How to Marinate
Tips to Marinate Safely
Never leave meats out to marinate at room temperature. Remember, that would put them into the “danger zone” temperature range of 40°F to 140°F where bacteria loves to breed.
Allow about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of marinade per pound of meat.
When brining, it is best to entirely cover the meat with liquid.
For dry rubs, the entire meat should also be coated well with seasonings and then wrapped.
Use a non-reactive container to marinate.
Glass containers are fantastic for marinating, but food safe plastic containers and bags are also good to use. Food safe plastic bags, as shown, make it easy to place the food into and also easy to turn over and over again while marinating. When the project is complete, simply toss away all the mess along with any potential bacteria growth.
Unless your meat is completely submerged in liquid, which is really a waste of liquid ingredients (unless brining), then turn the meat often to make sure the marinade is soaking into the meat from all sides.
Pat the meat dry with a paper towel before cooking so that it will brown instead of steam in the pan because of the extra moisture.
If the marinade will also be used as a sauce or be basted on during the cooking process, then reserve (set aside) about half (or whatever amount desired or called for in a recipe) of the marinade BEFORE placing the meat into the container with the marinade.
If you forgot to set some aside beforehand and want to use the remaining marinade for the current meat only, then the marinade must be boiled for at least one minute before it can be used for basting the current meat.
How to Marinate
When a recipe says to “marinate overnight”, there is some leeway in the process.
For more tips on cooking a nice meat indoors, see our post on how to sear meat.
See our food prep tips, which includes a tip for easy marinating.
To find out the proper temperatures that a refrigerator and freezer should be maintained, please see our proper fridge temperature post.
To find out how long meats last, see our meat page.