I went fat side down because, well, that’s just how I put it in! I cut one in half, put one up and one down. It should be absolutely tender and ‘probe like butter.’ If it’s a ‘bone in butt’, you can also try to turn the bone and it should effortlessly spin, with no resistance, showing all the connective tissues have melted. KILLER GOOD. Interesting read there are pros and cons to either method. Some people will only cook their pork shoulder with the fat cap facing up. On many large cuts of meat like pork shoulder, there is a fat cap, a layer of hard white fat that sits on top of the meat. This fat can sometimes be as much as an inch in thickness and will have to be mostly removed before cooking. ANy ideas as to how long to cook this meat from start to finish. A less common way to cook a pork shoulder, or any other large hunk of meat, is to flip the meat as it cooks periodically. Fortunately, you can easily cook smoked pork chops on the stovetop, on a grill, or in the oven. Let us know how you get on! Also, by continually opening and closing your smoker, heat is going to escape and will need to recover once you close the lid, ultimately adding to the overall cook time. I want it on top to turn into a nice char I can mix in with the rest of the meat when I pull it. Smoking my first butt in a pellet grill today! 3 days later, flip and redress, fat side up. We put the debate to rest here. The bark at the end is worth it. Please leave us a comment down below letting us know what you do and why, so we can all learn from each other! There’s a lot of disagreement on cooking pork butts fat side up or down. However, I do agree with you the model doesn’t stand a chance…. Ultimately, we strongly recommend that most people experiment to see what works best for you with the tools you have available. If the heat is coming from the bottom, cook with it down. Thank you for your comment. I will correct that shortly. Brush a glaze over the ribs, on both sides. I smoke them fat side up. I have a 4.5 lbs butt in my fridge. Is it unheard of to cut your pork shoulder in half to save cooking time. A good rule of thumb is 1 to 1.5 hours per pound, and in my experience normally on the higher side of that. Choosing Your Pork Belly. Put them on the smoker and after 3 hours I like to spritz the pork belly with a mixture of 25% apple cider vinegar and 75% water. A dope is someone who never seeks out answers! Some people will only cook their pork shoulder with the fat cap facing up. End result is good BBQ. Cover dish with foil. And hey, not even close to a dope for searching for answers. Make the rub: Place the salt, sugar, paprika, garlic, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, … Do you smoke pork belly fat side up or down? There’s no right or wrong really, and we all arrive at our own likes and preferences over time. Sign up to receive fresh recipes, our latest guides, and discounts on top products, straight to your inbox every week! Thanks, Smokey. Set smoker to 225 F degrees. I’ve tried it both ways and was sorely disappointed with the fat on the bottom. If while being held it looks like it will drop below 175f, I usually place it in my kitchen cooker at 175f to hold it until I want to pull it and serve. Grab the black pepper, garlic pepper, salt, brown sugar, paprika, and mix them up to break any … For offset smokers, most of the heat comes from one side, flows through the unit and then down from above, so we recommend fat cap up. I agree, most pellet smokers have the fire pot in the base, that’s then covered with a deflector to reduce the amount of radiant heat and disperse heat further and more evenly. Thank you for all the great information your site offers! Smoke pork belly for 2 – 2 ½ hours. While that may be funny, some people are mighty opinionated when it comes to cooking pork butt fat side up or down. I plan to smoke it in my masterbuilt electric smoker. I like fat cap down. Score with large X’s along the fat side. Should your smoker determine if you cook your pork shoulder fat cap up down? In it’s simpler form, you’re breaking the cooking time into 3 easy time blocks. Add a handful of wood chips a couple of times during the smoking process. What do you think of our take on cooking a pork butt fat side up or down? Thanks for the Pros and cons…up for me!!! Best of luck, Brett! Place the pork belly fat side down, remove any excess silver skin from the muscle side. I have two Green Eggs and have smoked my share of butts. An obvious flaw in this method of smoking a pork butt is with the fat cap melting and running down over the meat, it can potentially wash away and remove some of the rub that you put on the exterior of the pork shoulder. I finally found my answers. Bake at 300° F until tender, about 4 hours for a 3-pound piece. Fat side up on a offset smoker. Lay a Hickory Wood Chunk on the smouldering charcoal and place the convEGGtor in the EGG. Bacon is also made from pork belly but sliced much thinner after curing or smoking. Let the steam render the fat down for last couple hours. Arrange cubes onto a full size cooling rack and place on smoking grate. And if you liked this article, we’d really appreciate you sharing it with any of your grilling friends. Is this unheared of? Appreciate it guys! 27 of the Best Grilling Gifts and BBQ Gift Ideas in 2020, Smoking Times and Temperatures Chart – With BBQ Cooking Tips, Best Pellet Smokers and Grills in 2020 – From Affordable to High End, Sirloin Vs Ribeye – Which is Better? To speed up the cook, many people wrap it here, either in pink butcher paper or in foil, and sometimes even adding a liquid. Oh, and I disagree with the notion that the heat in a pellet smoker mostly comes from the side. The direction I took with this particular BBQ smoked pork belly … Place the grid in the EGG and lay the pork belly on the grid, fatty side up. – Face it Toward the Heat, fat cannot penetrate into the meat as it is cooked, according to Joe Haynes, Certified BBQ Judge. If you seasoned over night you won’t lose much to fat run. (Good options include hickory, apple or cherry.) Fat side down. If you let it cook right through unwrapped, you will get an amazing, thick, deep and chewy bark, that when you pull it and it’s distributed throughout all the meat, is a much nicer, flavorful texture. 3-4 days later rinse cure off and rack to dry for 24 hours. It’s probable in an oven fat side up is best. It’d probably lose more moisture, due to an increased surface area to volume ratio. Though on the plus side would have more rub – and bark on the finished product – due to the increased surface area. Prepare charcoal smoker for indirect cooking at 250-275⁰. Lower the lid and kick back. I did a cooking experiment one day with the same pork loin divided in six pieces, (fat side up & fat side down) two each in oven, crock pot & smoker. This way it spends time with the fat cap both facing up, and down. Pit temp 225f to 250f (I usually aim for 235f and hold it anywhere from 225f to 250f), Meat thermometer right in the centre to monitor the cook, making sure it’s not close than an inch to the bone (which can give false readings.). Thank you Mark I am fairly new to the smoking arena. Professional member of the NBGA (National Barbecue and Grilling Association). Sprinkle generously with rub, then smoke for 3 hours. Thnx Eve, Thank you, always nice to hear people enjoy the content . Yes, according to Joe Haynes, Certified BBQ Judge, and blogger at Obsessive Competitive Barbecue. While it may not do much, a melting fat cap will somewhat baste the meat on the surface of the pork shoulder as it renders away. But always go by feel and the bone test, not by internal temp. Joe explains that every smoker is a little different and that the heat source will come from different areas depending on how your smoker is designed. FoodFireFriends.com is a participant in the Amazon Services Associates Program. Sometimes its just preference (as Bmudd14474 stated) and other times there's a reason, such as fat side down to protect the meat in some smokers, as (Bear pointed out). I agree with you on the bark thing though, I never wrap a butt anymore as they just don’t need it and the deeper, tougher, chewier bark you get and can distribute throughout when pulling, really improves the end result IMO. The top corners burnt and wasted a lot of meat. I also like a nice thick layer of rub on a butt and I don’t want it down getting raked off on the grill grates. Because the fat is on the bottom, when it melts it will not wash the seasoning away, and the bark retains all the flavors you added. Once your smoker has reached a consistent temperature of 270°F and you’re producing clean smoke, place the pork butt inside the cooking chamber with the fat cap facing up. How Can You Get it? Thank you! I searched YouTube and Googled for days. You do not need to remove all of the fat, and you should be careful not to trim too much, so you do not remove any of the meat below. But know that the hotter it is, the easier it is to pull, and I prefer to pull it while it’s still hotter than 175f myself. Place pork belly skin-side down in a large baking dish. It wasn’t as tasty, either. And hey, once you’ve smoked your pork butt, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to pull pork properly . Not so says New York Times bestseller Meathead Goldwyn, he is quick to explain that for many reasons fat cannot penetrate into the meat as it is cooked. https://howtobbqright.com/2013/02/08/how-to-smoke-pork-belly-bacon-recipe Remove the pork belly from the fridge and let it drain, You don’t have to pat it dry. Season all sides of the pork belly cubes with The BBQ Rub. And How to Get The Best from Both, Bottom Round Roast – What it is, Where it Comes From, How to Cook it, Best Soft Sided Coolers in 2020 – Light for Travel, But Super Effective, Fire Me Up: Buying Guide to the Best Charcoal Chimney Starters 2020, Best Grill Brushes and Cleaning Tools – Buying Guide and Reviews, 2020, Best Charcoal Smokers in 2020 – Buying Guide and Reviews, How to Pull Pork – With Forks, Claws and Even an Electric Drill, How to Reheat Pulled Pork – Keeping it Moist and Delicious, The Best Meats to Smoke – Top Cuts of Beef, Pork, Lamb and More for Your Barbecue. Why? © 2020 Food Fire Friends, All rights reserved. The key in most smokers – since they all have certain hot spots and temperature gradients – is to then not leave your pork shoulder in the one position for the whole cook but to instead spin it around on the grill grate so that all sides of the pork shoulder can evenly cook, render away, and receive smoke from the fire. If the butcher hasn’t removed it, most home cooks will trim it down themselves prior to cooking. My heat source is below, so fat side down for me! For a pork butt, the cooking time depends on so many factors, not least of all the particular animal it came from, how much intramuscular fat and connective tissues the animal had. I start fat cap down for a few hours than wrap and finish cap side up. And practise makes perfect, so smoke often , I’ve done both on my offset smoker. Thank you for this article. I got a Pit Boss 820D, and I get nothing but rave reviews on my pulled pork whatever way I put the fat cap. Layer in cure fat side down with 1/2″ of cure in between layers. meateatingmilitaryman.com. Do you think we’ve missed any obvious points? That’s what we’re going to discuss in this article. The fat cap can take turns between rendering down, basting the meat, and acting as a barrier to keep the precious meat from drying out. So at 4.5lbs, you’d be looking at something like 4.5 to 6.5 hours, normally closer to the 6.5 hour side of things. I always rest it for 30 minutes to an hour after cooking, in loosely tented foil if serving right away. Pull, rest, unwrap and apply final glaze, back on for not more than 15 minutes . Finally, when pulling, if there are any really big lumps of fat, throw them out as there’s enough fat in there already (smaller bits, just pull and mash them right in, it’s all good flavor ). I love my bark and both take away from my bark. I don’t worry about a drip pan just slap a piece of tin foil on the plate setter for easy clean up. Hi we just got done smoking a pork butt would you suggest to wrap it and store it fat side up or down when resting. Some will even take it a step further, and state it will allow the fat that is left on top to melt and penetrate into the meat. until it’s done. Really put me at ease as today is my first pulled pork smoke and I really had no idea what I was doing. If you don’t trim the fat cap, you may get flare ups and/or dowsing of the coals from the melting cap. Fill baking dish with enough melted pork fat or lard to cover the pork belly by ½ inch. The main reason for cooking with the fat cap down is many people feel doing so allows the fat cap to act as insulation, protecting the meat from the direct heat and will keep the meat from drying out. Without the bark, you are missing that ‘little bit extra’ you could have had, and the pork can appear a bit too moist and textureless. Mark, I agree with your conclusion. PREPARATION. Insert a temperature probe into the meaty center of the porcine goodness and take one last look at your belly (ies) to make sure they look happy. Contrary to popular belief, I prefer fat down. I am planning on a dry rub. I rarely use a drip tray either, and these days don’t even bother with covering my deflector plates, I just turn them over to burn off next time I’m heating my kamado. Proper planning is all it takes. When the internal temp of the butt hits about 195f, you want to start checking for doneness by probing it all over. Thanks friend, with love from Texas. I like to get some salt into the meat of the pork belly slices to help … We do mean to spin, to rotate, not to flip it over. Among other reasons, he simply explains that meat is mostly water, and fat is mostly oil. I agree with Bill - fat side up in most all smokers as the water/drip pan below will keep it moist underneath as will the juices from the fat melting off the top. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195°F (this normally takes about 6 hours). Smoke on grill, fat side up, at 170-180 for 3-5 hours. I’m new to smoking and my wife bought me a pellet smoker for Christmas (I think she wanted it more than me). All makes perfect sense, Bob! The fat will remain on top of the meat, possibly render away and melt off of it basting the meat, but it will not penetrate deep into the meat as it cooks. In my experience, a butt is almost always done at between 195f and 205f, usually toward the lower end of that range, though sometimes, (very rarely), it can be as high as 205f…or even slightly higher.