Tips For Top Marinades And Rubs

tips for marinades

With the BBQ being my best cooking mate over the next few months, I like to have a few different marinades and rub ideas so we’re not serving up just more of the same plain meat on the BBQ. A decent marinade or rub can enhance the meat and makes your guests think you’ve gone to a huge effort!

Wet and dry marinades

There are two kinds of marinades – “wet”, where the meat is coated in the liquid and “dry”, where the marinade or rub – as it is often called – is rubbed onto the meat.

Wet marinades are usually made up of three basic ingredients:

  • fat (oil or yoghurt)
  • acid (citrus, wine or vinegar)
  • flavourings (herbs and spices)

Oils prevent the meat drying out. Acidic ingredients and yoghurt are used to tenderise the meat. Flavourings add the flavour and commonly include garlic, pepper, mustard, honey, soy sauce and herbs and spices.

Yoghurt provides a mild marinade and can be left for up to 24 hours.

The enzymes found in kiwifruit, pineapple and papaya also help tenderise the meat. However, these should only be marinaded with the meat for a maximum of two hours, or they start to disintegrate the meat.

Take care if you are using sugar, honey and soy as this will burn quickly if the meat is not brushed regularly whilst cooking over a low heat.

Dry rubs are generally a mixture of herbs, mixed with a little oil. This allows the herbs to release their own oils and stick to the meat during cooking.

Check out our post on how to marinate meat for even more tips.

Try one of these marinades with your next BBQ:

Greek yoghurt, ginger and cumin

Ideal on lamb and chicken. Combine:

  • 1 cup thick plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp each ground coriander and cumin
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • ½ cup chopped coriander or mint
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Smoked paprika and thyme

Delicious with fish, pork, lamb and chicken. Combine:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Mexican beef

A perfect match for porterhouse and rump. Blend in a food processor:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp each sweet chilli sauce and Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup soya sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander.