BBQ Rib & Pork Rub, Bourbon Mopping Sauce and Bourbon BBQ Sauce

meaty country style ribs

A holiday weekend perfecct for a cookout hoorah

Let’s make the most of it.
Happy Labor Day weekend to all . . .

I thought it would be a great time to share the recipes that I have tweaked and worked on some this past summer. It is another trio in outdoor cooking with pork – the 3 steps to insure mouth-watering ribs, shoulder roasts and even chops. I am a believer in using a rub and mopping sauce. As for the BBQ sauce, most of the time I like my ribs dry, that is, without any sauce. I think if the rub and mopping solution are working together in producing tasty and moist ribs, that’s all I need. But a lot of folks like a sauce so this is one that accompaniments pork rather well. Actually, I do sometimes like to just glaze ribs with just enough sauce to make them happy and to tell them I was thinking of it. These are different from a post that has been popular this summer for many of you, BBQ Rib Rub & Mopping Sauce. This is different in a whole ‘nother taste, not as sweet but with a savory blend that goes well  with my favorite ingredient, bourbon. Maybe this post will make a few of you happy too.

Now the rub is great for all pork. It makes a fine seasoning addition to roasts when cooking pulled pork or meats for slicing and I like it on pork steaks and, like the photo today, country style ribs too. A rub has a lot to carry, I mean, it has to provide flavor to the meat and in most BBQ circles, the rub is the most important aspect of the seasonings. I like this one ‘cause it is savory with just enough spices to round out a terrific flavor for gilled and smoked meats.

As for the mopping solution, this again is an important part in cooking pork on a grill or smoker. The mopping sauce helps keep the meat moist and adds a thin layer of savory flavor while preventing dryness. This sauce has a lot going, but here again, all is necessary especially for folks like me. This is why for some of us ribs will not need a sauce; this is like a finishing baste in its own right. The acidity of the vinegar is important in helping the other ingredients and flavorings to absorb deeply into the meat. Plus, I like the somewhat tartness with the bourbon and the sweet taste of the southern barbequed flavor it gives to pork.

Like I said, the Bourbon BBQ Sauce is one to have in passing around for folks who like ribs wet, slathered in a pleasing sauce that will complement the layered flavors of the rub and mopping solution. It is a great sauce for all pork, makes a fine sauce for pulled or chopped pork and like many sauces, it is good with chicken too. Together, this is a prized trio that I am quite happy with, if I may say so myself. Enjoy!

BBQ Rib & Pork Rub

1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons mild chili powder (or hot if you want more heat)
2 tablespoon smoked chili powder  

2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix ingredients in a small blender or whisk well until well combined. Store up to 6 months in an airtight container.
Sprinkle on pork with a light to moderate coating, generously for the larger cuts of meat and for well seasoned flavor. Let set for an hour before grilling. I like to place the meat on direct heat for just a short time to set up the rub and then move to indirect heat for the remaining cooking time. You do not want to burn the rub.

Bourbon Mopping Sauce for Pork

3/4 cup Southern Bourbon or Whiskey
3/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Stir the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes. Allow to meld for another 20 minutes.
Use on pork after about half way in cooking time. Use a mop; do not brush on, as you do not want to remove the rub. If you do not have a mop – make one with an old cloth tied to a dowel. Mop with the sauce often as the meat appears to dry out. When meat is done, wrap in heavy foil and steam on indirect heat for another 15 to 30 minutes depending on type of meat.
Note: Make this a few days in advance so the flavors will come together. Store in the refrigerator.

Bourbon BBQ Sauce for Ribs & Pork

1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon minced Serrano or jalapeƱo, if desired
3/4 cup bourbon or whiskey
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup dark cane syrup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Place the onion, garlic, Serrano if using and bourbon in a blender. Pulse to liquefy. Pour mixture into a large saucepan; bring mixture to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring back to a boil. Stir and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
Note: Store in the refrigerator any that is left over.


  1. Drick,
    The rub and sauces are wonderful! Now I want this for lunch, and now!

    Bon appetit!

  2. Fantastic sauces and a rub! Perfect for Labor Day cooking :)

  3. Don't you just love using bourbon in cooking? Gives such a great flavor.

  4. Wow Drick! This looks superb! My daughter will love this one- anything bbq she loves!
    Have a wonderful day.

  5. The husband thanks you for this bourbon BBQ sauce :-)

  6. Oh how I would love to be a guest at one of your cook outs! I can just imagine how tasty all of these would be...and the aroma of the meat cooking. WOW!

  7. Wow Drick this sounds fantastic! I have never tried using a mop before, but love a good dry rub. Yours is perfect! I want to try the mop and sauce with the bourbon in it! Thanks for sharing!

  8. My goodness - that top picture is making my mouth water. What a perfect way to celebrate summer one last time.

  9. Ok, Drick, you've just got to quit posting all these fantastic recipes. I'm not going to get to the massive pile of ones I've clipped out of magazines or any of my cookbooks :-) This reminds me of a bbq sauce called BourBQ Sauce from a cookbook I love - I think the name of it is Smoke and Spice but I know the Jamison's are the authors. So, I'm going to do Sommer's Italian burgers tonight and this on Saturday or Sunday. YUMMMOO - thank you!! Kate @ kateiscooking

  10. I think this is gonna be a good weekend:)

  11. ok you know this is my favorite and look what you posted omg fantastic looking love love love this. This bourbon mopping sauce is incredible so delicious and will be saving this one till my kitchen is done love all the ingredients in this!

  12. I love these posts. I used your Mexican seasoning recently. Loved it. As soon as I'm done with this quarter, I'll get it posted and put up a link to your recipe.

    I have pork ribs just waiting in the freezer! Thanks Drick! Enjoy your weekend. :)

  13. Woweee! You are a culinary genius, Drick! LOVE these recipes and they are really all amazing! The rub, the mopping sauce, and the bbq sauce are all so awesome! Hope your family knows how lucky they are! Kudos, cher!

  14. I finally got myself a bottle of BOURBOn!

  15. you certainly have barbecuing down to a science! I think by biggest problem is leaving out the mopping sauce, and going right to the bbq are truly the master, and I your willing student! I think my wife will enjoy that bourbon sauce! Have a great labor weekend!

  16.! Drick, I think smoke is coming out of my head...haha. The lists of ingredients are soooooo long! I think I'll wait for you to make for me...hehe. But then...everything looks so delicious here.....mmmm. I'll bookmark this. Hope to have the motivation to make for the next BBQ. But the weather is turning cold fast and doubt we can any more BBQ. Can bake it I'm sure. Love that tiny mop in the sauce....looks cute :D

  17. This sure looks like a winning combo to me! I am with you on preferring just a dry rub on ribs, but I have to admit that I don't mind a bit of sauce on pork chops. I will definitely give your rub a try along with the bourbon sauce. It's gotta be good with the bourbon! ;)

  18. This post gives me a whole new reason to get out the mop! You use bourbon the way I use dark rum - my go-to ingredient.

  19. One word - WOW! My husband would love this BBQ sauce. He is a huge bourbon fan. Nice job!

  20. Your mop sauce sauce pretty good--sweet and tangy!

  21. Perfect for Labor day Drick. I did my first mop sauce on Memorial Day and boy was it good. I'll be checking out your next rib go around! Have agreat holiday!

  22. I love the sauce! This looks really really good!

  23. Great looking ribs. They have that deep reddish/brown color that one should expect!

  24. wow, now that's a rub!! some many spices providing just the perfect mix, and the bourbon mopping suace oh I would love to have this for sunday football cookouts, yummy

  25. This is the best match for my barbecue rib recipes this Christmas. Thank you for sharing!

  26. nice share,i would like to try it at home....


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