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how do you all trim pork butts?

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    how do you all trim pork butts?

    Smoked my first pork butt in May, and have done a few since then. I've always trimmed off the false cap, and the majority of the fat and stringy connective tissue in between the two "halves" of a bone in pork butt.

    I've heard some folks don't trim anything at all, and some that only trim off that first layer where the false cap is.

    I'm just curious what other folks do to see if I'm doing it wrong, haha

    Anymore, I don't trim anything. Maybe trim down a little of the fat off the cap if it is really thick. That's it.


      Trim off the fat cap and any huge chunks I see but nothing like I’d do to a brisket.


      • ChiefK
        ChiefK commented
        Editing a comment
        the top, "first" cap, or do you take off the one below it too?

      • IFindZeroBadCooks
        IFindZeroBadCooks commented
        Editing a comment
        Just the top!

      Very carefully, yessir.


      • bbqLuv
        bbqLuv commented
        Editing a comment
        I was going to suggest that.

      I trim the fat cap and any excess on the exterior, but don’t dig into the various muscles to remove fat. I find that wrapping after it is cooked and resting it in an ice chest for at least two hours allows me to remove those excessive pieces of fat when I pull it.
      Last edited by LA Pork Butt; August 25, 2021, 05:57 AM.


      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        I will 3rd this. Why go to all that effort before hand, digging into the interior of the butt, when any gristle or excess fat is easily discarded while pulling the pork. A lot of times, I find that almost everything renders, and on some butts, I have very little waste at all. On others, I end up with a handful of gristle that I toss while pulling the pork.

      Just what they said....


        I don't trim anything.


          I don’t trim at all. I turn the fat cap down as a bit of a heat shield then hit it with anywhere from 275F to 300F.


            I trim the fat cap down. Season, then smoke, that is about it.


              If I think there is an unusually thick fat cap, I will trim it a little with a boning/filet knife, other than that, I don't do anything with butts, and I've smoked many butts in the past 30 years.

              And as I said above in a comment, you are wasting time digging around inside the butt with a knife trying to fish out gristle or connective tissue before you cook. When you pull the pork, it is easily discerned and discarded then. Sometimes I have zero waste on a butt. Other times I find a handful of stuff like you describe that doesn't render, but its easily tossed while I am pulling the pork with my meat claws on the cutting board.
              Last edited by jfmorris; August 25, 2021, 06:44 AM.


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                • FireMan
                  FireMan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  “Yo mama!”

                Just the fat cap as well unless there are any rogue exterior chunks.


                  I used to trim bit no more—- cooking fat side down i need it all


                    I don't, unless there's loose flaps, etc., hangin off that're gonna git incinerated...


                      I'm pretty agressive with trimming the fat cap. The interior fat and connective tissue is where it's at.



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