in with little resistance, it's done. Some times it won't get to that point till 210 or more.

I also find resting for a minimum of 2 hours works great for any large piece of pork.

And don't give up on picnic roasts because you undercooked one. They are wonderful eating. Many people prefer the flavor of picnics over butts, me included.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 10:31 AM   #6
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I actually prefer the flavor of a picnic. A whole shoulder is best but those are most times way too much meat for us. Agreed with the above that it just needed a little more time.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Ropo View Post
If it was difficult to pull and still had a lot of fat that didn't render, then it needed more time. Checking temp with a second thermometer will do NOTHING to fix that. Poke it with a bamboo skewer or just use your thermometer as a poker and poke the meat. When it glides in with little resistance, it's done. Some times it won't get to that point till 210 or more.

I also find resting for a minimum of 2 hours works great for any large piece of pork.

And don't give up on picnic roasts because you undercooked one. They are wonderful eating. Many people prefer the flavor of picnics over butts, me included.
Got a little too big for my britches maybe. After several very successful cooks- I had forgotten the probe trick.
I do rest them for several hours wrapped in the cooler- but if it wasn't done it wasn't done right?

Give up?? Nah- I have The Brethren to help me!

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Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
I actually prefer the flavor of a picnic. A whole shoulder is best but those are most times way too much meat for us. Agreed with the above that it just needed a little more time.
It was good, don't get me wrong as everyone enjoyed it- I just knew it wasn't what I expected and probably not all it could have been.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 11:18 AM   #8
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Just cuz I thought it was a cool "hot" pic
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Unread 02-04-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRF View Post
Made a rookie mistake on my Super Bowl smoke Saturday into Sunday. Thought I had a butt and went about my normal routine- 235* until it hit 180, foil wrapped with some apple juice and set it back on until I hit 200. Ok, 207* by the time I got dressed and went downstairs to remove it and plop it into the cooler to rest. It was not until I started to pull it that I realized this was no boston butt, but a shoulder or picnic. The pull was tough with lots of picking and cleaning to do for my fussy eaters. All that said, it was tender and juicy once all said and done. My question is... ( finally lol ) Should a picnic be treated any differently, or are my results - and not that they were terrible-- typical for this cut? It just seemed that there was more fat and connective tissue etc that had not broken down completely. Perhaps my temp probe hit bone? I dunno...

A turkey breast followed the shoulder into the smoker- that was awesome
Like everyone else has said, it needed a little more time.

I made the mistake "deliberately"...I bought a shoulder, and did not check with the Brethren. Ran it to 190, and got cramps from my fingers to my forearm trying to pull it. The taste was great, but I'll buy butts next time.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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Never let the snow stop the Super Bowl smoke!

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Unread 02-04-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
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Love the paw prints.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 04:06 PM   #12
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I switch back and forth between shoulder and butt. From my experience the butt is generally more fatty, but it renders the fat a lot faster than the shoulder. The shoulder generally gives me longer "strings" of meat than the butt.

I don't really prefer one over the other, as the wife does the shopping and just buys whatever is cheaper that day. Sometimes she comes home with both and I just mix them together after they are pulled.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 04:33 PM   #13
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have no fear...just cook it a bit longer.

As far as Butt vs Picnic?

I like and use both, and they cook very similar (in fact I cooked these two together, same temp, same time) see here:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=151525
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Unread 02-04-2013, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinJohn View Post
Like everyone else has said, it needed a little more time.

I made the mistake "deliberately"...I bought a shoulder, and did not check with the Brethren. Ran it to 190, and got cramps from my fingers to my forearm trying to pull it. The taste was great, but I'll buy butts next time.
whether it's a butt or a picnic, if it took a lot of effort to pull, it wasn't ready yet.
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Unread 02-04-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
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I cooked my first picnic Sunday and I noticed a tendency to have different temp readings depending on where I inserted the probe, the temps were 192°, 196° and 202°. The probe inserted very easily and I considered it done based on that alone. I had no problem pulling, I thought it pulled quite easily. I also cooked it HnF, 8.25lb picnic in 6 1/2 hrs so that may have made a difference.
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