Best Meat Mopping Sauces for barbecue [+recipe]

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  April 9, 2022

Always the latest smoking tips & tricks?

Subscribe to THE ESSENTIAL newsletter for aspiring pitmasters

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Have you ever cooked a barbecue and been disappointed with the results?

It’s not your fault! Barbecuing is an art form, and it takes practice to get it just right.

But once you do, the flavor of the meat is unbeatable. That’s why we’re here to help you out.

You might’ve seen your favorite pitmaster mopping meat as it’s cooking and I’m going to teach you how to mop meat.

This is an important step in achieving that delicious barbecue flavor.

Mopping meat for barbecue | How it works & why [+recipe]

One way to keep those precious juices on the meat is to mop them up with a tasty sauce, apple cider vinegar marinade, or beer. Baste the meat regularly as it cooks, and use a spoon or basting brush to apply the sauce.

I’m also sharing my favorite bbq mop recipe to help you achieve the tastiest and juiciest BBQ. Hint: the secret ingredient is apple cider vinegar.

Best sauces for meat mop

How to buy a bbq smoker video
How to buy a bbq smoker video

Many people mistakenly think that mopping meat just means adding some BBQ sauce on top of the meat with a brush but it’s not quite true.

BBQ sauce is a type of mop, but there are also different types of mops you can use while cooking your meat.

The best sauces for meat mop are usually thick and don’t have a lot of liquid in them. This allows them to stick to the meat as it cooks, adding flavor and moisture.

However, thin liquids like beer and other types of alcohol can be used to spritz and mop your meat.

Whether you choose a thick or thin mop sauce, the goal is to keep the meat moist, juicy, and full of flavor.

For the most simple sauce, just use some water in a spray bottle and spritz the meat as it grills. But this method doesn’t add any great flavors. It’s best to use other sauces.

If you want the most tender, juicy meat, the best mop sauce included some vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar.

But if you want to make the grilling experience amazing, you can use a flavorful mop sauce recipe that includes some ingredients like alcohol (beer, wine), fruit juices, garlic sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and even teriyaki sauce for that sweet umami Japanese bbq aroma.

Here are some of our favorite sauces for mopping meat:

  • BBQ sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Apple juice
  • Fruit juices
  • Honey BBQ sauce
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Marinara sauce
  • Tomato sauce
  • Garlic sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Chili sauce
  • Alfredo sauce
  • Mustard sauce
  • Worchestershire sauce

How to mop meat

There are two ways to mop meat: on the grill or in the oven.

Of course, you can mop raw meat and then mop it again as it cooks, especially if you’re using the low and slow cooking methods.

On the grill

  1. Start by heating your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Cut the meat into small pieces, so it cooks evenly.
  3. Place the meat on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
  4. While the meat is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the bbq mop sauce.
  5. When the meat is cooked, brush it with the bbq mop sauce and serve immediately.

In the oven

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the meat into small pieces, so it cooks evenly.
  3. Place the meat on a baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. While the meat is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the bbq mop sauce.
  5. When the meat is cooked, brush it with the bbq mop sauce and serve immediately.

BBQ Mop Recipe

Joost Nusselder
There are plenty of mop sauce recipes out there but one of my favorites is a mixture of strong aromas that reminds me of a homemade bbq sauce. It doesn’t take away from your spice rub but adds a delicious flavor to any meat, especially ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, and chicken too. I’m adding some brown sugar because it helps the bark on the meat caramelize and become even more delicious.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 10 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 1 BBQ session

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Brush the bbq mop sauce onto the meat while it is cooking.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

Enjoy your delicious barbecue!
Keyword BBQ
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What tools do you need to mop the meat?

Barbecue aficionados know that the key to delicious, succulent meat is in the sauce.

And what better way to get those tasty juices flowing than by mopping them up during the cooking process?

All you really need is a basting brush or mini mop and a bowl of your favorite sauce.

You can use just about anything as a sauce – from store-bought barbecue sauce to a simple mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.

Soak your basting brush in the sauce, then use it to spread the sauce all over the meat.

Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies! You can also use a spray bottle to apply the sauce if you prefer.

GRILLHOGS Feeling Saucy? Slather Your Meat to Perfection with our 18-inch Basting Mop. Big Enough to Handle Even the Largest Batches of Meat

(view more images)

The best brush for mopping meat is a miniature mop head brush – the Grillhogs basting mops look like tiny mops with wooden handles.

The mop is preferred over a brush because it picks up more liquid so it’s ideal if you use a thin mop sauce.

How often to mop meat?

Cooking a certain cut of meat to a specific degree of doneness has a bearing on the answer to this question.

Mop more frequently-every 10-15 minutes-for tougher cuts of meat like ribs or brisket. You can mop every 20-30 minutes if you’re cooking chicken or pork, which aren’t as tough.

FAQs

Can you mop meat with beer?

Yes, you can mop meat with beer. In fact, many people use a beer mop sauce when grilling.

The beer adds a delicious flavor to the meat and also helps to keep it moist.

Also check out this amazing pellet smoker beer can chicken recipe!

What is the best way to store mop sauce?

The best way to store mop sauce is in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for about a week.

You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Just thaw it in the fridge before using it.

Can you mop meat in advance?

Yes, you can mop meat in advance. In fact, many people prefer to do so because the sauce will have more time to soak into the meat.

Just be sure to store the meat in the fridge and keep the sauce in a separate container. When you’re ready to cook, simply brush the sauce on the meat and start grilling.

How do you know when to mop meat?

The best way to know when to mop meat is to watch it closely as it cooks.

The sauce will start to caramelize and the meat will begin to glisten. When you see these signs, it’s time to start mopping.

Takeaway

Mop meat for succulent, delicious barbecue that will have your guests coming back for more.

All you need is a bowl of your favorite sauce, a basting brush or mini mop, and some time to cook the meat.

You can use just about anything as a sauce-from store-bought barbecue sauce to a simple mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.

Soak your basting brush in the sauce, then use it to spread the sauce all over the meat. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies!

You can also use a spray bottle to apply the sauce if you prefer.

Be sure to watch it closely so that you know when to start mopping and get those juices flowing!

I think you’re ready to start making great barbecue now!

Next, have a look at the ultimate top 3 best stainless steel grills [review] for cooking in style

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.