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Smoking first butt tomorrow but have a question today

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
So I am all set to smoke tomorrow since it went up to 72 here today and tomorrow shouldn't be much different. Based on some comments by you good people I decided to go with a bone-in butt for my first PP attempt. I am good on seasoning, smoking, wood, all that stuff I know what I want to attempt but my question is about trimming the fat. The biggest butt I was able to get without going for a picnic was 5lbs. Do you trim some of the fat before smoking it? I was going to because, well because there is quite a good amount with skin and all. Any suggestions would be great.
p.s I am also smoking some armadillo eggs with pepper shooters and wrapping them in sweet Italian sausage. Some andouille sausage, some locally made Serra brand provolone, pepper and onion sausage and maybe a fattie, not sure on that one but I'll probably throw something together, no reason not to smoke a fattie, right?
post #2 of 14
I haven't as of yet had to trim a shoulder.
post #3 of 14
Always smoke a fattie.
I don't trim the fat. Although I have never seen a butt with that much and never any skin. If it is skin, take it off. Nothing will penetrate hog skin.
Unless its a .308 going 2700 feet per second.
If you have a bunch of fat trim it. If you have a nice thin even layer leave it on.
post #4 of 14
I have done it without trimming but I did score the skin/fat with a diamond pattern to allow penetration of the smoke and spices. When its done the fat/skin will peal off no problem.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I suppose I will trim some of it and then leave a nice uniformed layer for moisture and flavor. Thanks.
I was wondering what kind of wood to use though. Around here all they have readily available is mesquite, hickory and apple. I'm not a super fan of mesquite and I absolutely love hickory but was wondering if maybe I should do apple or a mix of hickory and some apple? Since I am also doing some sausages I would like them to be hickory smoked but they aren't even going on until the last few hours of butt cooking time. It will be nice when I get my oven conversion finished, since it has an oven and a side broiler I am turning the side broiler into a separate smoker so I can do a main smoke and either side dishes in the smaller broiler compartment or do 2 different kinds of smoke flavoring but at the same time. Was also wondering if I could add a removable box on top of one of the oven/top range vents and use that for cold smoking while I hot smoke below it, assuming the smoke and air would be cooled by the time it began to exit the vent... Anyways, that's a near future project which I will document and share with the rest of you.
Sorry to get off topic, anyways, back to the wood.
Any suggestions or comments on hickory/apple would be appreciated.
post #6 of 14
I use hickory and throw in a little apple or cherry if I have it. I also use pineapple orange juice for the mop. Have used apple juice too. Both work. I just like the OJ better.
post #7 of 14
I use a mix of hickory and apple or cherry. I just scored for the first time with my last smoke. I liked the results and will be scoring from now on.
post #8 of 14
What willy said. Points.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for such quick responses and so much help.
I love this site.
post #10 of 14
Here is a good tutorial on pork butt selection and prep from a truly informative standpoint.


Take a look and good luck! Be sure to post some pics of the process...we love a good qview!

BBQ Eng.
post #11 of 14
hickory apple mix-if a good fat cap I make cracklins-smoke the rest
post #12 of 14
I trim most off, can't eat it anyway, I also sear mine. More flavor for the meat IMHO.
Good luck.
post #13 of 14
I've done it both ways, generally just leave it on because I'm lazy. Although when you get rid of it to start out, you do end up with more bark for eatin vs. what I would pitch to the side.
post #14 of 14
I never trim mine. If you take it to 195 - 200, most, if not all of the fat will melt away. And the fat cap will be so soft and gelatinous that it will almost melt into the pulled pork if you work it in. I love the amount of flavor, moisture and mouth feel that it imparts to the pork. We Mid-Southerners love our fatty pork.

And, just so you know, I'm one of those who smokes fat cap down.
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