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View Full Version : Fat cap: On or off?


Jaskew82
06-07-2012, 01:53 PM
Just curious what everyone does with the fat cap on their pork butts.

I tend to leave it on and just trim it down to 1/8" thick or so. I am beginning to wonder if I shouldn't just trim it all off since butts have so much connective tissue and fat through-out.

What do you do?

bigjonsBBQ
06-07-2012, 01:55 PM
I trim it all off. More surface area for bark. There is enough fat throughout the shoulder for me, to keep my shoulders moist. Just my 2 cents.

speedrcer1
06-07-2012, 02:03 PM
^^^^^
What Big Jon said.

deguerre
06-07-2012, 02:05 PM
I'll trim a picnic but on a Boston butt I just leave it.

CarolinaQue
06-07-2012, 02:06 PM
I leave mine on but trim it a little so it acts as a buffer from the radiant heat off of my tuning plates. I figure that there's plenty of bark from the other 5 sides of the butt. Once it all get's mixed together, that little bit of bark from that one side the fat is on is minimal IMO.

Pappy
06-07-2012, 02:10 PM
I trim it all off. More surface area for bark. There is enough fat throughout the shoulder for me, to keep my shoulders moist. Just my 2 cents.

Same here.

Myrdhyn
06-07-2012, 02:17 PM
I leave it on. Put it fat cap down on the grate, and peel it off as one piece when i go to pull the butt.

Cliff H.
06-07-2012, 02:21 PM
Most of the fat cap stays stuck to the grate when I do butts. I don't trim or season the fat cap.

Ron_L
06-07-2012, 02:24 PM
I trim off any very thick parts just to reduce the amount of grease in the cooker drip pan at the end of the cook. I use the fat cap as shield from the heat source.

boogiesnap
06-07-2012, 02:33 PM
i used to leave it on. boy, that was some tasty cracklin stuck to the grate. but now i trim it all off.

stevenw106
06-07-2012, 02:34 PM
Same here.me three

Jaskew82
06-07-2012, 04:33 PM
Interesting cross section of responses. Guess I will have to cook a bunch and decide how I like it. :wink:

SirPorkaLot
06-07-2012, 04:41 PM
On a pork shoulder I trim NOTHING. This applies to both the picnic and the butt cut.

While there is enough connective tissues and such to render internally, I have found through trial and error that a thick fat cap (and in the case of the picnic) a layer of skin will do two things for you.

1. Act as heat shield.

2. (most important) Act as a barrier keeping the fat and juices inside the meat where you want it.

I have tried trimming to a 1/4", I've tried trimming it all off, and I have tried with full fat cap. (and everything in between)

Leave it on. Yes it may reduce the amount of bark a little, but the benefits outweigh the negatives.

deguerre
06-07-2012, 04:44 PM
On a pork shoulder I trim NOTHING. This applies to both the picnic and the butt cut.

While there is enough connective tissues and such to render internally, I have found through trial and error that a thick fat cap (and in the case of the picnic) a layer of skin will do two things for you.

1. Act as heat shield.

2. (most important) Act as a barrier keeping the fat and juices inside the meat where you want it.

I have tried trimming to a 1/4", I've tried trimming it all off, and I have tried with full fat cap. (and everything in between)

Leave it on. Yes it may reduce the amount of bark a little, but the benefits outweigh the negatives.

Well how the heck am I gonna make my pork rinds without trimming the picnic?:mmph::mrgreen:

SirPorkaLot
06-07-2012, 05:15 PM
Well how the heck am I gonna make my pork rinds without trimming the picnic?:mmph::mrgreen:

That's what the skin-on pork belly is for.

pwa
06-07-2012, 05:23 PM
I trim it all off. More surface area for bark. There is enough fat throughout the shoulder for me, to keep my shoulders moist. Just my 2 cents.

Me four :biggrin: :biggrin:

pwa

Team DD
06-07-2012, 05:27 PM
Leave it on, fat cap up. Foil at 165, then put fat cap down. When you go to pull the meat, the fat cap will be on the bottom.

DaveMW
06-07-2012, 05:28 PM
I leave it on as a heat shield.

El Ropo
06-07-2012, 05:43 PM
If you're talkin about a picnic roast with all the skin. I remove it all for more bark.

Butts, I trim 'em down a hair.

Brian in Maine
06-07-2012, 07:12 PM
I trim it all off. I did a blind taste test with people at work, and didn't tell anyone what was different. 4 out of 5 people picked the but that was cooked without a fat cap. They said that it tasted more pork like. Personally I think that it was the extra bark that made it taste better.

SirPorkaLot
06-07-2012, 07:50 PM
I trim it all off. I did a blind taste test with people at work, and didn't tell anyone what was different. 4 out of 5 people picked the but that was cooked without a fat cap. They said that it tasted more pork like. Personally I think that it was the extra bark that made it taste better.

Exact opposite of my experience with hundreds of pork butts under my belt.

Pretty funny how people can be solidly on opposite ends of the same spectrum.

And for the record there is not that much difference in quantity of bark. The fat cap covers a small portion of the overall butt

Grillman
06-07-2012, 08:06 PM
I trim it all off, there is still going to be LOTS of fat throughout the meat to give it
flavor and tenderness. Plus I'm not young anymore and I ate all the Fatty covered
foods when I was younger, Ribs, Pulled Pork and all the others. Now I'm trying to
eat healthier while still enjoying great tasting foods. Change your eating habits now,
instead of waiting for a Doctor to tell you to change so you don't die.

CarolinaQue
06-07-2012, 08:33 PM
I trim it all off, there is still going to be LOTS of fat throughout the meat to give it
flavor and tenderness. Plus I'm not young anymore and I ate all the Fatty covered
foods when I was younger, Ribs, Pulled Pork and all the others. Now I'm trying to
eat healthier while still enjoying great tasting foods. Change your eating habits now,
instead of waiting for a Doctor to tell you to change so you don't die.


Do you really believe that the fat cap is going to make a big difference over all with a pork butt fat content wise?

I think that most all of us that leave it on for the cook wipe it right off after it's rested so it never makes it mixed into the meat. So I'm not sure I see much benifit to taking it off other than for a little more bark?

Grillman
06-07-2012, 08:43 PM
Do you really believe that the fat cap is going to make a big difference over all with a pork butt fat content wise?

I think that most all of us that leave it on for the cook wipe it right off after it's rested so it never makes it mixed into the meat. So I'm not sure I see much benifit to taking it off other than for a little more bark?

Of course...anytime you eliminate any fat or other unhealthy things from
your diet, you are taking steps to eat healthier, especially since the
fat-cap is pretty much 100% fat and can be easily removed.

People can cut WAY back on how much fat they eat, while still enjoying
good tasting food. If you don't want too, that's OK, you are free to eat
anything you want, any way you want.

ShutYrMouth
06-07-2012, 09:34 PM
I'm with sir pork.
Leave her on!

Boshizzle
06-07-2012, 09:44 PM
I leave the FC on pork butts. That's how we roll in VA.

Big Bears BBQ
06-07-2012, 09:45 PM
We trim .....

CarolinaQue
06-07-2012, 10:37 PM
Of course...anytime you eliminate any fat or other unhealthy things from
your diet, you are taking steps to eat healthier, especially since the
fat-cap is pretty much 100% fat and can be easily removed.

People can cut WAY back on how much fat they eat, while still enjoying
good tasting food. If you don't want too, that's OK, you are free to eat
anything you want, any way you want.

I'm just sayin' that there is so much fat inside the butt already, that I just don't see how taking the fat off prior to cooking is going to reduce the over all fat content any more than scraping it off after the butt is cooked? Either way, it's not making it's way into the final product.

But no matter what, pork butt is definately not on the list of "healthy" foods no matter if it's fat cap on or off when you cook it IMO. Definately not a "lean" cut of pork by any stretch!!!

Big George's BBQ
06-07-2012, 10:44 PM
Leave it on and take it off after the cook

92slcvrt
06-08-2012, 12:56 AM
I remove it and save it to mix in my sausage

Grillman
06-08-2012, 02:45 AM
But no matter what, pork butt is definately not on the list of "healthy" foods no matter if it's fat cap on or off when you cook it IMO. Definately not a "lean" cut of pork by any stretch!!!

I never said it was healthy, or lean.

LoneStarMojo
06-08-2012, 03:31 AM
I go capless for the cook. maybe it makes no difference but I just seem to like the final product better no matter if slicing or pulling.

LMAJ
06-08-2012, 06:12 AM
I'm with Ron_L on this one - trin it down, but leave a little for protection,,,

CarolinaQue
06-08-2012, 01:23 PM
I trim it all off, there is still going to be LOTS of fat throughout the meat to give it
flavor and tenderness. Plus I'm not young anymore and I ate all the Fatty covered
foods when I was younger, Ribs, Pulled Pork and all the others. Now I'm trying to
eat healthier while still enjoying great tasting foods. Change your eating habits now,
instead of waiting for a Doctor to tell you to change so you don't die.

I must have misunderstood what you were implying?

likeadeere
06-08-2012, 01:41 PM
Mine usually falls off after 8 hours of boiling it in water.....:bow:

jestridge
06-08-2012, 01:44 PM
I did,'t put it on there and not taking it off

CarolinaQue
06-08-2012, 01:49 PM
Mine usually falls off after 8 hours of boiling it in water.....:bow:

That right there is funny!!!:laugh:

El Ropo
06-08-2012, 01:55 PM
All this talk about fatty pork, and health... If you're cooking it till probe tender, most of the internal fat is melted away.

I'm sure eating pulled pork sammies for lunch 7 days a week is a lot better for me than going to mcd's, wendy's, sonic, etc...

Knew a guy who ate at Sonic for lunch 6 days a week. He dropped dead with a massive heart attack at age 45. Of course he was obese, 5' 9" and pushing 275. But 45? That's what fast food will do, not to mention it tastes like cardboard.

Pitmaster T
06-08-2012, 02:56 PM
Funny how alot of you are correct while many are wrong.

Jaskew82
06-08-2012, 03:17 PM
So Pitmaster T - What do you do? I have seen a bunch of your brisket videos and they always look amazing. I have no doubt you cook a mean pork butt!

What say you?

CarolinaQue
06-08-2012, 05:22 PM
Funny how alot of you are correct while many are wrong.


Could you allaborate oh wise one?

Pitmaster T
06-10-2012, 05:38 PM
The specific, no frills, dead balls accurate answer to which there can be no argument on this is.... it depends.

gusibole
06-10-2012, 05:41 PM
I leave it on. Put it fat cap down on the grate, and peel it off as one piece when I go to pull the butt.

Same same here!

campdude
06-10-2012, 05:47 PM
I leave it on. I think it helps to hold more moisture in the butt.

CarolinaQue
06-10-2012, 05:51 PM
The specific, no frills, dead balls accurate answer to which there can be no argument on this is.... it depends.


Thanks for clearing that up!!!:laugh:

Brian in Maine
06-10-2012, 06:01 PM
None of you have to do things my way. I respect your right to be wrong.:razz:

indianagriller
06-10-2012, 06:19 PM
remove it... only to add it back on at a certain part of the cooking process

Pitmaster T
06-11-2012, 08:34 AM
Remove it, deep fry it, soak it in jack daniels, eat it...uh... retrieve it, then plop it back on the butt.

bigabyte
06-11-2012, 08:48 AM
I heard you can make soap out of it to wash your butt.

deguerre
06-11-2012, 08:49 AM
I heard you can make soap out of it to wash your butt.

That's a lye...