Now that summer time is officially here, it’s time to get those grills and smokers fired up! I am often asked what do I “marinate” my steaks in. The truth of the matter is that rarely do I ever use a marinade. I honestly feel that salt & pepper is all you really need for great steak on the grill.
How many times have you gone to the cookout and heard the “grill master” say something to the effect of, “I have been marinating these steaks for 2 days!” Well let me let you in on a little secret. If there is any vinegar, or lots of citrus juices, or any acid in that marinade, chances are he or she has already overcooked those steaks! Think about the classic dish of ceviche. Fish “cooked” in citrus juices. This has the same effect on chicken, steaks, and pork chops as well. Because meat is made up mostly of water, your marinade really is not getting THAT deep into the meat to “flavor” and “tenderize” it. It really is mostly surface flavor. Now I am not saying to NEVER use any acid in a marinade, but if you chose to do so, I recommend that you do not let it sit for more than an hour. This will prevent the outer part of your meat from becoming mushy and mealy.
Check out this video to see how I make my “Herb Oil Marinade” that works great on steaks, chicken, lamb, or pork chops. It adds a great flavor to whatever you re cooking, especially on the grill. It not only works as a marinade, but with all of the olive oil in it, it helps prevent your meat from sticking to the grill as well.
Herb Oil Recipe:
1 bunch of parsley, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1/2 bunch of rosemary, 1 bunch of thyme, 2 qts of olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Using a large, deep storage container, trim the leaves from the parsley and cilantro using your chef knife, and add them to the container. Next, remove the leaves from the rosemary and thyme stems, and add those to the container. Season with salt and pepper. Next add in the 2 qts. of olive oil. Finally, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. I like to use ziploc bags as opposed to containers with lids when marinating anything, I feel I can get more coverage by removing the air from the bag, and everything is submerged.
Let me know your thoughts, and any other cooking questions/videos/recipe ideas you want to see! Enjoy