Fat Cap Up or Down ?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by john c, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. On a pork butt I see lots of guys are putting the meat fat cap down.
    Am I wrong in thinking that if its up the fat will keep dripping into the butt and keeping it juicey ?

    John C.[​IMG]
  2. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    thats my consensus-skin up(oh a big word). i do my shoulders( nore skin than a butt- it's the shoulder w/ leg shank) skin on but i may add things stuffed under the skin, or after smoking- cube & deep fry the smoked skin fer cracklins. now i was thinking about this- i never get a true black- bark on my meats- guess w/ my spritzes & heats i get that ruby red glaze- just fine w/ me- it makes me more $$$ on cooks.. but it do work better for the cracklins too- just trim & cube the skin & shake in a zippy bag w/ garlic & tony cacheries & deep fry @ 350 until the float- dry them on a brown paper sack- not paper towel(more authentic)- salt & eat... there ya go.
  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    if you use a rub and do fat cap up..........the fat melting down will wash off most of the rub..........NO BARK................

    just finished up my second fat cap down......eating it now...........pics to follow...........but the bark is to DIE for...........

    i have seen here and other sites....you tube and such..........that the rub WILL hang on the fat cap.......it washes off........SO if the fat cap is UP.......no bark............

    i do fat cap down........and get GREAT bark
    pics to follow tomorrow

  4. AWESOME ! where do these ideas come from.
  5. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree with DUDE, and it also helps hold the juices in by setting on top of the fat cap in my experiences
  6. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    hehehe.......John C.

    HERE..............i just repeat.............good advice here

  7. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    for that to stay- use a larger grain rub & rub hard or use a mustard paste under the rub & fridge overnight.- it'll stay. let's not confuse a skin w/ fat.( just my .o2)
  8. monty

    monty Master of the Pit Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This subject was debated at length when the site first migrated over from Yahoo.

    Fat cap down is the preferred method by many smokers because as previously stated the cap, if placed up, will wash away the rub, hence, no bark. Also, the fat cap when in the down position will help keep the meat moist by preserving more juices than top oriented cap which would allow the juices to end up on the water pan or the fat collector.

    And while there are many other reasons for the fat cap to be placed in the down position I will just say that it has worked for me!

  9. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    I always get a good bark and I flip mine up and down, spray and do all sorts of things that sometimes rub off the rub - especially grabbing it with tongs and dropping it a few times! There's no rule tat says you can't sprinkle in more rub from time to time ... I usually add more rub afer an hour or two anyway.
  10. adb551

    adb551 Smoke Blower

    I firmly believe that it is impossible to add moisture to a piece of meat. In fact, you can boil a piece of beef and have it come out dry.

    It makes no difference if the fat is up or down for moisture in your cut of meat. My friends have given you good advice as far as keeping the rub from washing/running off, but the meat is as moist as it will ever be when you buy it. Your job is to keep it from getting any less moist while you smoke it.
  11. You can increase the moisture content by brining, I have had great success removing the skin/fat cap and using it as a base to set the pork on, any rub that comes off from turning is caught on the base and the rub/fat cooking against the meat seems to have a pleasing result.

    Having said that you need to understand that I am working in isolation here in Australia, I've never seen a smoker used by anyone else but me and I have been making it up as I go along, learning by trial and error, books and tips like in this forum.
  12. kew_el_steve

    kew_el_steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm thinking that removing the fat cap entirely on the next butts might be a worthwhile experiment. Certainly would remove the up-vs-down issues.

    I usually let my butts rest at temp for a couple hours when finished and then in the fridge to cool before pulling or slicing. That way I can remove any fatty areas as I go thru the meat. With no cap, there's less fat and more opportunit to make bark and take smoke on the meat that I will be eating. Last butts I sliced in half to give more surface area for smoke and bark. They got done a little quicker too. Still hit a plateau for two hours, but quicker overall.

    Might also be a more effective way to get rub in to the meat instead of criss-crossing in to the fat.
  13. kew_el_steve

    kew_el_steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Urban Griller...why do you turn them over? I just let them sit until they are ready to foil. Actually, I don't foil. I put them in an aluminum foil (disposable) pan and foil over the top of that. In the pan they go in to my oven with a temp probe in them and apple cider in the bottom of the pan.
  14. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Gypsy- try adding the garlic AFTER the fry, with the salt. It's a small difference, but garlic does not take high heat well. It gets bitter. Maybe that's all part of the flavor development tho... but anyway for S & G's, try that next time.
  15. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm with Debi, I start off with the fat cap up, I don't touch it for at least 2 hours, Then I'll spray it with apple juice a few times. I'll flip it over about every 4 hours. I usually get a nice bark.
  16. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think you can add moisture to a peice of meat by injecting a heavy liquid into it. i have been accused of this many times.
  17. smoke freak

    smoke freak StickBurners

    I agree with that 551 guy.
    I cook with fat side down. Pork and beef alike. seems to protect the meat from temp spikes that I sometimes get from burnin wood
  18. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Fat down gets my vote also..............but if you say fat up, more power to ya. [​IMG] I do it for the extra protection.............and habit formed by years of doing it that way.
  19. low&slow

    low&slow Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Yep, thats what I do too. Im a flipper. It's my excuse to take a peek at it. But I usually start fat cap down, then flip every 2 hours.

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