Well, you asked for it. Here, Smoky answers the most commonly asked questions. He is direct, honest and offers an insight into the time proven techniques to preparing great barbecue that is unavailable elsewhere. If you are unable to locate the exact answer you are seeking, feel free to contact him directly and ask!
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FAQ Subject: Marinating the meat at room temperature
I enjoyed your newsletter and scratched my head in wonder for a day over the directions to marinate the meat at room temperature for 8 hours. I can still taste the effects of food poisoning the last time I marinated meat at room temp for 2 or 3 hours. Yowzers!
The marinade sounds good - I'll give it a (refrigerated) go!
Sorry you got food poisoning, but it probably wasn't caused by marinating at room temperature - unless it was poultry which was subsequently cooked to less than 160° in the thickest part.
Beef, except for pre-ground hamburger, is 99.99% free of harmful bacteria, and unless it is contaminated in handling, safe to eat rare. The marinade that was in the recipe had enough acid and salt to retard bacteria growth. Then searing it at 500°+ surely would zap any vermin. However, if you have time, it is always safer to refrigerate.