• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

to score or not to score fat?

ralphbrown05

Smoke Blower
125
14
Joined Oct 3, 2009
when doing a pork shoulder for sliced or pulled pork, does anyone ever score the fat cap while smoking fat side up?  and what difference does it make
 

eman

Smoking Guru
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
5,303
111
Joined Feb 3, 2009
I don't score but those that do say it allows the rub to get deeper in the meat .
 

pandemonium

Master of the Pit
1,983
13
Joined Aug 4, 2009
i remove the fat cap on a boston butt, but how about this trick i have tried,you cut the fat cap almost all the way off just leaving it attached at one side and you can get the rub underneath and still get the juice from the fat, then just cut off and chuck when done and you still get bark on all sides.
 
Last edited:

ralphbrown05

Smoke Blower
125
14
Joined Oct 3, 2009
ok ill have to try it on my labor day/welcome home dinner for my cousin whos in the marines who just got back from africa...
 

rowdyrawhide

Smoking Fanatic
Group Lead
372
19
Joined Jul 24, 2010
I take off the fat cap as well on my butts, I feel there is enough fat in butt itself to keep it moist.  I like the ability to be able to get as much rub into my pulled pork too.
 

forluvofsmoke

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,173
405
Joined Aug 27, 2008
It depends what I'm in the mood for, mostly. I guess if I'm feeling a bit lazy, I score it, then dry rub, and I actually will massage the seasoning into the scoring of the fat, then dust the whole thing all over...if I feel like spending a few extra minutes, I'll trim it dowm most of the way to bare meat. I have found that with a fairly heavy fatcap which is left unscored/untrimmed, there tends to be quite a bit more shrinkage of the perimeter of the fat cap than the meat later in the smoke, which can pull on the meat and cause distorted curvature (concave shape) on the fat side. This really is no big deal, it just looks kind of awkward.

Scoring also tends to make for a pretty cool lookin' butt when it's about halfway through the smoke...the cuts begin to open up as the fat renders down and shrinks, revealing a checkerboad pattern of dry rub in the cuts, and the forming bark on the fat itself...I do score it alot more now than I used to. The thing to remember is, where there's fat, there's no smoke ring...so, if you really want to see and taste the smoke, get rid of the fat.

And as mentioned, butts have plenty of interior fat to keep it moist during the smoke, even if you're running a rig without a water pan.

BTW, give your cousin a big welcome home from the crew here at SMF...I for one, really do appreciate those boys/gals having our backs, and I do know from past experience that it's not easy being away from home for extended periods...that alone deserves some merit.

Have a great smoke!

Eric
 

the dude abides

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,528
38
Joined Jul 12, 2008
I think most of the cap renders off while cooking, so I tend to score to rub down close to the meat.
 

ralphbrown05

Smoke Blower
125
14
Joined Oct 3, 2009
thanks man yea for his welcome home dinner, ill be cooking for 12 family members and 2 other marines thats coming down with him from north carolina...and im going a 6 1/2 pound pork shoulder, 8 or 9 pound brisket, and about 3 or 4 racks of ribs...please believe i will have lots of QVIEW, so stay tuned...
It depends what I'm in the mood for, mostly. I guess if I'm feeling a bit lazy, I score it, then dry rub, and I actually will massage the seasoning into the scoring of the fat, then dust the whole thing all over...if I feel like spending a few extra minutes, I'll trim it dowm most of the way to bare meat. I have found that with a fairly heavy fatcap which is left unscored/untrimmed, there tends to be quite a bit more shrinkage of the perimeter of the fat cap than the meat later in the smoke, which can pull on the meat and cause distorted curvature (concave shape) on the fat side. This really is no big deal, it just looks kind of awkward.

Scoring also tends to make for a pretty cool lookin' butt when it's about halfway through the smoke...the cuts begin to open up as the fat renders down and shrinks, revealing a checkerboad pattern of dry rub in the cuts, and the forming bark on the fat itself...I do score it alot more now than I used to. The thing to remember is, where there's fat, there's no smoke ring...so, if you really want to see and taste the smoke, get rid of the fat.

And as mentioned, butts have plenty of interior fat to keep it moist during the smoke, even if you're running a rig without a water pan.

BTW, give your cousin a big welcome home from the crew here at SMF...I for one, really do appreciate those boys/gals having our backs, and I do know from past experience that it's not easy being away from home for extended periods...that alone deserves some merit.

Have a great smoke!

Eric
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
35,289
8,644
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Like many above, I'd score the fat cap & massage that rub deep into the cuts.

Also when you pull it, pull out any internal hunks of fat. It should be juicy enough without those slimy surprises in your sammie.

Bear
 

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying! (But that's how we keep the lights on.)

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks