Grilling meat on an open flame, also known as "braai," is a South African tradition, and it is enjoyed all around the world. Whether you are preparing for a weekend barbecue, outdoor festival, or camping trip, marinating your meat will undoubtedly add an extra burst of flavour, tenderness, and juiciness that will take your meat from good to excellent.
If you want your meat to stand out, marinating is a must. A marinade is a mixture of spices, herbs, oils, or other acidic ingredients that you soak your meat in before cooking. The marinade helps to break down the tough fibers in the meat, making it tender and soft. The acidity in the marinade also helps to infuse the meat with flavour, ensuring that the meat is juicy and tasty.
What Meat Is Best for Marinating?
Any meat can be marinated, but certain types of meat are better suited for marinating than others. Beef, lamb, chicken, and pork are all great for marinating because they have a firmer texture that can hold up to the acidic components in the marinade. Fish and seafood are a little bit more delicate and require a shorter marinating time to avoid over-cooking and drying out.
Some great options for marinating meat include:
- Beef steak: ribeye, sirloin, flank, or skirt steak
- Pork: tenderloin, chops, or ribs
- Chicken: breasts, thighs, or wings
- Lamb: leg or chops
How to Marinate Meat
Marinating meat is a simple process, but it requires some patience. Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Choose your meat: Select the cut of meat you want to use and remove any excess fat. Place the meat in a bowl or a resealable plastic bag.
- Create your marinade: Mix all of your marinade ingredients in another bowl or container. You can use a store-bought marinade, or create your own with your favourite flavours. Ensure that your marinade has some acidity, like vinegar, lemon juice, or yoghurt, to help tenderize the meat.
- Marinate your meat: Pour your marinade over the meat, ensuring that it's coated evenly. Otherwise, it might result in uneven marination. Seal the bowl with a lid or seal the bag and refrigerate it. Which will allow the meat to sit back and relax in the marinade, making it more tender and giving it more flavour. The time frame for marination can vary from a few hours to a day or two depending on the type and thickness of the meat.
- Take it out and grill: Before cooking, remove the meat from the marinade and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before putting it on the grill. Discard the marinade at this stage as it is not safe to reuse it as a sauce. Grill the meat until it reaches the desired level of doneness, and enjoy the delicious, juicy, and flavourful meat.
Marinating meat adds an extra layer of flavour and tenderness that everyone should try at least once. Follow these simple steps, and you'll have the perfect grilled meat that everyone in your family can enjoy. Remember to experiment with different ingredients, flavours, and cooking times to create the perfect meat dish that suits your tastes, and so, have an excellent barbeque experience!