Jim Tarantino

Equipment for Marinating

When it comes to equipment, I can count on a single hand the number of pieces you need to start marinating. What is imperative is that every surface a marinade contacts must be non-reactive metal; that is, there can be no aluminum foil, pots, utensils, or containers which will interact with the marinade's acid. You'll have aluminum and acid interacting instead of flavor penetration.

The single appliance that I would have a hard time parting with is a blender. A blender will grind spices, chop shallots, garlic, and ginger, and emulsify the oil in marinades in just one pass. You also need an inexpensive grater for citrus peel and ginger, a glass or wooden reamer for citrus, steel measuring spoons, and glass measuring cups. Marinades are user friendly and easy on your budget.

Avoid soft plastic or rubber containers that pick up odors and can be easily stained. My favorite marinating containers are one gallon zip-lock plastic bags, which can hold up to one pound of food and two to three cups of marinade. I suggest that you use them only once. For bigger cuts of meat, such as briskets, roasts, and whole turkey breasts, I use larger plastic oven bags. These bags travel better and, since they're disposable, you never have to worry about washing them or remembering to bring them back from a potluck dinner.