1. 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?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ralphbrown05, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. 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
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I don't score but those that do say it allows the rub to get deeper in the meat .
  3. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    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: Aug 21, 2010
  4. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that's why i do it............it also helps render the fat.
  5. 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...
  6. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    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.
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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!

  8. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think most of the cap renders off while cooking, so I tend to score to rub down close to the meat.
  9. 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...
  10. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    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.