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Mop Sauce?

I am cooking shoulders for about 30 people this weekend and had a quick question about mopping on the egg. 

Here is my question:

I have cooked around 100 shoulders and had my method down pact on my old gas smoker.  I would spray mop the shoulder every hour during the cook with apple juice and apple cider vinegar and loved the way the bark would come out.

I have only cooked 1 shoulder on the Egg and it turned out fine.  I did not Mop, and while the bark was good it just didn't have the same flavor as my gas smoker.

My question is does anyone Mop their shoulders on the egg?  I read that it was not required as the egg holds moisture better than other smokers but I plan on mopping to get that flavor I am looking for in the bark.

Any reason not to mop on the egg? 


  • GGGNATGGGNAT Posts: 14
    Ok - Maybe my question was not stated clearly or maybe no one mops?

    So Restated:

    Does anyone Mop there Butts on the egg? 
  • The short answer is no.  The Egg is a very different cooker than anything you have cooked with before.  The ceramics insulate the cooking environment so it holds your cooking temp with much less fuel.  Other cookers are not insulated so they need much more fuel to maintain temp.  The large amount of burning fuel blasts your food with direct heat and dries it out.

    To counter act this, other cookers need a water bath or mopping to introduce liquid into the arid cooker environment.  Egg on!  And forget about your mop.

    Flint, Michigan
  • I try to keep the outside of my butt clean with something resembling butt rub.  Sometimes I squirt some hogwash or apple juice in the foil diaper towards the end of the smoke.  After I remove the foil diaper, I might add a little more rub and let it get dry and firm on the outside again.

    All analogies aside, a mop is cool and possibly acidic, sweet, or salty (it can be other things too).  That means it will cool off the outside of the meat.  This can be good or bad.  I would use more liquid if I was a power cooker.  People may debate whether time or temp drives off more moisture, but I know the egg holds temps steady and more moisture in than most cookers.  For most things, you want a specific uniform internal temperature and a flavorful exterior with contrasting texture.

    The gas should not add any positive flavor to something.  i do think that if you are letting moisture out (by looking), you should compensate and spray.  But with an egg, I can monitor meat temp and keep pit temp stable and I know there is no exposed flame.

    I think apple flavors and vinegar pair really well with Boston Butts.  If pulling, can always add moisture later too.  For you, I would say you can spray some, but won't make much difference.  A cool thing would be to add some sort of dried and ground apple product to a rub.  I also wonder what dried citric acid would do to a rub.

    Mop pros: 1. cook slightly more evenly (debateable) 2. different flavor in bark

    Mop cons: 1. constantly changing temp/moisture in egg 2. softens and can dissolve rub/bark


  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 3,494
    While I agree with everything Fred said there is no wrong way to do things if it comes out the way you want it to. If you insist on mopping I'd only do it two or three times in a eight hour cook.  I honestly would try putting a little apple juice and cider vinegar in your drip pan this weekend and see if that gives the bark the flavor you are looking for without adding direct moisture to the bark. Good luck. Only thing I can really say is keep trying things and I guarantee that whether or not the taste is similar you will find a method on the egg that tastes better then from the gasser. Happy egging.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • GGGNATGGGNAT Posts: 14
    Thanks for the input.  Mopping for me is not to add moisture but flavor to the bark.  I live in NC and a vinegar based mop and sauce is very common in eastern NC BBQ.  I have done both with and without and never experienced much difference in cook time.  To be honest the egg cook was the longest I have ever done at almost 18 hours at 250 and that was without opening the egg once.  

    Going back to basics with the Mop and I will let you know how it turns out.
  • GGGNATGGGNAT Posts: 14
    And when I say common I mean Religion.
  • DMurfDMurf Posts: 481
    I am by no means an expert on BBQ but so long as you have a stable EGG and do not try to chase the temp after you open to mop then I say have at it. As posted above there is no "wrong" way to do things only the way you like it.
    BBQ since 2010 - Oh my, what I was missing.
  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 3,494
    I'm lucky enough to have family in South Carolina, and live in Nebraska. My childhood consisted of a once a summer drive to S.C. which went through Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, Charlotte and other small towns throughout the Carolinas that I've experienced about every type of American BBQ first hand except for Texas. Like I said before, just do your thing and experiment until you find something that works. Perhaps experiment when you aren't entertaining such a large group however
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    If you want to mop, then mop.  Only advice I would give is open the egg, mop quickly and get the egg closed.  this will help you with maintaining temp. 

    As someone above said, if you are satisfied with the finished product, then you've done it right.
  • GGGNATGGGNAT Posts: 14
    Cool thanks.  I Spray Mop so typically a five second procedure every hour through the whole cook.

    I look forward to trying different styles on the egg, but people around here can't resist the vinegar!

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,925
    I spray or mist mine every hour with apple juice and cider vinegar.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • SmokinDAWG82SmokinDAWG82 Posts: 1,704
    I use a spray bottle to mist mine every hour with apple juice and cider vinegar.
    Go Dawgs! - Marietta, GA
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,127
    only mopped once and with the butt being cooked in the egg found i didnt get the deep crunchy bark i liked. misting towards the end though might be a great idea, im thinking add some rub at the same time to refresh the rub flavor, alot of flavor in the rub diminishes with the long cook. another idea might be to inject at the plateau stage, it gives that whole hog flavor to the butt and keeps the mess in the egg,i inject a carolina vinegar style sauce sometimes during the plateau.
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 938
    I use to do a mop made with beer, vinegar, onions, some of the rub that was used, sugar, garlic and probably a couple of ingredients that I don't recall off the top of my head.  I haven't used a rub since I quit using the offset smoker.  If it is flavour you want maybe you can add some of those ingredients to your rub.

  • GGGNATGGGNAT Posts: 14
    Cook went great.  I did 19 pounds and mopped every two hours.  Definitely got the flavor profile I was missing in my last cook.  They hit 190 at around 15 hours and went in the cooler for an hour before pulled.  Cooked around 250 dome with was right at 225 grate on my dual temp probe.

    I also went back to soaked apple wood chips instead of chunks and definitely the route I will take going forward.  The chips provided a nice clean, sweet smoke for around 3 hours and you could taste it in the meat.

    The egg is awesome.  After we pulled the pork off I kept the grill going for another 2 hours with the same wood.

    Cooked chicken and veggie burgers for the vegetarians and make those bacon wrapped shrimp and goat cheese ABT's again.  They were a huge hit.  Thanks to the poster who came up with that idea.
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