Pork Butt Friday - Looking For Opinions


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Smoking a 5lb bone-in pork butt Friday (looks like our last warm day here in Canada near Toronto) and looking for opinions on rubs and binders.

Basically will be using the meat for pulled pork in tacos, wraps and nachos for the next few days after.

Last time I used the following, but want to experiment with something else:

Binder - Lime juice and tequila and water and Apple Cider Vinegar
Rub - Clubhouse Tex Mex, Coriander, Cumin, Granulated Garlic, Kosher Salt, Coarse Black Pepper, Chili Powder
Spritz every 45min with lime/tequila/acv/water
Wood - apple wood

This time I will be using Cherry Wood (or Pecan) as I am out of Apple for now.

Thanks in advance!

KE Quist

TVWBB Super Fan
Sounds good. It will be interesting if your binder/spritz adds anything to it. Lime juice and tequila sounds great to me just the way it is.


If you have to use mustard to hold the rub. But not always needed. And the mustard disappears. Apple pecan cherry are perfect. Have fun post pics
About a month ago I picked up a reduced price half pork shoulder just over 4 lbs. My butcher buddy always seems to be taking care of me, this shoulder was $3. My son wanted pulled pork tacos with it so I rubbed it with MALCOM'S GRANDE GRINGO which I have to say is probably my most favorite store bought rub ever!!! About 4 hours later I made up some of this fajita paste and used a silicone brush and "painted" it on. Put that back in the fridge and 2 hours later I started the WSM 14 and sprinkled some more Grande Grindo on top before I put it on the smoker with pecan and hickory. Sprayed it with mostly water and a little bit acv, I was worried that the acv would be to strong and change the flavor but I could not make a pork shoulder without using some so went with a little, but mostly water. Keep it simple and served with warm corn tortilla, some homemade salas and queso fresco and they were a hit.


Ive never been able to tell binder or not
I cant tell what kind of wood it was smoked with, neither can 99% of people.
Spritz with whatever cant taste that either. Waters fine. Although I often use apple cider vinegar mixed with worcestershire......cant taste it. Ive used coca cola, fruit juice, water, vinegar..... Can't taste any of it.

The rub, might make a difference. I'm happy enough with Harry Soos basic rub.... No need to do anything else.
Pulled pork gets eaten with sauce.....that is where the diffeence will be..... And it will completely mask and overwhelm anything else you do.

Seth Boardman

TVWBB Member
I use either mustard or Worcestershire sauce for a binder and make my own rub that consists of chili powder, paprika, sugar, garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt, pepper, and onion powder. And I usually use mesquite wood when doing a shoulder.

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I’ve used mustard and not used anything, have not found a big difference virtually undetectable. So, I just use a rub, most of the commercial ones I’ve tried leave me cold, all salt and cayenne, my “Bobo Brazil “Coco Butt” rub was interesting but by and large I am more interested in tasting the meat and using the smoke as a condiment. Sauce? Maybe but usually only if I failed and let things get dry.
I will fully admit that I found some “Operation Barbecue Relief” rub at “Lowe’s” and since they donate a buck a bottle to OPR for each one they sell, I tried it and I like it, it’s got some flavor there is a little sweetness and herbal flavor, try it, it helps a good cause!

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Are you old enough to know who Bobo Brazil was? 🙂
Larry, I’m from Kalamazoo, he was from Benton Harbor 40 minutes away, and a actually saw the guy so, yep I’m an old fart!😉
How many others here can recall the famous finishing move, “The CoCo Butt!”? He was very generous to his home town people if a certain age recall him as a very gentle guy reaching things down for little old ladies at the grocery store and all his kind acts.
Pork shoulder is my FAVORITE meat to smoke!!!! I do "traditional" pulled pork two ways. The first is how I fell in love bbq Carolina Style. The first time I ever had smoked meat was Carolina style pork in my early 20's. The meat just gets a coating of kosher salt and the a mop of acv, red pepper flakes, sugar, and black pepper. The mop layers and layers the flavors throughout the cook and after its pulled I add a little more of the mop and serve, no sauce needed. 20200524_140928.jpg

The second is with a bbq rub. I have never needed a binder, rub sticks perfectly. I have learned I don't like to do the rub too really or the shoulder get more hammy. I add the rub right before I light the started coals for my minion method. Then right before it goes onto the smoker I hit it with a little more rub. Spray it through the cook with acv, red wine vinegar, and apple juice. I started with store bought rubs and am now moving towards making my own. 20200503_130825.jpg

About a month ago was the first time I really deviated from those two methods when I made my pork shoulder tacos that I wrote about in a previous post In this thread.

All three methods create different flavor profiles, the amazing pork comes through in all of them.


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Continuing with the game-day cook here: