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Thread: Shank or Butt?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Snellville, GA
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    1,206

    Shank or Butt?

    I was in Sam's tonight and was thinking about picking up a ham but couldn't remember which had more useable meat, the shank end or the butt end. I'm thinking it is the shank end.

    Can anybody help me out on this?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Hmmm, I was thinking the butt end, but I'm not positive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Illinois
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    1,558
    Shank for me.



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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    In
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    5,772
    I like the shank, but I think the butt has more usuable meat. The butt is also more expensive per pound.

    Vicky

  5. #5
    Here's what Cook's Illustrated said. Hope it's useful:

    "You're better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    SO. CA
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    2,228
    THE BUTT has more meat, and the bone is shorter, easier to use for soup or beans!
    Curleytop

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    24,226
    Here's a diagram of where the two come from:



    Sometimes the best "center cut" slices are removed from half hams during processing. If the label on a half ham reads "shank end half" or "butt end half", then it includes these meaty center slices. If it says "shank end portion" or "butt end portion", then the center slices have been removed.

    When choosing a whole, bone-in ham, authors Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly of The Complete Meat Cookbook write, "A short, plump shape with a stubby rather than an elongated shank is the best choice."

    There's a lot of conflicting information about which type of half ham is the best one to buy. Cook's Illustrated writes, "You're better off getting a shank end rather than the butt end. This is because the butt end has less desirable meat, as it contains a lot of membrane, fat, and gristle. Its bone configuration can also make carving tricky." However, some butchers recommend a butt end ham, saying that it's meatier and has better flavor.

    It's not clear to me that there's a big difference, and often when you visit the supermarket you just end up having to pick from what's available based on price and the size of ham you're looking for.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

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