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question about the "basic pulled pork" sticky above...

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Do all you experienced smokers cook your pork butts fat side down? It just seems counterintuitive to do that when placing the fat side up would seem to "baste" the meat as the fat melts. Same for brisket and other cuts, too?

Just curious.
post #2 of 19
No... a lot of us smoke fat side up. It's just a matter of preference.
post #3 of 19
Quite a few of us take the fat cap completely off too. Feel free to experiment, you will find a way that you like best.
post #4 of 19
For what it's worth......I just did my first butt. I tried fat cap up for basting. Meat turned out great only problem was all the bark was on the fat cap not the meat. Oh well at least the dogs loved it. Next time I'll try the fat cap down.
Good Luck, ether way I bet it turns out great!!
post #5 of 19
I usually trim off most of it. I've heard it said "no point is smoking something that isn't going to be eaten."

I leave some of it, but usually score it with a knife to be able to work the rub down next to the meat. Then I do fat side up. I did it down one time and didn't really notice any difference.
post #6 of 19
A lot of intersting takes here, but I've not yet seen anyone list this one:

I smoke them fat side DOWN because it insulates the meat from temp spikes. I smoke pork butts at an AVERAGE of 260. Over a 10 hour smoke, I'll dip to around 230, but usually try to stay at 250 - 260. Once in a while, I might hit 285! The meat on the bottom of the butts doesn't get dry because the fat cap insulates it.

To further that point, I don't trim any fat before hand, because if they are cooked right (coolering for 60 - 90 min. after hitting internal of 195) then the fat practically falls off...so easy to remove, I don't bother with trimming...not to say my way is better. It's ALL good :-)
post #7 of 19
Getting ready to throw a couple of butts on soon.
The way I always do them is to trim most f the fat off and leave only a little for basting. Also spritz your butt and they will be fine every time.
Also do mine the average 225-250 and they can take anywhere from 6 hours (quickest I have done) to 10 or more, though I have never had a butt on for more than 10 hours before it came up to an internal of 205.
post #8 of 19
I will second Bman !!! Same way i do all of mine..
post #9 of 19
i've tried all methods above (including removing the fat cap) and also have gotten into the habit of rotating fat cap (when i have one) up and down throughout the process. all ahve turned out good.

i see the logic behind all moethods, and they are good reasons, but i haven't yet found one that works "better" than any others. all have turned out good.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks, all.

Thank you.
post #11 of 19
I do fat side down. I think besides the fat cap, there is plenty of fat still on a butt, that even if you do fat side down, you are still getting all the fat the meat needs to make it nice and tender and flavorful.
post #12 of 19
I agree, fat cap down. From what I can see, if you have a vertical smoker and want nice bark, fat cap down. If you have a horizontal smoker, then you might want fat cap up, as one of my friends does.
post #13 of 19
I've tried it every way mentioned here and my choice is to trim all the fat I can off the butt and I usually lay it in the smoker cap side up.... although I've not found a difference here either. I'm using a vertical gas and an MES. These things might make a difference in an offset. I get more bark with the fat removed on my butts and my briskets. My rule of thumb... leave the fat on lean meats.... take it off the rest.
post #14 of 19
I'm voting with the fat cap up and going with the self basting reason. Personnally I like fat on all my meats. This creates alot of flavor and I eat it too. Maybe it's not great for me but it taste so darn good I cann't help it. as far as cholesteral I take pills for that.
post #15 of 19
I'm with Mball, I've always left the fat cap on and had it on the top side,,I really dont know if there is a right or wrong on this,,, it's all good,,,,,,,,
post #16 of 19
I think the butts especially have enough fat marbled through that you don't need to worry about fat side up to baste. I have started trimming most all of the cap off (if on the Lang) and placing it down. I throw away the fat from the cap anyways. If anything, my pork can get mushy if I let it.

Now, if on a UDS, I leave it on and untrimmed and also do fatcap down for insulation purposes since it is really directly cooking the butt.
post #17 of 19
I cook em fat side down. Just my meathod though, no right or wrong here.
post #18 of 19
I love bark so I try to trim some of the fat off and smoke fat side down.

I use to do fat side up, but I was always lacking the bark which is the best part of a smoked pork but!
post #19 of 19
I remove the entire fat cap for 3 reasons. 1) I have previously stated that there's no point in cooking what you're not going to eat. 3) It prolongs the cook time. 3) Imo, it promotes a more even "bark" all the way around with the fat cap removed. Not sayin' my method is the best, it just works best for me.
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