Barbecue mops or basting sauces are quite significant in traditional barbecue.
Now, some of you may be saying; "What is this mop you're talking about?" or "Why would I need one? I didn’t know I had to mop my barbecue!"
Well…Let me define it for you. A barbecue mop has two meanings; the first is a small basting brush, which actually looks like a miniature mop. It's made from a wooden handle with some cotton string tied onto the end. Usually, a hole is drilled for a cord so you can hang it to dry. (See the picture below)
It is used to apply barbecue sauce, or a barbecue basting sauce called mop or mop sauce. This basting sauce is simply a flavored liquid that is used to moisten and flavor meats that are cooked with fire.
We will be talking about the second definition in detail; a flavored liquid that is used to moisten and flavor meats that are cooked with fire.
Because it will make anything you cook on your pit even better, and for good reason;
Now you don't always have to use a mop and sometimes you shouldn't. (If you can, you definitely should) When you should or shouldn’t and how often you apply it, depends on your equipment.
Now this can be as simple as beer, meat juices or even water. Or it can consist of a list of ingredients a mile long. We’re going to keep it simple though.
Some things to keep in mind;
Important! Keep the basting liquid warm by placing it in your smoker, on your fire box or over a burner to kill any bacteria that may be transferred from the meat as you baste it. This also helps in maintaining the temperature of the food by applying a warm liquid to your food instead of a cool or cold liquid.
If you need to use a mop for one of the recipes on Barbecue-Know-How.com, an accompanying recipe or link for it will be included on the page.
Check out my Mop Sauce Recipe. It's spicy, with a good bit of tangy vinegar. Works great for pork, ribs, chicken and turkey.
For a savory, less acidic basting sauce, check out my Beer Mop. It's a little more subtle. Goes great on beef brisket, beef ribs and meats that are milder in flavor.