Pump Up Your Grill Game: Marinating Dos and Don'ts

marinatedbeef.jpg
Photo by adactio
Summer's here and it's time to grill.

Step up your grill game by checking out our list of dos and don'ts for marinating meats, poultry, seafood and veggies.

Do: Think ahead. Start marinades for tougher cuts the night before or in the morning.

Don't: Marinate items at room temperature. Placing items in the fridge prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria that can lead to food-borne illnesses.

Do: Know your times. Marinate vegetables for 15 to 30 minutes; fish and seafood for 15 minutes to 1 hour; poultry for 30 minutes to eight hours; and meat for 30 minutes to overnight.

Don't: Cross-contaminate. Make sure to marinate meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables in separate containers. Each will have different cooking times and marinating together can lead to cross-contamination.

Do: Use proper containers. Heavy-duty storage bags or glass, ceramic, stainless steel and plastic containers work best.

Don't: Marinate in aluminum, foil, cast-iron or copper containers. The metal can react chemically with the acids, changing the flavor of the marinade and discoloring or even spoiling the food.

Do: Include acid in your marinades. Acidic components like vinegar, citrus, yogurt, buttermilk, wine, beer or liquor help to penetrate to the meat, tenderizing and infusing flavor.

Don't: Forget the oil. Use oils with high smoke points like peanut, canola, safflower or soy.

Do: Impart flavor. Include flavored oils, fresh herbs and spices.


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6 comments
MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Excellent points, Ms. Viggiano. I find the massive, Hefty storage bags, (the box shows them holding like 6 soccer balls) are excellent for marinating brisket. They get expensive--you only get four to a box--but the aggravation saved in taking appart the 'fridge b/c your marinade leaked is worth it.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@MadMac Darn bro you do use the big bags, I find the gallon works well for me..

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

For pork chops, chicken, and some steaks, yes. I have a 3 gallon bowl with a fitted lid that almost accomodates a small brisket and marinade. But for an untrimmed 10lb or larger brisket, the big bags are a must. The seal is not the greatest and your refridgerator smells like marinade for 24 hours but it's better than using a trashbag which just looks gross and leaks like a sieve.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Oops, double post.

MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Right? Seriously, when I saw the box I thought, "What would you use that for? It looks ridic--LIGHT BULB!"

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@MadMac I've got those at the office, I guess the next time I do a jerk chicken or several racks of ribs I'll use one. I know the exact one you're using as the mom on the box has like a soccer ball, basketball, etc, and is holding it with 2 fingers which in my estimation looks utterly ridiculous.

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