The universal thrill of grilling is the flame-cooked taste it gives to food. But the best secret any grill-master owns is marinades, which can give everyday chicken the hot spiciness of a Jamaican jerk or the rich complexity of tandoori chicken. Plus, the acid in marinades tenderizes tough cuts of meat (think flank steak). Best of all, while the food is soaking, you can be doing something else.
Even though marinating is fun and easy, before you begin whisking together our multipurpose recipes, listed below, take a minute to review five basic rules that Melanie Barnard outlines in her very handy cookbook Marinades (HarperPerennial, 1997):
Choose Your Tools
Marinate in a nonreactive container such as glass or ceramic, or even in a sealed plastic bag (food can pick up a bad taste from aluminum or other metals).
Cover It Up
Use a shallow bowl so the marinade covers as much of the food as possible; turn the food at least once an hour.
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