The Whole Pork Shoulder is comprised of two parts the upper half commonly known as the “butt” portion and the lower half called the Pork Picnic.
This cut is often overlooked in the bbq world because there’s more meat on the Butt portion but don’t count the Pork Picnic Shoulder out. It cooks just like a pork butt and is easily turned into mouth-watering, pulled pork.
The picnic contains the arm bone and the shank, and typically has most of the skin still attached. The muscles in the picnic have a different texture than the butt roast and the meat is lighter in comparison.
Whenever I’m cooking a picnic, I take the extra time to cook it slow and preserve the collar (skin). This gives the roast a beautiful presentation and will really impress your guests when you serve it.
For this recipe I’m starting with an 11lb pork picnic. Place the picnic skin side down on a platter and spray the collar with cooking spray (Canola, Vegetable, or Olive Oil) then apply bbq rub directly to the meat.
I’m using a 50:50 blend of Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub and Killer Hogs Hot Rub. Let the picnic hang out for a few minutes at room temperature while you fire up the smoker.
I’m cooking on my Big Green Egg for this cook, but any grill/smoker set up for indirect heat will do the job. Run the pit at 250⁰ and add several chunks of GrilleWood.com Hickory and Cherry wood for smoke.
Once the Egg stabilizes, place the picnic on the cooking grate, cover the collar with a dry cotton towel, and close the lid. Every hour open the cooker and spritz the outside with an equal part mixture of Apple Juice, Pineapple Juice, and Red Wine Vinegar (about 8oz of each).
Also, remove the towel from the collar and reapply cooking spray. This step prevents the collar from turning dark during the process. Repeat this step every hour until the outside starts to turn dark. At this point the bark will have plenty of smoke flavor and adding more will only make it bitter.
Now it’s time to wrap the picnic: I use a double layer of aluminum foil and a cooling rack for this step. Tear off enough foil to completely surround the picnic, lay the foil out in a cross shape on a table and place the cooling rack in the center (this makes moving the picnic easier when it’s done).
Place the picnic on the cooling rack, remove the towel from the collar and reapply cooking spray, spritz the bark one final time, and wrap the foil around the picnic. Place it back on the smoker and insert a probe thermometer to monitor internal temperature. The target here is 198⁰ and it’ll take about 3.5 hours to get there.
Once the alarm goes off, remove the picnic from the smoker and carefully open the foil to vent off the steam. At this point it should be looking pretty good but we’re not quite done.
To really make some great tasting bark it needs a glaze. Mix 8oz of Killer Hogs The BBQ Sauce with 2oz Molasses and 2oz Apple Juice. Heat this mixture over medium heat until the molasses melt and brush over the outside of the picnic. Now it’s ready to go back on the smoker for 15-20 minutes or until the glaze has set.
Finally the picnic is completely done and ready for a short rest before serving. This is a great time to let folks take pictures of your final product!
To serve start by removing the shank bone; it will slide right out of the end. Then dig into the middle and grab the arm bone. Lay these to the side and break the meat up with ease into pulled pork.
Serve the picnic with the remaining glaze and get ready to enjoy some outstanding pulled pork.