When it comes to infusing flavours into your favourite BBQ recipes, everyone will tell you their way is the right way, but it all depends on the results you’re looking for and the accessories you have at your disposal. The three keys to infusing flavour in your BBQ dishes are basting, mopping, and spritzing, and each requires specific accessories, but they all yield extremely flavourful results.
In most cases, basting is done with a marinade, and it doesn’t require a bunch of fancy accessories, just a quality basting brush. The only catch is you need to worry about cross-contamination during long cooks because you’ll be basting throughout the cooking process and don’t want any bacteria to carry over. We recommend setting aside some marinade to use towards the end of the cook and having a couple of brushes on hand so you can swap the one used on the raw meat out for a clean brush towards the end of your cook.
Many grillers mistakenly think mopping and basting are the same, and although they’re similar, they require different accessories and produce different results. Mopping is the ideal flavour infusion method for low and slow smoker cooks. It requires a mop-like brush, hence the name mopping, and a watery, liquidy marinade. The mopping accessories are different from the basting accessories because they need longer bristles to hold the viscous marinade. Silicone mops are best because they are easy to clean and reduce the risk of bacteria growth.
Unlike mopping and basting, spritzing doesn’t require any brush-like accessories. All you’ll need is a spray bottle filled with your flavoured liquid of choice. This method is excellent for infusing flavour and moisture into the meat during low and slow cooks and allows you to get a dry rub texture on your meat with all the flavours of a wet marinade. In terms of the accessories, you can keep it cheap and get a plastic spray bottle or step your grill game up with a pressurized stainless steel spray bottle.
When to Baste, Mop, or Spritz?
If you’re using high heat you’ll want to baste or mop lightly and quickly, and ensure you don’t flip your food until the marinade or sauce has been slightly absorbed or it will drip off. For low and slow cooks, you want to ensure the seasoning on your meat has formed a bark or started to fuse with the skin otherwise the baste or spritz will simply wash it off.
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