Having information and knowledge about different meats always come in handy. It’s even better if you’re someone who cooks often or likes to enjoy a well-picked piece of meat. Pork is one of the most liked meats out there. People prefer it due to its versatility and how popular it is. However, pork can come in many different cuts. Various people have different preferences regarding the kind of pork they prefer and how they like to eat it.
The most common cuts people know of are pork chops, pork belly, and pork ribs. But another cut is not very common: the pork cushion. This comes from the pork picnic shoulder. It’s lean and boneless. A pork cushion can be very tender if cooked correctly. If you are curious about how a pork cushion differs from other cuts and what exactly makes it different, the best way is to compare it with a common cut of pork.
Boston Butt Vs. Pork Cushion
The reason why these two are often compared is due to the similarities they share. It’s quite easy to confuse the two. A pork cushion usually comes from the picnic shoulder, while a pork butt is right above that area. Moreover, the meat in a pork cushion is much leaner than a pork butt. The reason lies in where this meat is found on the animal. The pork cushion is much closer to the pig’s foreleg, which is why it contains less fat and more lean muscle.
The shape of these two cuts can also be considered when comparing them. A pork cushion has a triangular shape, while a pork butt has an oblong shape. Apart from that, both these cuts can be cooked and smoked in similar ways. Options of stewing, roasting, or smoking are all preferred and liked by many. They are both extremely delicious and flavourful. While many argue which cut is better, we believe in enjoying both to the fullest.
Now that we understand where the pork cushion cut comes from and what makes it different from a pork butt, let’s look into some famous ways to cook a pork cushion. There are many recipes to try since this cut of pork is very versatile.
Smoked Pork Cushion
If you’re a fan of enjoying smoked meat every now and then, smoking a pork cushion will have you coming back for more. The process of smoking a pork butt and a pork cushion is very similar. But the preparation and cooking time can vary. Being patient is important since these cuts take their own sweet time. But it will be worthwhile. The first step is preparing the rub for the pork cushion. The rub plays a vital role in enhancing the flavor of this mouth-watering cut.
To make the perfect rub, make sure you have these few essential ingredients: salt, pepper, chopped garlic, paprika, sage, oregano, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper. This mix will elevate the taste and help you achieve the ideal smoked pork cushion.
Adding chili powder or some chili flakes to give it a nice kick is an option as well. After the ingredients have been mixed, generously rub it around the meat and coat it well. Once the meat is prepared, cover it in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.
Letting the meat marinate for as long as possible will help all the delicious flavors of the herbs and spices infuse. Once the wait is over, the meat is ready to go into the smoker. But first, make sure that the pork has rested at room temperature for at least an hour. Once this step has been taken care of, heat the smoker and place the meat on a consistent heat. A pro tip here would be to ensure to place it down on the thicker and more fatty side. The smoking time will depend on the quantity of the meat. The rule of thumb is to cook 1.5 hours per pound of meat.
It should be smoked at a temperature between 185 °F to 195 °F (85 °C to 91 °C) at a consistent temperature. Keeping a strict check on the meat is required to help avoid any mishaps. The kind of smoker you use plays an important role here. A good quality electric smoker can reduce your hassle significantly. Moving on, once the meat has been smoked well, it should rest for more than 30 minutes before you dig into it and enjoy your meaty affair. At this point, the meat will smell like heaven, and you’ll be tempted to devour it right away.
Check out a few more articles about smoked pork:
How to Smoke the Juiciest Pork Belly
Can You Freeze Smoked Ribs?
Baby Back vs. Spare Ribs: What You Need To Know About Pork Ribs
Getting to enjoy one of the best cuts of pork is an experience in itself. If you’re interested in more recipes, visit the Bradley Smokers blog today.