A Spray Bottle Full Of Whiskey Will Elevate Your Smoked Meats

Barbecuing is undoubtedly one of the tastiest methods for cooking meat. To ensure the meat remains tender and juicy, rather than tough, dry, or chewy, it's crucial to add moisture during the cooking process. Common methods include basting, mopping, or spritzing the meat while it's on the barbecue.

Basting and mopping involve using a silicone brush or "mop" to apply the liquid, which may be thick or sticky. In contrast, spritzing involves using a spray bottle to apply a thinner liquid. Spritzing is quicker, less messy, and provides a more even coating, helping to lock in moisture and keep the meat softer and more succulent. While juice or vinegar are popular spritzing liquids, whiskey is one of the most flavorful options, as demonstrated by TikTok user @sortedfoodofficial.


One of our favourite BBQ gagdets at the moment… What’s yours?! 👀 #bbq #bbqtiktok

♬ original sound – Sorted Food

Whiskey, when paired with smoked meats, creates a superb taste combo, adding subtle sweet and smoky flavors to the dish. Furthermore, using whiskey as a spritz can improve the texture of the meat, particularly when cooking low and slow, resulting in more tender ribs, brisket, or barbecued pork belly.

The spritzing method keeps meat tender and flavorful

While adding moisture, such as whiskey, to meat during cooking might seem like an obvious way to make it juicier, spritzing works in a more nuanced way. As meat slowly cooks on the barbecue, the outside heats up more than the inside, causing moisture to evaporate from the surface.

Spraying the meat helps cool the surface, slowing the evaporation process. This can extend cooking time, but it also retains more juices in the meat. The key is to spritz lightly every half hour or so, but only after the bark — the dark, flavorful crust on the exterior of your slowly cooked meat — has formed. Be cautious not to spray too much; a light, even coating is sufficient.

Besides creating a moister crust and juicier meat, spritzing meats like brisket with whiskey while they smoke enhances the bark's flavor and color. While you can use whiskey, such as bourbon, alone, combining it with apple juice adds extra flavor and promotes caramelization due to the natural sugars in the juice.

Spritzing with whiskey helps form a smoke ring

A smoke ring — the pink ring near the surface of meat when cooked — is highly sought after in barbecuing. The good news is, spraying meat with whiskey during cooking can aid in forming this coveted smoke ring.

Spritzing increases the meat's moisture, attracting more smoke to its damp surface. Myoglobin, a protein in the meat, reacts with the smoke to create the pink ring. More smoke enhances the smoke ring and boosts the meat's natural smoky flavor. Whiskey, like bourbon, further accentuates this sweet smokiness.

The result is meat that's not only tender, juicy, and packed with flavor, but also visually appealing. Just as you can skip the top shelf when cooking with whiskey, a basic spray bottle suffices — you really don't need to spend lots of money on a fancy bottle. So, try adding a whiskey spritz to your next barbecue for some affordable (and expert-level) taste and texture.