Intro: Smoked BBQ Pork Butt
This is my pork rub and smoked pork butt recipe.
Step 1: Choose Your Meat
First you need to choose your pork butt. I like a 7-10 pound butt personally. I try to find butts with a nice fat cap if possible. the two butts in the picture equalled roughly 18 pounds combined. make friends with your local butcher. Remember to take them some leftovers and they will treat you right.
Step 2: Prep the Meat.
If you have a pork butt with a full fat cap on top I like to cut a diamond pattern across it. Some people prefer to trim it down considerably. Experiment and see what you prefer. My butcher trims them up nicely for me so when I get home all I have to do is inject and rub.
I like to inject with Apple juice. I have tried numerous injection liquids, but I always come back to just Apple juice. As I always say with bbq, find what you like and do it. Inject your pork butt and let it sit in a cooler or fridge if you have room. I inject and put in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours. I have left it for over 24 hours, but there was no considerable difference in flavor.
Step 3: Make Your Rub.
While the injected butt is resting it is time to make your rub. If you like store bought rubs then go for it. My rub is nothing fancy and has always gotten praise from my guest.
In a large bowl mix:
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup turbinado sugar
Kosher salt to taste-about 1/4 cup
2 tbsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp cumin
3 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp chipotle powder
2 tbsp oregano
Mix up thoroughly and sit it aside for later.
Step 4: Rub Your Butt
Two hours prior to cooking remove your butt from the fridge or cooler. Pat the butt dry. Plastic gloves come in handy at this point. Take plain yellow mustard and coat the butt completely on all sides. Flip the butt over with the fat side down. Take your rub and generously coat the butt. You don't want a super thick layer, but you also don't want to miss a spot. Continue covering the bottom and sides then flip it so the fat is up. Dust this side with rub as well. Let the butt rest while you go prepare your wood.
Step 5: Soak Your Wood.
During this cook I used Apple, hickory, cherry, and walnut. I like to use peach and pecan wood as well at times. Hickory and walnut gives a nice smoke that infuses that Smokey flavor while the fruit woods hit the meat with a hint of fruity sweetness. I soak my wood for at least 2 hours prior to cooking. I think it give a better smoke, but some swear that soaking the wood is a sin.
Step 6: Make a Spritz
I prefer to spritz the meat during cooking to keep it moist. I use a small sprayer I purchased in the garden section of lowes for $7 to spritz the meat. It's one of those cheap models with the plunger pump on top. My spritz consists of equal parts Apple juice and Apple cider vinegar.
Step 7: Start Your Fire
No matter what kind of smoker you are using it is now time to start your fire. Get your put to 225 degrees F and keep it there. Once you have your pit pegged at the right temp and the cool blue smoke is rising it is time to throw your meat in there. My rule of thumb is 1.2 hours of cook time per pound. Once you put the meat in the smoker do not open it back up for the first four hours. Do not take a peak. I repeat do not open the smoker. Keep the smoke going and just wait. After the four hour mark this is where you will need to start spritzing the meat. Spritz every hour on the hour.
Step 8: Wrap the Meat
With 3 hours left take your meat and place them in metal trays. I buy the cheap dollar disposable trays in the baking section of my grocery store. Pour in just enough of the spritz that the bottom of the tray is covered. Next wrap aluminum foil across the top. Once you have it sealed up pop it back in the smoker. At this point the meat won't take on smoke so don't worry about about that. Just keep that temp at 225.
Step 9: Let It Rest
Use a reliable meat thermometer and make sure you have reached at least 165 degrees. Anything at or above is considered safe to eat. I prefer right at 185 degrees. Make sure to avoid bones because this can mess up your reading. If you have reached this temp then it is time to rest your butts. Pull your meat from the smoker, wrap in thick towels, and let it sit for two hours. This allows all the juices to settle back into the meat and let me tell you now that it makes a difference. Take this time to get your side dishes ready and to relax yourself.
Step 10: Eat and Be Merry
After letting the pork sit it is now time to eat. I use a pair of bbq claws to shred the butt. Cut it up however you prefer. Sauce it up if you like. If we do put any sauce on it we usually use a vinegar and cayenne blend. We are not big fans of tomato based thick sauces but if you are then of course by all means sauce it up. Have your bbq the way you like it. Just make sure the guest are well fed and to save some extra for your butcher.