Triple dipped ribs on grill

The Triple Dip Technique: How to Marinate Meat for Maximum Flavor

The next time you fire up the grill for barbecue brisket, ribs, or chicken legs, consider marinating your meats using Chef Paul Kahan’s triple-dip technique. The Chicago restauranteur and cookbook author of “Cheers to the Publican, Repast and Present” is a big proponent of triple dipping in the marinade over the course of grilling. This triple-threat method seeks to slather it on and grill in as much taste as possible, resulting in deeply flavored meats.

In an interview with¬†Taste, Kahan explained, “The secret is to dip them in the marinade every few minutes.” Though Kahan recommends dipping a minimum of three times in his book, he clarified that he actually re-dips them in marinade as many times as possible for optimum flavor.

Of course, there are safe food handling considerations for this method, as any time you’re handling raw meat, there is a risk of foodborne illness and precautions must be taken. Kahan’s technique follows the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s safe food handling guidelines for marinating meat and poultry by ensuring that any used marinade is immediately boiled after the meat is removed, so that it may continue to be used safely. But before you fire up the grill, you first need to make the marinade. For maximum flavor, Kahan recommends choosing one that’s sugar-heavy in order to achieve maximum caramelization.

How to use the triple-dip marinating technique

Marinating ribs with basting brush

Kahan’s triple dip requires you to make or procure your marinade, splitting it into two bowls in a one-third to two-thirds split. Add the meat to the larger of the two bowls, saturating it well with the two-thirds portion of the marinade and covering it before refrigerating both bowls. (According to the USDA, though recipes commonly call for meat to marinate between six and 24 hours, it should never exceed 48 hours.)

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Ready to grill? Remove the meat from your marinade, placing it on a plate. Then, pour that leftover marinade into a saucepan and bring to a boil, simmering at a reduced heat for a few minutes to kill any bacteria that may be present. Next, take both the saucepan of the marinade and the bowl containing the original untouched one-third of the marinade you previously set aside out to the grill.

Begin grilling your meat as usual. Midway through the cooking process, take your meat or poultry off the grill piece-by-piece, dipping it into the boiled marinade. Then, place it back on the grill. Repeat this process when the meat is close to being done, this time dipping it in the one-third portion of the untouched marinade. This aids in preventing foodborne illness. Finally, put the meat back on to the grill for another couple of minutes, sealing in flavor and allowing the sauce to caramelize before removing from the grill and tossing any leftover marinade and serving. Now, that’ll stick to your ribs.

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