Food - Drink
Pork Butt Vs. Pork Shoulder: What's The Difference?
If you’re looking for an affordable cut of pork with great versatility, look no further than pork butt. This cut actually comes from the pig's shoulder, and is named after the barrels or "butts" that the meat was once shipped in — however, if pork butt comes from the shoulder, you may wonder if meat labeled "pork shoulder" is a different cut.
Understanding the difference between these cuts involves taking a look at how a pig is butchered. Pigs are divided into the four pieces known as "primal cuts" — the rear legs, belly, loin, and shoulder — and the shoulder is split into two subprimal cuts, resulting in pieces known as the butt and the "picnic" shoulder.
While the pork butt encompasses the area above the pig’s shoulder blades, the picnic shoulder consists of the rest of the front leg and everything between the butt and the foot. While pork butt is more tender and has a better marbling, picnic shoulder is more lean and the better choice for those seeking a crispy, crackling skin.