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Marinade beef with beer?

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    Marinade beef with beer?

    Ok, I am a left-brain analytical geek so I like to understand reasons before I follow the crowd. That said, we are planning tri-tips for my son's 21st birthday this week and I am looking forward to grilling some killer beer. My wife said, "oh, (insert name) said her husband always marinades their tri-tips in beer and they are always good". I didn't jump at her suggestion, so I am now in the dog-house, but that's ok...I have grown accustomed to the dog-house. I was planning to dry-brine the meat then add a pepper-paprika-cayenne rub derived from MH's Big Bad Beef Rub, because the rub has the good stuff without the liquid.

    My question, as a geek, is what do you think about marinades in general and beer marinade for beef in particular? I read MH's articles on marinades and it makes sense to me as a left-brain analytical. Like taking stock tips,
    I like to understand the science behind it before blindly taking
    recommendations. My sister-in-law insisted ribs must be boiled because that's how her dad did it. Well, my dad drove without seat-belts and he smoked, but that doesn't make it right.

    Any inputs from the Pitmaster Club?


    thanks


    #2
    Waste of beer, if you drink it. I thought the best ribs were soaked in Dr. Pepper.

    Comment


      #3
      I do a marinade every now and then. Some meats take it better than others. I think you'll find for beef that a rub or a baste/glaze imparts a lot more flavor than a marinade does, but you can make it work. Take a look at German sauerbraten, for example, that gets a lot of flavor in.

      Regarding beer, I cook with it, but I've never used it for marinade. If I was going to try it, it would probably be a sour, since that has a lot of acid.

      Comment


      • HouseHomey
        HouseHomey commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes true but sauerbraten also marinades for like 612 days

      • JCGrill
        JCGrill commented
        Editing a comment
        Absolutely true

      #4
      I can't think of any unique characteristic that beer has that would make it superior to other liquids that can be used for a marinade.

      Comment


        #5
        I use beer for a marinade but buy the cheap buck a beer suds for marinating beef or chicken.
        Is it any better than using the above mentioned Dr Pepper, I dunno but hey, why not.
        Everyone seems to eat whatever I've cooked.

        Comment


          #6
          Leave it dry so you get a nice browned outside (mallard reaction) instead of grey steamed meat. If you are in the dog house just tell her straight up boiling ribs is a terrible Idea and shows how little her dad really knows. Let me know if you need me to call and tell her...... No problem for me.

          Comment


            #7
            If I am going to marinate beef, I slice it first. London broil is good for this. Since marinades don't penetrate very far, thinner is better. As far as tri-tip goes, never have marinated one, probably never will. I don't want to insult the delicious flavor fo a tri-tip with a marinade!
            YMMV of course.
            Last edited by Thunder77; April 12, 2020, 08:07 AM.

            Comment


              #8
              I ran power out to my doghouse for a small fridge and flat screen tv.

              Comment


              • HouseHomey
                HouseHomey commented
                Editing a comment
                That’s sir is hilarious.

              • smokin fool
                smokin fool commented
                Editing a comment
                Guess I better build a dawg house for Rey and me....I can live with the small fridge but need at least a 42" plasma.
                Actually Rey can have my bed.
                She'll drink all the beer and don't like what I watch anyway. Only likes Lassie and the Littlest Hobo.

              #9
              If I marinade, I use an acidic liquid with a definite bold flavor. I tried cherry Coke once some years ago and I can't say I was all that impressed. Dr Pepper is enough like cherry Coke that I haven't been tempted to try it. I've marinated chicken in Wishbone Italian dressing, and liked that pretty well as a flavoring. Beer is probably somewhat acidic, but I'm not sure using it as a marinade would add much flavor (or tenderness) to the finished meat.

              I think I get better flavor from using a rub. Make a sauce for table use with the beer. Or, even better, drink it.

              Comment


                #10
                I think the free side of the site has articles proving that for the most part, marinades do not penetrate more than about 1/8 inch into the meat, except for the salt in the marinade. Salt is really all that penetrates meat all the way to the center. Unless you cut the meat very thin in advance, the marinade, and more importantly in this case - the BEER - is kinda wasted. If you cut the meat into 1/4 inch thick slices, kinda like flank steak or skirt steak is often done, then the marinade will make a difference.

                Unless so-an-so's husband is a true Pitmaster, I would follow the advice here on grilling tri-tip, versus 3rd hand info from your wife's conversation with her friend who said what her husband does... the key thing is cooking to internal temp more than anything, IMO.

                And tell your sister in law to keep boiling her ribs if she wants to make them tough. I learned to do that from my parents, and did it a few times when I got out on my own, but never liked them until I learned how to do ribs "the right way" (smoked low and slow). Heck, even my parents, in their late 70's, have learned not to boil ribs, and my dad smokes them indirect on his little Spirit 3 burner grill using wood chips.

                Give the beer to your newly legal 21 year old son to drink instead of soaking the raw meat in it! Share beer with him while he hangs out by the grill with you.
                Last edited by jfmorris; April 8, 2020, 10:48 AM.

                Comment


                  #11
                  The only cuts of beef I marinade are top round, eye of round, etc. I won't marinade NY strip or ribeye. Chuck roast and brisket get dry-brined and then a rub before smoking.

                  Comment


                  • Murdy
                    Murdy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Main thing I marinade are chuck steaks, which I like. I can't recall trying beer, but, now, I suspect that will happen someday.

                  • mww5440
                    mww5440 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    JeffJ, do you have a "go to" marinade for top round? I purchase a half-of-beef from my parents farm so I have a few rounds in my freezer that I'm trying to make more palatable. I did the "Baltimore pit beef" recipe that is on the free site and I really like that but want some other options. Thanks!

                  • JeffJ
                    JeffJ commented
                    Editing a comment
                    mww5440 that kind of cut needs an acidic marinade IMO. I tend to limit my marinades to 6 ingredients or less. Some Worcestershire, lime juice, red wine or cider vinegar, soy sauce and some kind of sweetener to tame the acidity a bit.

                  #12
                  OK so here’s the thing. Always ask yourself “how is it going to be used?”

                  First figure what kind of meat you’re going to be cooking and then what is your desired results for the meat?

                  Do you want it brown andcrispy? do you want it soft and sliceable? Do you want to dry on the outside? Do you want it wet on the outside? Are you going to Cube. It? Are you going to slice it for salad? It’s going to be thick for steak?

                  We know dry brining and salt is good, right?

                  What is the desired purpose of the marinade? Flavor? To tenderize? To add acid, heat or herb flavor etc...

                  Now, how will you be cooking? Warp 10, SV and sear, reverse sear, smoked or just grilled. All of this makes a difference as to what is on the surface of the meat.... example sugar can burn.

                  So with all of that said, I use beer sometimes. Beer does have flavor profiles.

                  Don’t believe me? Use Rodenbach to marinate filet and see what happens. Or try Guinness to marinate chicken tenders.

                  So yes beer has a profile. IMHO it really doesn’t matter what additive penetrates if you can taste it at the table. It’s either there or it’s not.

                  For me I generally only use beer when I cook flat meat.

                  Heres how i do it. Say for skirt steak as an example.

                  1) First I salt the everliving crud out of it. (Dry brined or a few hours before)

                  2) Then add a Sh&$ton of garlic, cumin, paprika etc..

                  3) then I add a Smear of garlic confit oil (and chunkage)

                  4) In comes the beer or wine. Just about a cup or two so the meat lays flat in it. Flip it later. Then pull it and place on a rack or go to the grill.

                  i prefer hot and faster for this. No crust who cares. I’d rather have a tasty flavorful to my liking overall piece of meat for my tacos than worry about a crust. This is just one way I cook for tacos. I gotta say they are pretty good.

                  as for tri tip I’ve never done it. Seems like a lot of beer to marinate that meat. Maybe rotate in a shallow pan rather than submerge.

                  Comment


                  • fzxdoc
                    fzxdoc commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The master has spoken...

                    Off to find some beer.

                    Kathryn

                  • JCGrill
                    JCGrill commented
                    Editing a comment
                    While I could never articulate it as well as Homey did here, my personal findings on marinade are similar. Well said, sir.

                  • smokin fool
                    smokin fool commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What he said.

                  #13
                  when I read your post, the only thing I could really think of was a Guinness Beef Stew. But, that’s not really grilling and is quite different.

                  I like HouseHomey info - that’s good stuff.

                  if needed, marinate one in beer, one without.. do a taste test. Could you put you in that dawg houzzz for longer, but..... ask HawkerXP on the power and accessories needed hahaha! That’s funny stuff!

                  Comment


                  • Murdy
                    Murdy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Beer/ beef stew is great, there's a recipe for Belgian beer stew on the Simply Recipes sight that I've been making for years.

                  #14
                  "...Beer does have flavor profiles. Don’t believe me? Use Rodenbach to marinate filet and see what happens. Or try Guinness to marinate chicken tenders...."

                  Point taken, HouseHomey. Those beers have bold, distinctive flavors that are likely to carry through to the final taste of the dish. I have several bottles of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout specially earmarked for cooking just for this reason.

                  On the other hand, most of the people I know are more likely to pop open a can of Bud (or something like that) for use in a marinade unless the recipe is real specific about using Guinness or similar. I don't think Bud has what it takes to make a flavorful marinade.

                  Comment


                  • jfmorris
                    jfmorris commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Bud doesn't have what it takes to be flavorful beer, much less marinade! . At one time friends who owned a local brewery had to recall a batch of milk stout that had yeast make it into the cans, and a few cans exploded on grocery store shelves - but it was fine refrigerated. I ended up with about 20 cases of that beer at the house (in every fridge I owned), and cooked with it more than I drank it. You get sick of even the best beer after a while.

                  • smokin fool
                    smokin fool commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I tend to stick with red beers when I marinate with beer.
                    I agree with IowaGirl garden style lagers and ales like Bud, not to single them out, doesn't add anything taste wise.
                    Last month I found a Blueberry lager that left an impression when cooked but with the cost of this beer would not use it very often.

                  #15
                  I'd avoid hoppy beers as they seem to turn bitter when cooked. A malty beer might give meat a nice flavor but... eh. Also 'in beer' is incredibly general.

                  Comment

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