Unraveling the Mystery: A Comprehensive Guide to Locating the Money Muscle on a Pork Shoulder

Embark on a culinary journey as we delve into the intricacies of pork shoulder anatomy, specifically the elusive “money muscle.” This highly sought-after cut, renowned for its exceptional tenderness and flavor, holds a special place in the hearts of barbecue enthusiasts and home cooks alike. Join us as we uncover the secrets of identifying and extracting this culinary gem.

The Money Muscle: A Culinary Treasure

The money muscle, a culinary treasure, is a specific muscle located within the pork shoulder, also known as the pork butt. It derives its name from its exceptional quality, which often garners high praise and awards in barbecue competitions. This muscle is characterized by its delicate texture and intricate marbling, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth experience that tantalizes taste buds.

Identifying the Money Muscle: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Locate the Bone: Begin by identifying the shoulder blade bone within the pork shoulder.

  2. Navigate to the Opposite Side: Once you have located the bone, move to the opposite side of the pork shoulder.

  3. Feel for Firmness: Use your hands to gently explore the surface of the meat, searching for a firm muscle that runs across the face of the pork shoulder. This is the money muscle.

Extracting the Money Muscle: A Culinary Precision

  1. Carve Along the Fat Line: Using a sharp knife, carefully carve along the fat line that separates the money muscle from the surrounding meat.

  2. Avoid Cutting Fat Lines: Exercise caution to avoid cutting through the fat lines that run through the muscle, as these contribute to its exceptional flavor and tenderness.

Trimming the Money Muscle: A Matter of Preference

  1. Trim or Leave Intact: Whether or not to trim the money muscle is a matter of personal preference. Some pitmasters prefer to trim away any excess fat or connective tissue, while others leave it intact for maximum flavor.

  2. Benefits of Trimming: Trimming can enhance the surface area of the muscle, allowing for more even heat distribution and a well-developed crust.

  3. Benefits of Leaving Intact: Leaving the money muscle untrimmed preserves its natural juiciness and flavor profile.

Marinating the Money Muscle: Enhancing Flavor

  1. Injection: Injecting the money muscle with flavorful liquids, such as fruit juices or marinades, is an effective way to enhance its juiciness and flavor.

  2. Rub Application: Applying a flavorful rub to the surface of the money muscle allows the seasonings to penetrate and impart their unique flavors.

  3. Refrigeration: After marinating, allow the money muscle to rest in the refrigerator overnight to ensure thorough absorption of the flavors.

Cooking the Money Muscle: A Culinary Symphony

  1. Low and Slow: Cooking the money muscle low and slow over indirect heat is the preferred method to achieve optimal tenderness and flavor development.

  2. Ideal Temperature: Aim for an internal temperature of 195-205°F (90-96°C) for a perfectly cooked money muscle.

  3. Resting: Allow the cooked money muscle to rest for 30-60 minutes before slicing and serving, allowing the juices to redistribute for maximum tenderness.

Mastering the art of locating, preparing, and cooking the money muscle on a pork shoulder is a culinary triumph that empowers you to create delectable dishes that will impress your family and friends. Embrace the techniques outlined in this comprehensive guide, experiment with marinades and seasonings, and explore the harmony of accompaniments to elevate your pork shoulder creations to new heights of culinary excellence.

How to Trim a Pork Butt Money Muscle – The Right Way


What temperature does money muscle remove?

Cook pork butt in smoker at 275°F until money muscle reaches 197°F internal temperature. Remove from smoker and cut money muscle away from rest of pork butt. Continue cooking rest of pork butt for other use.

Can you cook just the money muscle in KCBS?

KCBS contests require the pork to be at least 5 lbs. and in one piece. You cannot separate the money muscle from the rest of the butt/shoulder prior to cooking.

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