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Ready, Set, Grill

Fast-working marinades and other shortcuts for speedy grilling.
Having spent more than my fair share of time standing over the grill, waiting for barbecued chicken to cook all the way through, I've found a few shortcuts over the years to speed things up. First, I choose a tender cut of meat that cooks quickly. Then I try to make it thinner, so that it cooks faster--pounding boneless chicken breasts or butterflying pork tenderloins. Finally, I look for a marinade that doesn't require the long standing time so many recipes call for. Highly acidic mixtures can ruin the texture of meats that soak in them for too long but can deliver great flavor when the marinating time is just 10 to 20 minutes. Intense spice rubs are another great quick way to season food for the grill: smoothed out with a little oil and then spread over the meat, they require no standing time at all.
Published June 1998
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