Discussion in 'Sauces, Rubs & Marinades' started by ndtiger, Dec 31, 2009.
what is this? I see it sometimes and dont know what it is referring to.
Its a sauce you mop or spray on meat during the cooking process. Ribs & chicken are probably the most common things to mop although some of folks also mop butts, etc.
Apple juice is a good base for a rib mop sauce. Some people use AJ straight. Others mix it with things like spiced rum, brown sugar or other spices. I don't mop/spray my ribs often, but I have done them with straight AJ with good results.
If I'm doing wings, leg quarters or spatchcock chicken, I like to mop it with a concoction of a stick of butter, 1/4 cup vinegar, sallt, black pepper & creole seasoning. It gives the skin a nice color & flavor.
I'm sure there will be several folks who will be willing to share their mop sauce recipe.
I've used apple juice and spiced rum mix on pork butts and it gives the outside a good flavor, takes the edge off the harder smoke taste and keeps it sweet and juicy.
ndtiger - this is a fundamental practice of most parbecue. the idea is to keep your meat moist and also to add layers of flavor. it is generally recommended that you begin mopping after the frist hour-and-a-half, maybe two hours of barbecue. this allows the rub on the meat to have time to "set." after the first mopping i simply mop again any time i am opening up the smoker to add wood or otherwise mess around. i see no reason to open up the smoker JUST to mop; better to combine tasks in order to keep the heat loss to a minimum.
most mops are applied with an actual mop; that is, a dish mop that looks like a miniature mop. some folks use a basting brush. many people (myself included) use a spray bottle. when using a spray bottle, be sure to run the mop through a blender before each use in order to emulsify the ingredients.
a mop should have some kind of oil as a base. this provides a basting action that will not only seal in moisture but also do something to your meat that really brings on a dimension of flavor. i am not sure what it is, but i do know that the basting action of the oil (or butter etc.) base has a lot to do with the success of the final product. i'll leave it up to the scientists here to classify the exact nature of the results.
a mop that i have become very fond of consists of one cup dr. pepper, 2/3 cup LOW-SODIUM soy sauce and 1/3 cup olive oil. this is a very versatile mop that it seems especially suited for pork but also works very well beef or chicken. once you get the hang of this, you can make modifications by playing with the ingredients (7-up rather than dr. pepper for a caribbean-style mop, using orange juice instead of pop, using worcestershire rather than soy sauce etc.). the simplicity and the veresatility combine for great success.
Good question and great info those mopping sauces sound delicious and simple!
I won't argue the case of it keeping the meat moist (though I don't completely agree) I will say that it's a primary factor in the forming of a good bark; and the smoke ring, if you are in to that sort of thing. A mop, different from a spray, a spritz, or a glaze, allows you to get large quantities of liquid and spice onto your cooking medium without disturbing your rub. A spray/spritz usually doesn't have spice (because it would clog the nozzle) and a glaze is thicker and requires a brush, which will disturb the rub if applied to early. Not to mention burn as the a "glaze" implies a sweetener of some sort which has a low burn temp.
As to what is in the mop, well that depends on what you are cooking. For pork, I use a combo of some sort of juice (usually apple) and hard alcohol (usually rum) and it is usually in the form of a spritz, not a mop. For beef I use mostly beer, salt, and pepper.
One last thing, if you are collecting and planning to reuse the drippings (and you should) make sure you don't over do the mop. If too much mop sauce lands in the drippings, it can change the end flavor of the drippings; usually for the bad.
You will see the mopping sauce here commonly called the spirtz cause that what we use it as. It a lquid that is sprayed onto our meat once an hour after the first couple of hours and after the rub has set on the meat. Some folks will use a sauce or a BBQ sauce and coat their meat with it during the smoke. I usually if I'm saucing ribs mostly I put it on the ribs during the last hour or so.