What is a Mop?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 @ 09:06 AM

President Johnson threw  barbecues. He got his favorite Pitmaster Walter Jetton to cook up a meal that often fed hundreds of people. These meals would be cooked on an open air fire pit. Walter would cover every part of the pit’s  surface in ribs, roasts and meats of every variety. To keep the meat moist he “mopped” it, with a real mop. Hence the barbecue term, “mop”. You can even find little “mops” to bbq with on the market today.

Mops are used to keep the meat moist. Typically a cross between a marinade and a bbq sauce, but they are usually a thinner consistency than sauce. Mops are usually more on the tart end, than the sweet end, as sugar burns. Basically if you are smoking at low temperatures sugar is okay but if you are grilling you should avoid it. When using a sweeter mop, you want to add this toward the end if grilling, so as not to burn the project you’ve been working on for the past few hours.

If you just want a thin, mild mop start with water & maybe some lemon juice or orange juice. Water based would work better with fish & boneless chicken breast. If you want to increase the tenderness of meat, use vinegar.  You want to enhance the flavor so you can start with liquids like, beer, wine, Worcestershire sauce, or fruit juices, or a combination of these. From here you want to added seasonings to the mix. You do want it to complement the flavor of whatever you’ve got on your Brinkmann grill, but also to complement other flavorings that your using. Rubs, marinades, whatever.You could even boil the marinade you used already, add some water to keep it thin and use that.

Mops can be easily made from other things.  Add water, beer or vinegars to barbecue sauces and mop that on. Add a couple of tablespoons of  rub to a cup of cider vinegar or beer then mix in some peach preserves or seedless raspberry jam. Just always remember the burn factor on sweet sugary mops. Only at the end when grilling or low temperatures like in your bbq smoker. You want to apply your mop about 3 or 4 times during cooking at regular intervals. If you’re grilling something for an hour, mop every quarter of the hour. If you are smoking something for 12 hours, mop every 3 hours. This will add the moisture and extra flavoring that you need to make great bbq…outstanding!

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