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The marinade primer!

26 August, 2016

Classed under: Cooking tricks

The ultimate reference guide to preparing delicious marinades

The marinade primer!

Sometimes in life, happiness comes in the form of a truly tender, juicy piece of meat that's been marinated to perfection. The good news is you are just three simple ingredients away from meat lover's bliss. Forget complicated recipes and expensive ingredients, here is THE universal formula for winning marinades:

1 part acid/enzymes + 3 parts oil + seasonings = marinade perfection

And that's it! Done. Isn't life beautiful when you keep it simple? 

The acid/enzyme creates the flavour base and tenderizes the meat.
The oil brings out the flavours and keeps the meat from sticking to the grill.
The seasonings? Well, they're there to satisfy your every flavour whim… and make you happy! And the flavour possibilities are absolutely endless…

Need a bit of inspiration?

Here are a few examples of ingredients that will send you straight to your flavour happy place:

ACIDS: vinegars, wine or beer, buttermilk, peach nectar, citrus juice, cranberry juice, rum.

ENZYMES: yogurt, Greek yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, papaya, honey.

OILS: extra virgin olive, truffle, pepper, basil, sesame or almond oils, mayonnaise

SEASONINGS: fresh or dried herbs, spices, garlic, onions or shallots, green onions, freshly grated ginger, citrus zest, spice mixes, molasses, maple syrup, hot red pepper flakes.

Short for time and need to get your meat marinating in a hurry? No problem, here are the minimum marinating times for different kinds of meat:

Seafood: 15 minutes
Fish: 20 to 30 minutes
Vegetables: 30 minutes
Chicken and pork: 3 to 12 hours
Beef and lamb: 3 to 24 hours


• Citrus- or vinegar-based marinades are more acid than those made with buttermilk or mayonnaise so they tenderize meats more quickly.

• Don't salt the marinade as salt dries out the meat. Season the meat just before placing it on the grill. 

• Let the marinade drip off the meat on its own; no need to shake it or wipe it dry. 

• Turn the meat at least once while marinating to make sure all sides get evenly coated. 

• Always use non-reactive containers in stainless steel, glass or reusable plastic to marinate your meat. 

• Always refrigerate food while marinating.

• Don't use aluminum containers. Aluminum may react with the acid, changing the colour of foods and imparting a metallic taste. 

• Don't use leftover marinade as a sauce unless you boil it for at least 3 minutes to kill any dangerous bacteria.

Click here to learn about our best meats for marinating!