| Cooking Tips & Tricks | Summer BBQing - 5 marinating tips to make your meat sizzle and taste great

Summer BBQing - 5 marinating tips to make your meat sizzle and taste great

Looking for a simple way to take your barbecue beef and lamb recipes to the next level this summer? Marinades are probably the easiest way to do so. A good marinade not only keeps your meat moist, tender and flavourful, but it can reduce the harmful effects of high temperature cooking.

A successful marinade has just the right balance of basic ingredients which can include fat, salt, acid (citrus juice or vinegar) or enzymes (from mango or kiwifruit), seasonings, herbs and something sweet (sugar or honey). These all contribute to soften the protein in the meat to make it more tender, enhance the taste and add moisture for succulence. A good marinade is a great way to make cheaper (and often less tender) cuts of meat more enjoyable.

5 marinating tips for your beef and lamb:

  • Meat preparation – Marinating works best on thinner cuts of meat that have been cubed or sliced. This allows the marinade to penetrate further into the surface of the meat. Some cuts that are ideal for marinating include blade steak, flank, ribs, lamb leg steak, lamb loin and shoulder chops, schnitzel, and beef sirloin.
  • Storage – Use a glass or food-safe plastic container or sealed bags to marinate your meat. The acid in marinades can react with storage containers such as aluminium, pottery glazes and some metals.
  • Food safety – Marinate your meat in the fridge, this will keep it safe and stop any nasty bacteria growing. Do not reuse a marinade and never serve marinade that has been in contact with raw meat.
  • Marinating time – Depending on the type of marinade recipe and cut of meat you are using; the marinating time could be anything from 15 minutes to overnight. Generally tender cuts of meat need anything from 15 minutes to 2 hours and tougher cuts of meat will need longer (At least 6 hours). A longer marination time will provide more flavour and allows the acid or enzymes to tenderise the meat more. However, be careful not to over-marinate meat (more than 24 hours), as prolonged contact with the acid or enzymes in your marinade can make the meat become tougher or mushy.
  • Cooking or grilling - Grill or barbecue your marinated meat but watch carefully as the sugar in some marinades can caramelize and then burn quickly. It pays to remove excess marinade to avoid this happening. Marinating your meat has been shown to reduce the formation of compounds linked to the development of cancer (such as heterocyclic amines or HCAs) when meat is cooked on the barbecue or grill. Other tips to keep your meat as healthy as possible is to avoid really high heat cooking and direct contact with open flames (using a solid plate as opposed to an open grill) and to discard any charred meat.

9 of our favourite marinades

These are 9 of our favourite recipes that include marinades which can be used on a variety of different meat cuts. These marinades embrace flavours from across the world and are the perfect complement to our New Zealand pasture-raised beef and lamb.

Southeast Asian Satay:

Posted by Regina Wypych

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