American BBQ Rubs, Mops, and Spritzes

Barbeque masters and amateurs alike all have their secret recipes that make their “que” special. Besides favorite BBQ sauces and wood chips used for smoking particular meats, how the meat is treated before (Rub), during (Spritz), and after (Mop) is equally important.

Dry Rub

Dry rubs are mixes of spices, herbs, and sometimes sugar. They are used to provide a base flavor to meats and are usually applied a few hours before smoking and sometimes overnight to marinate the meat. Besides adding flavor, rubs foster the formation of a crust. The simple rub Pitmasters in Texas creates a complex, deep black crust to the beef. The rub allows the flavor of the beef come through after hours of smoking.


Spritzing adds a nice depth to the flavor of your ribs and contributes to pleasant color. It also adds moisture. You can use a silicone or bristle basting brush to apply some juice, but that tends to wash away your rub. For best results, use a spray bottle to mist the juice onto your ribs during cooking. After the ribs have been cooking for 30-60 minutes, try spraying the ribs every 30-45 minutes or whenever you open the smoker door.


A mop is actually…a mop. A thin layer or two of sauce is applied during final stages of smoking adds additional flavor and some crisp to the bark. Pitmasters coating smokers full of meats came up with this way to baste the meats to avoid burning their arms. A regular kitchen mop was perfect. Over time, mini-mops and extended basting brushes were created for home chefs.

American BBQ mops and spritizes

American BBQ Rubs, Mops, and Spritzes

There are hundreds, if not thousands of personalized BBQ rub recipes, BBQ sauces, and spritz recipes. Whatever the recipe, they all have the same goal to add flavor to a meats crust or bark. Here a few standards that accomplish that goal beautifully.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: BBQ, Spice Mix
Cuisine: American, American South, North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Container with lid
  • Shaker
  • Spray bottle


BBQ Pork Rub

  • ½ cup Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Cayenne pepper
  • ¼ Cup Each: powdered mustard, coarse black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin powder, brown sugar, and Kosher salt.

BBQ Chicken Rub

  • 2 tbsp Smoke paprika
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (i.e. Slap Your Mama)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Each: celery seed, onion powder, and garlic powder

Texas Smoked Beef Rub

  • ½ cup Kosher salt
  • ½ cup Coarse ground black pepper

All-purpose Spritz

  • 3 cup Apple juice
  • 2 cup White wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Imitation liquid butter

Pork Rib Spritz

  • 2 cups Apple juice
  • 2 cups Apple cider vinegar

Pulled Pork Spritz

  • 1 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Each: Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, olive oil, water


BBQ Pork Rub

  • In a shaker of some kind, mix together the following dry ingredients to make 2 1/2 cups of BBQ rub: paprika, cayenne pepper, powdered mustard, coarse grain black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and kosher salt. Cover and shake to mix.

BBQ Chicken Rub

  • In a container, combine, smoked paprika, brown sugar, Creole/Cajun seasoning, kosher salt, celery seed, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cover container and shake to mix.

Texas Smoked Beef Rub

  • Texas Smoked Beef Rub – The rub Pitmasters in Texas use to create a complex deep black crust without it getting in the way of 18 hours of flavor is simple; 50% kosher salt and 50% coarse ground black pepper. That's it. Occasionally some chili or cayenne pepper powder and/or cumin powder might be added.


  • In the last 45 minutes, paint 1 to 2 light coats of the BBQ sauce you'll be serving.


  • Use at room temperature and only use a juice that is 100% juice. Here's a few combinations for you spray bottle:
    Half apple juice and half apple cider vinegar The flavor blends well with pork and adds a nice color to the bark.
    Combine apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, olive oil, and water. Provides a deeper flavor and works great with spare ribs.
    Combine apple juice, white wine vinegar, and liquid imitation butter. This is a simple spritz that works great on everything.


Calories: 948kcal | Carbohydrates: 178g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 59055mg | Potassium: 2668mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 139g | Vitamin A: 13402IU | Vitamin C: 117mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 10mg

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