Top tips for marinating steak

Regular readers of The Stone Grill’s blog will know that we highly rate marinades as a great way to enhance the natural loveliness of a good steak. A quality piece of meat is great on its own, but a well-chosen and executed marinade can transform a steak into something truly special. Marinades don’t work quite so well with a steak on a stone but in all other cases, it’s a real winner.

Here are a few top tips for marinating steak.

Time is of the essence – Time your marinade right depending on the meat and the marinade. Give it at least a couple of hours to work, but longer is often better. Only highly acidic marinades need to be monitored so the steak doesn’t break down too much.

Pat your steak dry before cooking – Remove excess marinade prevents it from burning and ensures a better cook for your steak.

Use a shallow container for the marinade – Immersing your steak in a shallow container allows you to fully coat the meat without having to use too much marinade. It is also easier to remove the steak once ready to cook.

Consider more acidic marinades for cheaper cuts of meat – We know that acidic marinades break down protein bonds, tenderising it. This works in your favour when working with cheaper cuts of meat. The more acidic the marinade, the more tender the meat. Just don’t leave it too long otherwise the bonds either break down completely or firm up again.

Store the meat and marinade in the refrigerator – Steak spoils quickly, so store the meat mixture in the fridge until about an hour before cooking. Then remove the excess marinade, cover the meat and allow to come up to room temperature.

Add the rest of the marinade at the last minute – Usually, we keep some marinade aside to pour over the steak when serving. Don’t be tempted to heat the marinade by cooking it with the mean as it will burn. Heat it separately if you want it warm.

Never re-use marinade – Once you have prepared the steak for cooking and have removed the marinade, pour it away. Do not add it to the marinade you put aside for sauce as it contains raw meat juices. Never the twin should meet!

Don’t keep the marinade in a metal bowl or container – Stainless steel is used a lot in a kitchen but it shouldn’t be used to store marinades. Storing liquids in a steel container gives it a metallic quality that can ruin the taste.

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