Truly a fantastic bourbon BBQ spritz that will completely change your low and slow cooking game! This spritz is perfect for keeping brisket, pork shoulder, and ribs from drying out during cooking. The bourbon flavor will liven things up without overpowering the meat. Definitely a win-win in our book!
We used Four Roses Bourbon to develop this recipe, and the flavor was incredible! But, you can certainly use your favorite bourbon if you don’t have Four Roses on hand. For a BBQ spritz with extra bite, we recommend using Texas Bourbon.
What is the difference between a BBQ spritz and a mop?
Pitmasters have used some form of liquid to keep their low and slow barbecue briskets, ribs, and pork roasts from drying out. They did this in one of two ways. The first is the mop, and the second is the spritz. So what is the difference between these two?
- Spritz: A BBQ spritz is typically a simple combination of apple cider vinegar and apple juice. Some Pitmasters use apple juice only. You can also add bourbon, honey, broth, or soy sauce to this combination.
- Mop: Traditional barbecue mops contain a liquid base like apple cider vinegar or apple juice but can also include brown sugar, maple syrup, seasonings, and barbecue sauce. Mops can be thicker and are usually applied with a mop brush.
When do you use a BBQ spritz?
Spritzing happens during the second half of cooking when the bark has formed, but the meat has dry patches. There is grumbling in the barbecue community about whether or not to use a spritz. Some say it’s necessary to keep the meat moist, while others argue that it’s not needed. But the type of cooker you have can make a big difference. For example, you won’t need a BBQ spritz if using a water smoker to cook a brisket. That is because water smokers create humidity that helps keep the meat moist inside the cooking chamber.
If using a pellet grill or offset smoker, you’ll notice dry patches on the meat after a few hours. That is a good indicator that you need to apply a BBQ spritz. When done properly, applying a spritz or mop DOES NOT wash off the rub or destroy the bark on smoked meats.
Ingredients for Bourbon BBQ Spritz:
- Bourbon (we used Four Roses Bourbon)
- Apple juice (substitute with apple cider for a sweeter spritz or apple cider vinegar for less sweet)
- Real maple syrup (avoid using pancake syrup. We’re talking the real deal here)
- Soy sauce (sub with tamari for gluten-free option, or coconut aminos for soy allergies)
- Onion powder
- Allspice (sub with a tiny pinch of cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg)
How to make it:
- Place all ingredients into a saucepan, and let the bourbon BBQ spritz mixture simmer over medium-high heat.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a clean kitchen-safe spray bottle and use. Keep your spritz warm (not hot) during the cooking process.
- When spritzing meat, keep a fair distance from it. The object is to create humidity, not assail your smoked meats with a targeted shot of spritz. If you use this recipe as a mop, gently dab the liquid with a mop brush.
Like this recipe? Try some of our BBQ mops!
Bourbon BBQ Spritz
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup the real stuff
- 1/4 cup bourbon Four Roses
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a low simmer for 2-3 minutes stirring often. Remove mixture from heat and let the mixture cool for 20 minutes.
- Pour spritz mixture into a clean spray bottle.
- To use: spray meats during the latter stages of the cooking process and right before wrapping meats.
- You can make this spritz up to 5 days ahead of time. Simply bring it to room temperature before using it.