Skip to main content

Thanks to Mike (not Don) for the Photos.

This is the mysterious Butt Gland that we've talked about in some other threads.

this pile of junk is from one single buttt! about 8 ounces<

this is heaven for the stray cats out back. from one case of butt.

ahhhhh......... the final result... ten hours of sitting around in apple, hickory, and mesquite( and just a handful of charcoal for that nice added flavor). rubbed with brown sugar, pepper, garlic, and mccormics q-rub.

Last edited {1}
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

So, how do you locate the gland without slicing up the whole butt? The one I found was in the end opposite the bone. Is that where it's normally found? Only found it 'cause I was slicing it up to make some pork sausage. Seems like maybe if you squared of that end of the butt you'd be rid of it. Assuming it's always in about that same place. Man, I don't want to eat one of those things. YUK!!!
wow! i been waiting for smokin to post these pics, in a different thread. i guess i should have looked around, huh. hey smokin, just so you know, my name is mike, not don...heehee
i sent you all but the first photo. now heres my take on the gland, which is yet to be identified by a scientific name:
well, its pretty darn yuckie, to say the least. and yes, 9 out of ten butts that consumer (you and me) buys from the butcher, sams, or major distributor, will have that gland hidden inside, just waiting to be eaten! what i do is timely, and costly(as just yesterday i got a major finger cut from doing it in a hurry), but the final product is free from that particularly unpleasant odor that makes certain folks want to smother a butt in vinegar to disguise. if you find this gland, cut it open and smell. its like a quart jar full of hog sweat sitting around in a stink room for a week....
actually, i was just probably exaggerating a bit. most people dont recognize the flavor, and those that do, think its normal for pork to taste that way.
ok, (whew! time for decaff)
usually the gland can be found inside the fat cap, around the end of the bone on what i would call the low side of the butt. there is, as you can see, a ton of crappy stuff in this area too. simply remove any obstruction that prevents you from seeing pure meat. usually this will render the gland from its hidding place. sometimes, i have to cut out part of the fat cap to find it. the good news is that once you have cut away all this stuff, you cook time will be reduced by an hour or two as there are less obstructions for the heat.
anybody want to see first hand, come by my restaurant and i will show ya...heehe

From your description and the photos, I'm confused.

I know it's hard to describe without a movie and charts to show, but looking at the photos, I think when you say Fat Cap, to me that means the false fat cap on the top.

Maybe we can come up with a descripion for sure.

To me, on the opposite side of the false fat cap (the hard rather stringy looking fat that looks like it has meat running through it) turn it over.

Towards the bone end, there is a "vein of fat" that usually runs the width of the butt. That's where I find it.

And as for your offer to open it and cut it, uh, no thanks.

Smokin & Mike

I'm more confused than ever about where to find this gland and I don't think I have seen it in my butts unless I just cut it out not knowing what it was.

Is it nearer the blade end or the shank end. The pictures almost look like the shank, but not sure. I'm just guessing that the gland might be a lymph gland such as you would find in your own arm pit.

And if that is a reasonable comparison, is the location of this mysterious gland analogous to what would be the arm pit of the hog? Confused
thats a good analogy. the arm pit.
usually its in the bottom of the 'V' or split. it aint visible, its buried in all that tissue. the easiest way is to just look at the last photo above. i pried this one out form deep, and am holding it up for the camera. all the white stuff in the 'V' area that is covering what should be red meat, i cut away. the gland is not always in the exact same place, but its always in that area. just cut away all that junk, and it will be easier. sometimes in the junk, sometimes under it or around it. working on another photo for smokin, with a clean view...
In addition to smoking whole butts I cut them up to make sausage from time to time.

As such, I have always been cutting the glands out.

For those that are confused about the subject - simple rule of thumb is to remove anything that doesn't look "right" including all the wet, soggy "meat by-products" as shown in the photos at the top of this topic - you will likely get the gland at the same time.
(Who wants to eat that junk anyhow ?)
Here's a new photo:<br /><br />
The circles represent the area where the gland is usually found. The square is the heart of the 'false fat cap' smokin was talking about.<br />sometimes, the gland is buried in that fat cap.<br />this particular butt has been cleaned of most of the 'junk',exposing red meat to the rubs and smoke falvors.

Last edited by Former Member
Now that we are all concerned and know what to look for,there is another thought.

If you cook a couple cases of 8 lb, bone in butts, low & slow,around 235�,you let it set through the plateau to render,you take them up over 195�,you pull them and discard anything you wouldn't serve to friends -will it make a lot of difference?

Just something to ponder ,over the weekend. Smiler
Heck, we've been eating it for years. Why should we be concerned now about this mysterious butt gland. BTW, "Thanks a lot Mike" for bringing this up LOL! Frowner . My thought is, if I happen to find it, good. If not, as long as the wife never sees this thread with those pics of the dreaded butt gland I'm ok Big Grin

Doing some B'backs and a 8# choice brisket flat with a nice fat cap. Lookiing forward to it!

Have a great weekend all...
Well, I'm no expert, but from what I see, they look like lymph nodes. Are they egg-shaped and kind of rubbery? That's how they palpate on a mammography exam. And they are in the axilla. That goes along with your description. Maybe the pigs were fighting an infection. The first picture is with a knife inserted into something. That looks like an artery to me. Do they all taste bad? Maybe some are infected glands and some are not.
the first pic was not me. smokin' will have to dig into memory banks for that one. i tried boneless a few times. i loved the flavor, and the speed in which they cooked(important in commercial settings), but they had the gland also, and were almost as junkie. the biggest proble with boneless was the inability to move them around in the smoker. it was like trying to move around an 8 pound jug of jellow without the jug...heehee
I cut up a butt last weekend to make sausage and did find the gland - thanks to Smokin' and Mike.

Based on the response from Mike on Aug. 19th to my question and locating the gland on the butt I was working with, I am convinced that this mysterious gland is indeed a lymph gland together with the related lymphatic tissue. If you can picture the anatomical postioning of the butt (shoulder) to the whole pig, the location of the gland is in what could be considered the arm pit of the pig.

Don't know what it would taste like, but I cut open the one from the butt I cut up last weekend and it did not smell bad. I tossed it just because it is nasty looking and too much fatty tissue.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.