Smoked pork shoulder question: divide and conquer?
I've got a 7.5 lb. boneless pork shoulder that I'm going to smoke tomorrow, and I'm wondering if I ought to cut it in half. I'm not worried about smoking time, but it seems to me that more surface area means more bark and more smoke flavor. Are there any reasons why this is a bad idea? Will the smaller pieces end up dry? Many thanks for any tips.
I have done probably 50 pork shoulders over the last 5 years or so, and in varying sizes. To me, the larger ones retain more moisture. It will work fine if you divide and conquer, and will certainly take less time...but if it were me and I had the time, I would leave it whole. If you use enough wood in your smoker, over the 10 or so hours it spends cooking, it should have great smoky flavor
I agree that parting it isn't worth it-- especially at that size. One thing that I've done a few times for extra bark and smoke penetration is to butterfly a butt. You can than cook it splayed out, or you can rub it and roll it back up so at least you're getting seasonings inside. When it's done and pulled, you can sprinkle a little more rub in and toss the meat with the defatted drippings from the pork......