Beef or Pork Ribs Mop

Rib baste
Tonic Photo Studios, LLC/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
58 Calories
5g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 58
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 94mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 47mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is a great mop recipe for basting pork or beef ribs on the grill. It's a simple combination of water, vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and seasonings that give it a little kick. Don't be dismayed if the end-result is thin and watery; that's the way it should look, after all, it's not a sauce, it's a mop.

The meat will benefit from the tenderizing power of the vinegar and receive a whole lot of flavor from the herbs and spices.

For the best results, prepare this mop several hours prior to using it so the flavors will have a chance to blend.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together water, vinegar, mustard, oil, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne until well mixed.

  3. Let the flavors marry for a few hours in the refrigerator before using.

  4. This mop can be stored covered in the refrigerator for about one week.


  • Apply the mop three to four times during cooking at regular intervals. In other words, if you are grilling something for 1 hour, mop every 15 to 20 minutes. If you are smoking for 20 hours, then mop every 4 to 5 hours. This will add the moisture and flavor that makes for great grilling.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of white vinegar, try apple-cider vinegar.
  • Replace the yellow mustard with Dijon or another mustard.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of honey or 1/4 cup of brown sugar for a sweet taste but only if the cooking temperature is below 265 F, otherwise the sugar will burn.
  • Use beer or wine in place of water, or apple juice or another fruit juice if the heat is low enough so the sugar in it won't burn.
  • Try other barbecue mop recipes.

What Actually Is a Mop?

In barbecue terms, a mop is not something you wipe the floors with, it is both a tool and the actual liquid used to baste grilling meat to keep it moist.

A mop tool is made of a wooden or another type of handle with cotton fibers at the end that looks like a household mop. It soaks up the thin mop liquid so it can be slathered generously on large pieces of meat in a flash compared to what a small basting brush can do.

A mop liquid is a thin, watery concoction (unlike a thick sauce) that is applied to grilling meats with a mop tool to add moisture. It's thinner than a sauce, almost like water. When creating your own mop, stick with the same flavor profile you are using in your rub, marinade, and barbecue sauce so the flavors don't compete with each other.