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Ultimate BBQ Spritz

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This ultimate BBQ spritz that will completely revolutionize your low and slow cooking game! Our spritz is made with bourbon and is perfect for preventing smoked brisket, pork shoulder, and ribs from drying out during long cooking times. The apple bourbon flavor adds a next level of flavor without overpowering the meat. This Pitmaster concoction is a win-win in out book!

Ultimate-BBQ-Spritz

BBQ requires a combination of patience, skill, and the right tools. It’s important to start with the right building blocks of flavor. This typically starts with a rub, then an injection marinade, and, of course, a BBQ spritz.

For this recipe, we are focusing on the spritz. We crafted this recipe over the years with much success. We’ve used it on all types of smoked meat including, pulled pork, spare ribs, baby backs, smoked turkey, and even brisket. Of course, for brisket, we substitute apple juice with pickle juice or beef broth for a more Texas feel. Either one works beautifully, but we encourage you to use this recipe as a baseline and experiment with flavors that work best for you. The bourbon is key for achieving a nice earthy foundation.

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 a simple combination of apple cider vinegar and apple juice. Some Pitmasters use apple juice only. You can also add bourbon, honey, beef or chicken broth, and 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. A mop sauce tends to be thicker and are typically applied with a mop brush or basting brush.

When do you use a BBQ spritz?

Spritzing occurs during the second half of cooking when the bark (crust) has formed but shows patching, or visible signs of drying. Now, there is some grumbling in the BBQ community about using a spritz. Some say it’s necessary to add moisture, while others argue that it isn’t needed.

However 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 meat spritz or mop DOES NOT wash off the rub or destroy the bark on smoked meats. 

BBQ Spritz

Ingredients

  • Bourbon (we used Four Roses Bourbon) sub with beer
  • Apple juice (substitute with apple cider for a sweeter spritz or apple cider vinegar for less sweet) If using on beef brisket, omit apple juice and use beef stock instead.
  • Real maple syrup (avoid using pancake syrup. The real stuff has an amazing subtle flavor. If you are using this spritz on beef, omit this ingredient and increase the amount of beef stock. See apple juice bullet point for details.)
  • 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)
  • Liquid smoke or 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional
  • Spray bottle with a high velocity spray nozzle

Tip: Use a clean, food-safe, spray bottle for this liquid spritz recipe. Clean it thoroughly before and after use.

Making the ultimate BBQ spritz

  • Simmering: Place all ingredients into a saucepan, and let the spritz mixture simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Prepping: 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. 
  • Spritzing: When spritzing meat, keep a fair distance from it. The object is to create humidity, not assail your smoked meats with a targeted shots of spritz. If you use this recipe as a mop, gently dab the liquid with a mop brush.  
  • Make ahead of time: You can also make this BBQ spritz ahead of time, and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Warm it in the microwave for 35-40 seconds, or until room temperature, and use as directed.

Recipe tip: save time and use this ultimate BBQ spritz for wrapping ribs. It offers an added layer of flavor, especially when wrapping ribs and smoked pork shoulder in aluminum foil. Simply use 1/4-1/3 cup of liquid plus a little butter (or margarine) with a couple tablespoons of sugar. Wrap it up and place it back in the smoker. It’s absolutely fantastic!

Try our competition-style BBQ mops!

Bourbon BBQ Spritz

Ultimate BBQ Spritz

This ultimate BBQ spritz that will completely revolutionize your low and slow cooking game! Our spritz is made with bourbon and prevent meats from drying out during a lengthy cook
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Mops
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: barbecue spritz, bourbon bbq spritz, moist barbecue
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1.25 cups
Calories: 513kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 537mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 71g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 1mg

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2 responses to “Ultimate BBQ Spritz”

  1. Someone needs to let everyone know – a regular spray bottle you get from your local grocery store will clog i three pumps if you don’t strain the mixture.

    • Thanks for your comment. We specifically built this recipe to avoid that problem. The only spices are very finely ground and the whole mixture is cooked on the stovetop to make sure that it will pass through the typical store-bought spray bottle.

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