[recipe] mary’s awesome rub + smoked pork butt

This weekend Jake wanted me to try smoking again. You see, a few weeks ago I had a BBQ and invited a few friends over for dinner. I made smoked spare ribs for the first time ever and it turned out to be a success! Silly me was so busy with preparing stuff, setting things up and talking to guests that of course I didn’t take any pictures before all the food was gone.

Blogger fail.

Instead of ribs this time, I did a pork butt. And I made sure to take plenty of photos!

Let’s go over the rub first. I think this rub will be FAMOUS because it’s so full of awesome. It’s brown sugar based with a whole mess of other spices and seasonings:


See. A whole MESS.

You dump the stuff into a bowl. Then you mix ’em all up in said bowl.


Then it looks like this when it’s all mixed together: a slight red crumbly mixture with bits of dried onion. I have cayenne powder in the first photo, but I actually forgot to put it in this time. But, that can really be to your liking. If you like it spicy, add a bit of that stuff in. If you just like a hint of it, just add a little. Perfectly fine to completely leave it out, too.


Slather the rub all up into your meat, getting all of the nooks and crannies. I imagine this rub would be good for a whole mess of things!


Then… time to set up the grill!

Since we’re smoking this sucker, I set up the grill for indirect heat. You don’t need a special smoker or anything, a regular charcoal grill will totally do the trick. I have aluminum foil set up on one side and a small basket on the other side underneath the grate’s grill where you can pull the grate up. You can read more on how to set up a grill for indirect heat here.


Using a chimney with paper on the bottom, I put enough coals in to fill about 1/4 of the chimney. Once the coals are ashy white, I dump them into the small holder.


For smoking, I use applewood. My dad saves the applewood from our apple tree when he cuts it back each year. I use the sticks and other pieces after they have been soaked in water for 5-10 minutes.

The temperature should be between 200-250 degrees the entire time you are smoking. About every 45 minutes or so, I go and check on it and add more coals/wood as necessary to maintain the temperature and keep the smoke going.


Smoking in action!


I decided to smoke some sausages along with the pork butt. Above, I had basted the pork with apple juice/rub mixture, but I think next time I would skip the basting. After 4 1/2 hours, I wrapped the pork tightly in aluminum foil. This way you will catch all of the juices from the meat.


I actually pulled the pork out too early – this is after about 7 hours. I ended up cutting off the portion that was not next to the bone and then smoking it again for another 3 hours. The tricky, tricky bone makes it so you really need to smoke this for longer!

Also: don’t be like me and leave the house for an hour. Your temperature will get too low and you’ll stomp your feet and curse to yourself as you try and get your heat back up to speed.


Here are some of the pork slices in it’s delicious juice.


We made little pork sliders with the meat!


The sausages also turned out nicely. And I made some really kick ass potato salad. I put fresh corn, celery and lots of hard boiled eggs into mine! Maybe I’ll post that recipe later, too…

In the meantime though, I leave you with my awesome rub recipe that I don’t have a good name for…


Mary's Awesome Rub
  1. 2 cups brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons dried onion
  3. 2 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
  4. 2 tablespoons paprika
  5. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  6. 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  7. 1 tablespoon sea salt
  8. 1 ½ tablespoons black pepper
  9. ½ tablespoon smoked sea salt
  10. ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  1. Measure!
  2. Stick in a bowl!
  3. Mix it!
  4. Rub it!
This Tasty Life http://food.theplainjane.com/

8 thoughts on “[recipe] mary’s awesome rub + smoked pork butt

  1. Oh man !! That looks so good!! I don’t have a bbq though 🙁 Can I use a regular oven for this recipe?

    Where did you get the pork butt from? And did you use light or dark brown sugar (or is there just ‘regular’ brown sugar?).

    1. Hi Faye – you could also do it in the oven and it just won’t be smoked. I would guess 225 degrees for many hours would do the trick! I used light brown sugar for this one but you could use either!

  2. I love pork butt. I just got a smoker so I can’t wait to use it so maybe I’ll try out your recipe. And I’ve been there in forgetting to take pictures of the done product.

  3. Yes, pork butt rules! I shall click and save your recipe.

    I have every ingredient for that rub, now it’s just putting it all together, and buying a pork butt! Seeing your pictures was torture, as it is 11 pm and way too late to be eating, ha ha!

  4. Boston Butt (that’s what we call that cut where I am from) is great. That looks fantastic, I love the dry rub recipe – excellent photos!

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