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Instant marinater saves the day for last minute cooks

Can't seem to remember to marinate the meat ahead of time? Put the power of food science on your side and get flavorful, tender meat in a hurry with the instant marinater.

Flavor in a flash. Vacu Vin

Even though I take the time to write out a dinner menu plan each week, I frequently find myself looking at a hunk of non-marinated meat at 5 p.m. on a school night. Sure, we can slap some barbecue sauce on it and toss it on the grill, but when you actually take the time to let the meat absorb the marinade, it's more tender, more flavorful, and just plain better.

I've accepted that I'm not the girl who checks her list the night before and makes the marinade well in advance. But I could be the girl who gets an instant marinater.

Pop your meat (or chicken or fish) and marinade inside the bowl, cover, and use the pump to create a vacuum. As you draw the oxygen out of the container, the marinade is drawn deeply into the meat in much less time than normally necessary. In less than an hour, your meat will be ready to go on the grill, and it'll be full of flavor.

The cost? About $25. Not having to listen to my children kvetch and whine that I'm taking too long? Priceless.