Mop Sauce Recipe: How to Make It in 3 Steps?

June 23, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Having a flavorful BBQ mop sauce nearby is an excellent addition to any barbecue. Mop sauce involves a blend of spicy and savory ingredients to produce a tasty sauce for your meat cuts.

As an experienced pitmaster, I use different types of sauces for my barbecues, and mop sauce is one of my absolute favorites. I learned this delicious recipe from my cooking school, and I love the juiciness and flavor it gives any meat cut. 

Today, I’ll show you how I make this classic recipe and share four other excellent recipes. Let’s get started!

Mop Sauce Recipe

How to Make Classic Mop Sauce?


Here are the few ingredients you’ll need for this classic BBQ mop sauce. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients for a more unique-tasting sauce.

  • 1 ½ cups of bourbon: You can use any bourbon for this recipe. 
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar: The vinegar adds a sweet tanginess to the sauce.
  • ½ cup of brown sugar: Brown sugar adds some extra sweetness to the recipe. If you want a bit more flavor, use dark brown sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes: Pepper flakes add some heat to the sauce. Feel free to adjust as necessary.
  • 1 tablespoon of BBQ rub: I recommend Traeger’s BBQ Rub for this recipe, but you can use any BBQ rub.


  • BBQ mop: Using the right mop ensures you baste the meat correctly, coating it with awesome flavors. Look for a BBQ Mop with fluffy and firm wool strands that can properly hold onto the liquid.
  • Medium-Size Pot: A medium-sized pot is typically big enough to accommodate this sauce. However, if you’ll be preparing a larger portion, you can always use a bigger pot.


Luckily, it is easy to make this BBQ mop sauce recipe. Just get a medium-sized pot, turn on the cooker, and start cooking.

Step 1

Start by adding bourbon, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, and sweet rub to a medium saucepan.

Step 2

Next, bring the contents to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. This step should take about 20 minutes.

Step 3

Next, allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes. Note that the sauce doesn’t need to cool completely. Now you’re ready to apply this sauce to your favorite barbecues. Simply dip the BBQ mop in the sauce and slather the meat as much as you like.

Spicy BBQ Sauce in a Bowl

Other Mop Sauce Recipes

Let’s look at three other delicious sauce recipes. Each recipe has a unique flavor, so you can always alternate these recipes.

1. Beer Mop Sauce


  • 1 bottle of beer
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ chopped medium onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brisket seasoning


This recipe is a fantastic way to get started with these tasty beer mops. The beer-mopping recipe makes the meat more tender. Luckily, you can use any beer brand for this recipe. All you have to do is set the beer aside, add all the ingredients, and mix for 5 minutes.

Next, pour in the beer and let the mixture boil for 20 more minutes. Afterward, let the mixture cool a bit and use it on your barbecue. In my opinion, this sauce tastes best on brisket.

Glass Bowl of Thai Chili Sauce with Garlic and Spices

2. Malcom Reed’s Pulled Pork Mop Sauce Recipe


  • 16 oz of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of dry rub
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce


This BBQ mop sauce recipe is really simple to make and a wonderful go-to option. This recipe works great on pulled pork, and the oil adds to the meat’s juiciness.

Start by pouring all the ingredients into a pot and cooking on low heat for roughly 20 minutes. Wait for the mixture to cool for 10 minutes, then use it to baste your favorite cuts.

Juicy and Spicy Pulled Pork with Sauce

3. Texas-Style Coffee Mop Sauce Recipe


  • 1 cup of dark coffee
  • 1 cup of catsup
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup butter


This coffee mop sauce is a tasty companion for beef brisket. This sauce is sweet and spicy and will keep your meat juicy and give it a delicious bark. Make sure you apply this barbecue sauce recipe liberally. I recommend using this sauce early in the cooking process.

Simply, combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized pot or saucepan. Next, simmer the sauce for 20 minutes and take it off the cooker. Now you can enjoy this tasty sauce.

BBQ Sauce in a White Bowl

4. Spicy Mop Sauce


  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of anise seeds
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of ketchup


This Texas-style mopping sauce gives your ribs an additional kick because it is spicy with a hint of vinegar. This recipe also takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Start by adding all the ingredients to a pot and letting it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Lastly, let the sauce cool for ten minutes before serving.

This barbecue sauce should be thicker than the other recipes we’ve discussed because of the addition of ketchup. You’ll love the savory combination with your favorite smoked meats.

Spicy Tomato and Chili Sauce

How to Store Mop Sauce?

One good thing about mop sauces is that you can always prepare it ahead of time and use it later. Doing this saves you some time and energy while you’re battling with your barbecue. If you’re going down this route, simply store the sauce in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator.

You can expect the sauce to last for up to a month in the fridge. That said, make sure the fridge’s temperature is below the recommended 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is Mop Sauce?

Even though mop sauce is used for barbecues, it is not like your regular BBQ sauce. Mop sauce is very thin with a water-like consistency. You can use this flavorful sauce to baste your barbecues as they cook slowly on low heat. Basting with mop sauce adds amazing moisture and flavor to any meat cut.

Generally, mop sauces include a vinegar base because the vinegar’s acidity helps make the meat more tender. The sweet rub, sugar, and bourbon combine to produce a balanced, delicious flavor.

When using this sauce, make sure you mop the meat every 30 minutes to infuse the tasty flavors as it cooks. Remember to mop the meat gently to avoid removing the rub or other ingredients you added to the cut.

Bear in mind that the mop sauce needs to be applied to the meat, not the fatty portion. You won’t enjoy the amazing flavors if you slather on the meat’s fat.

Best Dishes to Serve with Mop Sauce

Mop sauce is a versatile condiment that goes well with various dishes. Here are some of my favorite barbecues to serve with this delicious sauce.

  • Pulled Pork: Mop sauce is a great combo to serve with tender and smoky pulled pork shoulder.
  • Ribs: Mop sauce also tastes terrific with pork ribs. It doesn’t matter what type of ribs you like; this mop sauce works deliciously with any type. The sourness from this vinegar-based sauce helps to balance the rich flavors of the pork ribs.
  • Chicken: This sauce also pairs wonderfully with smoked chicken, giving this traditional dish a tangy, savory boost.
  • Baked Beans: Another tasty side dish to pair with mopping sauce are these sweet and salty baked beans. The acidic flavors of the sauce complement the rich flavors of the baked beans.
  • Cornbread: Cornbread is another tasty dish to serve with mop sauce. This sauce is a flavorful balance to the sweetness of the cornbread.
Spreading BBQ Sauce on the Ribs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Mop Sauce vs. BBQ Sauce: What’s the Difference?

The first difference is that mop sauce has a thinner consistency than barbecue sauce. Moreover, mop sauce is typically used to baste the meat in a cooker at a low temperature.

On the other hand, BBQ sauce is typically used after the meat has finished cooking because it is thicker and contains more sugar. The sugar in the BBQ sauce will burn if it is applied too soon in the cooking process.

2. Do I Need Mop Sauce for Barbecue?

Not all barbecue calls for mop sauce, but it helps tenderize large meat cuts. Mop sauce is a must if you want your meat to have a moist and supple mouthfeel. Moreover, when combined with a barbecue rub, mop sauce produces a tasty meat exterior.

Closing Thoughts

We’ve reached the end of today’s article. Now, it’s time to try any of the recipes for barbecued meat, including brisket, pork butt, ribs, etc. Remember to cook this sauce on low and slow heat. Don’t worry; you’ll finish this recipe before you know it. So, get all the necessary ingredients and start basting your tasty pieces of meat.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Pitmaster Central is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon (.com,, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Keep Reading
Copyright 2024 Pitmaster Central, all rights reserved.