Pork Butt ?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by coldjava, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. coldjava

    coldjava Fire Starter

    Ok Gurus of the Thin blue Smoke and others, I need your wisdom. I'm going to smoke a butt in the morning. My ? is why do you put the fat side down? I understand that it is to protect the pork from a heat spike. My thinking is why couldn't you put a small flat square of foil under the butt for that and then smoke it fatside up so the fat melts into the pork butt?

  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Put it sideways. Make everyone happy. ;{)
    It's not the fat soaking in..it's the fat soaking OUT.
  3. coldjava

    coldjava Fire Starter

    I know I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box but, wouldn't the fat melting in help keep it moist? I'm just trying to understand the concepts here. What does the fat flowing out do?

  4. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Check out the sticky by Meowy on smoking a pork butt. Here's the link:


    He specifies to place the butt fat side down because it helps aid against temperature spikes.

    I'm also getting ready to smoke my first butt tomorrow and am doing nothing but going by the words of Meowy!

    Good luck to you ColdJava!
  5. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    my thinking is fat side up will run down and remove your rub! and smoking at low heats and spritzing with apple juice (etc) keeps meat from drying out-what do I know ( It's my first day).
  6. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Brent on this one the best thing to do is check out a few of the post's. This question will never be answered, it'll be your choice. Everyone has different thoughts on this one.
    Just read a few and pick what you think. If you don't like the way it turns out. Next time do it the other way.
  7. coldjava

    coldjava Fire Starter

    Thanks Michael and the others. Gonna do it the way of the wise ones. No time to experiment. Got a good one for ya tho. I took the pork butt out to defrost this morning. I figure it will thaw on the counter while I'm at work and doing other errands. I come home and it's still frozen. So in my ultimate wisedom while the house is warming up I decided to put the butt over the heat register in the floor. I know it sounds crazy but, it worked...lmao 8 years living in Wisconsin after growing up in North Texas you would think I would adjust...lol Just goes to show ya that you can take the Texan out of Texas but, you can't take the Texas out of the Texan....lol
  8. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Butts are so forgiving, you could do it either way with good results, I put mine fat down. The meat itself has about 2 cups of fat all sealed up inside and will render out during the long cook, thus keeping the meat moist. The spraying of juice, or a mop is just to keep the outter bark from turning to leather. It doesn't do much if anything for the actual meat under the bark.

    SFL is right, this question will never be answered. I hope you first timers enjoy your smoke tomorrow, I know its hard to do, especially when your new at it, but try not to do too much peeking, or showing off the butts to others. It really prolongs the cook time. When you do hafta open to check/ rotate, spray....ect. do it as quickly as you can and get it shut back up. Be patient, keep your temps as steady as you can with your equipment. You will know when the meat is done by temp, and feel.
    If you are takin the butts to 195-205 for pullin, you may need a big strong wide spatula to get them off the pit without falling apart, unless its in foil. The thermometer will slide right into the meat like warm jello, and the bone should pull right out easy with just a lil tug, if you grab it to pull the bone out and it wants to stay in the butt, its probably not done as well as it could be. Have fun, and enjoy. Don't eat too much, leftovers are wonderful![​IMG]
  9. coldjava

    coldjava Fire Starter

    Thanks Dan, Good advice. Not too far a neighbor maybe we can plan a fishing trip some day. I'm a pan fisherman. Got a lakehouse and pontoon boat at Fox Lake here. Gawd I love summer...lol
  10. twomill

    twomill Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I have always done fat side down and never had a problem with a dry butt. (no pun intended.
  11. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I was originally taught fat cap UP, but found that I get much better bark on the butt if I do fat cap down. Believe me, once it is wrapped in foil, there will be no dried out pork.
  12. zdave

    zdave Fire Starter

    Just a reminder that it is always best to thaw meat in a refrigerator--second best choice would be under cold water. Safety first, always make sure the meat stays below 40 degrees.
  13. brentman0110

    brentman0110 Meat Mopper

    I have done several butts and I have found this to be true; I rub with yellow mustard and my fav spices. Then, I start out with the fat cap up for about 3 or 4 hours. After that, I flip and finish with the fat cap sown and spritz with an apple juice and rum mix. Truly a nice bark is formed!

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