Spiced and Smoked Butt | Summer Eats: Rebecca Lang’s Smoked Barbecue

Rebecca’s Smoked Barbecue

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When it’s summertime, there’s only one way celebrate.  And that means a yard full of family and friends, with a fired-up smoker filled with barbecue. Woodchips, spices, and smoke magically transform a Boston butt into a pitmaster’s dream. Even though families grow and change throughout the years, the celebration and the barbecue always remains the same.

Spiced and Smoked Butt | Summer Eats: Rebecca Lang’s Smoked Barbecue

Spiced and Smoked Boston Butt Recipe

Makes: 8 to 10 servings

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. celery seeds, crushed
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3⁄4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 (5-lb.) bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt)
  • 10 cups hickory chips
  • 1 disposable, aluminum-foil roasting pan
  • Vinegar Sauce (see below)


  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl. Place pork in a large bowl. Generously coat all sides with 3⁄4 cup spice rub. Reserve remaining rub for another use.
  2. Cover pork with plastic wrap; chill 8 to 24 hours. Soak wood chips in water to cover 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. Place aluminum-foil pan half-full of water on 1 side of a ceramic smoker (such as a Big Green Egg), under the grate, to collect drippings and keep them from burning. Light hardwood charcoal on the other side of the smoker, and bring internal temperature to 300°. Maintain temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Drain wood chips, and place 2 cups directly on coals. Place pork, fat side up, on the cooking grate over the water pan; cover with smoker lid.
  5. Smoke pork, maintaining smoker temperature at 300°, for 6 hours and 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 190° and the meat falls off the bone. Check smoker every 30 minutes, adding wood chips (1 cup at a time) as needed to maintain smoke, and adjusting vents and adding charcoal (5 to 6 pieces at a time) as needed to maintain 300° heat. Keep the lid closed as much as possible. You will want to cover the meat with foil when the crust is browned to your liking.
  6. Let stand 30 minutes before chopping or pulling. Serve with Vinegar Sauce.

Vinegar Sauce:

Makes: 3 cups

  • 1 1⁄2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3⁄4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 1⁄4 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until brown sugar dissolves. (Do not boil.)
  2. Store in refrigerator up to 3 months.


Contributor, Rebecca Lang

For more information about Rebecca Lang, visit www.rebeccalangcooks.com

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Reprinted with permission from Southern Living Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang, copyright © 2012. Published by Oxmoor House.

Photo credit: Jennifer Davick

Rebecca Lang

Rebecca Lang is a food writer, cooking instructor, mother of two, and a ninth-generation Southerner. Born and raised in South Georgia, she is author of four cookbooks including Southern Living’s Around the Southern Table and Quick-Fix Southern. She serves as a contributing editor for Southern Living and MyRecipes.com and teaches cooking classes across America.

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