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Ground beef has found its place in almost every fridge in the world. While that might be a bit hyperbolic, the point is that ground beef is so popular. This is all due to how versatile and easy it is to cook with. Ground beef can be used to make burgers, stews, sandwiches, tacos, and so much more. Having some fresh ground beef in the fridge is always a good idea as you can always find a way to use it. But, if you are looking for a way to make it taste even better, you might want to learn about how to marinate ground beef.

Can you marinate ground beef: helpful tips on how to marinate

What is Marinade?

A marinade is a sauce or a mixture made from mostly oils, spices, herbs, and other similar ingredients. The main use of a marinade is to allow it to soak into ground meat, fresh meat, or meat of any kind so that the flavors are deep enough to change the entire piece of meat. Another benefit to marinating is that your meat will become more tender the longer you marinate it.

If you marinate ground beef overnight, you will notice a difference in its texture the next morning as marinating ground beef will soften it as well as flavor it. Marinated ground beef is then to be treated as it normally would be and be cooked in any way you desire. This can be great for recipes where instead of adding all the ingredients at the end, you can marinate the ground beef to have the flavors you desire, and then that will flavor the rest of the dish as well.

Marinating ground beef can also be used to provide a contrasting flavor in recipes and dishes as you can have the main dish have a certain flavor theme, while the ground beef can taste completely different, complimenting the dish in a brilliant way.

Can you marinate ground beef: helpful tips on how to marinate

How Do You Marinate Ground Beef?

Marinating ground beef is a lot easier than some people tend to believe it is. There is no fancy method to ensure it is perfect, and in fact, the hardest step is actually making the marinade – and even that is easy.

To marinate your ground meat, you will want to simply place your meat in a Ziploc bag that is large enough to accommodate it. After this, pour your marinade into the bag and suck the air out either with a straw or with your mouth. It does not have to be airtight, but if there is less air in the bag, the marinade is more likely to come into contact with the meat.

Because you are dealing with raw meat, it is important that you let it marinate overnight in the fridge as it must be refrigerated, or it will spoil. The best way to place it in your fridge is as flatly as possible so that the marinade does not pool up in a singular corner of the bag.

Tips For Marinating Ground Beef

While it may sound simple to create a sauce and place some meat in it, there are some unspoken rules that are typically followed to ensure that your marinade is delicious and perfect. These tips are used by everyone, no matter their experience with marinating food.

1. The Basics

It is important to know the basic ingredients for any marinade. While you may not know how to marinate ground meat perfectly yet, you can get started on making your own marinades. The basics that are in almost every marinade are;

  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar/Honey

Salt is typically used with caution in cooking as it has a strong flavor, and while this is true, in marinades, you cannot use too much. Salt is meant to be used in abundance as it is a crucial ingredient for allowing the marinade to actually work and flavor your meat.

You may not remember much of science lessons, but osmosis is a process where a liquid is drawn from something and then soaked back in. Salt causes the raw meat juices to come out of the meat and then allows the marinade to soak into the meat instead.

Oil allows the spices and herbs to live up to their full potential as the majority of them are only noticeably aromatic once they interact with oil.

Soy Sauce is brilliant for adding as it can be used in addition to salt. The glutamic acid in soy sauce is also great for reinforcing the meat’s flavor and allowing it to still be noticed even once flavored by the marinade.

Other popular ingredients used in a lot of marinades are;

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Black Pepper
  • Lemon Juice

2. Lots Of Herbs and Spices

When using salt in a dish, it can easily overpower a lot of other flavors. That is incredibly noticeable in a marinade as salt is used in high quantities as a necessity. The more salt you have in the marinade, the more herbs and spices you will have to put in. Do not worry about adding too many; more is arguably better in this case.

3. Stab The Meat With A Fork

To allow the meat to properly absorb the marinade, it can be helpful to grab a fork and thoroughly stab the meat, creating little holes all over. A knife can work too for larger pieces of meat, yet a fork is great for creating even and consistent cuts in the meat.

4. Never Reuse A Marinade

When marinating, the raw ground beef will be soaking up the flavors of the marinade. While this happens, the raw meat juices will be running into the marinade. Marinating meat is always great and delicious, but using the same marinade after already using it is dangerous as raw meat has been in there and can cause issues for you.

Can you marinate ground beef: helpful tips on how to marinate

Should You Always Marinate Meat?

Marinating beef usually has more upsides than it does downsides. It is quick and easy to do and has a huge impact on how the meat and the dish as a whole taste afterward. While it may be simple and have a huge impact, that does not mean that marinating your meat has to become mandatory. Is marinated ground beef good? Yes, absolutely. However, as long as you season and cook it properly, it will still taste just as good even if it is not marinated.

FAQs on Marinating Ground Beef

How long can you let ground beef marinate?

Ground beef usually marinates overnight before being cooked the next day. It is best to go for 8-16 hours as anything shorter than this will not properly flavor the food, and anything more than this has a chance to leave your meat soggy.

Can you marinate raw ground beef?

Yes. Marinades are usually applied to raw meats as they are great for soaking up the flavors.

Can you season ground beef overnight?

You can season ground beef overnight as this will allow it to really absorb the flavors of your seasoning or marinade.

Is beef ok to marinate?

Beef is perfectly fine to marinate; the flavor of the beef itself is great and versatile, so it can be easy to find the perfect marinade recipe to go with it.