Meat develops a unique charred taste when cooked on an open flame, though this al fresco method does lend itself to a few kitchen mishaps.

While some may think that burgers and sausages taste better on the more well-done side, the texture of the meat can quickly become undesirable when cooked on a barbecue.

And when it comes to white meat, like chicken or pork, the cooking technique is even more crucial to master in order to get those tender results.

According to Mike Reid, culinary director of Rare Restaurants, there’s a very easy fix that adds extra flavour and preserves the texture of food, so home cooks can always get it right.

Speaking exclusively to, Mike, who appeared alongside Michel Roux Jr. on Five Star Kitchen: Britain’s Next Great Chef, said: “When grilling white meat, it is so important to keep it moist and the easiest way of achieving this is to brine your meat in advance.”

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While salty water is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word brine, the chef noted that there’s another key ingredient that should be used.

He continued: “Add spices and aromatics to your brine as well for added flavour. It’s perfect for a big flavour punch as well as retaining moisture.”

Making a meat brine couldn’t be more simple either, and requires just two basic ingredients – water and salt.

The basic ratio of salt to water for a brine is four tablespoons of kosher salt per one quart (four cups) of water. If using fine table salt, the salt quantity can be reduced to just three tablespoons.

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Before cooking, submerge the raw meat in the salty solution for a few hours to enhance the tenderness.

A general rule of thumb is to leave the meat in its brine for roughly one hour per pound and to avoid doing it beyond this point.

Leaving the meat to brine for too long will cause the proteins to break down too far, and risk turning it into a mushy texture.

Of course, Mike agreed that marinades are also “a necessity for any barbecue”, noting that “what you put on your food is what you will get out of it at the end.”

After soaking meat in brine, the chef recommended setting aside a few hours to allow homemade rubs and marinades to penetrate the tender cuts, adding that it will “boost the flavour of your barbecue to a professional level.”

He said: “I promise you once you try making your own rubs and marinades you’ll never go back. They are super quick and easy to make and are half the cost of buying pre-made ones in the shops.”

Sharing his “favourite” recipe exclusively with, Mike shared how to make his go-to Tandoori marinade that can be used on both meat and vegetables.


  • Four tablespoons of plain yoghurt
  • One teaspoon of garam masala
  • Four tablespoons of single cream
  • Two tablespoons of paprika
  • One teaspoon of chilli powder
  • One teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • One tablespoon of tomato purée
  • Four garlic cloves, crushed
  • Two teaspoons of ginger peeled and finely grated

To make the tandoori paste, add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until to form a smooth paste.

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