Since the thread To Mop or Not To Mop That is the Question was posted (http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=14240.0), I have received more than a few messages requesting my mop recipe, how to apply a mop and when to apply a mop. An invitation to discuss barbeque is often an invitation to a fight. Different techniques are all correct and information can be gained from all that participate.
Why Use a Mop? To Mop or Not to Mop
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 ï¿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?
What about beef or bone stock and drippings?
Ground Bay Leaves?
Basic Cowboy Mop Pachanga:
This recipe is the basic mop that I learned from my real life cowboy kinfolk. 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 wasnt always everything you wanted but it was always everything you needed. If it wasnt 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 cowpokes 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 & sautï¿½ed (about a half small onion)
- 2/3 cup Worcestershire
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic or powder
- 1/8 tsp. cumin
- 1/8 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. seasoning salt
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (dried lemon peel can be substituted)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
- ï¿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)
- 1 or 2 Tbsp. brown sugar or molasses to taste (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
- Sautï¿½ 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 Jettons Mop for all Meat and Poultry:
Walter Jetton was an early Fort Worth open pit barbeque master and caterer in the 50s and 60s. He was President L. B. Johonsons chioce for White House and ranch barbeques. He also barbequed in Austin on the Capitol grounds. He wrote a book named Walter Jettons LBJ Barbeque Cookbook in the 60s. This recipe was one of many in the book. The original recipe made 6 quarts. I have reduced this to a one quart recipe.
(Enough for 1 Quart; original recipe for 6 Quarts list to the right)
|Enough for 1 Quart||Ingredient||Enough for 6 Quarts|
|1 1/2 tsp||Salt||(3 Tbsp.)|
|1 1/2 tsp.||Dry Mustard||(3 Tbsp.)|
|1 tsp.||Garlic Powder||(2 Tbsp.)|
|1/2 tsp.||Ground Bay Leaf||(1 Tbsp.)|
|1 tsp.||Chili Powder||(2 Tbsp.)|
|1 1/2 tsp.||Paprika||(3 Tbsp.)|
|1 tsp.||Louisiana Hot sauce||(2 Tbsp.)|
|2/3 cups||Worcestershire||(4 cups)|
|1/3 cup||Vinegar||(2 cups)|
|2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. + 3/4 tsp.||Bone Stock||(4 quarts)|
|1/3 cup||Oil||(2 cups)|
|1 1/2 tsp.||MSG||(3 Tbsp.)|
- 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 Goodes 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 tsp. salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. 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 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. white-wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Jim Goode’s BBQ Beef Rub (see recipe on internet)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
- 1 pound finely chopped bacon
- 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire
- 1 Tbsp. A-1 Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Molasses
- 1 Jalapeno chopped and seeded
- Bring broth, bay leaves and oregano to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- 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.
- 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.
Good luck, slow smoking and sloppy mopping,