Shoulder question: Fat side up or down?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by va_connoisseur, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Fellow smokers I have a question before my smoke. I am planning on putting the pork shoulder on the smoker about 6am tomorrow morning and I have one question, and I know its a novice question:

    When the butt goes on, should it be fat side up or down? My thought is that fat side up would allow the "melting fat" to keep the meat moist. The shoulder is basking in rub goodness now, so I have 24 hours to get all the answers from you guys and gals. Thanks
  2. abelman

    abelman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The moisture should be fine either way. However, if you want a "good" bark then go fat cap down. Not so much of a bark, fat cap up.

    Everyone has their personal preference. I've done it both ways and prefer fat cap down just because I like a thicker bark.

    Good luck and have fun
  3. ajthepoolman

    ajthepoolman Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    The general consensous seems to be that fat side should go up or down based on what your preference is and how much rub you are using.

    Fat side up will allow some of the fat to flow into the meat. However, a large portion of fat is going to melt down the side of the meat and potentially wash off some of the rub.

    Fat side down could give you a slightly dryer shoulder, but the rub will stay in place better.

    I always go fat up, if that helps.
  4. fred420

    fred420 Meat Mopper

    is tha a pic of a gosm???????????
  5. I agree it doesnt make a big difference on texture or taste . When we do competitions we have done it both ways. Are you going to inject it before you smoke it
  6. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The correct answer is ....... YES

    Some will say: cap up for self basting from the melting cap

    Some will say: cap down to insulate the meat from the direct heat below and allow a moist butt.

    Both ways work, both produce good bark, both produce a great butt!
  7. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I go sideways and neatly avoid the pointless arguments ;{)
  8. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I kind of thought you would get a 50/50 on that question. I usualy go with the fat up, then half way through the smoke I turn it over.
  9. iadubber

    iadubber Meat Mopper

    That's what I am going to try next time. [​IMG]
  10. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Now theres a thought. Install a rotiseree in the smoker
  11. ds7662

    ds7662 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I start with fat down and flip half way through smoke.
    Just my preference.[​IMG]
  12. Had not thought about injecting it? Since this is my first shoulder on this smoker, I will try to keep it simple...

    Awww, who am I kidding. Heading the the BBQ Galore right now to pick up a injection sauce.
  13. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Eh save yer cash

    Cider vinegar, powdered onion/garlic, Shot of bourbon, bit of paprika, ..anyone else?
  14. ajthepoolman

    ajthepoolman Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Truth is none of us is man enough to admit that more often than not, we put so much rub on the outside that we can't tell the fat side from the other! So we really have no clue as to how we cook em!
  15. packplantpath

    packplantpath Smoking Fanatic

    Can, meet worm. Experiment. You'll probably decide it doesn't really matter much. That's my decision anyway.
  16. brentman0110

    brentman0110 Meat Mopper

    Amen Brother. No truer truth was ever told...
  17. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with you on that one bro. Sometimes I'll add a little chile...
  18. lagogarda

    lagogarda Fire Starter

    Fat side up for me and scored almost to the edge to cut down on it melting down the side...more melting into the score.:)
  19. crewdawg52

    crewdawg52 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah, straight plain apple juice or apple cider. And, I'm a flipper.
  20. lagogarda

    lagogarda Fire Starter

    That's another reason I score the fat I can tell the difference after the rub.[​IMG]

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