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Old 11-20-2007, 08:48 PM   #1
h2o
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Default Pork Shoulder-Boston Butt Difference?

what is the difference if any from a shoulder compared to a boston butt.
do you prepare the same?
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:37 PM   #2
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A whole shoulder is a Boston butt and a Picnic all in one piece.
I prefer butts for pulled pork but picnics are good for chunkin, and they have more of a ham texture.
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:51 PM   #3
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thanks mac
which one has the bone in?
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:56 PM   #4
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As far as bone in, Boston Butt can be either, bone in or not.
Depends on the butcher or your preference.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h2o View Post
thanks mac
which one has the bone in?
Both have a bone and are from the front leg of a hog.

A "shoulder" (meaning whole shoulder) is divided into 2 portions.

The "butt" is the top section, usually squareish in shape. (Boston butt, pork butt, shoulder butt ect. are all the same thing) It's a bad name because it gives the impression that it comes from the hind leg of a hog but it doesn't. Ham comes from the hind leg.

The "picnic" section is the bottom section of the shoulder and has a tapered shape. Sometimes it comes with the skin still on it.

The same bone (shoulder) runs through both the butt and the picnic.

Both the butt and picnic can be boneless if the butcher has removed it.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:04 AM   #6
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I've found the "picnic" to taste "gamey", not bad, just different from a boston butt. Just my $ .02...I like the butt better
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:48 AM   #7
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The "butt" (aka pork shoulder blade roast) will have a flat, blade like bone, and the picnic will have more of a long bone, or leg bone, in it. I think.
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keale View Post
I've found the "picnic" to taste "gamey", not bad, just different from a boston butt. Just my $ .02...I like the butt better
I've noticed that the picnic smells like chit. Has anyone else noticed that? If so, does the vinigar wash (as described in another thread) make a difference?
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:54 AM   #9
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Picnics are fine, I've done them a bunch of times as it seems to be all the supermarkets carry when I'm forced to shop locally. Boston butts have more meat in them, less waste.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZBQ View Post
Both have a bone and are from the front leg of a hog.

A "shoulder" (meaning whole shoulder) is divided into 2 portions.

The "butt" is the top section, usually squareish in shape. (Boston butt, pork butt, shoulder butt ect. are all the same thing) It's a bad name because it gives the impression that it comes from the hind leg of a hog but it doesn't. Ham comes from the hind leg.

The "picnic" section is the bottom section of the shoulder and has a tapered shape. Sometimes it comes with the skin still on it.

The same bone (shoulder) runs through both the butt and the picnic.

Both the butt and picnic can be boneless if the butcher has removed it.

Hope this helps.
I concur with this statement. That said, many butchers have a different name for the cut of meat, so I guess nothing is set in stone.
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Old 11-21-2007, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Bobby View Post
I've noticed that the picnic smells like chit. Has anyone else noticed that? If so, does the vinigar wash (as described in another thread) make a difference?
I have noticed that myself and I recently learned about a stink nerve on the picnics that some folks trim out before cooking. I personally like the boston's butts a lot better than the picnic's. They seem to fit better in the BWS and yield a lot more meat than the picnic cuts.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HB-BBQ View Post
I have noticed that myself and I recently learned about a stink nerve on the picnics that some folks trim out before cooking. I personally like the boston's butts a lot better than the picnic's. They seem to fit better in the BWS and yield a lot more meat than the picnic cuts.

The stink nerve/gland should be removed to improve the quality of the finished product.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The stink nerve/gland should be removed to improve the quality of the finished product.
Thanks for the input BBS, I just learned about it. I usually get my boston butts from Sams and have never seen the gland on them.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:52 PM   #14
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The picnic makes a really nice cured ham that can be done fairly quickly due to its size or it can be smoked with the butt and pulled or chopped together to make a hell of good pork BBQ.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:34 AM   #15
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Stink nerve? I never heard of such a thing. Something new every day I guess. Where does one exactly locate the stink nerve on the picnic? I have one in my freezer now, which will be my last one, since I found someone with a membership at Restaurant Depot. Now I can get butts whenever I want, since my local supermarket, or Costco doesn’t carry them.
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