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My fancy New York/Brooklyn supermarket….. The largest whole shoulder was 6 pounds. All the shoulders had skin. Skin located on one side of the pork. I bought two 6 pounders.

Should I remove the skin?

I assume yes. I assume I should make it look like the first picture on Pork Butt 101 under the title “what are they?”

Any advice on how to remove skin easily on a raw pork shoulder?


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By "skin" I assume you're speaking of the rind, which has a caramel color and a leathery feel. Yes it should be removed. It's about 1/8th of an inch thick and you'll have a difficult time getting smoke penetration if left intact.

You're best bet is a sharp cooks/chefs knife. Find an edge and use the blade to remove a thin slice of rind, pushing the blade away from you. I say that because if you draw the blad towards your body, you risk injury...that skin is tough as nails and a slip of the knife isn't hard to do. Keep working away the skin until all that remains is surrounding the fore shank hock.

Once the rind is removed, check the thickness if the fat cap. 3/8" is more than enough to keep the meat moist during a smoke,

Good luck!
Just so you'll know next time, it was more likely a butt as a shoulder would be more in the 14 to 20 lb range. Not uncommon for supermarkets not to label it right.

Max is right, remove the rind, NOTHING will penetrate it.

If it's on the meat side, certainly, if it's on the fat side, I'm not sure it would hurt anything since I don't season the fat side.

But great question, wish you had a photo of it.
I don't see any rind on pics 1 & 3. Number 2 is hard to tell with the plastic wrap. Rind is honey brown in color. Fat is white or off-white just a bit.

If you're still in doubt, prick the skin with a toothpick or a fork. Fat will allow penetration; rind won't.

Side note: pork butts sell for about the same price and will give you a better yield.

Side note 2: save that bone for bean or pea soup Smiler
pic 1 of 2

I removed the plastic wrap to take better pictures.

I suspect this has hunk has skin/rind and not fat because

1. toothpick test did not allow penetration
2. Color is off-white
3. I see little hairs coming from one section of the off-white

The label on the packaging said “pork shoulder whole” it is 6 pounds.

Now that we have a better picture can I assume this is a Butt?

I will remove skin/rind as instructed, rub, and smoke.



Images (1)
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You actually do have a small shoulder, it's been trimmed a lot and it's small.

The square part is good old regular Pork Butt.

Cut any rind off. Out of the package, as you indicated you'll be able to tell if it's fat or not.

Personally, the meat under the rind/fat is basically the picnic portion and will be more like ham than PB. Lots like that part, me, I'll get a ham instead.

Have some fun with those. Thanks for the photos. I'll probably download them to the server then add to the thread so people don't have to download them (see the topic "how to post photos") but I'll take care of them.


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