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To Trim or Not to Trim

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So I decided to trim up my pork butt since I was having a mixed crowd tonight.

I have normally smoked my butts with no trimming at all, fat cap up so it melts into the meat.

What do you all do and why?
post #2 of 15
I dont trim my pork either but I do try and pull out some of the fat out when I start pulling the meat.
post #3 of 15
No trimming here. I put fat cap down. Why ? I like it crunchy. I chop it up and put it into my chopped pork for sammies.
post #4 of 15
I usually trim the unsightly or losse fat, and leave a lot on (1/4-1/2 inch).

Then I smoke fat side down. Helps protect the meat from the heat, cooks the fat a bit more, and I can mop the meat side much easier.
post #5 of 15


Trim fat cap to around 1/2" and start off fat side up .After 4 or so hrs i flip to fat side down.
post #6 of 15
I leave them on and smoke fat cap up, I think it helps keep the meat moist and add flavor, I then discard the fat before pulling.
post #7 of 15
No trimming, Fat Cap up , no foil
post #8 of 15
I have only smoked two pork butts. They were both "Farmer John's" brand & did not have much fat to start. I smoked them fat cap down, why I don't know, & pulled the fat out after pulling them. The next one, I am going fat cap up, to allow the juices to flow downward & pull the fat out afterwards.
post #9 of 15
butts usually have enough fat to season the meat fat or skin side down it works 4 me I use my own shake on and sauce and never havecompliants
post #10 of 15
I never trim unless there is a real excess of fat on the butt. I let the fat melt and keep the butt all kinds of well moisten and tastey.
post #11 of 15
Have done many pork butts. Never have trimmed, never have foiled while smoking. I smoke to between 200-210 degrees internal and then double wrap in foil, wrap in old towels and placed into a cooler. I let it rest for at least three hours and up to six hours, depending on when we are eating. It's always been too hot to touch, even after six hours of resting. I used to smoke them fat side up, but tried it fat side down and found that a little better for bark, which I love. I do take the excess fat off when pulling and it's plenty moist with lots of tasty bark!
post #12 of 15
Remove fat cap. Smoke and rub will not penetrate the fat cap even if it is scored. Butts have enough internal fat and connective tissue to baste from inside. By removing it, you get more smoke flavor, more bark, and more pink purple smoke ring...makes a much nicer presentation in the tray too.

One of the best reads on preparation of a pork butt is here: it talks about the fat cap and whether to leave or remove.

Also, I keep the removed fat caps and add them to sausage I make when I need more doesn't go to waste.

If you really want to find out what works for you, do two this weekend and judge for with and one without.

Happy smokes!
post #13 of 15

Old thread, but thanks for the link to that article.  Quite a bit of good information for a newbie like me (and not just about trimming or not).  Thought I'd bump it for some of the other newbies.  

post #14 of 15

I trim a lot of the fat cap off then put the butt on the bottom rack of my WSM, and put all the fat on the top rack so it self bastes the butt while I sleep!

post #15 of 15

Yep old thread but I'll jump in


I trim off fat cap and false cap, like the renowned Mr. Brown

Plenty of fat already inside to render

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