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Old 04-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
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Issue with picnic shoulder

Since I have been smoking Boston butts, I have settled into a routine. Bring the internal temp to 195 rest it for 2-3 hours, and then enjoy very tender and very moist pulled pork.

Yesterday I agreed to help a fellow Church member smoke 48 picnics. I was told that they cooked just like butts. So with that in mind I grabbed my trusty bright orange Therma pen and we started checking for doneness after 7-8 hours spinning on two big rotiseries that were both running at 300.

We pulled off ten roast that hit 195. One of the guys cracked one open to sample it. The results were frustrating. Dry pork that was no where near pullable.

The guy heading up the cook planned to chop the meat anyway but I didn't expect these cuts to act that much different from butts. Anyways. 205-210 was the magic temp for pulled pork with these picnics.

I plan to run some experimental cooks in a more controlled environment.

Advice appreciated.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:31 PM   #2
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

I've only cooked one picnic. Had the same result. I think Nick cooks alot of picnics if I'm not mistooken.
Maybe he just goes on alot of picnics..not sure.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

Picnics are easy to find around here, butts not so easy. Yeah they seem to be done around the 205 mark, foil them after the plateau then let them run up. You can turn the heat up after you foil them also. I've been pulling them off at around 190 - 195, let them rest, pull and vacuum seal with sauce. When I re-heat, the sauce gets sucked into them a little and they cook up some more and don't seem to come out mushy that way.

And I do like to go to picnics!
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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Issue with picnic shoulder

Here go some pics of the two pits we were cooking on.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:43 AM   #5
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

Good lookin' cookers, now I see how you can do 48 picnics, 6 at a time on a 22.5 WSM didn't seem doable
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

Nice man!
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:12 PM   #7
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

That smoker is awesome
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

I been cooking picnics since Moby Dick was still only a minnow and never seen any act as described. I like to hit no higher than 190-195 then slice and serve like ham. I am perdicting yall was cooking up some picnics which had already been cooked once before. On those its a simple reheat job. I like to bring to 160 just to be on the safe side..but back as a young skull full of mush we just slice and start eating. Thats the only thing I can think of that could cause the problemos as described.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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Issue with picnic shoulder

BW, The key word is "slice". What is wanting is pushed pork.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

the pork shoulder is comprised of the butt and the "picnic ham". The butt contains more fat. The shoulder is what is used in Lexington style bbq, as opposed to the whole hog eastern-style. I'm referring of course, to North Carolina bbq.

In the Lexington style, it's common to find sliced pork offered with the pulled or chopped pork.
The sliced pork comes from the picnic ham. Even cooked to a lower internal temp, it will not be as juicy as the butt. It can still be good q however, just remember the lower fat content.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:57 PM   #11
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

Picnic - butt, they're done when they are done, temperature is relative. Like Cappy said and invented, the upper portion of the shoulder (butt) has more internal fat, the lower portion (picnic) has more external fat and to me is tastier.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:58 PM   #12
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Issue with picnic shoulder

Does anyone ever cook a whole shoulder ?
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:06 AM   #13
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Re: Issue with picnic shoulder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Does anyone ever cook a whole shoulder ?
Myron Mixon does. Actually that's one of the categories in MIM. Shoulders can vary 15-20lbs, most of us don't have a cooker to fit one, but I have cooked them on my friends smoker and they taste like a picnic and a butt, not being funny.
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