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Jul 11, 2006 02:52 PM

Grilling Lamb in a Yogurt Marinade

Hi all,
I'm thinking of grilling a rack of lamb this weekend and am intrigued by some previous posts on yogurt marinades. There doesn't seem to be any consensus on whether the marinade should be wiped off the meat before cooking. Any insight?
If anyone has fabulous recipes for yogurt marinade they would like to share, I would be very appreciative!

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  1. Sorry, but there isn't only one right answer: you can leave a marinade on, or wipe it off. Since you are grilling the meat, though, I'd suggest wipping it off, for two reasons: (1) you don't want marinade dripping down into the coals or gas burners. Dripped marinade will create flare-ups and char the food. (2) You want to brown the outside of the meat (note that browning and charing are not the same thing). This is difficult to do if there is a thick layer of marinade on the outside. So, for grilling, marinate for a few hours and then wipe it off before grilling.

    If you were going to cook the lamb in the oven, you could certainly think about briasing it in the marinade.

    Jim Tarantino has written some nice books about marinades and rubs.

    1. Get the best of both worlds: Shake, don't wipe, the marinade off. The meat will brown but you'll also get a bit of crusty marinade flavour, especially on the sides and in the crevices.

      4 Replies
      1. re: carswell

        Food safety question: If I shake/wipe most of the marinade off, can I boil/reduce the rest of the marinade to make a sauce or will it be contaminated from sitting in raw meat for hours?

        1. re: chowchow985

          You can cook it, but be sure to cook it long enough (I'm not really sure how long that would be -- I'd guess 15 min at a simmer would be fine?). Having said that, I wonder how a reduced yogurt marinade would taste. Potentially too thick. You might think about adding some white wine or stock first, and then reducing it. I don't know.

          Many times people cook the food in the marinade (as in a braised dish) and then you have a delicious sauce. You are essentially doing the same thing, but cooking the sauce and the meat separately.

          1. re: chowchow985

            It would be best to set aside a portion of the marinade when you make it for use as a sauce later. I would not advise using the marinade in which raw lamb has been sitting. I agree with Darren72's concerns about cooking the marinade.

            1. re: antjones9

              I agree -- this is the safest way to go.

        2. Update: Marinated the lamb in yogurt, LOTS of crushed garlic, fresh rosemary, fresh lemon zest and juice, and a bit of black pepper. I wiped off most of the marinade before grilling. The lamb turned out wonderfully - moist, juicy, garlicky, and lemony.
          I also took some storebought tzaziki and dressed it up with some freshly pressed garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and diced cucumbers.
          A tasty and easy meal, that I will make again.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowchow985

            Sounds great -- thanks for reporting back!

            1. re: chowchow985

              Hi Chowchow,

              That sounds delicious. Can you tell me how long you marinated for?


            2. Oh yummy. FYI..tzaziki is easy to make. I use Greek Gods yogurt (thick) and just mince some onion, cuke, lemon juice, and a little ground cumin.