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Rub/Mop/BBQSauce - I'm confused...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

OK, so I'm new to smoking...this is what I don't understand. I'm doing baby backs...do I use rub, mop, and sauce? I like the notion of wet...and sweet...does this have anything to do with which steps I take? Thanks for any advice...


post #2 of 12

Yes you can!

post #3 of 12

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post #4 of 12

I am new here also and even from my grilling days, I would use a rub the night before to get the flavors into the meat, I spray apple juice about once an hour to keep moist, then apply a sauce (if you like) about the last 30 minutes before pulling.  I personally like my ribs without sauce and serve sauce on the side for dipping.


I am certainly not an expert, but that is what I do and it works pretty well.

post #5 of 12

Look for the 3 - 2 - 1 method for ribs.  Smoke with a rub for 3 hrs with an occassional mop, foil for 2 hrs with a mopping sauce and the an hour back on the smoker with a sauce applied toward the end.   Baby Backs may need less time more like  2 2 1

post #6 of 12

Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to  your first qview. icon14.gif

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Whoo Hoo! Thanks so much for info/feedback...This site rocks....!

post #8 of 12

Sweet and wet is not my style, but my other half likes it that way.  I split the rack against my will.  For hers I use a sweeter rub.  For sweet and wet, she likes a Sweet Kansas City style sauce.  You will have plenty of time to make the sauce while the ribs are cooking if you do not have time to make it up the night before.


Good luck and good smoking.

post #9 of 12

Rub the night before, do the 3-2-1 method. You can mop or spray them during the 3. Put some apple juice or beer in the foil with the ribs. The last 1/2 hour put your bbq sauce on the ribs.


Also welcome to SMF!

post #10 of 12

Well you may use either one you like but there is a Difference In Mops an Sauces 



Not everyone uses one but a mop is applied to the meat on a smoker while it is cooking to keep it from drying out. It is usually thinner than a sauce. It should have very little or no sugar because sugar caramelizes and eventually turns black. Some folks just put apple juice in a spray bottle and spray it on the meat. Some folks have more exotic recipes. If you have the right smoker, a mop shouldn’t be needed for moisture but a mop can also add flavor too.

A sauce is a combination sweet and hot (or sometimes tangy is substituted for hot) and other spices. It is usually thicker than a mop but not always. Since it has lots of sugar, don’t apply it to the meat until at least an hour before you take the meat off the smoker (for the same caramelizing reason mentioned above). Some folks don’t apply it at all while the meat is cooking and serve sauce on the side after the cook is over (or sometimes no sauce at all is served). I like to apply sauce the last hour of the cook and let cook for 30 min and turn the meat over and apply the sauce to the other side and cook 30 more min. I think it makes the sauce stick to the meat better (some of the liquid evaporates from the sauce and makes it thicker) and somehow adds more flavor. 



Good Smoking,
Old Timer


Just a Dusting Of Old Timer



post #11 of 12

My clan prefers wet


Rubbed heavily night before, the ribs will sweat and make a sticky goo.

3 hours Smoke at 225 and sprits, because I like to play with my food sometimes.

2 hours Foil in a pan to catch all drippings

1 hour remove foil place ribs on grate

place ribs back in pan, Mix drippings with sweet baby rays and brush on ribs, I do this right in the pan... the ribs outside the pan were to show contrast just for photos.


Picture 25 2010 06 659.jpg


Picture 25 2010 06 660.jpg


They can be served as pictured above but my clan really like em messy,.

So into the steamer pan and brushed throughout.



post #12 of 12

Rubs are usually dry.

Slathers are similar to rubs but wet

Sauces can be used for toppings or finishing

Mops/Sprits usually a sweet vinegar based liquid use to enhance bark and Flavor, some say it adds moisture



Basic dry Rub, used for adding flavor to the meat with some penetration





Slather like a rub  but wet, Slather on the left







Mops, referred to as mops because many folks Mop this on with a little food mop.

Sprits/Spray Many use this as an alternative to a food mop.

Used for adding another dimension of flavor with minimal penetration








Sauce, Home made for Dipping, topping, finishing







Store Bought Sauce for Dipping, topping, finishing:







Used for adding flavor and tenderizing some penetration.



Used for adding flavor, water content and tenderizing some penetration.




Getting Sauced!

Used more often than Mops/Sauces/Rubs/Slathers, etc...




I just threw this together its basic stuff and what I use each for,.

There is a whole science to this stuff and if you start diving into the scientific end, you will never have any time to enjoy "Q"-ing, hopefully I wont get pummeled on this post



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