Award Winning Competition Pork Butt Recipe, Tuffy Stone's World Championship Method

World Champion Tuffy Stone's award winning pork butt recipe takes your competition BBQ over the top.

Few people know how to strike that perfect balance like esteemed pitmaster Tuffy Stone of the Cool Smoke competition BBQ team. In 2018, the world champion BBQ competitor, TV personality, and BBQ Hall of Fame member released 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! Note that you can use any bone-in pork shoulder for this recipe, but Tuffy recommends (and wins consistently with) the Smithfield brand.

Also be sure to check out Tuffy's two amazing Q Barbecue restaurants in Virginia, including one in Glen Allen and one in Midlothian, as well as an amazing catering company A Sharper Palate. He also has plans for 2-3 cooking classes per year so stay tuned to for more information on those!


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Competition Pork Butt Recipe

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.

Course. Dinner. Entree.

Cuisine. American. Southern.

Makes: 10 to 20 servings. 

Takes: 30 minutes prep. 8 to 12 hours refrigeration. Approximately 7 hours cook time. 45 minutes rest time.


Cool Smoke Rub (makes a generous 1 1/2 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

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

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

Pork Butt

1 cup Cool Smoke Rub

2 cups Pork Injection

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

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


1) Prep. To prepare the Cool Smoke Rub, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

2) For the smoked chili powder, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

3) To create the pork injection, thoroughly whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. The injection will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

4) 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.

5) Fire up. 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.

6) Cook. 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.

7) 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.

8) 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.

9) Prep again. Prepare the Cool Smoke Barbecue Sauce. 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. The sauce is best if it sits overnight).

10) 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.

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





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

"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

Clint Cantwell

Clint Cantwell is's Senior Vice President, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. Cantwell was was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".

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About 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.

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