Beer Mop Sauce


Texas Home Cooking

Published by Harvard Common Press

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Some pitmasters would consider us slap-happy with our mop sauce because we use one with almost everything we barbecue. If you want to be frugal, lazy, or just technically correct, baste only food that will dry out in the cooking process. The mop adds moisture more than flavor, so it can contain anything wet from water to wine. Always be sure to include plenty of oil when smoking anything that doesn’t have a protective layer of fat and never use ingredients that will burn (such as a ketchup-based barbecue sauce) before the last 30 to 45 minutes of cooking. These two versions of one basic recipe will mop up almost everything.

NotesWhen he was elected Texas Governor in 1939 and 1941, “Pappy” O’Daniel invited everyone in the state to inaugural dinners in Austin. Some twenty thousand people showed up at the second shindig and consumed almost a pound of barbecue per person.

Makes2 to 3 cups

Cooking Methodbarbecuing



Total Timeunder 15 minutes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, kosher, lactose-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Taste and Texturegarlicky, savory, tangy, umami

Type of Dishbarbecue sauce, sauces


  • 12 ounces beer
  • ½ cup vinegar, preferably cider or white
  • ¼ cup oil, preferably canola or corn oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lone star dry rub
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 12 ounces beer
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup oil, preferably canola or corn oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lone star dry rub
  • 1 tablespoon white wine worcestershire sauce or 1½ teaspoons worcestershire sauce


  1. Throw everything together and stir. Add up to an additional ¼ cup oil when the food being smoked is lean and dry. Apply with a small string mop made for barbecue, or with a pastry brush.

  2. Variations:

  3. Substitute stock for the beer, or inexpensive dry wine (red for the meat or white for the poultry or fish).


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