What is Picnic Shoulder?

Shoulder Picnic

Also called Shoulder picnic, Pork Shoulder Picnic, Picnic Ham. It comes from the arm shoulder.

Picnic shoulder is the cut of pork that comes from the lower foreleg of the pig nearer the hock/trotter (Arm shoulder). It has a large bone in the centre and is tougher because it does more work (walking).

It’s called Picnic Shoulder because it comes from the shoulder of the pig (hog), which is technically the front legs of the pig including the shoulder blade.

The shoulder yields two large pork roasts.

  1. Boston butt (Blade Shoulder) or shoulder butt or Pork butt: This is the upper part of the shoulder, which is more meaty and less bony.
  2. Picnic shoulder (Arm Shoulder): This is the lower part of the shoulder, which is technically the foreleg of the hog (pig). This portion is nearest the trotter (hock). It’s less meaty and has a large bone in the centre.

Picnic shoulder is also referred to as a picnic ham but is not a true ham because it does not come from the back leg. It can be smoked, giving it a ham-like flavour or sold fresh. It is a little tougher than a regular ham but a good inexpensive substitution for a true ham.

Picnic Shoulder. quick notes

  1. As mentioned above Picnic shoulder is technically the fore leg of the hog (pig).
  2. It is a relatively tough and fatty cut, and it is often sold bone-in. It’s best use long and slow methods of cooking.
  3. It can be slow roasted, braised or smoked.
  4. You can also cut the meat into chunks, marinate them and grill or broil them for kebabs, or cook some stew.
  5. it is also good cut to use in soups, casseroles and other baked dishes requiring ham.

I made this smoked pork picnic last summer. It was awesome!


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

8 thoughts

  1. I love a picnic roast and usually use it for homemade Carnitas, though the smoked one you cooked looks absolutely fantastic. But you never really answered the question as to why it’s called “picnic.”

    1. Hey Tom do you know why it’s called picnic? maybe the cut is used in picnics to make sandwiches? I haven’t thought about it. I will research and add it here if I find anything
      Best wishes,

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