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Best Way to Smoke Butt

So I’m getting ready to smoke 2 8# pork butts for Easter. I figure I’ll be getting up really early tomorrow to start the cook. Stabilize Egg at 250. But some really obvious question that my mind won’t let me answer. Smoke it with fat cap down OR facing up? I figure it should be up so that fat juices will run down the butt however I also can see that it can protect the butt by being on the bottom. Help


  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,474

    Many of us will say it doesn't matter. Some will say up, some will say down. There is no consensus on this issue. I have never seen anyone provide a compelling case for either. I tend to think that the fat cap should face towards the mothership!!!

    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,109
    edited April 20

    I like down so it sticks to the grate and I get better bark all the way around. Some people trim it off and flip the butt a few times during the cook.

    No matter which way you put the fat cap, it will be good!

    The fat fat that flavors the meat is inside the pork not in a cap.

    XL & Small Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, Pitmaker Vault, Blackstone Griddle, 6 gal Cajun Fryer, BlueStar 60" Range
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,970

    ^^^^^^^ this^^^^^^.


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 9,818

    Not sure when you’ plan to serve, but you may want to consider cooking a little hotter, like closer to 300 and give them some rest time.

    Austin, TX
  • Thanks for the comments. Planning to go fat down then because I love some good bark. Plan to eat around 630 pm so I’m thinking it needs to be on about 5 am at 250 or so.

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 10,262

    Sounds like a plan, but I agree with @Legume that you still may want to consider cooking hotter. If you hold 250 then they can take 2 hours per lb so you are looking at a potential 16 hour cook. I would rather them finish a couple of hours early and FTC or hold in the oven on keep warm.

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • Ok @SmokeyPitt and @Legume let me give it a whirl. Going to go up a little warmer. I have to remind myself that I’m cooking 2 butts and not one. I’ll share pictures of the process. Thanks!!

  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 3,495

    1 butt or 4 does not matter. It may take a wee bit longer to recover once you put the butts on but the cook will be what you expect from 1. They may finish at different times but FTC if so. Enjoy the ride

    XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, 36" Blackstone, Ardore Pizza Oven
    Follow me on Instagram @ hoosier_egger
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • balamacibalamaci Posts: 7

    I agree with @SmokeyPitt and @Legume to cook at a higher temperature. I like to cook my butts at about 1 hour per lb. So I cook between 290 and 300 until the the stall at 180 degrees and then increase to 325 until the end (203 degrees). As you can see everyone has their own method.

    LBGE, CGS Adjustable Rig & Spider,  Weber Summit,Thermoworks Smoke, Smokeware Cap
    Fairfax, VA
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 4,185

    Fat Down

    350 Indirect (Turbo)

    Approx 45 minutes/lb. (to approx 190-200 Internal). Rest for an hour.

    Hickory and Apple

    New Albany, Ohio 

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 15,458

    Agree with the others. Take the stress out of the equation. Cook hotter and rest longer.

  • msloanmsloan Posts: 395

    Cooking 8-9 pound butts at 275 will result in a total cook time of around 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours.

    i were eating at 6pm I would lit those butts on at 275 instead of 250 at around 8am (thus getting more sleep), and they should be done around 2-3pm providing 3-4 hours of rest prior to serving.

    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • MotownVolMotownVol Posts: 672

    I used to do low and slow. I would start my egg at about 10 PM and put the butts on around 11 PM and cook them way up into the next day. I cooked at 225 and it took about 14-18 hour to cook.

    i don’t do that anymore. In fact I cooked two 7 pounders today. Started the egg at 7 AM and put the butts on around 8. Started at 290 and worked the temperature up to about 315. They hit the stall around 11 AM and were done at 1 PM. I wrapped them for the last hour. They were perfect at least in my book.

    PS, fat cap down.

    Morristown TN, LBGE and Mini-Max.
  • OhioEggerOhioEgger Posts: 571

    I am completely unable to tell the difference between low & slow and turbo butt, so turbo is the only way I do it any more.

    Cincinnati, Ohio. Large BGE since 2011. Still learning.
  • The butts are on! Have been for about 25 minutes on their way to 275°. Here they are before their sacrifice!

  • jccbone62jccbone62 Posts: 230

    You can also try smoking it at 250 for the first 3 to 4 hours and then crank the temp up to bring it to your desired temperature. Once you take it off, FTC for 30 mins or more till you are ready to pull it for dinner.

    Good luck!

    XL owner in Wichita, KS
  • jak7028jak7028 Posts: 229

    I have switched to turbo only now - (350 for about 45 minutes/lbs). It is just too easy, I can put a butt on about 9am and it be ready for dinner. No waking up early and no long nights.

    I like fat side down, for bark like others of stated.

    The only thing I do not like about turbo all the way is it sometimes dries out about 1/8"-1/4" of the outer meat, just under the bark. To avoid this, about 3 hours into the cook when I have a nice bark, I put the but in a pan, pour about 1/2" of apple juice and some apple cider vinegar. I wrap the pan tight in foil and let it braise until it finishes.

    Let it rest, pour off most of the juice, then shred it in the pan in the remaining juice. Since switching to this method, I get even more complements and requests. Hardly anyone add BBQ sauce, even too pulled pork sandwhiches. As the meat sits a little and dries out, just stir it, plenty of juice in the bottom to re-moisten the meat.

    Victoria, TX - 1 Large BGE and a 36" Blackstone
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 14,155

    Bone in only. Indirect low and slow. Peach glazed, peach smoked.

    Brine 48 hours, set in rub 12 -16 hours

    Coat the butt with peach preserves.

    No pans necessary, no spray, no injection needed. The bark keeps ALL the moisture inside.

    Pull when the bone is easily removed from the roast.

    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • Chief9Chief9 Posts: 116

    Turbo is the only way to go!

    Carrollton, Va
  • Ok so feedback on the butts were....fantastic. It was a cook that was about 9 1/2 hours from start to finish with a 1 hour rest before pulling. Tremendously moist with a good bark. Best feedback of all was in all adults went back for more! Thanks for all your ideas here. Turned out so well!

  • GoooDawgsGoooDawgs Posts: 1,004

    Did you crank the temp up? Usually at 250 I'm nearly 2 hours per pound, so 9.5 hours seems quick if it wasn't 325+

    Looks great though!

    Milton, GA 
    XL BGE & FB300
  • Moved it up to about 280-300. This is the end result.

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