Welcome to our page, today we’ll show you how to master the basics of marinating your foods. We will go through the dos and don’t of marinating your meats, fish and veggies but before we do this we need to discuss what makes a delicious marinade.
Did you know that a perfect marinade is made up of 3 essential components? These are fat, acid and flavour.
Fats, acids and flavour are the three main components that make the base of any marinade. All marinades consist of these three components, in some shape or form and we will tell why these three components are very important.
For your fats, you’ll need good oil. You want your marinade to get on the surface of your food. Oil holds more or less everything together, it clings to the foods and ensures it has even coverage. When the oil has been infused with the other components you add with it, you can then spread the marinade around the food you want to barbecue even if the spices are clumped together. When it comes to barbecuing you don’t need the most expensive oils to cover your food as they won’t be able to cope with the heat from the barbecue, we recommend you go with a bog-standard extra virgin olive oil for your marinades.
Using acid-like vinegar, wine, citrus juice and dairy in your marinades will help bring a tangy, bright note to your marinade. But not all of the acids will help tenderise your food, the only acid that can tenderise your foods is dairy. When you are making your marinade we recommend using three parts oil to one part acid. We recommend this as you will need this will help the acid and fat mix well together and create an emulsion which will help the fats and acids from separating from each other.
The final part of the marinade is the most important. When it comes to spices & seasoning you may feel tempted to use all of the spices you have in your cupboard but adding too much spice will ruin your food! It’s best to choose the spices and seasoning that will complement both the food you want to marinate and the spices you are using so that your food is even more flavoursome.You can add fresh herbs to your marinade instead of dried ones for maximum flavour. You can choose from a variety of fresh herbs like basil, mint and rosemary. You will need to choose which fresh herbs go well with the desired food you want to barbecue. To get the freshest flavours from the herbs, it’s best to cut the herbs up.
For those with a sweet tooth, you can add sweetness to your foods by adding sugar, molasses or honey. This will add a lovely caramelised crust to your foods so it’s worth having! However, be careful with sugars when barbecuing as they will burn your food very quickly so make sure to always keep an eye on your barbecue so that you don’t burn your food.
How long should you marinate your foods?
Meats: 30 mins to 24 hours. If you want to speed up the marinating process for your red meats, bring the meats up to room temperature, massage the marinade into the meats and then put them in the refrigerator.
Veggies: no more than 30 minutes because if it’s left too long in your marinade it can absorb a lot of liquid and become mushy and who wants mushy vegetables on the grill!
Fish: 30 mins. Depending on how acidic your marinade is, it can start to cook your fish if it’s left too long in your marinade so if you do have a very acidic marinade we recommend marinating your fish for around 15 minutes.
You may think that leaving your food in your marinade for a long time will make it tender. It doesn’t, it will make it mushy unless you use a dairy product. You will also need to keep in mind that, the more acidic your marinade is, the less time it will take to marinate your food.
Some Helpful Tips
If you are planning to use your marinade to bast your meats when it is on the barbecue. DO NOT use the same marinade that was used to marinate your meat. If you do want to bast your meats while it is on the barbecue, you can either make a fresh batch of the marinade you want to use or while you’re making the marinade to marinate your meat make extra and keep some to the side to bast your meats that are on the barbecue.
If you don’t have time to make your own marinade and would like something ready-made, we have a range of delicious chilli pastes you can use to add flavour to your foods.
For Veggies: Neema Sweet & Spicy Green Chilli Paste
Heat Level: Medium
Our sweet and spicy green chilli paste goes perfectly well with your veggies and cheese. It adds a depth of flavour to your foods and is not too spicy. It adds sweet and medium heat to your dishes. It will remind you of a sweet chilli sauce with an African twist to it trust me when you try our sweet and spicy chilli paste you won’t use a sweet chilli sauce ever again.
For Fish: Neema Aromatic Ginger & Scotch Bonnet Chilli Paste
Heat Level: Hot
Our Aromatic Ginger & Scotch Bonnet chilli paste is an amazing chilli paste that goes well with fish and seafood dishes. It is a warm, sweet & spicy taste that adds a pungent aroma. It tastes delicious and will lift your meals with the beautiful flavours of the Scotch Bonnet and Ginger.
For Meats: Neema Food Fruity & Fiery Scotch Bonnet Chilli Paste
Heat Level: Hot
Our Fruity & Fiery Scotch Bonnet Chilli Paste is the hottest of our range and perfect for spicy food lovers who want to add an extra kick to their barbecue meats. Our scotch bonnet chilli has a sweet undertone with a fruity & fiery taste to it. It’s a bit like a tomato with a slight hint of apples and cherries. Blended with our spices, it has the perfect balance of heat and flavour.
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