I cooked an 8lb pork shoulder yesterday and it turned out awesome.
I cooked it with the fat cap up. I am curious which way you folks cook them.
Sorry if there was a thread already on this but I did a search and could find nothing.
I always point the fat cap at the heat source to give a measure of protection to the meat. If I had a pit where the heat source was farther away from my cooking area I'd be free to do whatever I wanted with the cap but until then, I need it for protection.
I used to be sold on leaving the fat cap on, ESPECIALLY on Brisket Flats. But Andy (HoDeDo) in the other Fat Cap thread convinced a couple of us to try removing the fat cap in exchange for more bark area.
I tried it with the last brisket flat I did; I trimmed off most of the fat then took the fat & boiled it to make a fatty broth. I strained the broth, let it cool to room temp, then whipped the fat/broth into a frosting like consistency. I injected that brisket flat full of the mix. It plumped up and fat was oozing out in some areas.
I'm gonna tell you, it was extremely messy.... BUT IT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY! It was absolutely the most moist & tender brisket flat I've ever eaten. I used it to make Bacon Wrapped Brisket Fillets.
For Pork shoulders I now trim most of the fat cap off leaving a very thin (maybe 1/8") fat cap layer and they still have plenty of fat left to keep them moist and lots of bark.
Like Tent, until getting edumacated on this forum I went with fat cap up as well. The last butt I did, I trimmed off most of the cap and it came out great, much more bark and rub flavor in the final product than in previous attempts