Should You Spritz Ribs On The BBQ?

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The act of spritzing involves spraying something in short, succinct bursts. All you need to be able to spritz your food is to buy a spray bottle that is appropriate for food.

You can add a variety of simplistic or more complex concoctions to your spritz bottle incorporating several ingredients if necessary. The aim of spritzing is to replace any lost moisture that has been evaporated by the smoking process itself. 

Why Should You Spritz Ribs?

Generally speaking, spritzing improves the overall tenderness of your ribs, their color and potentially their flavor.

The idea is to spritz your ribs enough to prevent them from drying out and inherently keep the ribs as moist and succulent as possible.

If you are not wrapping your ribs to retain moisture prior to cooking, then you should definitely spritz them instead in order to ensure that they keep enough moisture to not dry out.

How Often To Spritz Ribs?

In order to cook your ribs to perfection, you will need to adopt a low and slow cooking process. This will require a number of hours whether you cook on a grill or a smoker, and you should maintain a vigilant eye on your ribs to ensure that the meat doesn’t dry out.

No matter whether you’re cooking beef or pork ribs, a general rule of thumb to go by is to spritz your ribs once an hour. This will ensure moisture throughout your meat without overdoing it.

Pork ribs typically take 3-4 hours to cook, whereas beef back ribs can take upwards of 6-7 hours to cook. So that means you could be spritzing your ribs anywhere from 3-7 times throughout the entire cooking process.

How To Avoid Drowning Your Ribs

If you spritz your ribs to excess, you run the risk of washing off your seasonings and rubs. It is one of the many criticisms that chefs have about the spritzing process.

Practically, if you do decide to use an amalgamation of ingredients in your spritz, you should ensure that you have thoroughly strained the mixture prior to placing it into the bottle as this will prevent any seasoning from clogging up the nozzle.

If you utilize a variety of unique flavors in your spritz bottle, you will be amazing at the additional flavor that you are able to add to your ribs when striking the right balance between smoking and spritzing.  

Spritz vs Unspritzed Ribs

Unspritzed ribs also cooked far quicker than spritz ribs and the meat became crusty on the outside whilst remaining tender on the inside.

The longer the ribs were cooked for whilst remaining thoroughly moistened, the stickier and darker they were.

Spritz ribs are well ahead of unspritzed ribs with regards to overall texture and flavor, especially when the balance is struck between the smoking and spritzing process. However, both ribs turned out to be tender and juicy. 

What Do The Professionals Say About Spritzing Ribs?

Smokers like Steve Raichlen choose to spritz their ribs using beer. However, others prefer to moisten their ribs using the wrapping method (either foil or pink butcher paper). Other still only spritz their meats in certain circumstances like during a windy day.

What Do The Professionals Say?


To conclude, spritzing adds a wonderful depth of flavor to ribs as well as contributing a phenomenal color to the end product. It helps to ensure that the meat is tenderized to perfection and doesn’t lose too much water.

Spritzing also helps to prevent the ribs from burning. As well as spritzing, you can add additional flavor by using a bristle basting brush in order to apply additional seasoning.

Final Thoughts

You should experiment with the flavors contained within your spritzing bottle as much as possible and enjoy the experience of spritzing your meat with different spices.

After the ribs have cooked for 30-60 minutes, you should spray them approximately every hour, maybe more if you aren’t wrapping at all, to ensure proper moisture levels.

You should also try to stick to 100% pure fruit juice if you are using this to moisten your ribs and ensure that it is not cold when sprayed on.

Above all, you should strike an appropriate balance between smoking and spritzing the ribs in order to avoid overwhelming them and drowning out any of the rub.

You do not want to unintentionally make your ribs bland because you have removed any original marinade during the process of spritzing.

However, spritzing at regular intervals will undoubtedly ensure that your ribs do not dry out during the slow-cooking process and will inherently ensure that you are able to enjoy succulent ribs packed full of a variety of amalgamated flavor.

You will be the talk of the town if you master the art of spritzing your ribs to perfection so purchase a spray bottle today and start experimenting with a plethora of flavorsome ingredients to spritz your ribs with!