Mop Sauce For Ribs

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Whether you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your ribs or simply want to try something new, a good old fashioned mop sauce is a great option. This versatile sauce can be used on pork, chicken, or beef, and is perfect for those who like a little spice in their food. Best of all, it’s easy to make!

Here we’ll share our favorite mop sauce for ribs.  Read on for a little background or jump straight to the recipe below.

What Is Mop Sauce?

Mop sauce is a type of barbecue sauce that has its roots in the American South. It’s made with vinegar, spices, and other ingredients like Worcestershire sauce or hot pepper flakes. The name comes from the method of “mopping” it onto meat while cooking to keep it moist and add flavor. Mop sauce is an ideal way to add a unique twist to your favorite ribs recipe.

Mop sauces are typically thin and runny compared to thicker barbeque sauces you might be used to seeing on store shelves. This allows them to penetrate into the meat more easily as they cook, giving your ribs an intense flavor that won’t overpower their natural taste. Because mop sauces don’t contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners, they can also help reduce the amount of fat in your rib recipes without sacrificing taste. You can customize this versatile sauce by adjusting heat levels with various peppers or adding sweetness with honey or molasses – perfect for those who want a little bit of kick in their meals!

The combination of tangy acidity from vinegar, saltiness from Worcestershire Sauce, umami flavors from tomato paste and soy sauce (if using), plus spicy notes from chili powder make mop sauce a truly unique and delicious condiment that you can use in all kinds of recipes.

Which Type Of Ribs Are Best For Mop Sauce?

Mop sauce is perfect for all types of ribs, including pork spareribs, baby back ribs, and even beef short ribs.

The thin consistency allows it to penetrate deeply into the meat as it cooks and infuse flavor from the inside out. Depending on how much you use, mop sauce can be a great way to add extra moisture to ribs that have been cooked for too long.

What Goes In Mop Sauce

Here’s a quick list of the ingredients we like to use in our mop sauce:

  • olive oil
  • apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic
  • ground mustard powder
  • tomato paste
  • soy sauce
  • chili powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • black pepper

You may notice that many of these ingredients are commonly found in BBQ sauces, and you’d be correct! The idea isn’t t0 reinvent the wheel with the mop sauce – it’s to create an incredibly tasty compliment that is perfectly tailored for ribs!

How To Make The Sauce

The good news is that the sauce is incredibly easy to make after you get all of your ingredients measured.

All you need to do is combine all of the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, into a skillet or small pot and heat over medium heat.

From there, whisk until completely combined and keep heating the sauce until it reaches a simmer.

Keep it simmering for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your liking.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once the sauce has simmered, remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.  You can also make it in advance and store it in the fridge overnight!

Now it’s ready to mop onto those ribs!  Lather on a layer of sauce to your ribs before they go on the grill or on the smoker.  Then continue to brush a layer on every 20 or so minutes until a nice thick caramelized outer layer forms.  You can even save a little bit for dunking your ribs once they’re served!

Final Thoughts

There you have it – a simple and delicious recipe for mop sauce for ribs that’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends! With its bold flavors and unique taste, this sauce is perfect for giving your ribs a flavorful kick. Enjoy!

Have a different way you like to make a mop sauce?  Let us know about it in the comments section below.

Mop Sauce for Ribs

A simple and delicious recipe for mop sauce for ribs that's sure to be a hit with your family and friends!
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, BBQ
Servings 2 rib racks


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ground mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder optional, add more for more spice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, mustard powder, tomato paste, soy sauce, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the mop sauce. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Remove from heat and let the sauce cool to room t emperature.
  • Brush the mop sauce generously onto your ribs.
  • Continue to brush sauce onto your ribs as they cook, every 30 minutes or so.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword BBQ Sauce, Beef Ribs, Mop Sauce
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