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Saturday, March 9, 2013

KCBS Competition Practice. Pork Butt. Part 3 of 4, and a Product Review, Dukes Dirt Rub

Ok, you have two boxes turned in.  You are half way home and you are really in the groove.  Time to dissect your pork butt for turn in at 1 pm.

Overall, pork butt is the easiest category in KCBS.  At least it is for us.  Here is what we are trying in this experiment:

1.  A new injection mix: apple juice, Worcester sauce, and soy sauce.
2.  A new rub, Dukes Dirt.
3.  Lower cook temperature: 235 F vs. 250 F.

After injection, I placed in a foil pan covered with foil and let sit overnight...

Then, about 2 hours before placing the butt on the smoker, I covered with a new rub that my friends have been talking about, Dukes Dirt...

After opening the Dukes Dirt, I knew I had a possible winner on my hands.  I could smell some citrus  and nutmeg overtones that were confirmed with the standard finger test.  I could not wait to see how this new predicted performed with this butt.  But, more on that later.

I fired up the smoker and brought to a temperature of 235 F.  Once I reached this temperature, I placed hickory and peach wood in the ash pan, than loaded the butt in the smoker...

I cooked this butt without panning or foiling.  I just took to a temperature of 195 F, then wrapped in foil to rest for 30 minutes.  More on that later.  Here is a picture before pulling..

Here is a picture after resting and pulling...

So, my overall thoughts:

I like the flavor of the new injection.  I also like the flavor of the Dukes Dirt.  The smells coming from the smoker while cooking were intoxicating.  I could not wait to try this pulled pork. 

But, after pulling the meat and trying, I was a little disappointed.  Number one, the meat did not pull well.  But, this was due to the 30 minutes of rest time.  I usually allow my butts to rest for at least 2 hours in a cooler.  They usually just fall right apart.  But, I had hungry people waiting and a butt that took longer than usual to cook.  Number two complaint was the bark.  I would have liked more of a uniform color and darkness.  I did notice the Dukes Dirt did not have as much sugar as I would usually see on a rub.  Also, perhaps I did not place enough rub evenly on the butt.  Things to consider the next time I make pulled pork.  But, I was very happy with the taste, flavor, and smell.  Once I refine my technique on this one, I will dutifully report back. 

For now the Dukes Dirt gets 3 out of 4 stars.  But, I reserve the right to revise my scoring in the future. 

Thanks for stopping by...



  1. I have been cooking my shoulder a little hotter lately. 265-275. It has been working for me but I also do not compete. Do you try to present sliced? I have a weakness for the money muscle.

    1. The jury is still out on the lower temps Chilebrown. I'll have more feedback in a couple of weeks...

    2. Almost forgot, we put sliced, pulled, and bark in our boxes...