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Award Winning Competition Pork Butt Recipe

Sliced competition pork butt
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4.09 from 114 votes
Discover the tips and techniques for create championship quality pork butt or pork shoulder from competition BBQ champion Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke Barbecue. And watch the video here by Danielle "Diva Q" Bennett.

Serve with: your favorite local beer, but wait until after your turn-ins.

Main Course



Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours


Cool Smoke Rub [Makes a Generous 1 1/2 Cups (200 g)]

  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup Smoked Chili Powder (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 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 A Generous 2 Cups)

Pork Butt

  • 1 cup Cool Smoke Rub
  • 2 cups Pork Injection
  • 8 - 10 pounds 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 above)
  • 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
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (29.6 mL) of the liquid per injection, repeatedly inject the meat 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart over the surface of the pork. Refill the injector as needed. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
  • Fire up. When you are ready to cook, heat the smoker to 300°F (148.9°C) pit temperature. Alternatively, heat the grill to 300°F (148.9°C), using the 2-zone setup, using five or six chunks of your favorite wood in addition to the charcoal or gas.
  • 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.
  • Cut two 18 x 24-inch (46 x 64 cm) 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 (90.6°C).
  • Prep again. Prepare the Cool Smoke Barbecue Sauce. In a 4-quart (.9 L) saucepan, whisk together all the ingredients with ¾ cup (177.4 mL) 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).
  • Remove the pork shoulder from the foil and brush with ½ cup (118.3 mL) 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. 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.