Cooking on the grill is a favorite pastime in America. When you’re getting ready to cook a meal for the family or the entire neighborhood, it’s important not to forget about the importance of a good marinade. Whether you’re looking to pack some flavor into chicken, duck, gator or some other protein, you’ll want to create the perfect marinade.
At The Best Stop Supermarket, we have a few marinating tips and tricks to help you out. Combine these with The Best Stop seasonings and you’ll be loving the food that comes off of your grill.
The Purpose of a Marinade
Marinades are designed to add flavor, preserve the food and even help to break down the proteins, making them softer. A good marinade will consist of salt, acid and various herbs and spices.
With the help of a good marinade, you can make duck or gator even more flavorful. You can also make cheaper cuts of meat like skirt steak and chicken thighs more tender.
Marinades are typically only surface level. However, you can increase the surface area by making sure that the meat lies flat. Also, you can pound boneless meat out a bit with a meat mallet or, for the old-school Cajun way, the large end of a wine bottle. Just don’t go overboard on the meat or you’ll risk tearing it!
As a pro tip, be sure that you let the marinated meat get to room temperature for about 30 minutes before you throw it on the grill. Also, once you are done with the marinade, don’t use it for anything else! You should discard it to avoid bacteria growth or foodborne illnesses.
Top Marinades to Whip Up
We’re ready to show you some of the top marinades to create for the foods that you love.
- For beef and pork, combine the following ingredients: half a cup of soy sauce, two tablespoons each of water and Worcestershire sauce, half a teaspoon each of sugar, garlic powder and onion powder, two tablespoons of lemon juice and 1/3 cup of oil. Shake and use it to marinate your meat for a few hours.
- For chicken and turkey, combine half a cup of oil with two tablespoons of garlic and thyme. Then, add a tablespoon of lemon zest. Mix it together and let the poultry marinate for four hours or even overnight.
- Gator and chicken can benefit from yogurt as a marinade, too, because it can break down the muscle fibers and help make your meat more tender. Plain, whole milk yogurt is best here, but Greek yogurt can be used in a pinch. And, if you want to further infuse some flavor, you can season the yogurt with garlic, lemon juice or any spices you want! Just make sure you give yourself some time; yogurt marinades typically should sit anywhere from 12-24 hours for the best results.
- You may also want to use fresh pineapple juice to break down tough cuts such as beef tongue and turkey necks.
How to Marinate Your Meats
The cool thing about marinades is that you can use them in a few different ways.
You can choose to place the marinade in a bowl or gallon bag and add the protein. Then, place the marinade with the meat in the fridge so that the flavors have a chance to develop without worrying about things getting too warm or any bacteria or bugs paying a visit to your marinade. You can also choose to use an injection system. There are various needle injectors on the market so that you can inject the marinade directly into the meat. Of course, you can also choose to brush the marinade on during grilling instead of letting the meat soak in it if you’re in a hurry, but a long rest helps to better develop flavor.
It’s entirely up to you as to which method you choose and, ultimately, what you decide to marinate your meat in! Plenty of specialty meats are available from The Best Stop, allowing you to experiment and get the meal you really want.
With more marinade recipes up your sleeve, you can look forward to plenty of flavorful foods to cook on the grill. You can visit The Best Stop Supermarket locally in Scott or order the ingredients of choice from our online store.