Marinades are great to use on meats and vegetables, making them juicy and flavorful. However, you may be wondering if you can use the marinade as a sauce too. It’s true that once marinade comes into contact with raw meat, it’s no longer safe to consume. But you can still use - if done the right way. Read on to learn if it’s safe and how you should go about it.
When it’s Safe to Use a MarinadeTo add moisture and flavor to a dish, you typically marinate your meats. However, raw meat and fish contain bacteria and germs on their surface that contaminate marinades after using. Some people may think acid or alcohol kills off the bacteria, but it doesn’t eliminate all of it, and enough contamination remains that it could make you sick. The best way to use leftover marinade as a sauce is to boil it, according to the USDA’s Food Safety Guidelines.
How to Boil a MarinadeGrab a saucepan and pour any sauce that has touched raw meat into it, then bring it to a boil. Ensure it’s a rolling boil, so all the bacteria die. Foodborne bacteria are killed off at 165 degrees (75C), so keep this in mind. When the marinade has reached a boil, remove from heat and cool. If you’re using it to baste, the marinade doesn’t need to cool entirely since you can apply hot basted with a spoon, brush, or heatproof baster. If you’d rather slather on the marinade as a sauce, or use it as a dipping sauce, it’s safe to use on top of the finished meat or vegetables,
Test-taste the Boiled MarinadeThe last step is tasting the meat since not all marinades taste the same after being boiled. If you don’t like the taste, you probably won’t use this method again. But, that shouldn’t be a problem because most marinades won’t be affected by the heat. There is a chance the boiling could develop an unpleasant taste, so adjusting the acidity might be a good idea. Note that sugars burn at 265 F (130C), so if your marinade contains sugar, don’t roll boil for more than a few minutes to prevent burning. You can use boiled marinades on their own or by adding additional ingredients as desired. If your sauce is too thick, you might want to add some extra liquid to the marinade since boiling will reduce, as well as thicken the liquid. When adding more liquid, use what’s left in the marinade instead of just watering it done; this helps preserve the flavors.
The Safest ChoiceIf you don’t have time or don’t want to boil your marinade, throw it out. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Your best bet is to make up a large amount of the marinade and use what’s remaining for the sauce to baste the meat when finished. Also, eliminate needing to boil or throw out marinades and consider our wet marinade that doesn’t need a waiting period for the spices to soak into food. Since it comes in a jar, you can baste whatever you need on your meats, then use the additional marinade to make a sauce. For instance, to get the best flavor from Thailand, try our Thai Coconut Curry Jerk Marinade Seasoning that combines sweet peppers and the perfect amount of spices for a sweet and sassy taste. Or if you’re looking for hot and spicy, substitute the sweet peppers for hot peppers with the right amount of spices and prepare your tastebuds for a tantalizing experience.