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

Whether to cook your pork butt 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. We will 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!

Should You Be 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.


A melted fat cap will serve to baste 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 Butt?

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.

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.

Also cooking the pork on a pellet grill reduces the risk of flare-ups due to the grill’s construction.

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

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. However 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!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

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 recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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