Boston Butt Fat Up Or Down (You Might Be Surprised)

Whether to cook pork butts with the fat side up or down is a hotly debated topic.

So should Boston Butt be cooked fat side up or down? Boston butt should be cooked with the fat layer side up

However, they are a few factors that influence which way you should cook it.

Here we look at the pros and cons of both methods.

As well as if the type of smoker you have has anything to do with it.

So if you are scratching your head, wondering if there’s any use in going, either way, I’ll help you solve it here!

Cooking Pork Butt Fat Up

Pork shoulder cooked with the fat layer side up.

As a result, cooks believe that while the meat is cooking, the rendered fat will act as a basting agent.

Melting fat on top of meat is also said to help it seep into the flesh, according to some experts

In his explanation, he points out that meat is mostly water, and fat is mostly oil. Oil and water don’t mix, so don’t try it.

During cooking, the fat on top of the meat will melt and become a braising agent for the meat.


A melted fat cap will serve to bast the pork shoulder’s meat as it renders away


The problem with this technique of smoking pork butt is that the melting fat cap could wash away and eliminate some of the rubs that you applied to the pork shoulder’s skin.

What Is a Fat Cap?

The fat cap is a hard white fat covering that can be found on the top of the meat.

Most people will trim the meat down if the butcher hasn’t already done so.

Bear in mind that removing all of the fat will result in a loss of some of the meat beneath the fat.

Cooking Pork Butt Fat Down

Similar to cooking fat cap up or down, others believe cooking fat side down is the best way to do it.


Many people believe that cooking meat with the fat cap down protects the flesh from direct contact with heat.

That prevents it from drying out by using the fat cap as an insulator.

Placing the pork side up also aids in the formation of a better pork bark, since it does not leave any impressions on the grill grates from resting on it.

Plus its easier to check the pork butt’s internal temperature when the pork butt is fat down


Putting the fat cap on the bottom of your smoker exposes it to direct heat, which can trigger flare-ups because of fat burns.

Also, a burnt and crispy pork shoulder may occur, which would be less than appetizing.

What About Flipping The Pork?

When cooking a pork butt, or any other large piece of meat, it is possible to flip the meat as it cooks.

This way, the fat cap gets a chance to face up and down at the same time.


You’re enjoying the best of both worlds with this choice.

The fat cap can alternate between melting down, basting the meat, and functioning as a barrier to prevent the meat from drying out.


That fat that has been basting your pork butt is going to be rendered down every time you flip it over.

When you open and close your smoker too frequently, heat will escape and have to be re-gained each time the lid is closed, increasing the entire cooking time.

How to Place Pork Butt on a Pellet Grill

In any cooking procedure, different cooking methods can either improve or detract from the flavor of a dish.

If done correctly, smoking meat may be a game-changer.

The placement of a pork butt on a pellet grill, for example, can make all the difference in the world.

It can either increase the juiciness of the outer layer or enhance the flavor of the meat.

If you desire a more succulent and juicy smoked pig butt, cook the fat layer of the meat with the fat side up on your pellet grill for optimum results.

However, if you like, you can use it to enhance the flavor of the outside layer rather than the inner one.

The best way to cook is to put the fat side down.

Cooking pork butt over a pellet smoker is a matter of personal taste.

Butt Fat Up a Pellet Grill

When you spend ten hours smoking and the end product is tasteless, it’s a real bummer.

You can increase the flavor of pig butt by putting the fat side up.

Using a pellet grill to smoke pork butts is the best way to obtain the greatest results.

A slow and steady stream of juices can be poured over the meat to baste it while it cooks when it is cooked over a hot, smokey fire.

Cooking meat on pellet grills reduces the risk of flare-ups due to the grill’s construction.

If there is a buffer between the food and the heat source, fat drippings are less prone to catch fire.

Is worth spritzing your pork butt every 30 minutes when cooking this way.

With the fat side up, you’ll be less likely to have a flare-up because the pork juices will be regularly basted.

Flickering fires can be minimized even further by employing the pellet grill, which allows the fat-released juices to enter the meat and have less of their drippings fall into the heat.

Butt Fat Down on a Pellet Grill

Many people strive to achieve a delicious crust on their smoked pork.

Focus on flavor might save the day even when the end product is a little dry.

This is a better option if flavor over moistness is more important to you.

If you smoke your pig butt for a long period of low heat, you can nearly guarantee that it will be juicy.

When you smoke meat, you get a lot of benefits.

Many people no longer believe that the pork butt fat side is necessary for its basting function as a result of this.

And with the pellet grill’s design, there’s no need to worry about flare-ups because of this.

Instead of basting, many people choose to place the pig butt fat side down.

It helps keep moisture and heat from being absorbed by smoking the meat in this position.

Pork butts can be cooked in a variety of ways.

It will be more flavorful to cook its fat side down, as the bark will be more succulent when cooked fat side down.

You may prefer it cooked one way over the other.

Experiment and see what works best for you, and don’t be afraid.

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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