Marinades tenderize and add flavour to any meat you barbecue. Cuts of meat that require marinating for tenderizing purposes include the round, rump, sirloin tip, cross rib, blade, short ribs and flank cuts. Marinating will also enhance the flavor of cuts of meat like rib-eye, for example, which does not require tenderizing.
Marinades work their magic through the acid they contain. Commonly used acidic ingredients are fruit juices, vinegar, wine and beer. This acid component helps to soften the connective tissue and tenderize the tissues reached by the marinade. To allow the marinade to penetrate into the centre of the meat, pierce holes in steaks and roasts with a long fork, or cut diagonal slashes into steaks.
To take full advantage of a marinade, allow it time to work. Tender cuts of meat or chicken need less time to marinate, but the larger or tougher a piece of meat, the longer you must marinate it. Cubes and strips of beef require only three to six hours of marinating, while steaks and roasts should be marinated for 12-24 hours. Make sure to refrigerate the marinating meat.
Generally speaking, marinades will keep for about two weeks in the refrigerator. Once a marinade has been used, however, its storage time is greatly reduced. A marinade that is used for a short time only can be re-used for the same type of meat within one or two days. Marinades should be frozen if not re-used right away. A marinade that has been used for 2 or 3 days should be discarded.
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