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Be you dockside, mountainside, city-bound, or stuck in traffic this Labor Day weekend, there's a good chance you're looking forward to not worrying too much over what you're cooking. (Yes, even we feel this way sometimes.) In such cases—when the need to press pause, dig deep into the wiles of a good book, or simply sleep off a raucous summer night trumps the desire to spend all weekend in the kitchen—turn to the marinade.
The beauty of a marinade, all fats and acids and spices and herbs, is that it works on the ingredients while you do not. A quick flash in the skillet (or on the grill) later, and dinner is served. Here are 21 recipes to start marinating in advance for a weekend of relaxing—and quick cooking.
If you'd prefer to marinate in advance, and then cook the day of:
If you'd rather get the cooking out of the way up front:
If you'd rather wait to start any marinating at all until the day of the meal:
Plus, a few tips for marinade-making, should you feel need some brushing up...
...and a handful of bottled marinades and rubs from our Shop (we taste them all, so you know they're good!):
Tell me: What's your favorite secret ingredient in a marinade? (I like a little soy sauce.)