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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
foppa78
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Default Whole pork shoulder help please

I have smoked about a dozen pork butts all around 5-6 lbs. This week I bought a big shoulder that is almost 20 lbs. Should I cut this thing in half or just plop the whole thing on my smoker. Any info that I should know about doing a whole shoulder is appreciated. I should also note that I now do the butts around 325-350.
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Unread 12-06-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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I haven't done a shoulder before. But if you do the 20lb in 1 piece it will take a good while for it to be done. If you want to cut down the cook time you will want to cut it. I will say this, there is nothing quite as impressive than pulling out a huge hunk of meat when it is done.
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Unread 12-06-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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I do whole shoulders A LOT.Treat it just as you would a butt.Cook it lo n slow til it is done.Much better than just a butt in my opinion.It is just the butt and picnic that have not been separated.Closest you will get to whole hog Q without cookin a whole pig.But then again,I like to taste the meat.Spices and such can be added by the individual consuming the meat.

Last edited by Hoss; 12-06-2012 at 10:14 PM..
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Unread 12-06-2012, 10:07 PM   #4
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Unless you're after the wow factor, break it down. More bark (which is a texture and flavor component that most people prefer), way faster and more predictable cook times, and just as juicy especially when done in your temp range. Just don't remove the bone. Just my $.02
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Unread 12-07-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Thank you!
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Unread 12-07-2012, 11:31 AM   #6
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+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.
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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Leave it whole it will be like Butta in 10 hrs
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Unread 12-07-2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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+2 for Hoss
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