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Tips for marinating grilled meat

Many people encounter the situation that even though the meat is marinated with enough spices and left for a long time, it still becomes dry and has a poor taste when grilled. The simple secret below helps the dish become perfect

By Micel Hieu BatkataPublished 19 days ago 4 min read

Many people encounter the situation that even though the meat is marinated with enough spices and left for a long time, it still becomes dry and has a poor taste when grilled. The simple secret below helps the dish become perfect

Choose meat

To have a delicious piece of grilled meat, it is important to choose fresh meat with signs such as: The meat has a natural bright pink color, the meat fibers are firm and seamless, and the surface is dry and elastic when pressed. good feedback.

Avoid buying meat that is soft and wet, has a pale color, a strange smell, yellow fat, or meat with white spots because it can be a sign of rotten or infected meat, which is not good for your health.

Depending on taste and each dish, choose the appropriate meat part: If making broken rice, choose cutlet meat (the lean meat near the top of the ribs, also known as rib cutlet), if you want to grill crispy and succulent, choose meat. If you want to grill well, choose the lower third of the piece...

Prepare meat

Wash the purchased meat briefly with diluted salt water mixed with a little lemon, then rinse, drain or pat dry completely before cutting into bite-sized pieces. Salt water helps kill some bacteria, if any. Lemon contains two citric substances, vitamin C that helps the meat stay fresh longer and acid that also helps break down the connecting fibers to make the meat more tender and effectively deodorize.

If grilling rib cutlets, you should use a hammer, knife handle or specialized tool to pound (beat) the meat. This tip helps break down muscle fibers, making the meat more tender and marinating the spices quickly. Be careful not to beat too hard or break the meat. In addition, there is another way: use a knife to lightly score on both sides of the meat or alternatively use a fork to prick it.

Seasoning process

Most people marinate meat according to the habit of adding a series of spices to create smell, taste (salty, sweet, spicy...), and create flavor at the same time. This can cause the meat to not be grilled as desired, or even easily dry out. In culinary science, there is the rule ''separate salt, keep sugar''. If you add salty spices (salt, fish sauce, soy sauce...) first, it will make the food watery, causing the protein fiber structures to become dry, hard and tough.

The correct marinating process for all types of meat when grilling is: Marinate with sweet spices (sugar, malt, honey) first (3 - 5 minutes) - followed by flavoring spices (lemongrass, garlic, onions...) for a few minutes. minutes - then salty spices (salt, fish sauce...) for a few minutes - and finally cashew oil or cooking oil.

The reason for marinating the sweet flavor first is because sugar has the ability to retain water, helping the meat stay succulent and sweet, preventing it from drying out when grilled or cooked for a long time. This is also a folk experience that Southern people often apply when making braised meat with duck seeds. Marinating it in sugar first not only helps the braised meat not dry out for a long time but also makes the fat in it more attractive.

With flavoring spices (garlic, onions, lemongrass...), you should pound them to get marinated juice or use powder to avoid burning when grilling. Adding a little cooking oil (or cashew oil) to the marinade is also the secret to creating a soft, shiny film around the meat to keep it moist and not dry.

How to grill

The best way to grill meat is over charcoal because it gives it color, flavor, and aroma, especially when the smoke blends in attractively - something that grilling in an oven or an oil-free fryer doesn't have. The popular broken rice restaurants in Saigon or Hanoi bun cha restaurants still use charcoal grilling for that reason.

Initially, light/blow the charcoal on fire, wait for the charcoal to cool down, then put the meat on the grill so that the meat cooks evenly from the inside out without burning. When the meat is firm on the underside, turn the meat and grill on the other side. Depending on the size of the meat, pay attention to the heat and turn it over so the meat cooks evenly. Occasionally baste the meat with marinade to keep it from drying out.

When the water is hot enough and has enough heat, a maillard chemical reaction will occur between the sugar and the amino group on the protein molecule in the meat, creating a rich aroma and the meat will be slightly seared, turning a beautiful caramel (golden brown) color. If you don't have a charcoal stove, you can grill meat in an oven or an oil-free fryer, but it's less flavorful.


About the Creator

Micel Hieu Batkata

I began writing as a means of expressing creativity, relieving stress, and venting emotions. I mention my daily battle with mental health a lot, I hope it is relatable and inspiring to readers, as writing is something I'm passionate about.

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