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tips for BBQ | The secrets for low and slow barbecue ribs, pulled pork, brisket and more

Spritzing Ribs

Also Known As: Mopping Ribs, Basting Ribs, Spraying Ribs

Spritzing Ribs -

Dry ribs? Are your spare or baby back ribs drying out on your BBQ? It happens. Well, it can happen, but it doesn't have to. You just need to add more moisture. You can try what some refer to as the Texas Crutch and foil your ribs (see our Game Day Ribs recipe, 3-2-1 spare ribs, or 2-1-1 baby back ribs), you could try retro-fitting a water pan or you could simply "spritz" your ribs.

Spritzing adds a nice depth to the flavor of your ribs and contributes to a nice color as well as adding moisture straight to your ribs. You use a silicon or bristle basting brush to apply some juice too, but that tends to wash away your rub. A trick that you should try is using a spray bottle to mist the juice onto your ribs during the cooking process

After the ribs have been on for 30-60 minutes try spraying the ribs every 30-45 minutes or whenever you open your smoker door. What should you use? It's a personal preference, but for the juice you should stick to 100% juice and it shouldn’t be cold when you spray it.

Here are a few popular pork rib spritz recipes:

  • Half apple juice and half apple cider vinegar
    The flavor blends well with pork and adds a nice color to the bark.
  • Cranberry juice and a little olive oil
    A little more tart than apple juice and helps build a nice deep color.
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup Worcestershire, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup water
    A deeper flavor and it works great with spare ribs.
  • 3 cups apple juice, 2 cups white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp liquid imitation butter (Parkay)
    This is a recipe from Smokin' with Myron Mixon, but imitation butter is used quite a bit in competition BBQ. Parkay is sometimes referred to ask the 'magic blue bottle'.

Try one of the above or use your favorite fruit juice. I've really liked cherry, pear and cranberry. Just be sure to use 100% juice. Some readers also like to mix their juice with Jim Bean or Jack Daniels.

Moist Baby Back Rib

Go to the BBQ Dictionary for more definitions.

Last Updated: March 31, 2012