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The key to BBQ marinades and rubs

Simple tricks to maximise flavour on your BBQ

Rubs and marinades are both great ways to add flavour to your BBQ. We’ve got some great tips and tricks from Ali Ray on how to maximise the flavour of your grilled food on the BBQ. Read on to find out more!

Marinade or rub?

Marinades are liquids that tend to include an acidic element like alcohol, a vinegar or citrus such as lemon or lime juice, while rubs tend to be dry, using a mixture of spices and seasonings.

Top tips for marinating your barbecued food

As well as adding flavour, the acidic element tenderizes the meat. The acids soften and start to break down the connective tissues in the meat and ultimately make it more tender.

If you’re cooking with an ingredient that is already tender, such as chicken or fish, then marinate it for no longer than 2 hours to avoid making it mushy! Tougher cuts of meat really benefit from a longer marinating session so pop it in the fridge for at least 4 hours – preferably overnight. Do take it out about 15 minutes or so before you want to cook it, so that you aren’t putting it on the grill when it is taut and cold.

Our key safety tips for marinating meats

1. Always put your marinated meats in the fridge – anything longer than 40 minutes at room temperature and you’ll be starting to grow bugs on it instead

2. Never use metal bowls for marinating – the acid will start to discolour it and leach some of the metal coating. A humble zip lock freezer bag is ideal!

3. Avoid using the leftover marinade as a sauce – it has been in contact with raw meat/fish! If you do want to use it, pour into a pan and boil for at least 3 minutes. Not only does it kill off the bacteria but will reduce it and turn it into a thicker, tastier sauce

Top tips for using rubs

Rubs are a mixture of dried spices and seasonings that add flavour but don’t tenderize, so are a great option for steaks, chicken, pork and fish.

Fail-safe tips for maximum flavour with rubs:

1. Coffee, chilli powders, sugar and mustard powder are great to use, but anything dry and flavoursome will work

2. Try mixing your dried spices with a little oil to create a paste – leave on a little longer so it works its way into the meat for even more flavour

3. Put your rub under thick skins, like those on a whole chicken, so it can get to the meat and amp up the flavour

4. Sugars can burn so be careful with sugar rubs – applying some oil to the cooking surface will help

Here are some top recipes using rubs and marinades, why not give them a try:

Cowboy Steaks

Thai Salmon Skewers

Smoky BBQ Ribs

Beef Kebabs and Pepper Salad

Spicy Cauliflower

You can find more recipes here and don’t forget to tag us in your creations on social media using the tags #cadac #cadaccooks #cadacfoodie