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Competition-Style Butter Bath

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This no muss, no fuss competition-style butter bath will take all the guesswork out of wrapping your pork ribs. All you have to do is combine this butter bath with a little liquid for wrapping your BBQ ribs or pork. This recipe makes enough for two racks of spare ribs. 

Using Competition-Style Butter Bath

What is a butter bath?

A “butter bath” refers to a buttery liquid in which foods like steaks or corn are submerged. However, a barbecue butter bath refers to the wrapping stage of barbecued meats. With ribs, wrapping takes place after the first 3 hours of cooking time. The ribs are placed into a large sheet of aluminum foil, then drizzled with apple juice, brown sugar, and butter before sealing it up and returning it to the grill. Our homemade competition-style butter bath is a convenient powder-based variation similar a BBQ rub. That means it can be made ahead of time, and stored in an airtight container until ready to use.

rib done shot

What you’ll need to make a BBQ butter bath:

  • Honey Granules: I used the Spiceology Honey Granules
  • Butter Buds or Molly McButter Butter Sprinkles
  • Brown Sugar
  • Paprika
  • Onion Powder

How to make this competition-style butter bath:

Measure out your ingredients, and whisk them together until well combined.

Combine the powdered butter bath and apple juice with a fork. After a few seconds, the dry ingredients will start to dissolve.

Using competition-style butter bath

How to use it

  • Use 1/4 cup of competition-style butter bath mixture, with 1/2 cup of apple juice per 1 rack of ribs. 
  • Place your rack of ribs onto a large sheet of aluminum foil. Carefully pour the competition-style bath butter around and onto the ribs. Seal the ribs up and place them back into the smoker, and continue cooking for 2 hours.
  • Please note: If you are plan to use this butter bath on pork shoulder, combine 1/2 cup of the powder with 1 cup of apple juice and wrap as directed.


Make up a large batch of this competition-style butter bath, and store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark cupboard for up to 1 year.

Try this butter bath on my Pellet Grill Pork Ribs Recipe

Photos by: Sabrina Baksh for derrickriches.com

Competition-Style Butter Bath

Competition-Style Butter Bath

Use this butter bath and when wrapping your BBQ ribs and pork. It will quickly become your favorite go-to recipes for both convenience and flavor. This recipe makes enough for 2 racks of spare ribs or 1 pork shoulder.
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: Rubs
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: butter bath, butter bath for ribs and pork, competition butter bath, rib wrapping
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 38kcal


  • 1/4 cup honey granules
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Butter Buds or Molly McButter Butter Sprinkles
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl using a whisk or fork.
  • Use 1/4 cup of mixture with 1/2 cup of apple juice for 1 rack of spare ribs. Use 1/2 cup mixture plus 1 cup of apple juice for 1 pork shoulder.
  • Make a large batch and store it in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to 1 year.


Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Derrick Riches
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.



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