Does Your Grilling Marinade Have These 3 Simple Elements?

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A grilling marinade is a very simple way to add flavor and moisture to grilled items. If you follow these basic rules, you'll be able to create a long list of unique combinations of ingredients and invent your own grilling marinade.

Any grilling marinade will be made of three basic ingredients; Oils, Acids, and Seasonings. These three categories are the beginning of a grilling recipe that you create. Oils will not penetrate meat, they'll simply coat the surface. This is why I usually don't include oil in my grilling marinades unless I choose a highly flavored oil like walnut or sesame oil. However, many of the most flavorful oils have lower temperature "smoke points", not the best choice for the grill, so I omit oil altogether.

Acids and seasonings will dictate the flavor of your grilling marinade. Acids are used because of their ability to tenderize items. This is largely overstated, though. Acids have a SLIGHT tenderizing effect, but not enough to make a big difference in your grilling marinade. The acids most effective at tenderizing tough cuts of meat are from tropical fruits like mango and papaya, but most often tomato products, vinegar, wine, or soy sauce are used.

Choosing the right cut of meat to marinate is the most important step. A cup of ketchup in a marinade will not make a tough cut of meat magically tender. Don't expect your grilling marinade to turn tough beef into filet mignon, it won't happen. Acids will break down connective tissues, but it's the intense direct heat of the barbeque grill that will toughen and dry meats quickly. That's why it's important to choose a tender cut of meat to grill, because the cooking method of grilling won't tenderize your item, regardless of which grilling marinade you choose.

The general rules of marinating are easy:
1) Longer = Stronger. The longer you marinate something, the stronger the flavor
2) Thicker = Longer. The thicker the product, the longer you'll need to marinate it.
3) Tender = Shorter. A tender product will not need to be marinated as long.
4) Cooler = Cooler. ALWAYS marinate under refrigeration to keep bacteria growth down.
5) Acid resistant container = No Brainer. ALWAYS marinate in plastic or glass, never in copper or reactive metals.

A grilling marinade is perfectly matched for a dry cooking process like grilling. The marinade will add flavor and moisture for the quick, intense heat of the barbeque grill. You can create your own complex flavors of oils, acids and seasonings and invent the latest grilling marinade.

How do you feel about adding oil to a marinade? For it or against it? Leave your comment below.

View the grilling marinade video here.

Chef Todd Mohr is a classically educated chef, entrepreneur, educator and entertainer; The chef wants people to "Burn Your Recipes" and cook with basic methods; Free yourself from the written recipe with his cooking DVD series, "Burn Your Recipes, Volumes 1, 2, and 3.

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I am thrilled to be an E-zine Expert Author and have a number of articles published on a variety of cooking topics (and write new ones all the time!) Page down to see the entire list and click the ones that are helpful to you.

Before I became Chef Todd Mohr, I was Todd Mohr - a guy who liked to cook. A lot of people, including me, even thought I was a pretty good cook. For starters, I had my five meals, well, recipes, I suppose, that I could make well. Being a creative person, I also used some of the techniques from my tried and true \"recipes\" to experiment a bit with new dishes. Some were good and some not so good, and I usually never knew what the difference was.

Through a series of events, I decided to change careers in 1996 and pursue my passion for cooking, so I enrolled in Baltimore International Culinary College. 18 months later, I emerged: Chef Todd Mohr.

The greatest thing I learned in culinary school was the \"how\" and the \"why\" that had been missing from my cooking all those years. My recipes only gave me the \"what\" - which left so much out! The greatest thing I gained in the years after culinary school, was the practical experience from working in kitchens and experimenting at home. Being observant, I learned even more \"hows\" and \"whys\" in addition to \"whats\" along my culinary journey. This experience and experimentation, more than anything else, is what turned Todd Mohr into Chef Todd Mohr.

My experience includes kitchen experience - all the way up to Executive Chef, as well as college teaching experience, starting and operating a successful catering company and then finally, the culmination of all of my passion: opening The Cooking School in Cary NC in 2007.

From The Cooking School, came \"Cooking Coarse\", my daily video blog that quickly gained a loyal You Tube following due to the uniqueness of the instruction offered. It was through feedback received from \"Cooking Coarse\" viewers that I decided to launch and provide this information to the world.

When I started getting emails that my videos had changed people\'s lives, I knew I was on to something and that was when was born.

This is my passion - I am excited to share it with you!

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