A blade roast cut from the local supermarket (Baxtrom’s your independent grocer), I got this slab of meat on sale and paid about $8 for a 7 lb cut. It was well marbled, and had a nice thick layer of skin and fat. Always bone in.
The bark is my favourite part!
Achieving the perfect bark is something that takes a lot of practice, since there are so many variables. Based on plenty of research on some of my favourite websites, and more importantly, hands on practice, I have developed some reasonable methods for getting the bark just the way I like it.
Since the the bark is my favourite part, it is important to me to maximize the opportunity for bark to form. So, that being said, I always trim the fat (and skin) off the outer layer of the shoulder to expose the meat. If I leave any fat on, I am certain its thin enough that it will render during the cooking process. That’s a good starting point to getting the perfect bark.
Cook-time, cook temp, amount of smoke, rub ingredients, the combination of the rub you choose, and many other factors can influence the result of your bark. If you like the bark, though, the most important starting point is to maximize it. Get rid of all fat that will not render; the thick stuff.