How to Marinate Beef Roast to Make Pulled Beef


One beef roast, your favorite marinade and a large plastic bag are all you need to create pulled beef for a variety of tasty dishes. Whether you're making Italian beef with peppers and onions, Asian-style beef for Korean dishes or spicy barbecued beef for a picnic, marinating the beef first gives you a moist, tender meat to shred and mix with your favorite seasonings or sauces. Marinating also helps turn even tougher, less expensive cuts of beef into fork-tender, tasty main dish meals.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar, wine or citrus juice
  • Cooking oil
  • Seasonings to taste
  • Small bowl
  • Large resealable food storage bag
  • Select your favorite store-bought marinade or make one yourself, depending on the type of dish you're creating with the beef. All marinades need an acidic ingredient as their basis to tenderize the meat and allow it to absorb the seasonings used during cooking. Consider lemon or lime juice as a basis for marinades for Mexican-style beef, wine for Italian beef and vinegar mixed with soy sauce for a Korean dish like bulgogi. As an alternative to vinegar or citrus juice, use yogurt as the basis for marinades for Greek or Indian dishes. Add a little oil and your choice of seasonings to the marinade to add the right flavors to your meat, such as hot sauce, pepper and brown sugar for barbecue beef.

  • Combine all the ingredients for your marinade in a small bowl and mix well. Pour the marinade into a large resealable plastic food storage bag. Trim the roast and add it to the bag. Press the bag to get rid of most of the air, then seal the bag and turn it several times to coat the entire roast in the marinade. Put the bag containing the roast and the marinade in the refrigerator and leave it for at least eight hours, but no more than 24. Turn the bag a few times during refrigeration to keep all sides of the roast coated with the marinade.

  • If your roast is too large for a bag, you can marinate the roast in a large, tightly covered plastic or glass dish instead of a plastic bag. Spoon the marinade over the meat and turn the meat over several times during the marinating period to ensure the entire roast gets coated.

  • Remove the marinated roast from the bag or dish and place it in the appropriate pan for your preferred cooking method. You can cook the roast in the oven or braise it on the stove, then pull it apart, or you can cook it in a slow cooker. For oven or stove-top preparation, cook the roast until it is tender, then transfer it to a large pot and pull it apart with two forks. Next, add the seasonings or sauces called for in your recipe and heat through so flavors can blend. If you are using a slow cooker, put the beef into the cooker, along with the sauces and seasonings, and cook on low heat for six to eight hours or until it pulls apart easily with a fork.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use aluminum containers or foil to marinate beef, because it can cause a chemical reaction that might spoil the meat.
  • Do not use the marinade on other food or as a sauce, since it may contain bacteria from contact with the raw beef. If you want to use it as part of a sauce, boil it first.

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