Recipe courtesy of Adam Perry Lang

Award Winning Competition Barbecue Pork Butt Recipe

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Total: 7 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 6 hr


One 8-pound pork butt

Brine, recipe follows

Garlicky Marinade, recipe follows

Dry Rub, recipe follows

Cider Mop Spray, recipe follows

Barbeque Sauce, recipe follows


1 cup apple juice

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Garlicky Barbecue Marinade:

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Dry Rub:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sweet paprika

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup chili powder

1/4 cup dry mustard

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Cider Mop Spray:

1 cup apple juice

1 cup water

1/4 cup cider vinegar

Barbecue Sauce:

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 cup smoked bacon, cut into rectangles about 1-inch long and 1/2-inch wide

1/2 cup sweet (Vidalia or Maui) onion, minced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup tomato ketchup

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1/4 cup apple juice

Cider vinegar


Special equipment:
4 cups wood chips, soaked in water for 1 hour
  1. Preheat a charcoal grill to 225 degrees F. Carefully edge the coals to 1 side and then add 1/2 cup drained wood chips. Place 1 cup of water in metal drip pan on opposite side.
  2. Inject the pork butt with brine about every 2-inches and then rub with marinade and dust with Dry Rub. Place the pork on the grill, directly over the drip pan and cook. Be sure to replenish the coals as the temperatures drops, the chips as the smoke dissipates and the water in the drip pan.
  3. After 6 hours, spray the pork with Cider Mop every half hour. Cook until a thermometer placed into the thickest part of pork reaches 195 degrees F. Transfer to a platter, brush with the sauce and let rest 30 minutes. To serve, slice into 1/2-pound servings, place on plates and serve with extra sauce alongside.


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until the salt and sugar dissolve and then place into meat syringe for immediate brining or reserve, refrigerated, for later use.

Garlicky Barbecue Marinade:

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and puree. Remove to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Dry Rub:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and store in an air tight container for later use.

Cider Mop Spray:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Barbecue Sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned and crispy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion, garlic, onion power, garlic powder, black pepper, and cloves. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and water and then bring to a simmer. Stir in the ketchup, mustard, honey, preserves and juice and then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season with the vinegar. Remove the bacon with a spider and discard. Puree the mixture with a hand blender and then cool and reserve for later use.

Cook’s Note

What to drink: American Lager Beer

Let's Get Cooking!

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27 Reviews


I don't usually write reviews but due to the rave reviews I've received, I decided to help some of you others....<div>Hands-down this is the best pork butt recipe out there.  Here are a couple of tips:</div><div>1.  Apply the dry rub the night before.</div><div>2.  Smoke the butt for a good 10 hours.</div><div>3.  At 225, you won't be able to get 185-190 degrees.  The meat won't get that hot, even smoking for 10 hours.</div><div>4. Mop with bbq sauce right after smoking.  Let the butt sit for a good 45 minutes before using bear claws to pull apart.</div><div>5.  Last but MOST IMPORTANT, inject brine into butt before smoking and halfway through.  You'll see that the but will dry out, otherwise.  If you want that sweet smokey flavor, you'll need to smoke for 10 hours using hickory and cherry woods.</div>

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