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No, I'm not considering the internal strings, but whether or not to tie it up. I purchased a 15 lb. cryovac pack of pork shoulder. When I opened it up, it separated into two shoulders (don't know if they were from the same pig). Anyhow, part of the end for each was cut up, so that is not one solid piece but had a "ragged" cut end (presumably to cut it off from the bone). I'm assuming a butcher would cut off the ragged end if he sold it as an individual cut.

I contemplated cutting off the ragged part, but it has a good portion of the fat cap attached. I plan on cooking it with the fat cap up and can either just leave it as it is (tuck in the end by hand) or tie up the shoulder with string to keep it together. Obviously my concern is having a portion that is open cook much faster than the bulk of the shoulder.

Has anyone had success with keeping their shoulder together with string or will it be "foin" without it?
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Some folks debone and lay the butt flat,to achieve more bark area and get more smoke into it.

I've taken onsale, boneless "country style" ribs,and tied them up to cook as a "boneless butt".

Sounds like you have two butts in cryovac,not from same hog.

Are they boneless?

If they are bonein,probably just shape by hand and cook.

Hope this helps a little.

Just pay attention to your temps,but butts are very forgiving.
Originally posted by Spud V:
...I purchased a 15 lb. cryovac pack of pork shoulder. When I opened it up, it separated into two shoulders ...

Actually you bought 2 pork butts, that's how they sell them. They're the butt end of the shoulder, the other halve being a picnic (which looks like a big ham hock)

There is plenty of intramuscular fat, that it won't dry out if you trim it.

I get some pretty beat up ones and just trim them up so they cook together; if there are hanging bits, I trim them off, they'll dry up and get overcooked.
If they have 'ragged' pieces, it sounds like they are boneless butts. These ragged pieces of meat are the result of meat cutters removing the blade bone.

I would suggest that you tuck the ragged pieeces back into the butt rather than cutting them off. After all, you will be using the finished product for pulled pork and uniform slices are not required.
Thanks for the responses. I decided to just tuck and not use string (they're in the Smokette now). I kept thinking back to those roasts my Mom would make in my "yute", where the butcher would tie up the beef with a string net. I remember the netting getting discolored from the blood/juice of the roast.

I'm still concerned about the ragged end getting overcooked, but it all gets shredded for delicious pork BBQ sammijes so it's all good. Wink
They both cooked for total of 17 hours. I had probes in both but one of them appeared to be not working. Anyhow, they came out OK, but the ragged end had much more bark to it than the good end.

Erego, I'll probably try string if the need arises again, as I would rather have tender meat than chewy bark for sammijes. For those looking for more bark, cutting up the ends to expose more surface will do the trick.
I completed two Costco cryo vac butts yesterday. I have tied them and I have shaped by hand. Both ways were good. This time I didn't tie and I found that I got much better bark as mentioned above. When I pulled it, I would separate the bark and then chop the bark up and mix with the pulled pieces for a nice contrast.

AmeriQue makes smoking anything too easy Smiler
Sometimes it is good to put things in perspective.

Say,you just picked up two,65 lb,cases of butts from Sam's on Friday afternoon.

You are to deliver them,pulled,at 3 PM Sat.

Yes,there could be 3%- 5% difference in your overall product by you doubling your effort in your prep,trimming,etc.

Butts are very forgiving,and do you think anyone could tell the difference,the prep that you used?

Cook them,take notes,and don't worry.

Another thing to consider is that folks also do tricks to increase bark,smoke flavor,etc,as these might be considered the favorite bites.

Some folks will cut inch deep slashes, around the butt,to increase the surface areas for rub,smoke,etc.

There are q joints that sell Mr Brown-the bark,sandwiches.

Also,Ms White-the interior,sandwiches.

The third choice could be mixed.

Just a couple of thoughts.
Last edited by tom

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