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Ellen aka GormayEllen aka Gormay Posts: 63
edited 7:42PM in EggHead Forum
I have seen random references to "goop", a buttermilk/cheap yellow mustard mixture (sometimes with spice rub added) on the forum many times. [p]Can the Eggsperts give me the scoop on goop?[p]1. What does this marinade do for the endproduct?
2. What are the favored proportions of buttermilk to mustard to rub?
3. How long does one soak?
4. Do you leave the mixture on or wipe it off before cooking?
5. What types of meat, poultry or fish would benefit from this process?[p]TIA,[p]Ellen aka the Queen of Questions,[p]PS I was thinking of trying this with Cornish Hens on Sunday :-)


  • Ellen aka Gormay,[p]Hi, I had the same questions a few days ago. [p]This is what I found out. It's 1 cup butter milk to 1 cup cheap mustard. JJ's rub or whatever rub to cover meat is fine ... but it depends of course on the rub you use.. so you have to go with your feelings IMHO. [p]Most everyone says to marinate overnite ... the buttermilk tenderizes ... probably by the acidity or chemical make up of it. Same with the vinegar in the mustard.[p]I did some baby back ribs and they were wonderful. The mustard vanishes... the buttermilk sort of stinks at first touch on the hot grill ... but it vanishes also. [p]Let me know how it turns out for you OK. I bet you like it.[p]Take care... and happy BBQ'ing .. BB

  • StogieStogie Posts: 279
    Hi Ellen![p]I could speak all day to this, as I have some pretty strong opinions about it.[p]I understand the need to experiment and have done it myself for 20 years. At some point though, someone has to step up and say..yes it does work or no it doesn't add anything to the product. Too many folks look for the golden bullet of smoking....."Boy, if I just marinade in buttermilk, my BBQ will be GREAT!". It just isn't that simple.[p]There tends to be several reasons for using these various mixtures........Tenderizing effect, spices stick to it, added flavor....among them. [p]Let's take them in order and explode some myths......[p]Tenderizing....Merle Ellis, the Nations Butcher, does not agree with this theory. He cites reports that have shown marinades only penetrate between 2-5mm..about 3/16". Therefore, how effective can they be. The problem is, the types of acids in these foods is so weak they simply don't penetrate that much. [p]Cook's Illustrated has furthered this fact in numerous studies they conducted. Result, marinades add NO tenderizing effect whatsoever.[p]The whole reason to cook low and slow is to turn a gnarly hunk of meat into something special. The process of low and slow cooking.....rendering fat and dissolving the collagen fibers.....will tenderize these meats, so why bother marinating?[p]I have heard many people rave about how they use buttermilk on their chicken and it is so tender(this is where the buttermilk thingy started). DUH!! I have cooked chicken breasts for years with not one single drop of buttermilk and EVERY single one is fork tender. It's a chicken breast for crying out loud! So spare me the tender chicken argument. Besides, I have tested with buttermilk..NO difference.[p]Stickiness....not sure about you folks, but I have never met a piece of meat that needs additional moisture for the rub to stick to! Matter of fact, I hear more of the opposite..."all this goop slipped off and I lost all my spices". So, I don't buy this either.[p]Flavor......this is about the only thing all this goop stuff can do. Mustard MAY produce a better bark, however, in my side-by-sides this simply was not true. Compound that with the fact that the mustard taste totally disappears and there is no tenderizing effect, I have to ask...why bother? A waste of good mustard to me. [p]Other marinades DO indeed add flavor or change the flavor profile just enough to change the end product. To these I say go for it! I personally use a goop...technically it is known as a paste...of A1 sauce, fresh grated horseradish and my Yum-Yum steak rub on my brisket and it has won me a ribbon or two. So, there is a place for some of these.[p]I am a big believer in doing side-by-side taste tests. I have tested hundreds of these things over the last 20 years...mustard and buttermilk included....and have concluded that, for me, they add nothing to the end product. So, I save a little labor and a few pennies and avoid all this stuff.[p]The most important thing in the end........what do YOU think of the results? That's the wonder of BBQ! [p]But before answering that, do a rack of ribs in buttermilk and at the same time, do a rack without and ask your GUESTS(you are disqualified!) the difference.[p]Too long I know, but I had to share. I feel too often we overdo things, when instead, stepping back and sticking to basics is all that is needed.[p]Stogie
  • Ca_rnivoreCa_rnivore Posts: 120
    Ellen aka Gormay,[p]both BB and Stogie have good points! [p]I've tried this a couple of times, basically as BB described it, but with what appears to be way too much rub in the mix. I use around 5 TBs. per cup of goop. I believe that K.O.C. suggested using more rub than necessary. [p]However, like Stogie, I haven't seen any advantage to this method. My ribs, chicken, and brisket are not noticably different in any aspect ie taste, tenderness, etc.[p]Maybe it's just me, but I don't see any benefit to doing this goop thing. Don't let me discourage you though. There's alot of people using this method that swear by it. Try it and if you get good results keep on doing it and be sure to report your results.[p]--Kevin

  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    I noticed in your profile that you use a Webber Smokey Mountain (WSM) for your cooks. Do you think there would be a difference in the end results if your comparison cooks were done on an Egg? I'm still learning so I would really like to know. "Experimenting" with meat can get expensive and embarrassing. I would prefer to keep everything as simple as possible. [p]Spring Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

  • Stogie,[p]I aggree with "most" everything you mentioned... especially about sticking to things that work and keeping it simple.[p]But I would like to state that my grandmother.. whom recently passed away at 95 ... soaked her chicken in butter milk all her life. She was from Shawnee Oklahoma and maybe it's a Oki thing.... I dont know.... but it is nothing new.[p]The use of mustard in the mixture and the inclusion of a rub to season it just sort of makes since as the milk alone would be sort of bland. My grandmother used salt a pepper to taste :) [p]But ... it is something that has been in my family all my life and even my grandparents also... so it is nothing new and I would say " I can tell a difference" in the final product. But to each his own .... tastes are just that... personal preferences :)[p]Happy BBQ'ing and take care.. BB

  • JethroJethro Posts: 495
    Ellen aka Gormay,[p]The last time I cooked ribs I used this method. Both my wife and I thought they were the best ribs we have cooked.[p]So was it the Goop - I don't know, maybe everything else, smoking wood, time, temps, cut or ribs, etc., just hit right. I'll be doing again next time though.[p]Probably the side by side would be a good idea, then you'll know which you prefer. Course you might have some trouble keep em straight if you end up rotating due to hot spots.[p]Let us know what you think.[p]Jethro
  • Stogie,
    As far as frying chicken and soaking in buttermlk..
    It just flat out tastes better..[p] And even your cooks illustrated magazine your quoting after testing agree soaking in buttermik is the best way to go.
    Following reasons: Soaking in dairy displayed the most beautifully textured and richly colored skin..
    Because thicker liquids cling better to slippery raw chicken parts, which attracts more flour during dredging. Resulting in a thick even coating.. The lactose (sugar) found in the milk causes the chicken to develop a deep mahogany color when frying..[p]Buttermilk also gave a clean heightened flavor to the chicken...[p]Right out of the book..[p]

  • Ca_rnivore,[p]Hi ... how are you doing ? :)[p]Im not a big goop expert or anything... by any means... but the next time you do chicken... say a big batch of legs or ? try soaking 1/2 of them in straight buttermilk say overnight and until time to cook them the next day..a good long soak..and do the other 1/2 just plain. Salt and pepper or season to taste both the same at cook time sparingly so you can taste the butter milk difference. [p]I know im not imagening this LOL.... there is a difference. :)[p]Just season them lightly with salt and pepper or ? so you can taste the difference though and dont get them smokey or anything to mess with the taste test experiment.[p]To me... it sort of smooths out ... but yet enhances the flavor. Sort of adds a's hard to describe but I can tell the difference and it is worth the cost of the butter milk IMHO. [p]Now the Goop mixture is new to me and I have only tried it a few times... so... I need to do a side by side comparison with some ribs next time myself.. with and without it... but take the taste test and let us know what you find. [p]Im thinking about injecting the goop.. but worried about clogging the needle.. maybe strain it through a coffee filter. :) [p]Happy BBQ'ing .... BB[p]

  • Ca_rnivoreCa_rnivore Posts: 120
    BB,[p]I'm doing great![p]I'll try the straight buttermilk thing one of these days. I think my tastebuds and nerve endings are fried from all the chili peppers I eat! I've heard that the buttermilk does add a certain indescribable feeling/taste, but for the life of me, I can't tell the difference between the buttermilk/mustard goop and just a plain mustard soak. I've tried it on ribs (2x, once direct, once indirect), chicken (once) and brisket (once). I guess I'll try changing the BM/mustard ratio, heading towards 100% buttermilk, and stop when I hit that magic spot for me.[p]Take Care,

  • Ca_rnivore,[p]Yes... im thinking that the mustard is overpowering what the buttermilk is doing... at least on chicken.[p]The mustard is so strong... and the buttermilk subtle.[p]Try just straight buttermilk on the chicken my friend... a good long soak. [p]Take care... BB

  • Stogie,[p]Your points are well taken. The KISS principle is a good one. What I love about this forum is the free exchange of ideas and opinions. To each his own. It's sometimes simply a "matter of taste". When gathering information on this site, I can usually "read between the lines" to determine what might suit my needs. As Spring Chicken says in his post, no one wants to waste expensive meat experimenting. The forum takes away a bit of the risk. Trying something new is still risky, but that's half the fun.[p]I agree with what you say about marinating. My understanding is that acid marinades don't truly tenderize meat (some cuts are just naturally tender), but they can break down the muscle fibers which softens the meat somewhat. I do like and use marinades, but only because I feel they do add flavor.[p]I've heard for years that soaking chicken in buttermilk leads to better chicken, but have never tried it.[p]My mother used to coat a leg of lamb with mustard before putting it on a rotisserie. It was the only lamb I liked as a child, because the vinegar in the mustard took out the strong lamb flavor and formed a savory, brown crust (bark?) on the outside.[p]I see lots of side by side experimenting in my future....[p]Ellen aka BBQ Researcher and Judge
    (who says I have to disqualify myself in future research studies. I'm the only one in my family with *standards* :-)

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