Calling All Mop Recipes

Started by Pachanga, February 15, 2010, 08:09:56 AM

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Calling All Mop Recipes

Since the thread “To Mop or Not To Mop – That is the Question” was posted (, I have received more than a few messages requesting my mop recipe, how to apply a mop and when to apply a mop.

Most long term Qer’s have a mop they use successfully but even those mops are modified and change from year to year.  This thread is about board members’ “Top Secret, Never to Be Repeated, Recorded or Recited Mops” along with a couple of famous mops.  If you will please post your recipe and, if applicable, how you use it, how often you apply and on what meats you apply it, I promise to not share it with anyone. (Fingers crossed)   ;)

An invitation to discuss barbeque is often an invitation to a fight.  I am interested in a discussion and recipes on this thread.  Different techniques are all correct and information can be gained from all that participate.

I will start this thread with a little basic information and a few mops. 

Why Use a Mop?  See above thread.

When do you  use a mop and how often? 

In the Bradley, I normally start off with a slather of some sort.  This acts as a long term mop while the Bradley is bringing the meat up to temperature and the bark is firming.  The Bradley door can remain closed to conserve heat during the initial stages of smoking and bringing the meat temperature up.  This is like applying a mop reduction.  It will contain several key ingredients of a mop.  When using a mop reduction (slather), I begin mopping with a thin mop after the bark has started firming to a solid and is starting to dry.  It is reapplied when the meat begins to dry and the bark firms more; approximately every 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending on heat, moisture and type of meat.  During the last of the smoke, the bark is allowed to firm to a nice crust that is not soft, not hard but pliable. It can be pinched and pulled off in small pieces that hold together but it can also be a little crusty in places and hold on to the meat.  Mop may be withheld during this time.

If a mop reduction is not applied, I mop the meat as it is placed in the Bradley and mop anytime the surface begins to dry. The interval is similar to the above.

How to apply a mop. 

The mop is applied so that a wet film or sheen can be seen on the meat.  There are various methods.  Many people use the traditional small dish mop.  Others use a pastry brush.  My method has evolved over the years.  I do not want to wash off or disturb the bark or rub.  Spooning the mop is one way to do this but the underside of the meat is left unattended.  A pastry brush is gentle and easy to control.  A silicon brush works well.  A dedicated spray bottle is gentle and simple to use.  These last two methods have the advantage of being able to apply the rub to the bottom of the brisket by approaching under the rack.

The mop should be very hot to begin and then allowed to cool to ambient temperature as needed to control meat surface temperature.

What type of mop for what type of meat or poultry?

Some people prefer to use different flavor profiles for different types of meat; just as a fine wine connoisseur pairs his wine with a certain meat.   I use the same mop mostly with some small changes depending on my mood.  The real change is in the rub.  Walter Jetton’s recipe (below) specifically says it is for all meat and poultry.  Like all things in barbeque, your personal preference is perfect for you.

What about beef or bone stock and drippings?

Beef stock is a favorite addition to many mop recipes.  I add it to mine on occasion when it is handy.  The old timers made a beef bone stock out of roasted and boiled bones.  Others added the drippings from a previous smoke.  These are both great enhancers.  The Bradley can be rigged to add drippings automatically by laying any trimmings on the shelf above the meat. They will slowly mop the meat.  When smoking multiple pieces on separate shelves, an automatic mopping is achieved.

Ground Bay Leaves?

Ground bay leaves are one of the best, yet most underused seasonings.  Part of the problem is that you will most likely need to grind your own.  I have never seen any preground.  They are very hard to grind by themselves in a spice grinder.  They tend to fly around and not become powdered.  If ground pepper is in the recipe, grind them with the peppercorns.  Otherwise, grind in the spice grinder and finish with a mortar and pestle.  You will find that it is a welcome addition to rubs, mops, and the like.  Grind and bottle extra so it will be convenient for future recipe enhancements.

Basic Cowboy Mop Pachanga

This recipe is the basic mop that I learned from my real life cowboy kin folk.  These are ranch hands that work on the big spreads.  One of my cousins was foreman over 180 sections in the Panhandle.  One uncle was foreman over ranches in Montana and later a large ranch in the middle of Texas.  One was a renowned breeder of Hereford cattle.  These cowboys really would get on a horse in the morning and rarely get off until dark.   A beanie weenie lunch in the saddle was not uncommon.  Yes, pickups and helicopters are used but when the real roundup starts and cattle have to be worked, a horse is still the mode of transportation. 

Someone would usually start a fire early which would be used for branding as cattle were rounded up out of scrub brush and maneuvered to pasture corrals or a box canyon.  I was always amazed at the spices, liquid seasonings, pots and cooking gear that would materialize out of different pickups.  It wasn’t always everything you wanted but it was always everything you needed.  If it wasn’t in the pickup tool box, it could be found on the dash or dug out from behind the seat. 

Strong coffee, beans and stews in Dutch ovens and wild quail shot from a horse along with fresh calf fries roasted on hot rocks were placed strategically around the main fire.  They would be tended alternately by different cowboys as they drifted in and out of camp or during a break in branding, vaccinating and cutting.  An old timer with thousands of saddle miles would stay in camp and quietly give orders or relay messages from the boss.  Coals would be adjusted around wild cabrito or some other meat wired to a stake hammered at an angle into the ground.  Mop was applied often as cowboys brought in cattle and grabbed a quick cup.  Each would be drawn to the mop handle as they moved through the camp to the next job.

My father died before I was born so I spent the summers with my cowboy uncles.  I learned a lot of good life lessons from those cow pokes and some things that Mom would not have approved.  One bit of education was campfire barbequing and the basics of this mop.

Since this is a chuck wagon (or pickup tool box) style mop and there isn’t a grocery store within riding distance, everything is canned, dried or keeps well in the scorching heat of summer Texas.  If butter is used, it is kept in the water cooler or drink cooler.  The taste may seem sour or bitter at first but you will find yourself going back for a second taste in a few minutes.

2 sticks butter (preferred and definitely no margarine) or 1 cup cooking oil
yellow sweet onion sliced to taste & sautéed  (about a half small onion)
2/3 cup Worcestershire
1 teaspoon granulated garlic or powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (dried lemon peel can be substituted)
1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
½ can beer (original recipe calls for regular beer but dark beer is my preferred)
4oz. Tomato sauce (optional and added near the end if grilling)
brown sugar or molasses to taste (about 1 or 2 Tablespoons ) (optional and added near the end if grilling)

If a mustard mop reduction (slather) is not applied, add the following due to their enzyme and acidic properties that react favorably with the meat.

2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/8 to 1/4 cup white or cider vinegar

Sauté onion in a small amount of the butter or oil until caramelized to a light brown.  Combine all other ingredients except sugar and simmer for five to fifteen minutes.  Taste and add sugar a little at a time.   Spoon or mop over meat while cooking.

Walter Jetton’s Mop for all Meat and Poultry

Walter Jetton was an early Fort Worth open pit barbeque master and caterer in the 50’s and 60’s.  He was President L. B. Johonson’s chioce for White House and ranch barbeques.  He also barbequed in Austin on the Capitol grounds.  He wrote a book named Walter Jetton’s LBJ Barbeque Cookbook in the 60’s.  This recipe was one of many in the book.  The original recipe made 6 quarts.  I have reduced this to a one quart recipe.

Walter Jetton’s  Mop for All Meat and Poultry (1 Quart) (6 Quarts original in parenthesis)

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt (3 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons Dry Mustard (3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder (2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon Ground Bay Leaf (1 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Chili Powder (2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons Paprika (3 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon Louisianna Hot sauce (2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup Worcestershire (4 cups)
1/3 cup Vinegar (2 cups)
2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons + 3/4 teaspoon Bone Stock (4 quarts)
1/3 cup Oil (2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons MSG (3 tablespoons)

Make the bone stock, add all the other ingredients and let stand overnight.  Substitute low salt beef broth for bone stock if desired.

Jim Goode's Mop

Jim Goode is a successful Houston, Texas restaurateur.  This recipe has a lot of ingredients and I post it in part to exhibit some of the ingredients that can be used in a mop.  I have made this several times and it has a good flavor profile.  This recipe calls for Goode’s rub but I substitute whatever rub I am using at the time.  It is a small part of the recipe in my opinion.

4 cups beef broth   
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves   
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano   
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter   
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup chopped onions    
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup chopped celery   
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper   
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic   
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Jim Goode's BBQ Beef Rub (see recipe on internet)   
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard   
1 pound finely chopped bacon
3 TBS Worcestershire
1 TBS A-1
2 TBS Molasses
1 Jalapeno chopped and seeded

1. Bring broth, bay leaves and oregano to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, green pepper, garlic, Beef Rub, mustard, salt, white and black pepper, and cayenne. Cook until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, then add to broth along with the lemon zest, juice, soy sauce, vinegar and the oils. Stir to combine.
3. Cook the bacon in a nonstick skillet until soft. Add the bacon and any rendered fat to the broth mixture. Continue simmering until the broth is reduced by a fourth, about 45 minutes to an hour. Adjust the seasonings and baste away!

Make it your own.

As you create your own mop, remember that mop recipes are just suggestions.  Mix and match, add and subtract, combine recipes and stare down your spice cabinet.  Make your own recipe.  A word of advice is to write ingredients down as they go into the mix so that you can duplicate that special flavor you may get only once in a lifetime.

I will and I am sure others will appreciate board members’ mop thoughts and recipes added to this thread.  Thanks in advance.

Good luck, slow smoking and sloppy mopping,


Other thread thoughts.

Brisket Pachanga

Photos to go with the recipe

Mustard Slather on Brisket and other Meats

I Prefer to Smoke Totally Naked - A Brisket and Ribs Manifesto

So your brisket doesn't fit - solution here

How do you make burnt ends?

To Mop or Not to Mop – That is the Question


Great Thread.  I have no secret mop to contribute; however, I will be keeping my eye on this thread.  I am currently smoking a 9lb brisket and using a mop of Scott's and CT mixed up.
Posted via Tapatalk - iPhone


I agree with JF.  I will have to dig to find our mops.


Newbie here...sorry no mop recipes.

Like JF7FSU I will be watching this thread to further my smoking education.

Great posting Pachanga!
If your so cool....where's your Tattoo.


Thanks for posting this thread!  The Cowboy Mop created a nice bark on my brisket.   I am anxious to try some of the other mops in this thread.
Is it bad if my wife refers to the smoker as "The Mistress"?
MasterBuilt Electric Smokehouse
Charbroil Red 4 Burner With Auto Clean
Big Easy Smoker Roaster Grill
BBQ Evangelist


Dont remember where I got this but have been usin it for quite a few years now, mainly when doin ribs on a open pit, well Ok a combine rim, smokin some ribs.


1 c. vinegar (can use apple cider or wine vinegar)
1/2 c. cooking oil
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/3 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and bring to boil. Keep warm while using.

Batman of BBQ

Great post Pachanga, again you have out done yourself!  I will be doing brisket this Saturday/Sunday and will be using your Cowboy mop.  Snelly used it for the Super Bowl and said it was absolutely phenomenal!!!  I will also be doing the brisket WITHOUT foil.   :o  This post couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks!!!
Don't want to be the best in the world, just the best in my neighborhood.

1 OBS, Nuff Said



Thanks for posting the mop.  I like the ground bay leaf.  The word is out that it is killer. 

I love the pit.  That's the way life oughta be.


Good luck with the brisket.  I'm glad the mop worked out for Snelly.  He has brisket down.

And congratulations on the new addition to the family.



Batman - Time to visit the butcher and get that Packer!  I think I'm going to get some sausage while we are there.
Good luck this weekend.  Let me know what I can do to help, even if its just to make sure none goes to waste.   ;D :P
Is it bad if my wife refers to the smoker as "The Mistress"?
MasterBuilt Electric Smokehouse
Charbroil Red 4 Burner With Auto Clean
Big Easy Smoker Roaster Grill
BBQ Evangelist

love the smoke

Quote from: Pachanga on February 15, 2010, 08:09:56 AM
Calling All Mop Recipes

Ground Bay Leaves?

Ground bay leaves are one of the best, yet most underused seasonings.  Part of the problem is that you will most likely need to grind your own.  I have never seen any preground.  They are very hard to grind by themselves in a spice grinder.  They tend to fly around and not become powdered.  If ground pepper is in the recipe, grind them with the peppercorns.  Otherwise, grind in the spice grinder and finish with a mortar and pestle.  You will find that it is a welcome addition to rubs, mops, and the like.  Grind and bottle extra so it will be convenient for future recipe enhancements.

Check this out for ground bay leaves




Great link.  Thanks for posting it.  Not only are they ground but they sound like a higher quality.  Maybe a more robust or defined flavor.

I'm buying.

Good luck and slow smoking,


love the smoke

This is where I buy all my "GOOD" spices from



I get all my spices from Penzeys Spices and the Turkish Bay leafs are what I use also. I like them better than the California Bay leaf.


Texas HILL Country Sopping Sauce
(my main sauce - adapted from what I remember from family reunions)
Used on everything at some time or another!

Now, I have never measured these so they are at best approximate and can certainly be adjusted

2  - lbs margarine
1 or 2 -  Lone Stars, Pabsts, or Pearls - No fancy-schmancy, hold your pinkie finger up imported     
           europeeing water substitute, lite, or IPA or other pale ale crap here - oh and I usually don't
           use stout here - but it doesn't taste bad!
About 1/2 of a squeeze bottle of CYM - again, no europeeing dejuan (sp) or that brown stuff here
1/2 - cup of lemon juice
1/2 - cup of jalapeno pickling juice
2 or 3 lemons - sliced thinly - rinds, seeds, and all
2 - yellow onions - sliced thinly
1 - Head of garlic - cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
2 to 4 - Tbsp of granulated dried garlic
2 - Tbsp Coarse ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Sometimes I will throw in a sliced jalapeno

I have substituted Ginger Ale for the beer when cooking for churches.

Combine all ingredients into a pot and put on the fire with the meat, but in a cool part of the smoker, or on the lid of a smoker, or at last resort, on a hot plate, or on the stove.  As it evaporates or is used up and more is needed, just add more margarine and beer. 


Here is one I used on some lamb a time or two that I got out of some Kentucky Church's cookbook.

1 cup white vinegar - I used apple cider vinegar - the good kind - not the caramel colored
1 cup water - I used beef stock
1 cup beer
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I left out the sugar)
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 or more tablespoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 sticks of margarine

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over a low heat.


I've used this one on chuckies and ribs

Bourbon Cider Mop Sauce

1 Stick of margarine
2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup bourbon
1 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp cayenne

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. 
Add other ingredients, but not bourbon. 
Stir occasionally until it comes to a boil. 
Remove from heat and stir in bourbon.


Good on chicken and turkey

    * 1/2 cup butter
    * 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    * 1 Tbsp Tone's Garlic/Rosemary seasoning
    * 1 teaspoon dried basil
    * 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    * 1/2 teaspoon sage powder

Melt butter , pour in lemon juice and and other ingredients.


Got a whole hog to do? Several guys around here use this basic recipe but add there own touches sometimes.

3 quarts cider vinegar
1 1/2 quarts water
3/4 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder

Mix ingredients together and heat.  Put a little brown sugar and some red pepper flakes and some ground black pepper into it, and it makes a nifty pulled pork finishing sauce.


Here's one I've been wanting to try on pork loin or ribs.  I haven't used it yet, but got the basic idea from a duck glaze.

1.   Apple Juice
2.   Cherry Juice
3.   Captain Morgan rum
4.   Chipotle
5.   Margaine

BTW,  I've been buying spices and herbs from San Francisco Herb Company Co. for many, many years.  They are only bulk, and don't have the vast array to choose from, but they are certainly much cheaper on many things.
"A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue" Caneyscud

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made out of meat?"



Outstanding.  As Always.

Thanks for this contribution and the many others.

Good luck and sloppy mopping,