Our guide to enhancing the flavour of your marinades with complimentary craft beers, along with some handy cooking tips.
Flip your meat, fish or veggies sparingly and use tongs or a spatula instead of a fork to avoid the natural juices leaking out. Additionally don’t press down on anything with the spatula as this squeezes out the juices and dries everything out!
Marinating tenderises your meat as well as adding lots of flavour.
It can be easy to create your own marinades : you can follow a simple pattern by adding some of each of the following :
- acid (citrus, vinegar, beer, tequila etc),
- oil (olive, rapeseed, butter etc), something to add some
- sweet balance – optional – (honey, maple syrup, sugar) and some
- herbs or spices (fresh herbs, garlic, salt + pepper).
There are many possible combinations! Go wild and plan a bit ahead as leaving meat to sit in a marinade (especially the acid part) is what helps to tenderise it.
A general timing guideline is:
- 30 mins – 1 hour for veggies and seafood;
- 2-4 hours – chicken + pork,
- 2 hrs – 2 days (!) for beef and lamb.
Marinating may also be good for your health as according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, it can inhibit the formation of potentially harmful carcinogenic HCAs which can form when grilling poultry, meat or fish by as much as 92%
It can be nice to reserve some of your marinade to brush on while cooking. Make sure if you’re using a heavier glaze that you put it on at the end of the cooking time as it may burn or caramelise affecting its taste if cooked for too long.
Smoking is great for adding depth of flavour – fruitwoods like apple or cherry for sweetness or oak or maple for a deeper flavour. If you don’t have a fancy dedicated smoker yet, you can soak the wood chips in water and place them directly on the coals and covering the grill. You can also get box smokers for gas grills.
Alternatively you can try scattering herbs directly onto the coals to infuse flavour.
BEER AND BARBECUE PAIRINGS
If you prefer light marinades such as lemon and herb on Chicken or seafood, then pale ale works well. Our Australian Pale Ale (Kozzie) recipe is beautifully light with a grassy, herby aroma combined with zingy notes of grapefruit.
For dark, smoky, sticky jam marinades on ribs or steak, a stout will be great. Our milk stout recipe uses some lactose sugar in the brew, which the yeast cannot digest into alcohol. This means the sugar remains in the finished beer adding a subtle sweet smoothness to the stout.
With sweet chilli or teriyaki marinades on chicken or salmon, rye ale works well. Our gorgeous ruby red rye ale (Seagal) has sweet malty flavors and a unique rye spiciness. It’s balanced by the four different hop additions and kicked off with the dry hop added during fermentation that adds complex layers of flavour and some citrus brightness.
For tandoori or Mexican style rubs on chicken, an easy drinking IPA is delicious. Our Single hop IPA recipe (Power of One) is an American classic; the exclusive use of the Mosaic hop added in multiple stages creates a distinctive flavour of intense tropical fruit hop aroma and a balanced bitterness lingering in the finish.
If you prefer classic Salt and pepper style seasoning to bring out the natural meat flavours a middle of the road brown ale is a good accompaniment. Our American brown ale (Bronzed Beauty) recipe is a beautifully complicated brown ale with malty nutty flavours reminiscent of the classic nut-brown ales, however this modern twist of hop forward flavour means a jolt of some floral aromas and a brighter more lively drink.
To Create Your Own Ales and BBQ Masterpieces – see our new listing BBQ Party Hamper.