The Art of Marinating - A short blog with a step by step guide on how to perfectly marinade any meat to perfection.

There’s something magical about the aroma of sizzling meat on the braai, isn’t there? The secret behind achieving succulent and mouthwatering dishes lies in the art of marinating. Marinating meat not only infuses it with incredible flavors but also tenderizes it, resulting in a truly delightful dining experience. So, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the perfect way to marinate meat. Follow these steps and you could just suprise yourself with a nice and tastier dish than you’ve ever prepared yourself.

1. Choose Quality Meat:

Before we delve into the marinating process, it’s crucial to begin with the right foundation – high quality meat. Whether it’s beefchickenpork, or any other type of meat, opt for fresh, and well-cut pieces. Better meat quality ensures better results. Check out our range of amazing and prepped to the bone meats on our online store or visit us in any of our available branches close to you! (Click to view our selection of branches HERE)

2. Understand the Science:

Marinating isn’t just about throwing together some ingredients; it’s a scientific process. The two primary components of a marinade are acids (like citrus juice, vinegar, or yogurt) and enzymes (often found in ingredients like ginger, pineapple, or papaya). These elements work together to break down proteins, making the meat more tender and allowing flavours to penetrate deeply. Looking for a more detailed explanation? Check out this video by Meatgistics University for an amazing in depth look at the science of marinating! 

3. Create the Perfect Marinade:

A well-balanced marinade is the heart of a successful dish. While there are countless marinade recipes, a basic one includes oil, acid, salt, aromatics, and seasonings. Olive oil or vegetable oil works well as a base, while lemon juice, vinegar, or soy sauce adds the acidic element. Garlic, onions, herbs, and spices provide the aromatics and flavors. Feel free to experiment with different combinations to suit your taste preferences as its a no size fits all situation.

4. Marinating Time:

The marinating time depends on the type of meat and its thickness. Delicate meats like seafood and chicken require shorter marinating times, usually 30 minutes to 2 hours. On the other hand, beef and pork can benefit from longer marinating periods, ranging from 2 hours to overnight. It’s essential to strike the right balance; over-marinating can lead to a mushy texture and overpowering flavors.

5. Proper Marinating Technique:

To ensure the meat absorbs the flavors evenly, follow these steps:

Score the meat: Make shallow cuts on the surface of the meat to help the marinade penetrate better.


Use a resealable bag or a non-reactive container: Place the meat and the marinade evenly spread over the meat pieces in a bag or container and remove as much air as possible before sealing. This ensures the marinade comes into direct contact with the meat.

Refrigeration: Always marinate meat in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth and foodborne illnesses.

Flip it: If marinating for an extended period, flip the meat occasionally to allow equal distribution of flavours.

6. Don’t Forget the Salt:

While the marinade enhances the taste, don’t forget to season the meat with salt separately. Sprinkle salt on the meat just before cooking, as adding salt to the marinade for extended periods can draw out moisture from the meat.

7. Avoid Cross-Contamination:

Safety should never be compromised. Ensure that raw meat and the marinade are kept separate from other ingredients, especially those meant to be consumed raw or without further cooking.

8. Experiment and Have Fun:

The beauty of marinatiing lies in its versatility. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients, varying levels of spiciness, or cultural influences. Have fun and let your taste buds guide you to create your signature marinade!

9. Baste as You Cook:

During the cooking process, reserve some marinade to baste the meat. This step not only enhances the flavours but also keeps the meat moist.

10. Let it Rest:

Once your meat is cooked to perfection, allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving. This resting period helps redistribute the juices, ensuring a juicy and flavorsome outcome.

Mastering the art of marinating meat opens up a world of culinary possibilities. From tender grilled steaks to juicy oven-baked chicken, the right marinade can transform a simple dish into an extraordinary feast. So, unleash your creativity, follow these tips, and prepare to tantalize your taste buds with the most delicious and perfectly marinated meat dishes! Happy cooking!