Pork Butt Fat Cap or No Cap?



New member
Wondering who removes the fat cap to get the whole butt with bark.I don't keep the fat cap on when shredding so loose all the bark on top.There is plenty of intermuscular fat that I would think that would be plenty to keep it moist throughout but never done it,So whoever removes the fat what was your results as opposed to keeping cap on,Thinking of trying it with the next butt just to see the results.Thanks Lou

Tye R.

I usually remove the cap. I like bark, and that gives me more of it 👍🏼. I also open up the muscles by the shoulder bone and remove the stringy tissue there. That gives a bit more bark too. Pork butt has enough fat in it that I don’t think you need the fat cap.

Chris Allingham

Staff member
I usually remove the entire fat cap and that thin little false cap beneath it. Result is lots of great bark and less fattiness. Now, if I were running a restaurant and charging by the pound, you bet I'd leave the fat cap on and mix it into the finished product and sell it! :D


I trim off the excess since I hate picking out the extra fat when pulling. None of us in our household like all the extra fat. More bark the better. I don't remove all of it since it does provide some moisture but just keep a thin layer. It also makes cleaning the grate easier as well.

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Most of the ones I seem to buy don't have a giant fat cap. If it's excessive I have it down to 1/4 inch or less and save the rest for sausage. I think if you render the fat cap it's fine. I just mix it in with everything else and don't generally notice it in the final product. I've trimmed it off too along with the false cap and didn't notice a ton of difference either way. It's one of those things that comes down to preference for sure.


I trim and fat cap up. Self basting pork butt...(y). I close the lid and don't lay eyes on it again until +/- 205IT.

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Yeah, what Tony said! Especially the last part! If I need to add fuel, straight through the hatch and Bob’s your uncle!
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Rick P

TVWBB Super Fan
I remove most of it. Rubs do not penetrate fat. I don't recall ever having a dry one and we love the bark

Chris Allingham

Staff member
I don't find my pulled pork dry when smoked without the fat cap, but I usually mix some thinned sauce into the pulled meat for flavor...and that adds moisture, too.