How to Work with Marinades Like a Pro

The easiest way to add an extra layer of flavour to your cuts of beef and lamb before they hit the barbecue is by using a marinade. Here's how to do it right.

There are several types of marinades including:

Dry Marinades (sometimes called dry rubs)
Made from dried spices and herbs, the essential oils released will be absorbed by the beef and lamb.

Made up from herbs, spices and a little liquid such as oil, vinegar or a paste of garlic or ginger.

To ensure marinating success, follow these simple steps:

  • Marinating time: Unless you are going to cook within 20 minutes of preparation, always refrigerate your beef of lamb after marinating. Whole pieces like steaks or roasts can stand for 12 to 24 hours covered in the fridge, while cubes for kebabs should only need 2 or 3 hours marinating time.
  • Rubbing it in: Rub your dry marinade in about 20 minutes before cooking and make sure you use enough pressure to ensure even distribution.
  • Cooking: If using a wet marinade make sure you remove your beef or lamb from the liquid and lightly pat with absorbent paper towel before placing it on the barbecue. If you don’t, your cut of beef or lamb will stew and wont’ brown well.
  • Don’t pour marinade on whilst barbequing: This makes the beef or lamb stew and causes flare-ups. To keep your cuts moist you can brush it with a little of the marinade as it cooks.
  • Never pour raw, leftover marinade over the cooked cuts: The marinade mixture must always be bought to boiling point and boiled for a few minutes before using to kill any harmful bacteria.
  • How much?: Use half a cup of marinade or two to three tablespoons of dry rub for every 500g of beef or lamb.
  • Sugar and salt: Be mindful of the sugar content, as marinades high in sugar will burn before the meat is cooked. Additionally, go easy on the salt too as too much will leech out the meat’s juices making the meat dry. will show you how to add an extra punch to your favourite cuts by using marinades, spices and other bursts of flavour.

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