It’s much too hot out to think of cooking inside so we make BBQ marinades with our Primo Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars. Our favorite summer meal is a salad paired with something delicious on the barbecue. Whether we’re grilling a steak or eggplant we love to make our marinades with our delicious olive oil and vinegar flavors.
Why Use a Marinade?
Marinading is a great way to add flavor and tenderness to your food. Much like a brine, the marinade will help add moisture and flavor to your meat. You want to be careful and not marinate your meat for too long though. Some thinner cuts of meat can become tough if left in the marinade for more than a few hours.
Vegetables can also be marinaded but, again, you want to watch the time. Softer vegetables could end up absorbing too much liquid and become mushy when barbecued. A good rule of thumb is 10 minutes for veggies. If you’re marinating something tougher like potatoes, carrots, squash, etc. you can marinate these for up to 30 minutes.*
We found a lot of great information about marinades on the blog, Jessica Gavin Culinary Scientist. You can read up on marinating in her blog post Marinating: A Guide to How it Works and What it Does.
What Makes a Good Marinade?
A good marinade will have salt, acid (balsamic vinegar, fruit juice), oil (we like to use our flavored olive oils) and sugar.**
The salt helps break down the meat and pull liquid from the meat/vegetable. This allows your marinade to then fill the meat/veggie with delicious flavors. Acid is another component that helps break down the meat. Our Balsamic Vinegars can work double-time if you pick one of the sweeter flavors. Our Fig Balsamic or Aged Dark Chocolate Balsamic are good examples of an acid that also brings in the sweetness factor.
Olive oil is what brings the marinade all together. It’s like the glue of your marinade. Our gourmet Olive Oils are great when you want to add a strong flavor note. These flavored olive oils have been infused with ingredients to bring out an intense flavor.
Find more information on how to make a good marinade on the blog, Otto Wilde.
Our Favorite Marinade Pairings
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar pairings to use in a marinade. This is by no means a complete list! This is just a few of our more popular flavors. With over 54 different olive oil and balsamic vinegar flavors in the store, the barbecue flavor pairings are endless.
Primo Olive Oils
Harissa Olive Oil
Persian Lime Olive Oil
Garlic Olive Oil
Chipotle Olive Oil
Primo Balsamic Vinegars
Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar, Peach Balsamic Vinegar, Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
Jalapeno Balsamic Vinegar, Peach Balsamic Vinegar, Mango Balsamic Vinegar, Cherry Balsamic Vinegar, Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar
Jalapeno Balsamic Vinegar, Key Lime Balsamic Vinegar, Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar, Serrano Honey Balsamic Vinegar
White Peach Balsamic Vinegar, Key Lime Balsamic Vinegar, Mango Balsamic Vinegar, Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar
Remember when making your marinade that once you’ve mixed it together and added your meat/vegetables you’ll want to keep a close eye on the time. Some meat marinades work well up to 4 hours. Some you will want to keep in for only an hour or so.
And vegetables take a fraction of the time. Sometimes even just a quick brush on of the marinade before you put the veggies on the grill will do. It’s all an experiment in cooking and your family will have your own preferences. We’re sure you will come up with some flavor pairings of your own.
Before we let you go and start whipping up marinades like a top chef, here are a few health tips.
- Always store marinating meat in the fridge. If meat is left at room temperature it can grow bacteria.
- NEVER reuse a marinade. Once your meat/vegetables are on the grill you should toss the remaining marinade.
- Using fresh olive oil, balsamic vinegar and herbs will ensure you get the biggest health boost from these items. Old olive oil or dried herbs lose some of their potency over time.
Happy Experimenting! And, as always, to your health!