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False Cap on Pork Shoulder - Trim or Leave?

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  • Dewesq55
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1855
    • The Poconos, NEPA
    • Smoker:
      Landmann Smoke Master Series Heavy Duty Barrel Smoker (COS)
      Masterbuilt 40.2" 1200W Electric Smoker
      Masterbuilt ThermoTemp XL 40" Vertical Propane Smoker

      Gas Grill:
      BBQPro (cheap big box store model) Stainless steel 4 burners with aftermarket rotisserie.

      Thermometer:​​​​​​
      Fireboard with Drive cable and 20 CFM fan
      ThermoWorks Mini Instant Read
      Lavaworks Thermowand Instant Read
      2 Maverick 733
      ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
      ThermoWorks ThermaPen Mk4 x 2
      Govee Bluetooth Thermometer

      Miscellaneous:
      Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - 1st generation
      Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - wifi/bluetooth connected

      Favorite Beer:
      Anything to the dark side and malty rather than hoppy. Currently liking Yuengling Porter and Newcastle Brown Ale. In a bar or pub I will often default to Guiness

      Favorite Spirit:
      Bourbon - Eagle Rare for "every day"; Angel's Envy for special occasions, Basil Hayden's, Larceny

      Favorite Wine:
      Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Super Tuscan Sangiovese (Including Chianti Classico Riserva) Brunello di Montalcino

      Favorite Meat(s):
      Pork - especially the darker meat. I love spare ribs and anything made from shoulder/butt meat
      Chicken - Mainly the dark meat and wings
      Beef Ribeye steak

      Favorite Cuisine to Cook:
      Can't list just one: Indian, Chinese, Thai, West Indian/Carribean, Hispanic/Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, BBQ

      Favorite Cuisine to Eat:
      Indian, followed closely by BBQ.

      Disqus ID:
      David E. Waterbury

    False Cap on Pork Shoulder - Trim or Leave?

    So, I'm trimming up this 8½ lb shoulder to smoke tomorrow for pulled pork. It has a "false cap" on the side opposite they fat cap. There's a picture of it below. I don't know whether to trim it off or leave it. What say you fellows pitmasters?

    Click image for larger version

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  • Jerod Broussard
    Moderator
    • Jun 2014
    • 9738
    • East Texas
    • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
      Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
      Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
      Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
      Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
      Weber Smokey Joe Gold
      Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
      Vortex
      Maverick ET-732 White
      Maverick ET-732 Copper
      2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
      Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
      Thermoworks Timestick
      Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
      B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
      B & B Pellets

    #2
    I quit trimming my fat caps. I just score them into little squares and run fat cap up.

    Comment

    • Steve R.
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 2317
      • Elizabethtown, KY
      • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

      #3
      Me? I prefer to trim as much exterior fat as I can on these. There's plenty of fat throughout that piece of meat to keep it moist, and I tend to get better bark this way.

      Comment

      • Huskee
        Pit Boss
        • May 2014
        • 15005
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

          Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

          Smokers / Grills
          • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
          • PBC
          • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
          • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
          • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
          • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
          • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
          • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

          Thermometers
          • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
          • (7) Maverick ET-732s
          • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
          • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
          • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
          • Thermapen MkII, orange
          • ThermoPop, yellow
          • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
          • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
          • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
          • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

          Accessories
          • Instant Pot 6qt
          • Anova Bluetooth SV
          • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
          • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
          • BBQ Dragon
          • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
          • Weber grill topper
          • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
          • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
          • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

          Beverages
          • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
          • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
          • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
          • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
          • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
          • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
          • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

          About me
          Real name: Aaron
          Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

          Occupation:
          • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

        #4
        I HEAVILY trim my pork butts, I even dig down in, hack & slash style, and remove fat bands. There's so much fat in them that any I can remove now is less wads of fat in the finished product.

        Comment


        • mountainsmoker
          mountainsmoker commented
          Editing a comment
          What do you do then tie it up with string?

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          mountainsmoker Usually I let gravity hold it, I just sorta flop it however on the grate so that it holds together in a single hunk. If it's real bad then I'll tie, but only had to do that a few times. I find I have to tie more when smoking a boneless butt than bone-in that I've hacked up.

        • klflowers
          klflowers commented
          Editing a comment
          +1 on the heavy trim
      • Greygoose
        Club Member
        • May 2019
        • 645
        • South Shore,MA

        #5
        Lookin’ at the pic and how it was trimmed,,,,,I’d rub it and let the heat do it’s thing with that Bad Larry

        Comment

        • Ahumadora
          Club Member
          • Oct 2015
          • 2069
          • Pilar Buenos Aires, Argentina

          #6
          Trim it off it it is only thin. For the thin offcut, roll it or platt it, pin it with a wooden skewer. Pit master snack while you are cooking the butt. (Waste nothing)

          Comment

          • HouseHomey
            Club Member
            • May 2016
            • 5267
            • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
            • Equipment
              Primo Oval xl

              Slow n Sear (two)
              Drip n Griddle
              22" Weber Kettle
              26" Weber Kettle one touch
              Blackstone 36” Pro Series
              Sous vide machine
              Kitchen Aid
              Meat grinder
              sausage stuffer
              5 Crock Pots
              Akootrimonts
              Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
              cast iron pans,
              Dutch ovens
              Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
              The help and preferences
              1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
              KBB
              FOGO
              A 9 year old princess foster child
              Patience and old patio furniture
              "Baby Girl" The cat

              Erik S.

            #7
            Run with it. I like more fat and less bark.

            Comment

            • mountainsmoker
              Banned Former Member
              • Jun 2019
              • 1851
              • Bryson City, NC

              #8
              If I get one with that on it I trim it off, rub it and put it on with the butt. It will be good in about 2+ hours and ready for the grill boss to snack on. I never waste anything that starts with P. As far as trimming I take all of the outside fat off or as much as possible without cutting into the meat to much.

              Comment


              • Bumby
                Bumby commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes!
            • Dewesq55
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 1855
              • The Poconos, NEPA
              • Smoker:
                Landmann Smoke Master Series Heavy Duty Barrel Smoker (COS)
                Masterbuilt 40.2" 1200W Electric Smoker
                Masterbuilt ThermoTemp XL 40" Vertical Propane Smoker

                Gas Grill:
                BBQPro (cheap big box store model) Stainless steel 4 burners with aftermarket rotisserie.

                Thermometer:​​​​​​
                Fireboard with Drive cable and 20 CFM fan
                ThermoWorks Mini Instant Read
                Lavaworks Thermowand Instant Read
                2 Maverick 733
                ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S Industrial Infrared Thermometer
                ThermoWorks ThermaPen Mk4 x 2
                Govee Bluetooth Thermometer

                Miscellaneous:
                Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - 1st generation
                Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator - wifi/bluetooth connected

                Favorite Beer:
                Anything to the dark side and malty rather than hoppy. Currently liking Yuengling Porter and Newcastle Brown Ale. In a bar or pub I will often default to Guiness

                Favorite Spirit:
                Bourbon - Eagle Rare for "every day"; Angel's Envy for special occasions, Basil Hayden's, Larceny

                Favorite Wine:
                Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Super Tuscan Sangiovese (Including Chianti Classico Riserva) Brunello di Montalcino

                Favorite Meat(s):
                Pork - especially the darker meat. I love spare ribs and anything made from shoulder/butt meat
                Chicken - Mainly the dark meat and wings
                Beef Ribeye steak

                Favorite Cuisine to Cook:
                Can't list just one: Indian, Chinese, Thai, West Indian/Carribean, Hispanic/Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, BBQ

                Favorite Cuisine to Eat:
                Indian, followed closely by BBQ.

                Disqus ID:
                David E. Waterbury

              #9
              I ended up leaving it attached. But I really appreciate all of the advice. I cut the butt into 2 hunks a la Huskee but did a crap job (out of practice?) and ended up with the boneless hunk at 2.7 lbs and the one with the bone at 4.3. i have them separately probed so I can pull them off when each hits my target temp. Pix later. They went on the Thermotemp XL at 7 a.m. I'll tell you, that thing, so far is doing an awesome job of holding temp within a degree or 2 of where I set the dial.
              ​​​

              Comment


              • Dewesq55
                Dewesq55 commented
                Editing a comment
                jfmorris - First, congratulations on Yvonne getting discharged and able to be at home with you. Now, to answer your question, I use chunks and there is plenty of smoke/smoke flavor. I have occasionally added a few chips as well to jump start the production of smoke, but the last couple of times I went straight chunks with excellent results.

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks! She is doing so much better even now, not even a day after getting home.

                How many chunks and what size chunks will that round smoke pan hold? I've looked at videos, and saw the pan on a bracket on the inside of the door, but was unsure it could handle chunks since it had a lid. The pan must be bigger than it looks on my computer screen, haha.

              • Dewesq55
                Dewesq55 commented
                Editing a comment
                jfmorris - the pan is small-ish, or, rather, shallow, but the lid is just attached by a tab that fits in a slot in the pan. It is easy to remove, or, you can leave it attached and just drop it onto the chunks and it doesn't matter if it's propped open by them, which is what I usually do. It will hold several decent sized chunks, if you want. Today, I just put in one at a time every 45 to an hour. The bracket is sturdy.
                Last edited by Dewesq55; June 12, 2020, 02:03 PM.
            • Schwyy
              Club Member
              • Nov 2019
              • 105
              • Andover, MA

              #10
              I trim, as i usually follow meathead on most things, but i feel weird doing it!

              Comment

              • lostclusters
                Club Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 324
                • Oceanside, CA
                • Mak 1 Star
                  KBQ-C60
                  Char-Griller Legacy Charcoal Grill w/Side Firebox
                  WSM 22.5"
                  ThermoWorks Smoke
                  ThermoWorks Thermapen
                  Rock's Stoker II wifi
                  Flameboss 500

                #11
                Trim it and make the meat part as a snack for the cook

                Comment

                • texastweeter
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2017
                  • 2895
                  • Republic of Texas

                  #12
                  I don't trim pork shoulders at all unless there is some kind of hangeyoffeythinggy on it. Then it goes in with the rib trimmings to mix with brisket trim and fat for sausage.

                  Comment

                  • ColonialDawg
                    Club Member
                    • Oct 2017
                    • 488
                    • Coastal VA

                    #13
                    I personally remove the fat cap and I would remove that one in your pic too (just what I do). To me, it doesn’t render all that well, it doesn’t do very much except prevent rub getting on the meat. Plus, like others have already mentioned, there’s plenty of fat running throughout the meat to keep it moist.

                    Comment

                    • Dadof3Illinois
                      Club Member
                      • Jul 2017
                      • 859
                      • Southeast Illinois

                      #14
                      I trim as much as I can, I’ll even dig behind the money muscle and take a lot of that fat line out. I usually wrap and this helps give me slightly better bark because I don’t end up with as much liquid in wrap. I don’t think there’s a wrong or right way, it’s just how you want to do it.

                      Comment

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