Smoked Pork Butt Fat Side Up Or Down?


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Once you have preheated your smoker and coated the pork chops with the right seasonings, it’s time to get started cooking.

Now the question is: Do you place the pork fat side down or up? This is why it’s important. Our guide will help you find the right answer.

Smoked Pork Butt Fat Side Up Or Down

It is best to turn the fat side of the pork butt. As the fat renders, it will slowly baste the pork. This will keep the meat moist and tender. This will help to avoid any flare-ups that could result from the pork fat melting in direct contact with heat sources.

What is Pork Butt?

It can be difficult to understand if you have never bought pork butt before. This is because pork butt might also be called “Boston”

The terms are not confusing enough for most people to understand, especially if they have a chance to inspect the meat before buying. The meat is actually taken from the shoulder of the pig, not the posterior. The entire cut of meat that is sold with the lower foreleg is often called “pork shoulder”

Pork butt can be purchased either boneless or bone-in. Bone adds flavor and texture to the meat, while bone-in cuts yield less meat per pound. You can expect pork butts to be extremely fatty with ribbons and cartilage as well as connective tissue running through.

Pork butt comes with a fat cap, just like many other large cuts of beef or pork. It is a solid layer of white fat that covers the cut. Some chefs find it intimidating to see how thick it can be.

We recommend that the glorious fat be left as it is. You won’t get the right amount of moisture if you cut too much fat from the pork shoulder.

The color of the fresh pork butt should be dark pink with creamy white fat. It may be damaged if the meat shows grayish-brown spots or is dry to the touch. If the meat is in these conditions, you can return it to the supermarket or butcher shop and exchange it for a new cut.

How To Prepare Pork Butt For Smoking

Once you have confirmed that your pork butt has been properly frozen, it is time to prepare it for the smoker or grill.

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Be careful not to remove too much fat. We recommend trimming any excess fat from the edges. Before you put the pork butt in the smoker, you want it to be uniform in shape.

Use paper towels to dry the meat. Add a little yellow mustard or Dijon mustard to the pork butt and then season it with your choice of seasoning rub. Although it may seem odd, mustard helps spice rub stick to the meat and not the grilling grates.

Turn the smoker on to 225° Fahrenheit. Pork butt will cook for about 2 hours at this temperature. To speed up the process, raise the temperature to 250 and 275.

The Benefits Of Cooking The Pork Fat Side Up

Now it’s time for the meat to be grilled. Do you place the pork fat side down or up? It’s simple. Always place the meat so that the flat side faces up. Here’s why.

The fat will serve as a natural basting fluid for the pork butts when it is exposed. Although the fat does not penetrate as deeply below the meat’s surface, it helps to retain high levels of moisture.

The melting fat cap is said to remove the seasoning rub. This is a valid point. However, we believe these naysayers have become increasingly concerned. The meat will remain flavorful and well-seasoned as long as the rub is applied correctly.

The Other Side

To keep things fair, many pitmasters cook pork butt with the fat facing down. This is said to prevent the pork from drying out by the fat cap acting as an insulator against a direct heat source grill.

The pork butt will also form a striking-looking bark if the meat side faces up. Grill grate marks can form if the meat rests against the cooking grids, which can hinder the production of crisp bark.

All of these points are valid. We stand firm in our conviction that the pork fat side should be cooked with the skin side up. In any case, the fat side will render and drip from the meat. If the meat is exposed to a direct heat source, flare-ups may occur. This will result in a charcoaly exterior that will affect the meat’s flavor.

About the Flip

There’s another way. The pork butt can be flipped from one time to another so that the fat cap faces up or down at different intervals.

This is because most pitmasters have clear ideas about the direction that the fat cap should face.

When you decide to flip the pork butt while it’s still cooking fat, make sure not to drip too much fat onto the heating elements or coals. It’s also important to complete the task quickly. The smoke from the smoker’s door or lid is not closed properly. This can cause heat to escape. This can cause an increase in the cooking time.

Rotation: A Word About It

Even if the intention is not to flip the pork butt, it’s worth rotating the meat during cooking. Different smokers have different hot/cold spots so it is important to rotate the meat around to ensure even cooking.

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After about two hours, turn the pork butt 45 degrees to one end. This will allow the smoker to expose more meat, allowing for the flavor to penetrate the meat. Remember to move quickly so the smoker doesn’t lose too much heat.

Is It Really Important?

As a last attempt to be the devil’s advocate, let us add that it doesn’t matter if the fat cap faces up or down. You should get tender, delicious pulled pork if you follow the instructions for cooking.

Some chefs even recommend removing the fat cap altogether. They claim that pork will still have enough flavor and texture without it. We disagree with this assertion, but it is still worth noting.

The Texas Crutch

After you have placed the pork fat-side up, close your smoker. Let the meat cook for approximately two hours per pound. A pork butt of 8 pounds should take 16 hours to cook. This is especially important if you host a party.

The Texas crutch is a great way to speed up the process. This is a shortcut that involves wrapping the pork chop in tin foil in the middle of the cook.

The Texas crutch won’t reduce the cooking time much. It might take a few more hours depending on how big your pork butt fat is. But, it can make all the difference.

After the meat fat has been on the grill for a while, the internal temperature will reach a plateau. This phenomenon is called ” The stall” and occurs approximately halfway through cooking time.

Another sign that your meat is ready to be cranked is the bark. You can remove the meat from the grill once it has a darker mahogany color with a crispy texture.

Two long strips of aluminum foil should be laid out so that they overlap. Place pork butt in the center of the foil. You can add one or two tablespoons of apple juice, cider or beer, or just plain water if you wish. The liquid will evaporate and create steam, which will keep the meat moist.

To seal the pork butt fat, wrap the foil around it tightly. Wrap the foil tightly around the pork butt if you have left the meat thermometer probe thermometer inside the pork.

Then, return the pork to the smoker. Cook the pork until it reaches an internal temperature register between 195 and 196° Fahrenheit.

You have two options: either take the pork off the grill grates and let it cool down until you’re ready to serve it, or unwrap the meat before placing it back on the low heat for 30 more minutes. The latter is preferred because it allows the bark to re-form and become crispier. Let the meat rest at least one hour before you serve it.

Smoked Pork Butt Fat Side Up or Down Final Thoughts

We hope that you will find the right method for you, whether you choose to follow our instructions or take a different route. It is important to season the pork butt well and cook it for a long time to get tender meat and crispy bark.

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