MARINATING ADDS FLAVOR AND KEEPS meat tender. You may marinate any meat; thinner cuts work best because more flavor is retained. The tougher your piece of meat, the longer you should marinate. Fish requires less time to marinate than beef or chicken because seafood absorbs liquid more quickly. Marinate meat and poultry for four to 24 hours, but fish and other seafood requires only about 30 minutes.
The rules of marinating: Be sure the food stays evenly covered by the marinade; keep the food covered (you may use a plastic bag, but make sure to rotate often enough so all the food gets marinated); keep food in die refrigerator while being marinated.
Smoking requires a different marinating process called brining. For this you will need a glass, plastic, or steel container that can hold at least 10 pounds of meat, fish, or poultry. In the container:
● Combine 3 quarts of cold water, 2 cups of brown sugar, VA cups of salt, 3 cloves of garlic (halved), 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, and 4 bay leaves.
● Stir briskly to dissolve the sugar and salt and then submerge the meat to be smoked.
Fish, spareribs, and small poultry should be left at room temperature for one hour. Turkey breast, whole chicken, duck, and pheasant should soak at room temperature for two hours. Beef, pork, or lamb should soak for eight to 24 hours in the refrigerator. After the recommended rime is up, remove the meat and rinse thoroughly under cool water, rubbing it gently to remove the salt. Set meat to dry until the surface is tacky. The meat can then be smoked immediately or refrigerated for another 24 hours.