Competition Pork Butt Recipe Cool Smoke Style

"I am a Southern girl at heart, so I have a pulled pork sandwich and Key lime pie every day. It's a problem."Billie Lourd

Don’t tell my fellow native Texans, but when it comes to cooking competition BBQ, my favorite category by far is pork butt.

Here’s why: I have OD’d on ribs since moving to Memphis; I don’t have the patience for scraping the fat from chicken skin; and I can’t bring myself to accept the judges’ preference for sweet and saucy brisket. I also love the variety of textures and flavors that can be created from a single properly smoked pork butt. For top competitors, that means turn-in boxes filled with a mix of tender pulled pork, bark speckled chunks, and perfectly sliced medallions of “money muscle” (i.e. the coppa, a tubular, fat striped muscle of meat located opposite the shoulder blade bone).

Few people know how to strike that perfect balance like esteemed pitmaster Tuffy Stone of the Cool Smoke competition BBQ team. ne of my fondest memories of Tuffy is from the 2010 Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Tuffy had already proven himself as one of the top competitors on the BBQ circuit, but 2010 was the first time he had ever competed at Memphis in May.

For a seasoned pro, Memphis in May may not seem like much of a challenge, but this contest is a unique beast. Most contests only require competitors to turn in an unmarked box of meat for judging. Memphis in May also requires teams to present to three separate judges at their sites. On top of that, if a team is selected as a top three finalist in their chosen category (whole hog, ribs, or pork shoulder), the team must also present to a group of finals judges. When all is said and done, it’s a lot of meat, a lot of stress, and a lot of showmanship.

In 2010, my kids and I stopped by the Cool Smoke site just as Tuffy and team were notified that they made the finals in pork shoulder. In complete shock, Tuffy rallied the troops and they prepared to present to the finals judges. Long story short, they nailed the presentation and Cool Smoke walked away with a 1st place win in the pork shoulder category at the world’s premier pork BBQ cooking contest.

Cool Smoke Wins First Place Pork Shoulder

Now, eight years later, Tuffy is releasing his very first cookbook, “Cool Smoke: The Art of Great Barbecue” (May 2018, St. Martin’s Griffin Publishing), and it features countless mouthwatering BBQ and grilling recipes, including Tuffy’s award winning pork butt. To celebrate the book release, Tuffy is sharing his competition pork butt recipe with the lucky readers of AmazingRibs.com! Note that you can use any bone-in pork shoulder for this recipe, but Tuffy recommends (and wins consistently with) the Smithfield brand.

Cool Smoke The Art of Great Barbecue

COMPETITION PORK BUTT – COOL SMOKE STYLE

MAKES 10 TO 20 SERVINGS

While this dish is reminiscent of Kansas City–style barbecue, we’ve added a little bit of sweetness, a little spice, and some tang, with the goal of having something to please everyone’s tastes.

For competition cooks, the prize portion of the pork butt is what’s known as the “money muscle,” also called the coppa, a muscle at the top of the shoulder. It gets its name because of the many awards it tends to win for cooks. If prepared correctly, it has a tender, silky chew.

1 cup Cool Smoke Rub (recipe follows)

2 cups Pork Injection (recipe follows)

1 (8- to 10-pound) Smithfield bone-in pork butt, trimmed (you can ask your butcher to do this)

2 cups apple juice, in a spray bottle, for the grill

3 cups Cool Smoke Barbecue Sauce (recipe follows)

Prepare the Cool Smoke Rub and the Pork Injection.

On a clean work surface, use a shaker to dust the pork shoulder evenly all over with the Cool Smoke Rub. Place the pork fat-cap down and fill a meat injector with the Pork Injection. Using 1 ounce of the liquid per injection, repeatedly inject the meat 1 inch apart over the surface of the pork. Refill the injector as needed. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

When you are ready to cook, heat the smoker to 300°F pit temperature. Alternatively, heat the grill to 300°F, using the 2-zone setup, using five or six chunks of your favorite wood in addition to the charcoal or gas.

Place the pork shoulder in the smoker, or on the cool side of the grill, close the lid, and cook for 1 hour, then spray with apple juice to moisten. Cook for 3 hours more with the lid closed, spraying the shoulder every 30 minutes.

Cut two 18 x 24-inch pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil and join them lengthwise by crimping the edges. Lay the resulting piece out flat on a clean work surface.

Remove the shoulder from the smoker or grill and wrap it tightly in the length of foil. Return it to the smoker or to the cool side of the grill. Cook for 2½ to 3½ hours more, checking the temperature after 2½ hours with a meat thermometer. The meat will be done when a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the shoulder reads an internal temperature of 195°F.

Prepare the Cool Smoke Barbecue Sauce.

Remove the pork shoulder from the foil and brush with ½ cup of the Cool Smoke Barbecue Sauce. Return the pork, uncovered, to the smoker, or to the cool side of the grill, and cook for another 10 minutes to set the sauce. Remove from the heat and let the shoulder rest for 45 minutes.

Serve the pork sliced, chopped, or pulled, with the remaining Cool Smoke Barbecue Sauce on the side.

Sliced Money Muscle

Removing the Money Muscle

Pulled Pork Butt

Sliced Competition Pork Butt

COOL SMOKE RUB

MAKES A GENEROUS 1½ CUPS

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 cup Smoked Chili Powder (recipe below)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated onion

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

 

COOL SMOKE BARBECUE SAUCE

MAKES 1 QUART

3 cups ketchup

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

3/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup molasses

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Smoked Chili Powder (recipe below)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons granulated onion

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

In a 4-quart saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients with 3/4 cup water. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Set aside to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 weeks.

TIPS

  • For a sweeter version of this sauce, increase brown sugar or reduce amount of vinegar.
  • Best if it sits overnight.

 

SMOKED CHILI POWDER

MAKES A GENEROUS 2 CUPS

1 cup smoked paprika

5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated garlic

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons granulated onion

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

 

PORK INJECTION

MAKES 2 CUPS

1 1/2 cups apple juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup Butcher’s BBQ pork injection powder

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Thoroughly whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

This recipe is adapted with permission from Cool Smoke: The Art of Great Barbecue(May 2018, St. Martin’s Griffin Publishing) by Tuffy Stone.

 

Competition Pork Butt Recipe

About Tuffy Stone

Clint Cantwell and Tuffy Stone

Tuffy Stone is a classically trained French chef, television personality and accomplished pitmaster who can be considered the most successful guy on the competitive barbecue circuit over the last few years. He is a judge and host on the Destination America reality television show BBQ Pitmasters since 2009. Tuffy is the head cook on the team “Cool Smoke” and co-owns four Q Barbeque restaurants in Richmond, VA. He recently opened a fifth restaurant, Rancho T, in April 2015. Before his success on the competition barbecue scene, Tuffy was best known as one of the premiere caterers in Virginia as the co-owner and proprietor of A Sharper Palate Catering, a top rated catering and events firm in Richmond. He has earned Grand Champion titles in nearly every major barbecue competition on the circuit. In 2013 Stone took home two World Champion titles while only cooking eight contests and he followed up in 2014 with another World Championship title, winning the American Royal Open. That year he also won 1st Runner Up at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo World Championship, and took 2nd place in ribs at Memphis in May. Tuffy has won contests all over the country, including back to back wins at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Grand Champion at 2013 Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational, and First Place in Whole Shoulder at the 2010 Memphis in May World Championship to name a few. Most recently, Tuffy took home the top prize in competition barbecue, winning Grand Champion at the 2015 Kingsford Invitational.

Related articles

bbq support

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.

https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

If you love barbecue and grilling you should join our Pitmaster Club. We can up your game.

  • No-risk moneyback guarantee.
  • The Pit forum brims with recipes and info.
  • A real community with no politics or flame wars.
  • We block ads on the entire site.
  • Two monthly newsletters.
  • Video seminars with famous pitmasters.
  • Weekly podcasts with Greg Rempe.
  • Weekly BBQ cartoons by Jerry King.
  • Comprehensive Temperature Guide Magnet ($10 retail).
  • Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers worth up to $2000.
  • Discounts on products we love.
  • Support for AmazingRibs.com!

 Click here to learn more and to join


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

Moderators

  Max
  Clint
  Jerod
  Huskee
  Henrik
  Browne

 

 Click to Show Comments or Add Your Own