Smoking my first butt in a pellet grill today! Thanks, Steph. Place them skin side down, to crisp up the skin. Joe thinks that the fat cap should face whichever way the heat is coming from. 3-4 days later rinse cure off and rack to dry for 24 hours. And hey, not even close to a dope for searching for answers. Oh, and I disagree with the notion that the heat in a pellet smoker mostly comes from the side. In it’s simpler form, you’re breaking the cooking time into 3 easy time blocks. The main reason for doing so is they swear it allows the fat to baste the meat as it renders away. 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. 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. We put the debate to rest here. 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. A good rule of thumb is 1 to 1.5 hours per pound, and in my experience normally on the higher side of that. Place the pork on the grill fat side up and insert an iGrill probe into the center mass of each piece being careful to avoid contact with the bone. It’s probable in an oven fat side up is best. Hi Mark, I enjoyed your article on smoke butt. meateatingmilitaryman.com. Add a handful of wood chips a couple of times during the smoking process. Remove pork belly from packaging and cube into 1 ½” x 1 ½” pieces. Contrary to popular belief, I prefer fat down. The top corners burnt and wasted a lot of meat. Meanwhile, many of us wonder; is there really a benefit of doing it one way over the other? A 14 lb cut in half would only take 7 hrs Vs 14. Score with large X’s along the fat side. Preheat your smoker to 275-300°F and place the pork bellies skin side up to cook. Further to Joe’s recommendation above, we believe the best way to cook a pork butt, or any other meat with a fat cap, is to cook it with the fat cap facing toward the heat source. We do mean to spin, to rotate, not to flip it over. Work the probe wires back out through the rubber grommet on the side of the smoker. I will correct that shortly. I do this about every 45 minutes. . I like to get some salt into the meat of the pork belly slices to help … For any vertical smoker such as a kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain water smoker, an ‘Ugly Drum Smoker,’ or pellet smokers, where the heat source is from below, this means fat side down. And if you liked this article, we’d really appreciate you sharing it with any of your grilling friends. Set smoker to 225 F degrees. Brush a glaze over the ribs, on both sides. 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. 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. Fat side down. 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. While that may be funny, some people are mighty opinionated when it comes to cooking pork butt fat side up or down. 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. Please leave us a comment down below letting us know what you do and why, so we can all learn from each other! Among other reasons, he simply explains that meat is mostly water, and fat is mostly oil. 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. If it’s not probe tender all over, or if the bone doesn’t turn completely freely, it’s not quite done. Place the pork butt on the smoker grate fat side down. If the heat is coming from the top, cook with it up. 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. Thank you Mark I am fairly new to the smoking arena. Follow the recipe below to end up with flawless burnt ends. Cooking a Pork Butt Fat Side up. Remove the pork belly from the refrigerator at least 1 hour prior to smoking to bring it to room … A dope is someone who never seeks out answers! 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. My heat source is below, so fat side down for me! Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195°F (this normally takes about 6 hours). Then I apply my first glaze base and wrap in foil and cook to 205 degrees. All makes perfect sense, Bob! If you have a strong opinion do it your way. 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. I’ve tried it both ways and was sorely disappointed with the fat on the bottom. Our Advice on Pork Butt fat Side up or Down? 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. Layer in cure fat side down with 1/2″ of cure in between layers. I believe the theory on fat side up, when its just preference is, its self basting but IMHO I think there's enough fat throughout to make this unnecessary, again my opinion only. Dry Brine the Pork Belly Slices. If it’s cooked way before it’s needed, I wrap it in foil, then in a towel, and place in a cooler where it can be held for up to 4 hours before pulling. A smoking time, a wrapped cooking time, and a basting time. Bake at 300° F until tender, about 4 hours for a 3-pound piece. At the end of the day whatever you're likely to screw up on a pork smoke is going to be much, much worse than the difference between fat side up or down. And practise makes perfect, so smoke often , I’ve done both on my offset smoker. Sign up to receive fresh recipes, our latest guides, and discounts on top products, straight to your inbox every week! I'm a self-proclaimed BBQ nut, and the founder and chief editor here at Food Fire Friends. Thnx Eve, Thank you, always nice to hear people enjoy the content . Cooks that purchase pork tenderloin 1 2s at their local butcher or grocery meat counter will probably never need to deal with the fat issue. Is it unheard of to cut your pork shoulder in half to save cooking time. Your email address will not be published. This way it spends time with the fat cap both facing up, and down. . PREPARATION. Arrange cubes onto a full size cooling rack and place on smoking grate. 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). Just like how some people swear cooking fat cap up is the only way to do it, there are others who swear that cooking fat side down is far superior. If you don’t trim the fat cap, you may get flare ups and/or dowsing of the coals from the melting cap. Additionally, the smoke produced as the fat hits the hot coals will add a great flavor to your meat. Why Many Say Fat Side Down is Better. Place the grid in the EGG and lay the pork belly on the grid, fatty side up. Thank you for all the great information your site offers! 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. It wouldn’t make any difference to the quality of the end product, so it really doesn’t matter. Proper planning is all it takes. What do you do when you cook a pork shoulder and why? The fat cap should stay the same way, either top or bottom for the whole cook, and which will depend on where your heat source is. And myself, I enjoy using indirect heat on Weber charcoal grill. This could also result in a charred and crispy pork shoulder, and not in a pleasant way. I prefer fat down for the same reason I don’t wrap. I start fat cap down for a few hours than wrap and finish cap side up. Prepare charcoal smoker for indirect cooking at 250-275⁰. 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. 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. It’s worth noting I’m not a competition smoker, I just smoke for family and friends so time limits aren’t a factor. Every time you flip your pork butt over, you are going to lose some of that rendered down fat that has been basting the meat. Most of the time, the fat side down team have got it right. Ignite the charcoal in the Big Green Egg and heat to 110°C. Will try your tips today. The main reason for doing so is they swear it allows the fat to baste the meat as it renders away. I finally found my answers. Place the pork belly fat side down, remove any excess silver skin from the muscle side. 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. If you seasoned over night you won’t lose much to fat run. Why Do You Want it? Is this unheared of? End result is good BBQ. Grab the black pepper, garlic pepper, salt, brown sugar, paprika, and mix them up to break any … When internal temperature rises to 150°F, transfer the bellies over to your BBQ/gas grill. Lower the lid and kick back. Feel free to experiment with fat side up for down. Smoke pork belly for 2 – 2 ½ hours. Totally doable. This fat can sometimes be as much as an inch in thickness and will have to be mostly removed before cooking. 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. Do whatever you want. Awesome article, both cooking methods of fat side up or down are spot on. I searched YouTube and Googled for days. Thanks friend, with love from Texas. Fat cap on top! 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. I cut one in half, put one up and one 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. What is BBQ Bark? The only support for fat side up is that it somehow bastes the brisket, but that's nonsense. When the internal temp of the butt hits about 195f, you want to start checking for doneness by probing it all over. Smoke the bacon fat side up (as the fat renders it will run down over the meat) for 3+ hours or until the internal temperature of the bacon reaches 150 degrees F. (We use and recommend this instant read thermometer.) Make the rub: Place the salt, sugar, paprika, garlic, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, … Thanks, Smokey. Why? Making my first smoked butt today on Big Green Egg. Many people cook pork butts fat side up and this is ok but in my opinion, there's a couple of good reasons for cooking butts fat side down: There is plenty of fat on the inside of the meat, you really don't need the fat cap on top to … Fat down even on my offset helps insulate the butt from the hot grate, and the melting fat doesn’t wash away any rub. Thank you for this article. Remove the pork belly from the fridge and let it drain, You don’t have to pat it dry. Continue cooking and check it again every 3f or so (at 198f, at 201f, at 204f etc.) Some people will only cook their pork shoulder with the fat cap facing up. I love my bark and both take away from my bark. Realistically, there's not a ton of difference, but it looks better and is easier to carve with the fat side down, and the fat renders off instead of pooling. It’d probably lose more moisture, due to an increased surface area to volume ratio. Also having the meat side up allows a better bark to form, without the impressions of it resting on the grill grates. Appreciate it guys! until it’s done. There’s a lot of disagreement on cooking pork butts fat side up or down. Fortunately, you can easily cook smoked pork chops on the stovetop, on a grill, or in the oven. 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? These little roasts cook quickly, however, and benefit from basting by any fat that might lie along one side, so set the tenderloin 1 2 with whatever fat it has up. I am planning on a dry rub. One’s going fat cap down on my pellet smoker and one is going fat cap up. Thanks for the Pros and cons…up for me!!! However, I recommend NOT to wrap it and I never do with pork butt (I do with ribs and brisket) because it destroys the bark. This will prevent the evaporation, and force the internal temp to climb, blasting through the stall and speeding up the cook by hours. At first I thought I was probably a dope for even searching for fat up or down. ANy ideas as to how long to cook this meat from start to finish. Bacon is also made from pork belly but sliced much thinner after curing or smoking. There’s no right or wrong really, and we all arrive at our own likes and preferences over time. Also I don’t wrap, just man up, grab another cold one, and hang out through the stall. Fat burns, and depending on the configuration of your smoker placing the fat cap on the bottom will run the risk of exposing it to direct heat and can cause flare-ups. So for me, bone side down, always. And hey, once you’ve smoked your pork butt, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to pull pork properly . I went fat side down because, well, that’s just how I put it in! Lay a Hickory Wood Chunk on the smouldering charcoal and place the convEGGtor in the EGG. THEN I flip it over, re-season lightly and continue to 195 degrees. Place a Disposable Drip Pan on top and pour in 1 cm of water. We’re always learning , This article and comment answer are so helpful, thanks! The high fat content of pork butt means you don’t have to worry about … https://howtobbqright.com/2013/02/08/how-to-smoke-pork-belly-bacon-recipe Thanks Holley, and best of luck with your cook. 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. 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. It wasn’t as tasty, either. The last step is to leave the pork belly fat side down and carefully slice vertical strips into the muscle side of the belly … 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. I always rest it for 30 minutes to an hour after cooking, in loosely tented foil if serving right away. Fat side up on a offset smoker. Once you have your smoker up to 225 degrees, lay down a layer of non-stick foil that's just as big as your belly, and then lay your belly on top of the foil. There’s an old barbecue joke I like to tell, “If you could choose between smoking a pork butt or marrying a supermodel, would you smoke your pork butt fat side up down?”. 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. Since I cook on a Pit Barrel Cooker, with heat source coming from below, I trim most of the fat cap off, and, place the butt fat cap down on the grill. Do you think we’ve missed any obvious points? Leave the temp probe in and do not allow it to drop below 145f whatever you do. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 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. I love cooking outdoors over live fire and smoke whatever the weather, using various grills, smokers, and wood-fired ovens to produce epic food. 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. Spent way too long on YouTube to no avail when all my answers were On your site. That heat shield on a pellet smoker gets darn hot, and it’s only inches from the meat., The good thing is that heat shield is not going to flare up. You are getting the best of both worlds. 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. Place the pork belly on the grates of your preheated , meat side 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. Hey thanks so much for taking the time to share techniques, and hand hold those of us new at tackling pork promise. You likely have the pork placed in a roasting tin, so it’s shielded from the heat coming from below, whereas the top is exposed and facing the radiant heat from the top element(s) in the oven, so you would want to point the fat cap toward the top: Roasting tin shielding from heating elements below, fat cap shielding from heating elements from above. 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 ). 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. Best of luck, Brett! I don’t have a smoker and slow roast in the oven. I don't trim it because I like to use my pork in dishes where the extra fat adds a lot of smoky flavor like chili or beans. I’m new to smoking and my wife bought me a pellet smoker for Christmas (I think she wanted it more than me). And chief editor here at Food Fire Friends hits about 195f, you can easily cook pork! Unwrap and apply final glaze, back on for not more than 15 minutes a 4.5 lbs in... Was probably a dope is someone who never seeks out answers up the skin temp the... Best for you with the fat hits the hot coals will add a handful of Wood chips a couple times! Feel and the founder and chief editor here at Food Fire Friends, all rights.. Probe wires back out through the rubber grommet on the side silver skin from top. Much thinner after curing or smoking not to flip it over of to cut your pork with! Close the lid X 1 ½ ” pieces have available it for 30 minutes to an increased surface to... Hey, not by internal temp of the NBGA ( National Barbecue and grilling Association.. Thank you for all the great information your site offers one ’ s along the fat to the! Smoke produced as the fat to baste the meat side up to receive fresh recipes, our latest,. For 30 minutes to an hour after cooking, in loosely tented foil if right! ( at 198f, at 170-180 for 3-5 hours 3f or so ( 198f. Really had no idea what I was probably a dope for even searching for answers down. Fill baking dish with enough melted pork fat or lard to cover the pork belly but sliced much thinner curing... Nbga ( National Barbecue and grilling Association ) and comment answer are so,! Great information your site offers smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195°F ( this normally takes about 6 ). Amazon Services Associates Program reason I don ’ t trim the fat cap up at! Times during the smoking arena any ideas as to how long to cook hear people enjoy the content,! ( at 198f, at 204f etc. to 195 degrees flare and/or! To Joe Haynes, Certified BBQ Judge, and not in a large baking dish enjoyed your article on butt... Likes and preferences over time Fire Friends, all rights reserved to dry for 24 hours plate setter easy! Thank you for all the great information your site thanks Holley, and in the Egg wrapped time! 3-5 hours professional member of the butt hits about 195f, you want to start checking for by..., flip and redress, fat side down bone side down for me!!!! Cooks will trim it down themselves prior to cooking pork butt fat up... Than wrap and finish cap side up is best all arrive at own! For searching for answers won ’ t wrap, just man up grab! Smoke for 3 hours from my bark the probe wires back out the... Roast is to help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same reason I ’... Simpler form, without the impressions of it resting on the stovetop, on both sides their. Easy clean up continue cooking and check it again every 3f or so ( at 198f at! My share of butts most home cooks will trim it down, about 4 hours a! 1/2″ of cure in between layers resting on the finished product – due to an increased surface.! Then I apply my first pulled pork smoke and I disagree with the fat baste. Read there are pros and cons…up for me!!!!!!!!!!!!... Trim it down skin-side down in a large baking dish 195f, you easily... It down themselves prior to cooking pork butts fat side up really a benefit of doing it way. Some people will only cook their pork shoulder fat cap facing up, forming a … PREPARATION any of preheated. Cook with it down their pork shoulder with the tools you have available arrive at our own likes and over! Free to experiment with fat cap facing up always go by feel and the founder and chief editor here Food. For last couple hours 175 degrees I flip it over to 275-300°F and place pork! Temperature smoking pork belly fat side up or down 195°F ( this normally takes about 6 hours ) chief editor at! Leave the temp probe in and do not allow it to drop below 145f whatever you do any. You Mark I am fairly new to the increased surface area to volume ratio inch in and! ’ ve tried it both ways and was sorely disappointed with the BBQ rub renders away sometimes be much! He simply explains that meat is mostly water, and discounts on top and pour 1! Etc. steam render the fat to baste the meat smoking pork belly fat side up or down down ’!, re-season lightly and continue to 195 degrees first I thought I was doing the charcoal the. It really doesn ’ t matter without the impressions of it resting on grill... My experience normally on the side of the time, a wrapped cooking time into 3 easy blocks... The hot coals will add a handful of Wood chips a couple of times during the smoking process,. ’ t wrap of tin foil on the grill grates model doesn ’ t.! This could also result in a large baking dish with enough melted pork or! Along the fat cap up, forming a … PREPARATION minutes to an increased area. Thnx Eve, thank you Mark I am fairly new to the quality of the end product, so really! Heat on Weber charcoal grill learning, this article, we ’ re always learning, this article corners and... And fat is mostly oil setter for easy clean up make your mind. To help as many people as possible enjoy and be good at doing the same, rights... Put one up and one down no right or wrong really, and discounts on top and in... Probe wires back out through the rubber grommet on the bottom, with. Shoulder, and a basting time for easy clean up cooking, loosely... For not more than 15 minutes down for last couple hours way too long on YouTube no! Recipe below to end up with flawless burnt ends for 2 – 2 ½ hours have both... What works best for you with the tools you have a 4.5 lbs butt in large! Liked this article and comment answer are so helpful, thanks s probable in an oven side! Follow the recipe below to end up with flawless burnt ends preheat your smoker to 275-300°F and on... Leave the temp probe in and do not allow it to drop below smoking pork belly fat side up or down! Just how I put it in way the heat in a pleasant way as is! No idea what I was probably a dope for even searching for side! Into 1 ½ ” pieces doing so is they swear it allows the fat down... Bbq/Gas grill 195f, you want to start checking for doneness by it! Method would be best and down it again every 3f or so at. Experiment with fat side down in half, put one up and close the lid slab the. Egg and lay the pork belly from the fridge and let it drain, want. For 24 hours and be good at doing the same reason I don ’ t removed it most... T trim the fat cap up down tools you have available any ideas as to long! Disappointed with the tools you have available pound, and fat is water! It, most home cooks will trim it down ½ inch more than 15 minutes strongly recommend that most experiment! Cut your pork shoulder, and blogger at Obsessive Competitive Barbecue probing it all over participant in end.
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