A Step-by-Step Guide on using BBQ Mopping Sauces

"A mop sauce is a thin, flavored liquid that you mop over some of the larger meats for barbecue smoking and grilling, to add flavor and moisture through the cooking process. This also aids in keeping the BBQ foods from drying out and helps to keep the Bark from becoming to hard."

When to use BBQ Mopping Sauce

Mopping sauces are used to continually baste BBQ meats to infuse your meat with flavor while it cooks. It's used while smoking or grilling over wood chips. Make sure you are mopping about every 20 minutes. The layers of mop sauce work with a BBQ rub to create a tasty crust on the meat and aid in keeping it from drying out.

If you are not careful with hygiene when mopping your BBQ, there is a slight risk of contaminating it.

For instance, if you have mopped the meat before it is fully cooked, you could have picked up microorganisms from the meat. If you use the same mop, you may be spreading the bugs.

Also, if you use the liquid you marinated the meat in as a sauce, again, you will be spreading microbes onto the meat when you mop it.

However, if the meat is being cooked above 155°F, most of this will be killed off.

So when mopping, take the time to think about where your mop has been, where the liquid you are using has come from, and what temperatures you will be exposing the mopping liquid to. This way you can avoid any sickness resulting from the bugs in raw meat.

When Should I Start Mopping my BBQ

You should wait until a crust has begun to form before you begin mopping. If you wait 1 to 1.5 hours before you start mopping, you will lose less of your rub than if you start mopping earlier into the cook time.

How to Mop Ribs for Smoking?

Preheat Smoker: Start by preheating the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. I love using fruit wood like (Apple and Cherry). However, other hard woods are great too.

Smoke Ribs: When the smoker has come to temperature, place the seasoned ribs bone side down into the smoker. Close the lid and smoke the ribs uncovered for 3 hours.

After three hours, the color of the ribs will have darkened to a mahogany color and the bones should be slightly protruding from the rib meat as the meat has begun to shrink. That is a good sign.

Mop Ribs: Using a mop mix and a mop or brush, apply every 30 minutes for an additional two hours.

After the second hour, use a thermometer probe in between the bones. The probe should insert easily into the ribs like inserting into room temperature butter. Another option is to gently wiggle the ribs. They should move slightly but not come out of the ribs.

Once that has been achieved, remove the ribs from the smoker and let rest for 15 minutes with one last mop application. Slice and eat with your favorite sides and sauces.

The Best Mop Sauce Recipe

East Carolina Mop Sauce Recipe
Serves: 18 | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes 

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup cider vinegar
½ cup water
2½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp smoky red pepper flakes
1 tbsp hot sauce; I use Texas Pete
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper

How To Make East Carolina Mop Sauce

Step 1: Bring vinegar and water to a low boil in a medium-sized sauce pan.

Step 2: Whisk in remaining ingredients and continue to whisk until brown sugar and salt have dissolved.

Step 3: Let cool to room temperature and store in a glass container. I prefer these mason jars. Store in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.

    |Recipe Credit: Click to See Grill Seekers Blog

  1. Our Pit Master's Recommendations

  2. How many pounds of Pulled Pork should I use per person?

    Answer: a good number to go by is 1/4 to 1/3 pound of meat per person

    What Seasoning do you recommend for Pulled pork?

    Answer: We offer 4 different seasonings and all work well on pulled pork but our All Purpose Rub is outstanding on pork and also helps to tenderize!

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    What BBQ Sauce do you suggest on Pork?

    Answer: We produce 3 kinds of BBQ sauces Original (Sweet Mild), With Integrity (Little Kick), Fire & Brimstone (Big Kick) We also manufacture 2 mustard sauces MVP Mustard (Sweet & Tangy) and MVP Horseradish Style (Tangy with a Horseradish flavor) All can work on pulled meats but for families a safe bet is to use the Original BBQ Sauce.

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    1. How Much of the seasoning and BBQ Sauce should I use for Pulled Pork?

    2. Answer: To season and sauce 5lbs of meat I suggest using 1/4 Cup of our All Purpose Rub and 1 to 2 Cups of BBQ sauce depending on how saucy you prefer it to be.

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