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Mop Question-Need some advice

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I use a rub on my brisket and spare ribs, and rub with a finishing sauce for my pulled pork. I serve them all sauceless but provide sauce on the side for anyone that wants it. I prefer the brisket and ribs just as they come off the smoker. No sauce at all.

Well I've been noticing on all the shows about BBQ cookoffs, Bama-Que, Memphis in May...you name it. They all have what seems to be a ketchup based mop sauce on their ribs that goes on towards the end.

Should my ribs be saucy? I know I prefer it without sauce, but what is the norm? Am I shortchanging my guests? Should ribs have at minimum a mop sauce?

I know many of you will say it's what I prefer, but since I entertain a lot, I'd like to know what would be "the norm" so my guests aren't just stuck with the way I like things. I've never seen a team win a rib contest without mop...maybe that's my answer.
post #2 of 36
Your right, it's what you prefer!
There's no right or wrong, you HAVE to sauce for competition, most of them guys don't at home! wink.gif
post #3 of 36
In my opinion I think a good mop is added at the end of a smoke. You do not want to take the taste away from the hours you spent by the smoker, but a good mop about an hour before you pull the meat off is not a bad idea. It definitley adds flavor. I personally like a sweet mop when working with pork, but again, this is a "to each their own" sort of thing.

In your case, change it up a bit. Since you entertain often do a mop one smoke and no mop and judge your crowds response, then mop accordingly !

Hope this helped !!!!
post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 
I had no idea...that makes me feel better! biggrin.gif hanks!!
post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
That's a terrific idea!! thank you very much, I'll go that route and see where I get the most accolades. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #6 of 36
At the end of the smoke, most times they are using their sauce, thinned out. I mop after I see my rub has set. And it's a thin liquid. My basic is a cup of cider vinegar, cup of bourbon, 2 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp kosher and some CBP and crushed red.

But it's all up to you :{)
post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
I'll give that a go. If I had a sauce I'd thin it, but since I haven't found a sauce I prefer over the taste of TBS and rub...
post #8 of 36
Try half mopped half unmopped and hold a taste test at your next get together. But when it comes down to it, it's your party and you're the cook! PDT_Armataz_01_27.gif Make what you want
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
It's my party and I'll mop if I want to... wink.gif
post #10 of 36
Oh, great.....now I've got that song running thru my head!!......PDT_Armataz_01_28.gifbiggrin.gif

post #11 of 36


"Glaze" your ribs with a bit of honey and sauce right at the end. Makes em real sweet (your guests will love em).
post #12 of 36
Not if *I'm* a guest. Just the way it is. ;{)
post #13 of 36
yup no sweet ribs here either.
post #14 of 36

Fellow So Cal girlfriend!

I am with you I only like my ribs salt and pepper and smoked...
What I have noticed is that the "norm" varies by region...Which I find extremly interesting, some base with ketchup, go a little further then you are into mustard based, the get of to Northern Carolinas and you got the vinegar based ones...my favorite..But what do I know? I am a So Cal novice smoker...
post #15 of 36
my opinion you have to make them how you like them. everyone has different tastes and areas tend to claim a style as there own. i do a dry rub and personally like a tangy cider vinegar/ketchup based sauce added at the very end. but if you just like the dry rub, or if you like a sweet honey sauce, by all means whatever your preference is how you should create them. i use apple or pineapple jice as a spritz on them while cooking. i think as with all food be open to new ideas and give something different a chance every once in a while. amazing what is out there and maybe your missing out. only one way to find out and have fun doing it!!!
post #16 of 36
I'd gp with what you know, unless you want to compete. I think that giving your guest the option is being very considerate of you. I'm one for dry rib Memphis style, But I do offer sauce on the side to my guest.
post #17 of 36
It won't make any difference if you mop or not... you will still get your accolades. If your guests are like mine, most of them probably don't get this type of grub ANYWHERE, so they will love it either way. You could probably even smoke a turd and they'd love it. biggrin.gif

I always just go with what I know when I have folks over. I'll experiment on my own time.

I surly have no problems getting my friends to come back, wet or dry!
post #18 of 36
Folks, don't be a snob.

I don't think it's coincidence that you've always seen wet mopped ribs on TV and in the winner's circle.

Trust me, glaze them with honey and sauce and your guest will gobble them up. I ain't saying YOU will think they are the best thing going, but I have a strong feeling (and a good deal of experience) that if you served up a sauceless, savory rib AND a honey glazed, sweet rib...folks will eat more of the honey glazed ones (i'm not so sure that's a good thing, but it's almost a universal fact).

Experiment a little (ain't like it's much trouble to do it both ways).

I also agree with EMTEE about the comments your guests would make if you decided to BBQ a turd. In fact, that' sorta the running joke when we serve "real" BBQ food to folks. It's sad what some restaurants pass off as BBQ (Applebees, Chili's, Ruby Tuesday, etc.).
post #19 of 36
Last comp I was in..I don't think first place used this method, and I KNOW our second place ribs din't. Just sayin', not snobbin'.
post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 
Me too I'm afraid, I'm not a huge fan of sweet meat. No maple sugar ham, teriyaki anything, or sweet glazes on my meat. The small amout of sugar in the rub to balance out the heat, is as close as I get.
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