Marinade and Spice Rub tips

Marinades - What You Need to Know


Soak meats in marinades to add complementary flavor. In some cases, marinades help tenderize less tender cuts of meat, while others add flavor.

Be creative. For an Asian flavor, try soy sauce and ginger, or add honey, barbecue sauce, and red pepper for a sweet and spicy Southwestern taste.

To tenderize, a marinade must contain an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, wine, or salsa. Enzymes found in fresh pineapple, papaya, and ginger function as natural tenderizers.

​Quick Tips for Using Marinades


  • Allow about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of marinade for each pound of meat. The marinade will penetrate the meat about 1/4 inch from the cut surface.
  • Do not marinate meat for more than 24 hours.
  • Always marinate in the refrigerator, never at room temperature.
  • Use a container made from a non-reactive material, such as ceramic, glass, plastic, or stainless steel.
  • Never marinate meats in an aluminum container.
  • Marinating in a re–sealable plastic bag keeps the meat coated and makes cleanup easy. Turn the sealed bag several times during chilling to redistribute the marinade.
  • If you want to use the marinade for later basting or as a sauce, reserve and refrigerate a portion of it before adding the beef.
  • Do not reuse leftover marinade that's been in contact with uncooked meat.​​

Spice Rubs - What You Need to Know


Rubs are a dry, flavorful alternative to liquid marinades. They’re a combination of herbs, peppers, spices, or seasonings that are blended together and used to coat meats.

And since they don't need to be added long before cooking, they may be the best source of flavor when time is tight.

Rubs mostly consist of dry ingredients, but some include oil, crushed garlic, or other liquids. These liquid ingredients create more of a paste than a dry rub.

Quick Tips for Cooking with Spice Rubs:


  • Rubs don’t have to be applied in advance. Sprinkle them on the meat surface just before grilling or roasting.
  • Apply rubs several hours before cooking. Refrigerate the coated meat until you're ready to cook it.
  • Flavors become more pronounced the longer the rub is on the meat.
  • When rubs are left on tightly wrapped roasts for 12 to 24 hours, the meat will develop a distinct, somewhat cured flavor.

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