Until last spring, my cooking was limited to grilling and microwaving. Then I discovered smoking “low and slow” on my Big Green Egg with indirect heat for eight to twelve hours! The Fogo charcoal guy is my favorite YouTuber on this subject.
We had never been big pork fans until I discovered Tom Thumb specials on nine pound bone-in pork shoulders/butts. They are often on for $1.99 but this week it is $1.77/pound. Every few weeks they have a “digital special” for $0.99 where you order online and pick it up at the store. You need to order $30.00 total or get hit for about a $3.00 fee but, it’s easy to find another $20.00 groceries you need these days.
Three pound beef chuck roast is another favorite that occasionally has heavily discounted specials. Smoke it exactly like brisket and pull or slice it.
Why is the front part of a hog called pork butt?
Pork Shoulder Demystified: Boston Butt Versus Picnic Shoulder.
Cuts like brisket, chuck roast and pork shoulder come from regions where muscles did a lot of work and result in very tough meat. They were not very desirable and therefore cheap until BBQ joints, crock pots and smoking grills became popular a few decades back. It seems to me that as brisket got the attention and moved up in price to two or three times the price of pork shoulder, the shoulder was somewhat forgotten and remains a great bargain.
The secret of crock pot or smoking is that the heat for a long time causes the various connective tissues to break down. You know how hard it is to separate raw meat from bone. An exciting moment when starting to pull pork is when you grab that big and still very hot bone and it slides out clean as a whistle.