Championship Pork Rub


Ingredients: brown sugar, sea salt, paprika, demerara sugar, grains of paradise, onion, garlic, yellow mustard, chili powder, brown mustard, black pepper, rosemary, marjoram, clove, allspice

This 16 ingredient pork rub has won several competitions in both the pork butt and pork rib categories. We did our testing with this using a delightful pork shoulder and tasted it without any sauce to get the full flavor of the pork rub - it was perfect.

If you're not familiar with a pork shoulder there are two halves, the "Boston butt" (also called the pork butt) and the "picnic ham".

The "butt" comes from the top half of the shoulder, from the the back of the pig near the spine through the shoulder blade. Butts normally weigh between 4 and 14 pounds and typically have shoulder blade bones in them although some butchers will remove the bones and sell these as "boneless butts". Calling it a butt seems odd since it comes from the front of the hog. But make no mistake this portion of the hog provides the tastiest meat for pulled pork sandwiches.

When it comes to using our Championship Pork Rub as a pork rub you can apply the rub in advance with some people liking to apply it 8-24 hours before smoking. The truth is that the majority of the rub's molecules are too large and will penetrate less than a 1/2" into the meat during this time. A good pork rub is meant more as a surface treeatment for flavor and to create the bark. I like to apply the rub just before cooking in combination with a thin layer of oil (olive, canola or vegetable oil all work well) as most of the flavors in the rub are oil soluble (dissolves easily). Spread the rub generously on the thicker portions of the shoulder.

You want to maximize the flavor when smoking large cuts of pork butts because these roasts have a great deal of meat compared to the available surface area. You need to get the most out of your rub. You need to work as much of the Pork Stank into the meat as it will hold. One trick we did learn from our time working with the competition barbecuers was to add two tablespoons of Pork Stank to one cup of apple juice to spray on the meat while it is smoking.

Once the pork butt hits 150 to 160°F, the moisture from inside the meat starts to move to the surface and begins evaporating which cools the surface of the meat. This is the what starts drying the exterior and helps from the bark.

Some competition and backyard barbecuers like to inject their pork butts with a marinade. This marniade is usually concocted with 1/4 cup of their rub and 1 cup of warm apple juice and they inject it deep into the meat. You can do this but most of these competition barbecuers don't do this when cooking at home for friends and family as the cut is moist enough on its own that injecting tends to cover up the pork's natural flavor.

In addition to pork butts and pork ribs our Pork Rub is equally delicious on ham and pork chops.


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