Pork Butt fat side down

Discussion in 'Pork' started by so ms smoker, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      I usually smoke pork butts fat side up and foil at 165 and finish in the oven. This time I decided to smoke fat side down and leave in the smoker unwrapped for the entire time.

      Coated the butt in Jeff's rub and wrapped in plastic while I got the MES up to temp (240) and lit the AMNPS with 2 rows of pecan and apple pellets.

       Placed in fat side down for about 9 hours. The smoke lasted for 8 hours. This seemed to create a better bark than foiling and did not dry out.

       However the bone end did not cook as fast as the other end.One was falling apart and the bone end did not pull as easily. Not sure why. But it still turned out good!

      Thanks for looking.  Mike
  2. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looks good, being that I love the bark I always smoke mine fat side up and not foil
  3. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks good! I like to use plastic wrap on my stuff too when it's rubbed and waiting in the fridge. As for the fat cap, I've had plenty of friends who put it in the smoker any ole way and get good results, but I say it's called a "cap" for a reason, and belongs on top! [​IMG]
  4. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good!

    I have had the best butts ever lately....

    No foiling..

    Cutting off as much of the fat as possible..
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I had the same thing happen with my last Butt. Half pulled easily and the bone side was more stubborn. It could have stood some more smoke/cook time. As far as Fat up or down...As far back as any Chef I know has been taught, Fat UP so rendering fat Bastes the meat...Always worked for me...[​IMG]...JJ
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  7. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Normally I would do fat side up but wanted to see how it came out. I thought fat down gave me a better overall bark. At least this time! Thanks for the comments.

  8. I'll have to try this fat side up you kids speak of. I aways smoke fat side down and works great for me. Think its time to step outside the box and give this a try.
  9. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I trim the fat off of butts when it's real thick, but I do fat side up whether it be butts, brisket or even turkeys.. yes, I do the back side up and use all the fat in there for natural basting..
  10. austinl

    austinl Smoking Fanatic

    In regards to this 'natural basting' theory; I started out following this logic until I noticed that if you are truly holding slow and low temps (somewhere between 215-230) the fat didn't really render much at all and just got soft.  Following this method I also noticed the opposite side of the pork butt I put down had a very thick bark after cooking, the side under the fat cap had very little bark, and the sides seemed to have just the right amount.  Several butts ago I decided to try it fat-cap-down with the logic that more direct heat rising up from the smoker would help the fat render better and make a more even bark on the rest of the meat.  The results were as such; much of the fat cap had melted away and the other sides had a more even bark to them.  Once I pulled the meat I think I had more of those lovely red-black pieces throughout the meat.  SInce that time I have always done the fat cap down, had consistent results, and have noticed no difference on how the remainder of the meat cooks.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Austin, I guess I should have gone into more detail...The Type of Smoker you use will definitely have an effect on your choice to go Fat up or down. Wood or Charcoal fired smokers like WSM and Offset Horizontal smoker put out much more intense heat coming from the bottom of the meat so Fat down offers some protection and the overall result is a more even Bark. With Electric and Propane Vertical Smokers there just is not that hot blast and then there is some benefit to smoking Fat up. How much? I really don't know, it is just one of those cooking recommendations that has been passed on for a long time. Because of the distribution of fat and collagen in a Pork Butt, I doubt which way they go in makes much difference as either way they will be juicy. I do see the rational when cooking Beef as the muscle is much leaner and can and does benefit from the rendering fat. After all the oldest Cookbooks ever printed recommend Barding, the layering of sheets of Fat on top of lean meats, and look how many people cover or wrap Chicken in Bacon. Has to be something to it.  Maybe an Email to Alton Brown and the Foodnetwork would get a test done. It would be interesting to see a result...JJ
  12. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

       I have to agree with Austinl. I found that fat side down produced a much better bark and the butt did not dry out. Now to cause more trouble! I also do brisket flats fat side down. However, I do pan and foil them at 160.


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